Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Danny Elliott Of Forgotten Garden

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Artwork for ‘Broken Pieces.’ Photo courtesy of ScreamLite Records.

A callback to 80’s acts like The Cure with a modern take, Scotland-based duo Forgotten Garden, composed of writer/performer/producer Danny Elliott and vocalist Inês Diaz Rebelo, will drop their debut four-track EP ‘Broken Pieces’ via ScreamLite Records on Sep. 4, 2020.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Elliott about the upcoming release and more.

Music Bugle – How has 2020 treated you so far?

Danny Elliott – Like for everyone, it’s been quite tough because of COVID, but we are lucky enough not to be living in a big urban area, so it probably hasn’t been as tough for us as it has for so many others! It’s fairly easy, for instance, to exercise here and still keep social distancing.


Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut EP ‘Broken Pieces’?

Danny Elliott – Tricky. We had a few problems with a couple of the tracks that seemed difficult to solve. Mostly with bits of noise creeping in that proved hard to get rid of.


Music Bugle – How did you get the name Forgotten Garden?

Danny Elliott – Well, I could say that I spent so much time working on the EP that the garden was forgotten, but that wouldn’t be the truth! Actually, it was a question of ruling out which names had been taken – that’s a lot of names – and seeing what was left that was actually any good. I liked the sound of “Forgotten Garden” because of the image it conjures up. It also kind of goes with the downbeat nature of the music as well.


Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a musician to stand out these days?

Danny Elliott – Ah, good question. Don’t really know the answer. I guess a lot of stuff gets lost in the vastness of social media, but at least it is easier to actually put stuff out there these days. It’s interesting though, isn’t it, how people are discovered on places like Soundcloud and are then very quickly catapulted to the “top” without having to do all that old-school touring bit!


Music Bugle – How would you describe Northern Scotland to someone who has never been there before?

Danny Elliott – As you know, north of the wall is populated by wildlings and – spoiler alert – Jon Snow! (Laughs) No, it’s a beautiful wild place full of hills, lochs, whisky distilleries, midges and ticks.


Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?

Danny Elliott – Ian Curtis.


Music Bugle – Which track on the EP was the hardest to write or compose?

Danny Elliott – Both “Cage of Hurt” and “Deep Soul Light” were quite hard because I kept changing them to try and get them right. Probably though, I spent most time on “Cage of Hurt” as it didn’t quite work for a long time. “Broken Pieces” was the easiest. I literally just played that on guitar as it sounds and immediately added the melody and some of the lyrics. The bridge was added later, but that was done very quickly as well. I like it when things work out like that.


Music Bugle – Where did you get the idea for the EP artwork?

Danny Elliott – Well, it was influenced by Joy Division’s artwork, which I always thought was great – even now it still looks great! The photo was actually taken in the cloisters of Iona Abbey, so it’s got quite a spiritual vibe attached to it.


Music Bugle – What’s the biggest challenge of being a musical duo?

Danny Elliott – Having to play so many instruments! It all takes time to come up with with the various instrumental parts and then record them and that makes progress slow. Even when you have the guitar part and vocal part together, there is still a lot more to do!


Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Danny Elliott – We are very fortunate to have the advantage of only having two main people involved in the production of the music. That means that we’ve been able to trundle on regardless, so in terms of recording, it hasn’t had that great an effect on us. Very unfortunately, of course, for a lot of musicians, it has had a huge effect on their livelihoods and who knows what the musical landscape will look like when something approaching normality returns!

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