By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Now, that’s some “reel” talent.
Influenced by great past penners like The Beatles and Bob Dylan, singer-songwriter Derry Fillin regularly concocts songs related to relationships and romance combined with his love of movies and the end result is soon-to-be playlist staples like his latest piano-peppered video, “Excuse.”
The song follows up April’s “Coney Island” release (10k Spotify streams to date) that marked his return to the music scene after an eight-year hiatus, as he is out to prove 2022 is about making up for lost time, one blockbuster at a time.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to speak with Fillin about his upcoming debut EP and more.
Music Bugle – What inspired your latest single “Excuse”?
Derry Fillin – This is actually the first tune I’ve penned after the hiatus I took from making music in the 2010s and it’s still very much in the vein of some of my earlier songs, meaning that it’s quite impersonal and doesn’t have an immediate real life experience connection as compared to most of my other new stuff. Anyways, I based it on a story about this self-obsessed narcissistic delusional person, who’s totally out of touch with reality regarding his abilities to control or influence anything around him. Musically, I enjoy the jazzy vibes of some of Radiohead’s 2000s output, so I guess the trumpet bits were partly inspired by something like “Life In A Glass House.”
Music Bugle – Did the music video for “Excuse” come out the way you hoped?
Derry Fillin – I honestly had such a loose understanding for what I would like the video to be that I basically let the director do the script and take full control with it. What I specifically wanted to see was a lot of powerful imagery, which the vid certainly has, so I’m really happy with it. Also, it was such a pain to shoot my previous video for “Coney Island” in the blizzard being the main character that I was all too happy for the actor to play the main part in this one and he did a fantastic job, for sure! I have been taking a lot more creative control with the next vid for my new single, “Magical Show,” which just came out, so we’ll see how that one turns out!
Music Bugle – Of your personal influences, which ones do you feel show the most through your work?
Derry Fillin – Like I’ve mentioned, Radiohead has had a huge influence on me, but I’m not sure that it shows in the newer songs as much. I’d say REM, Britpop like Blur and Oasis and The Beatles of course are currently the artists that shine through my music.
Music Bugle – What’s your all-time favorite movie or one you can watch over and over and not get tired of?
Derry Fillin – I’ve recently rewatched “Fight Club,” which I haven’t seen for maybe five years and it’s such a powerful movie that I’d watch it again anytime. It also aged really well, so you can’t really tell it’s 25 years old soon. A masterpiece by one of the greatest modern directors!
Music Bugle – What were some things you learned from your eight-year hiatus from music?
Derry Fillin – I was working in a completely different field for much of that time and haven’t even touched an instrument in years due to the lack of inspiration. I’ve been through a lot of things during those years, my son being born, for instance, but the inspiration to start making music again truly came out of nowhere, so what I’ve learned is you can’t just rely on the inspiration alone – it may not come for a very long time! I try to fiddle with guitar or piano at least a few minutes a day when I have time because you never know when you’re going to stumble onto a pretty melody and of course, I’ve learned that I can never get away from what I really love doing – kind of like you can never get away from that person you love, even when you’re separated.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your latest collection of songs?
Derry Fillin – I’ve been putting a much more personal touch to all of my newer compositions, so the upcoming EP will almost exclusively be my romantic recollections from the life I’ve had in the past few years. It’s been a rough ride at times and I was inspired to write songs during some of the darker moments, which led to a lot of new and cool material. You’ll see when the EP comes out! I haven’t settled on the name yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be called ‘For The Morning After,’ which kind of speaks for itself.
Music Bugle – What do you feel is the next goal in your career?
Derry Fillin – I will have to start playing gigs soon and that means assembling a proper band is a natural step forward. I’ve had my share of playing in bands and still rely more on my own songwriting, but it would definitely be fun to play some shows, even with session musicians. After the EP comes out, I will have to start thinking about the supporting concerts either in a singer-songwriter, one-man acoustic concept, or the one that implies having a real band. We will see how it goes!
Music Bugle – What’s your biggest “guilty pleasure” song to listen to right now?
Derry Fillin – I don’t listen to rap much, but when I do, it’s definitely a guilty pleasure, so now, I’m digging this old 50 Cent/The Game/Yayo/Young Buck/Lloyd Banks collab called “Hate It Or Love It,” which I liked when it first came out and still come back to once in a while.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Derry Fillin – I wouldn’t know a way in which social media would hurt the up-and-coming musicians, so it’s a great thing for people like me. On the other hand, I can see how social media can ruin lives of established well-known celebrities, including musicians, but that’s part of the contract with the devil, you know!
Music Bugle – What does today’s music industry need more of?
Derry Fillin – With the amount of new music being made and recorded every day, these days I’d say the main problem is wading through that ocean! We probably need more instruments for that in streaming apps. Something to facilitate the organization of gigs for indie musicians would be great too, like an app or something. Actually sounds like a good startup idea! Speaking of business, the industry probably has way less money now than it had in the 90s before the advent of MP3’s, so there’s less budget to spend by A&R people to find new musicians and promote them. That being said, I’m comfortable with promoting myself at the moment and staying indie is a cool way to be, it’s just that so many musicians can’t follow that costly route and the world never hears their music, which is sad.