Multifaceted session guitarist turns to writing his own naturally chaotic instrumentals

Loam may not be a familiar name, but there’s a good chance regular gig goers will have heard him play in some guise or another. In recent years the Aberdeen guitarist has quietly carved out a reputation as a multifarious session guy. His most recent excursions as Iamthemorning’s live guitarist add to an impressive CV that includes tours with Sithu Eye and Orynthia.

“I’ve always been obsessed with music theory,” he says of how he became to be a session player. “That gets you into playing a lot of different styles. I played in a lot of different bands in my hometown and that opened a lot of doors for me. I soon learnt that if you see an opportunity, you can’t hesitate or someone else will get it.

“I love throwing myself into foreign territory, too,” he continues. “It’s why I was so excited when Iamthemorning picked me up. I was surprised when they said they were looking for a guitarist, but live, they don’t have anything else that fleshes out their sound beyond Gleb [Kolyadin] on keys. So it was my job to extrapolate all the other textures and decide how I’m not going to get in the way of the piano and the vocals, but still be a voice in the band.”

A self-confessed “people person”, Loam is in his element when sharing stages with other musicians. When it came to writing his own music, whilst his EP, //Featherbrained//, is billed as a solo record, he wanted to compose as collaboratively as possible to create conditions where he knew he’d thrive.

“I would hate to think what this record would sound like if it was just me,” the guitarist admits. “I play my best material when I’m improvising and I’m playing with people in a room. I like to be the guy that you bring an idea to, to finish it, so I didn’t like the idea of being the guy who writes. I wanted that input; I want to talk about ideas with people in the moment, it allows you to make big, sweeping compositional changes very quickly. Over thinking is the bane of all music, doing it collaboratively is a lot more natural, raw and honest.”

Writing the EP allowed Loam to divulge into the styles of music he adores playing and knows well. He grew up on funk, fusion and R&B, but his career has immersed him deeper into the prog and metal worlds. Together, they make the end result gloriously scattershot.

“It would be a valid criticism of the EP to say it’s all over the place,” he concludes. “But then I called it //Featherbrained// for a reason. It’s a bit all over the place, but so am I. I enjoy taking a track from one place to the next. I wanted it to be fast, energetic, and attention grabbing from every angle. It reflects this kind of ADHD thing, where I, as a player, can’t settle on one genre; so why should my music?”  PW


LINE-UP: Liam McLaughlin (guitar), Fraser Urquhart (bass), Rohan Sharma, Lucas de la Rosa (keys/synths), Clark McMenemy, Andrew Scott (drums), Scias, Sithu Aye (guitar), Fabian Hernandez(sax).

SOUNDS LIKE: A cultured musician weaving together their love of fusion, R&B and beyond, into a frantic but comfortingly kaleidoscopic sound.

CURRENT RELEASE: //Featherbrained// is out now and is self-released.

WEBSITE: https://loam-music.bandcamp.com/

— Phil Weller

From "Limelight - Loam" Prog Reprinted with permission.

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