Sean McMorris

Story

Sean McMorris is a cunning pop tunesmith who taps into the hook-laden vein that runs from The Beatles through Crowded House up to the present moment, mixing reflective, philosophical lyrics with earworm melodies for maximum impact. Besides being a gifted singer/songwriter with three albums to his credit, he's also a top-shelf drummer who refined his skills at the Berklee College of Music and played with rock heroes and cult figures alike. Despite sporting as Irish-sounding a name as you can find, McMorris grew up in Paris, France before making his way to the U.S. as a teenager. After attending Berklee, he eventually made his way to New York City, where he played with everyone from theatrical legend Bill Irwin on Broadway to Richard Lloyd of punk-era icons Television. In the 2000s, he worked with NYC bands Peg, The Blondes Inc. and Lazy Lions. In 2013, the brainy pop gems McMorris had been honing for ages finally made their way to the ears of the wider world for the first time when he released his solo debut LP, Lo & Behold. Two years later, he followed it up with another album's worth of trenchant tunes, Elevated Man. In 2018, McMorris relocated to Los Angeles, where he’s currently keeping his drumming skills sharp by working with Billy Joseph & The Army of Love. This year, he’s released his third and most ambitious album yet, C'est La Vie. Working closely with producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Christian Cassan (best known as indie-pop phenomenon Jonathan Coulter's right-hand man), McMorris has crafted a set of songs that are simultaneously more emotionally weighted and more gracefully crafted than anything he's done before. In addition to the melodic tapestry weaved throughout the album by McMorris and Cassan, C'est La Vie boasts some extra sonic firepower courtesy of a rock guitar giant. Cassan got the tunes to Dave Gregory, known far and wide as XTC's lead guitarist. Gregory liked what he heard, and added his unique sound to a number of tunes on the album, giving it that extra musical boost up into the stratosphere. Never at a loss for ideas, McMorris always has at least another album's worth of songs at the ready by the time he's released the last one. So don't be too surprised if he pops out another LP full of equally enticing tunes before you've fully absorbed his latest.

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What is music to you? What does it give you?

First and foremost, I'm a listener, a fan of music of all styles, in awe of its power to inspire. It's the most abstract and intangible art form. We're talking invisible waves hitting you! Great music helps me feel connected to this world and more grounded.

What is your music dream?

A few million fans who listen to my music and appreciate my work. Hey, the question does say "dream!"

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Clean up the environment, promote clean energy, reduce poverty, bring universal health care, ...

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

The Beatles • It Won't Be Long

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Neil Finn, XTC, The Beatles, Wilco, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Jacques Brel, Fleetwood Mac, King Crimson,Tom Petty, Talking Heads, U2, Morrissey, Noel Gallagher, Mike Scott, Genesis, Prince, David Bowie, Supertramp, Frank Zappa, The Milk Carton Kids, Pat Metheny, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Miles Davis, Steely Dan, The Police, and many, many more.

What inspires you to make music?

Listening to great Pop, Rock, Jazz, or Classical music fires up my senses.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

I want it to be inspiring, honest, moving, engaging and smart.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Nervous.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Is there too much music/noise out there nowadays? Is everything too easily "accessible" and therefore "disposable?"

What do you think of Drooble?

It's a new platform that seems to have an engaged audience.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

How difficult it is to make great music!

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Not enough.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Amazing songs, engaging lyrics, dynamic arrangements, expressive vocals, great production and a charismatic presence.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

The Mommyheads, Milk Carton Kids, The Ruts, Jacques Brel, Neil Finn.