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An Interview With Doctor Lincoln

A new full-length album release from Doctor Lincoln gives out a lush variety of pop-toned songwriting approaches that all come together to create an atmosphere that lets you step into a different world for a little while and it's all done with a beautifully cinematic Sheen that propels the record and also grabs your attention.

The Will See You Now record breeds a wonderful honesty and showcases itself with a youthful undertone but with maturity and songwriting and lyrics which is a wonderful combination because it gives you the best of two different worlds.

Throughout the course of this record, you get hints of vintage pop crossed with pop rock and a little bit of contemporary blended in to give the songs a nice rounded style and everything has a lot of heart.

They're definitely more than a few layers to be peeled back throughout the course of this record and I think that it's part of being able to soak the whole thing improperly.

There's definitely more than a few singles that stand on their own two legs very well throughout the span of the release; however listening to the full album is definitely a must because it comes off almost like a concept record in a way.

You get the feeling that these are different chapters in someone's life and that you're listening to them and as this happens, you're able to paint a few vivid pictures in your head.

This aspect of the record also makes it relatable and a little bit nostalgic which I love.

Musically everything is super crisp and clean. The songs are sonically perfected and everything feels very radio-friendly but there are little hints of looseness here and there which give the songs an alive and breathing feel as well.

You can tell this is definitely done by someone who has a pure love for his craft and during the records play through there's a certain energy that's actually captured which helps Drive everything.

Having said that, the entire thing is very well balanced dynamically and nothing's ever really over the top but you definitely can think and feel while listening to this record and that's something that I've missed for quite some time.

This was a colorful release that has a danceable and almost theatrical sound to it but all of that is part of why you get engulfed in this record so easily.

It is rare that you hear a full album like this that boasts this much character and that is endlessly important because again, that's a big aspect of what's been missing in certain kinds of music these days.

If you get a chance to, I would definitely suggest listening to the whole album with headphones because you will not only have a really good time, but you'll be able to jump into a different reality for a little bit, almost like watching a movie or reading a good book.

With the release of such a beautifully performed and delivered record, we wanted to have a sit-down with Doctor Lincoln to find out exactly where this record came from and what might be coming up next for the artist.

Here's what happened.

Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with the "Will See You Now" album! This record felt nostalgic with an air of classic pop! How did this release come about?

So this is my second album. My debut ‘Wallflower’ was very unsatisfactory to me when it came out and had only a handful of takers back in 2016. So I decided to revisit 4 of the songs on that record including 5 new tracks for my sophomore ‘Will See You Now’. Most of these songs were written over a period of time starting in my early 20s till now. The entire record tells stories about my personal experiences and traumas. The name of the record including my stage name is a nod to my former profession as a pediatric heart surgeon, as in “the doctor will see you now”. The LP is meant to mirror a spiritual therapeutic process through these songs and the lyrics. Its me telling my audience that I’ve been through this and I feel you and I hope these lyrics & music speak to you. The nostalgic sound/classic pop air stems from the musical DNA acquired by listening to everything from the 80s and 90s to the early 2000s.

Buzz Slayers: How did this all start for you as an artist?

I started playing guitar when I was 7 years old. Mostly by ear and later mentored partially by pro musicians as things got serious. When I was in medical school I formed my first band in 2003. I would also moonlight during those years playing small venues with musicians from outside college. I’ve backed up TV shows, film recording assignments and radio spots in exchange for ‘exposure’ currency. Then in 2009 a fellow medical student and I formed the now defunct alt-experimental project Once Chosen. This was my gateway into professional music. I experimented a lot with home made production and recording. Our EP ‘Super-liminal’ had some success on Reverbnation back in the day. Then we parted ways to pursue advanced degrees. But I couldn't stop myself from playing guitar and writing music. So I kept going with a USB Audio interface and laptop culminating in the 2016 debut ‘Wallflower’ and now this record. I’ve played in various bands as guitarist and bassist over the years in India’s underground rock scene.

Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?

I can summarize my answer into one word ‘trauma’. Over the years all the pain I’ve gone through has inspired my writing. ‘Start Over’ is an anti-bullying anthem (faced a lot in the workplace, India’s medical workplace is largely unprofessional). ‘Don’t Let Go’ is about an estranged ‘twin flame’. ‘Break The Ice’ is about overcoming ghosting from friendships. ‘Musth’ is interesting: the word is derived from Hindi & Persian, which means the elephant has gone crazy. In this context the elephant represents the human ego. If we fail to keep our ego in check it results in ‘Musth’. this also inspired the elephant artwork that appears on my Merch. ‘Wallflower’ is a deeply personal tune and it describes my struggles with a rare form of high functioning autism that I suffer from. So in a nutshell all of life’s lemons end up as songs for me. It's the best way I can express myself and get closure.

Buzz Slayers: This album has some great approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?

Thanks! This is a comment I get a lot and it makes me glad that one can actually feel the work that has gone into it. My biggest influence is a guitarist/producer by the name of Rex Vijayan. He’s the lead guitarist and producer for Indian alt giants ‘Avial’. He mixed and mastered my record and performed the guitar solo on the song ‘Get Burned’. I would consider this as the greatest moment for me as an artist, the opportunity to work with my hero. I’m mostly influenced by new wave: The Smiths, Duran Duran, Tears For Fears, Joy Division, Kate Bush to name a few. Some of the most recent artists that have influenced me are Paramore, Young The Giant, Fickle Friends and The Midnight.

Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?

I have a 7 month old boy Joshua. I love playing with him and taking care of him when my wife goes to work. I love ‘The Office’ both UK and US versions, which have been on repeat for me for several years. I’m also very keen about non-religious spirituality and meditate a lot. I read a lot of non-fiction (real life espionage) and biographies. My most recent being Johnny Marr’s ‘Set The Boy Free’.

Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?

Stevie Nicks’ ‘Trouble In Shangri-La’. It's a very underrated record.

Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?

I played the night stage on a sub headlining spot at India's Majuli Music Festival last year. I haven't had much success landing a gig since. It's brutal out here. I hope I can get on an international roster someday. I believe my music has what it takes to become a global artist.

Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?

So I have a pretty decent home studio setup. Most of my vocals, guitars and bass were tracked here. On “WSYN” I made midi arrangements of all the other instruments. I then hired musicians from around the world to perform those parts as a live recording for me which was sent in as large file transfers. Some notable musicians who played on this record include Italy’s Francesca Prattico on drums, US based Will Allen Jr. on brass, Germany’s Phillip Kratzer on synthesizers and Steven Schumann who arranged and performed a Nashville string quartet on the song ‘Get Burned’ among others.

Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

I don’t have a lot of fans. I’m building an audience slowly. My listeners will be treated to a more bolder, massive sounding 3rd album which is being written as we speak. I’m also collaborating on and producing Scotland based singer Nushka’s next single which is something I’m very excited about.

Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?

I would like to not use the term ‘fans’ as it sounds derogatory to me personally. But I would love to sign off to my listeners with a lyric from my song ‘Start Over’ like I do on the CD sleeves, “May You Cherish The Healing” - Doc Linc, XO.

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