Artist interview: Scott Matthews

Ivor Novello award-winning singer-songwriter Scott Matthews returns to perform at Town Hall Birmingham on Saturday 1 December, following a storming show in the Grade I listed building back in 2009 .

The Wolverhampton artist, whose striking and moving vocal and guitar style has led to comparisons with Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake, has toured and recorded with Robert Plant, Foo Fighters and Rufus Wainwright amongst others, and has released three studio albums and one live album to date.

THSH caught up with Scott for a chat about the past year, the 1 Dec gig and what lies in store for 2013…

THSH:How has 2012 been for you Scott, any particular highlights?

SM: 2012 has in many ways been a quiet one for me. I’ve tried to use that to my advantage though as I’ve been on many excavations within my head looking for the next chapter on this musical journey. I’ve trodden some interesting paths so far but also met many cul-de sacs! Thankfully though I’m going in the right direction as we speak.

THSH:What have you been listening to this year? Any favourite artists or releases that you can recommend to our readers?

SM: For the last few months I’ve been a little obsessed with Birmingham’s lost treasure The Idle Race. Jeff Lynne I believe started this band some time in the late Sixties. I don’t think they were ever truly appreciated back in the day but the songwriting and innovation were well ahead of their time. I did read somewhere that Marc Bolan was a big fan too. You get the sense that Jeff was on a mission with the visions he had over the three records he made with the band. It proved to be just the beginning! Also I must give a shout to my good friend Sam Brookes. He was on tour with us last year and he’s a very gifted songwriter, singer and guitar player. One to watch for sure!

THSH:You last performed at Town Hall almost exactly three years ago. What do you remember of that show, how was it for you?

SM: I’m sure I can speak for the band and say that we all thoroughly enjoyed the last Town Hall show. It’s such a beautiful room to play and it’s the kind of venue you always want to come back to. 2009 was the year I released my second album Elsewhere so it was a great opportunity to showcase some new songs back then. It seems so long ago but I clearly remember the great energy from the audience, which inspired us to take the bull by the horns and go for it!

THSH:What can audiences expect from your show on 1 Dec?

SM: Well, since the last show I released a third record called What The Night Delivers back in September 2011. We’re playing lots of songs from that record in the second half of the set with full band. Hopefully in the first half of the show I’ll be debuting some new material too, which will be on the next record very soon.

Listen to What The Night Delivers on Spotify

THSH:You’re a local lad, from up the road in Wolves. What’s the best thing about the Midlands for you?

SM: Well at the moment it’s clearly not my football team! I find it’s the only place I can truly switch off and be myself. That’s why I’m still based here. There was a strong temptation to move somewhere unexpected like New York for a brief period but I couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing my family, which is very important to me. I also didn’t like the idea of fitting into someone else’s shoes and losing my identity. I’ve been very fortunate to travel most of the world through my music but it’s always comforting to know there’s somewhere you can call home. What’s the saying? ‘You can take the boy out of the Black Country but you can’t take the Black Country out of the boy!’

THSH:What does 2013 hold for you?

SM: Promoting Guild guitars! Had to get that one in! Hopefully there will be two releases from me next year with lots of touring to coincide. The first release will have a fairly sparse feel to it with not much in the way of instrumentation. It’s something I’ve never attempted before so I’m quite keen to prove to myself that it’s the way to go at this point in time. The second offering will be a full band EP that has a more expansive feel, quite different to anything we’ve released to date. It’s an exciting next chapter and I’m very keen to pick up the pace and play more and more in the process. But if it all goes wrong, I might pop down the Wolves training ground and ask if they need a six foot four target man with a few goals in him!

Scott Matthews: What The Night Delivers
8pm Saturday 1 December
Town Hall Birmingham

Scott Matthews official site

Words: Lyle Bignon for THSH