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Sunday, 27 October 2013

In conversation with Matt Scott

A week ago you were talking about either taking a hiatus or maybe just giving up entirely.
What happened to make you change your mind?

It was a couple of things.
The main one being waking up in the middle of the night and looking for a pad to write down some lyrics and then with that came the dawning realization that at my core this is what I do.
All the things that chip away at my confidence are external factors.
Things that happen to me, but if I am left on my own then what I do is make music, and it struck me that the struggle to get gigs, to draw attention to what I am doing, and to create something in the music business for myself, and all that crap that goes with it is actually something that is separate from the writing and performing of my songs.
The songs are me naked and everything else is... well sort of like the clothes that I put on.
They matter, but the body of myself is the important thing and I think I was losing some focus on that.
That was the catalyst that took me to the second thing, which was heading to my brothers house and in one night recording nine songs.
It wasn't really planned, but it was the best approach I could have taken to recording.

You have spoken often about different ways to try and capture your live performance.
Do you think you have done it this time?

I was over thinking it.
I was also looking to try and frame it in what we all do.
You write songs, you work on them, you perform them, and then you look for a studio and record them.
Then you look to get the songs out there in one way or another, but it's all so much of a template.
The A that leads to B and then to C.
It's bullshit really.
It's actually nothing to do with the music and letting go of that was exactly what I needed to do.
There's a bit of me that is annoyed that I didn't come to that conclusion early.

So do you know what you are doing next with the material?

No, but that's no longer concerning me.
Going along with how it was created I am not looking to take it back to straight jacketing the songs into any sort of get some CDs done, have a launch party etc etc.
When I listen to music a great deal of it is raw.
Early Woody Guthrie, John Lee Hooker.
Guys like that whose initial recordings were done on rudimentary equipment and in the strangest places, and in some way had their own power to them that maybe wasn't because of the surroundings, but despite them.
It's all about stripping everything back and letting the songs breath and tell their own story now.
I'm aware that when I am saying that out loud it sounds pretentious, but I can't word it in any other way.
I'm putting my faith in the songs themselves and it feels right. It feel natural.

How were they recorded?.

My brother John is a genius.
He set us up in the hallway of his tenement flat, and using two microphones on some tracks and just one on others he ran it straight into his laptop and that was it.
It's all live?

All live and no overdubs.
Seriously. Nothing has been touched at all.
It's basically a live session.
So as there's an albums worth of material are you putting them all out there together?

Right now I have no idea.
I was thinking about using four or five of them.
Some are new songs and others are older ones that I have changed.
I'm going with my gut on what happens next.
I am happy with them all, but I need to sit down and digest them.
Think about how they would flow best and compliment each other.
It was only last night that I recorded them with John so I've not even thought that far ahead.
There's a freedom to the way I am thinking just now.
I might just put them online for free download.
Maybe get a run done on CD to sell at gigs.
I do know that while I am not writing off a record label getting involved at some point in the future, I am no longer looking to chase these people.
That part of my career when I did that seems like a partial waste of time now.
I was putting a great deal of energy into something that had little return, well little positive return as it took me to a point where I felt drained and I was losing my way.

You sound a bit evangelical with this?

I am.
I hear it in my own voice when I am telling you about it.
I feel excited again for the first time in many months. Got my mojo back (laughing)
I have though.
I'm not embarrassed to say it.
I feel really good for the first time in recent memory.
What do you think of the songs?

I'm very impressed.
So much so that I think you should just take everything you have online down and look at this as a new beginning.
Your brother has captured the live performance and that's a lightning in a jar thing.
I've never though there was a formula to it, but he's caught the lightning.

That exactly what I was thinking of doing so I am glad that the ideas in my head are being shared without having dragging them out.
I'm pleased that you are enjoying the songs to.
I'm not sure how I would have felt if I had shared the songs with you and the reaction wasn't positive as it may have dented the high I am feeling.
You don't know how good I feel that your reaction is the same as my own.
I am so happy with how this is going that I am thinking that this is what I will keep doing.
Just write material and then head around to see my brother and my career will now just be punctuated by live sessions.
I have a lot of ideas that I am just edging around.
One is to start a club, and if people want to join then as I record then they will be sent the results as I do them.

For a price?

Well yes, but, and bear with me as I have no idea what will happen, but maybe for say £10 a year the person gets everything and I would have made a promise that within that twelve months they will be guaranteed to get at least an albums worth of material and there would be no cut off point.
If I did six sessions in a year then they get them all.
I'm not saying that will happen, but I am opening myself up to considering different options and tomorrow I may have another idea with yet another jumping in days after that.

Sort of a pledge deal that lasts a year?

Ha. Well I could say yes, but I am literally thinking on my feet here.
I might wake up tomorrow and think of another way of getting the songs to people.

I want you to make me a promise though.

What's that?

Well now that I have heard the songs you have to promise that self doubt wont creep in and lead them to the back of a drawer.

Ha. Okay. I promise.

It's easy to promise that as right now my head is spinning with songs, ideas and............Oh man I feel everything so far has just led to this.  

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