Interview: Scott Matthews

The Wolverhampton songster heads back home for his new album.

Scott Matthews - Home Part 2 (2016)

For Wolverhampton’s Scott Matthews, new album Home Part 2, marks both the end of one chapter in his career, and the start of a new one.

Released ten years on from his slow-burning sleeper hit Passing Stranger, Home Part 2 stylistically harks back to that release, as well as referencing subsequent albums, and in particular 2014’s Home Part 1.

“It’s more closely book-matched to the first album [Passing Stranger], there’s a similar style of music … it keep you on your toes. The first record was like that,” says Scott.

“With the second, third and fourth albums, there’s very specific themes – but this one comes back to the roots of that first record.”

Featuring 13 tracks, Home Part 2 also continues the ‘homecoming’ theme of Part 1, though Scott sees Part 2 as being very much the “Technicolor” counterpart to its more “sepia-like” predecessor, with much of that colour coming from rich layers of instrumentation.

“There are different production values with myself,” says Scott, who also produced the album. “I’ve put a lot of time into the little details as well as trying to capture that band energy.

“Some of the songs really rely on performance, where the song builds and drops, and I’ve tried to capture that live performance.”

Though in passing he says he “doffs his cap” to such musical heroes as Paul Simon, Elliott Smith and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, inspiration tends to come from everyday occurrences.

“Profound moments, places visited, the people I’ve met, the books I’ve read, strangers’ words of wisdom, the voices I hear that settle into my subconscious…” he says, continuing with “… the realisations that slap you in the face; the happiness and sadness that strike in equal measure; the desire to make loved ones feel like they can be so alive; the need to speak when I’m being drowned by the silence; the sheer joy and open­mindedness of playing and singing with my band …”

After Home Part 2 has been well and truly toured (there are spring 2017 dates on the horizon and hopes of summer festivals and further international shows), Scott sees his yet-to-be-titled sixth album as the start of something new.

“I see it as a new phase; I see it as a book and the first five albums is one book, and the next will be chapter one of the next book.

“I’ve got 2-3 projects on the go. The first is a stripped back guitar album, which I’ve never done before. That will test myself as a writer as there will be more emphasis on the power of the word and the strength of the guitar.

“Also, there’s another record that’s more soundscapey … David Sylvian-esque. Similar to the third album, What The Night Delivers, that touches on soundscapes, has a minimal approach, that’s sonically very different. That’s exciting to me.

“And there’s potentially music for a film. I can’t say too much as this stage, but it’s very encouraging. You have to approach music for film in a different way, it’s presenting my music differently … I’m excited where that could take me.”

* Scott Matthews appears at The Glee, Birmingham, on Sunday 4 December 2016. For more details and tickets, see: www.glee.co.uk

 * Home Part 2 is available now via Shedio Records. Purchase copies at shows or direct from Scott’s website: www.scottmatthews.uk

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