A Chat with Scott Matthews

Ivor Novello award winner Scott Matthews makes a welcome return to Gloucester Guildhall next week. We caught up with him about his star studded past, his creative process and his ideal dinner guests…

What’s 2018 been like for you?

It’s probably been the craziest time of my life so far. Not only have I managed to finish and release a new record but my wife and I have a six-month-old baby boy called Elliott. He’s an absolute dream and we feel so blessed to have him in our life. The only thing we dream of is sleep but we can’t find the time to sleep so we can dream about it!! Ha ha! After thirteen years of making records I can safely say this year has been unforgettable so far.

What’s tour life like?

I thoroughly enjoy playing live and feel it’s the best way to communicate. I do like the rhythm of touring and being on the road but I found it hard going back in May especially with a new born baby to look after. I like the element of surprise and mystery when playing from one night to the next. I’ll always continue to tour and will look forward to the day my little boy can watch his daddy from the stage side.

Have you got any interesting stories or memories from a tour that really sticks out?

I remember fondly my first real taste of what things could be like if I work hard when I supported the likes of the Foo Fighters, Bert Jansch, Robert Plant/ Alisson Krauss and Rufus Wainwright all in the space of a couple of years from the release of my debut album Passing Stranger back in 2006. To play to over 5,000 people with Planty at Wembley Arena was quite extraordinary. These treasured memories are wrapped up in a sacred place. My most treasured memory has to be playing in a tribute concert to Nick Drake at the Sydney Opera House. I’ve been utterly blessed to have these high points in my life.

Do you have any interesting stories about when you’ve played at Gloucester before?

I remember my last show at the Guildhall being an absolute belter. I felt such warmth from the audience and that inspired us to play even better. I’m so looking forward to doing it all again in next week!

What’s your favourite thing about creating a new album?

Good question, I’d have to say I thrive on the unknown elements especially when a record is in it’s embryonic phase and all you’re focusing on is piecing together snippets of demo music / dictaphone melodies with the sole aim of forming a musical landscape with which to write a bunch of songs from. I also love the moment when the ‘theme’ of the record locks into place. What then tends to happen is another phase of refinement comes into play. It’s great when you stumble on the album title early on too as it helps you tie up any loose ends from songs that can’t quite find the missing link. I find the creative process from start to finish of making albums to be a very rewarding experience and it’s a different kind of challenge / goal from touring life.

Who was your favourite artist to work with and why?

The simple answer is Danny Thompson. I was so fortunate to meet him back in 2010 and for him to play on my third album What The Night Delivers feels very special. Danny has some exceptional stories of playing on Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left album, John Martyn’s Solid Air not to mention playing with Tim Buckley AND Roy Orbison! The list goes on. We still keep in touch and he often asks how my little boy is doing. He’ll send me videos of his grandson scoring goals in his local football team too. Brilliant stuff.

If you could have any three artists over for dinner, who would you invite and why?

That’s a tricky question! I’d have to rustle up a chic pea curry for Robert Johnson, Nick Drake and Jimi Hendrix. I’m sure the conversation would be truly mind blowing and the after dinner jams would be off the scale!

What’s your favourite food for dinner?

See above. I love prawn tempura, red thai curry, chicken massaman. My chic pea curry isn’t too bad either.

Scott Matthews plays Gloucester Guildhall on Friday 21st September. Tickets are £16.50 and available here and from the guildhall box office on 01452 503050