1. You're about to unleash your debut album on the world, how are you feeling?
A mixture of extremely excited and extremely nervous as this is little group of songs mean the world to me, although I've always said that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks! I write about what I like without much outside influence. But now the album is set to sail I hope at least a few people want to board the ship!
2. Tell us about the process of putting the album together
I pretty much had all the songs written and ready to go; I've been playing them live for a while now. All I had to do was find the right person to record with, someone who understands my sound and believed in the writing as much as I did. Once Jon (The Library Suits) had offered his services we did a couple of demos to test the water and the outcome sealed the deal. The whole ethos was to capture the feeling of the songs through my vocals and arrangements; to take our time and really indulge in being creative. Six months later we had 'The Boy Who Kicked Back'.
3. What were the most and least enjoyable parts of recording?
We recorded through what was possibly one of the worst summers ever weather-wise, but every time we locked ourselves away to progress the sun came out and we could only gaze outside the window at everyone else enjoying the sunshine! The most enjoyable aspect was taking the skeleton of the songs and building beautiful string arrangements and alternative percussion around it. I know how I wanted it to sound, and the challenge I enjoyed was getting my thoughts across to Jon.
4. Any special guests on the album?
Yeah there are a couple. We had one day in the studio where various people came and got involved. Richard Wilson (my trusty sidekick) obviously came to lay down his amazing harmonica and glockenspiel skills; James Carroll (aka Guide Dogs for the Dead) with some lovely electric guitar randomness; we even roped in a couple of friends to do some Crickets (Buddy Holly) style backing vocals on one track. Not to mention that it was mastered by local hero Captain What!
5. Can you describe the feel of the album both musically and lyrically?
I actually think the lyrics and music say exactly the same thing. The mood/feel represents the normal spectrum of emotion we all feel through everyday life. I guess the overall feeling would be that of triumph over adversity and subsequent reflections.
6. Rumour has it you now have the album at Lemoncurd Kid HQ, it must be a great feeling to have it in your hands at last?
Yes, although because of the vast amount of people that helped me get it to this point deserve their own copy, the pile is depleting fast!
7. A debut album can be a defining moment for a band. What are your favourite debut albums?
A very tough question for a record collector! But the first to mind would be: Sparklehorse, Vivadixiesubmarinetransmission plot; Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea; Cherry Ghost, Thirst for Romance; Beck, Mellow Gold.
8. What is your favourite track on the album and why?
I can't pick! That's like making me choose my favourite child (although I do only have one child!). I'm proud of them all and at least songs don't need nappy changes!
9. When and where can you get hold of the album?
The album is released via iTunes, Spotify and Amazon on December 14 to download. Or you could come to the album launch on the same day at Hooga in Chelmsford and purchase a good ol' CD from me personally!
10. What have you got in store for us at the album launch party?
I haven't really decided yet, but I think I may play the album in full along with appearances from a few special guests. It should be a great night, so come on down!