Here's my iinterview with singer/singwriter Matt Steady
Here are the questions
How'd you get started in music?
I was lucky enough to be encouraged by my parents and played violin and piano from a very early age, with orchestras and choirs aplenty. When I got into my teens, I started playing guitar, more on my own terms and with a great deal more freedom and improvisation and FUN, and I haven’t stopped! I’m very glad of my classical background though - I love playing the violin still, but generally in a much more folky way.
Who are your inspirations or influences?
Ooh there's so much wonderful stuff out there! I love blues - Clapton, BB King, Robert Cray, SRV, Gary Moore. Folk - Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman, Levellers. Country/Americana - Gretchen Peters, Aaron Lewis, Jeffrey Foucault, Seger, Cash, White Buffalo. Rock - Cream, Marillion, Pink Floyd, Nine Black Alps, Sunpilots, Vai. Tracy Chapman, Nina Simone. Celtic - Iona, Dave Brons. Hehe I'm sure I've missed out a million artists. Everyone I listen to teaches me something and adds a little to what I play (or don’t play!).
What advice would you offer aspiring performers?
You’ll make mistakes. That’s ok - everyone does. The trick is to smile and share the mistake with the audience. Make it fun and part of the experience rather than being embarrassed. If you’re chilled about it, they’ll love it. If you appear tense and worried, they will be too.
How do you set yourselves apart from other bands or singers?
I don’t try and set myself apart. I play what I want, even though it changes hugely from album to album. I sing what I play, use whatever instruments I want. I have concept albums on topics I’m interested in. I don’t target a specific audience and make music to fit. Basically I figure if I do that, the music will be real and authentic, which is really important to me, and I think it comes across in the music.
Any new gigs or albums in the future?
Well I’ve recently released a live acoustic album called ‘Closer', recorded in my living room with 30 close friends and family. It was a fabulous, intimate experience. In stark contrast I’m working on some ‘epic guitar instrumental tracks’ which are hugely fun and inspiring.