Scott Matthew Live at Angelo Mai, Rome
photography Valerio Marotti
22 November 2013
A conversation with Scott Matthew, Australian born singer and songwriter currently touring Europe with his fourth record, Unlearned.
"I always had a desire to make a covers album. On tour we always perform covers and I feel it's such a joy to do this. I needed to wait until I felt it was the right time and after three original albums, I had sufficiently proven to myself and others that I was somewhat a legitimate songwriter and I could allow myself to be comfortable about recording other people's songs."
"Some songs were from my childhood. My father was always playing music and in a way some of these songs subconsciously influenced my own songwriting, or at least my desire to express myself in that way. All these songs have touched me throughout my life. Of course there were many more that we simply didn't have time or space to capture but I am happy with the selection. After demoing many songs these ones rose to the top of the list. Also we had performed some already on tour so we had an existing connection and arrangement for those."
"It is very instinctive. I never approach my own songs or covers academically. Only emotionally. I like the way you describe it as childish. I agree. There is a pure and innocent approach to my process of interpretation of these songs. It's about finding my own honest truth within someone else's work."
"It was incredible that I was able to capture both of those people (Neil Hannon and Ian Matthew - Scott's father) in song with me. Obviously I am a great admirer of Neil and we had met in Portugal at a show we did together. He asked if he could sing Smile with me at the show and then it was so grand to me I asked him to do it for my record. He generously agreed. As for my father. It was an enormous privilege and very sentimental to get him on the record. It was one of the most profound things that had happened to me for very personal reasons. It was done with mutual respect and a whole lot of love. That song (Help Me Make It Through The Night) always reminded me of my father. He would play it on the guitar when I was a child."
"We recorded my version of Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. Unfortunately it didn't get on the album but it is out there online somewhere in the Internet ether. I love the contradiction of singing a angry song with heart. Almost a longing for personal power through anarchy."