An Interview with: September SongPosted on: 27 Jun 2017
The group September Song, built around a pair of Bristol musical stalwarts John Douglass and Steve Hogg, will play a debut gig at The Cube Cinema on the 6th July. We were lucky enough to catch up with the guys and see what people can expect!
How excited are you for the release and premier of your new album?
Very! When you spend so long working on an album and put so much into it, it is always exciting to get it out there. Whilst I would want people to like it, what is different this time, as opposed to previous releases on major record labels, is that my future doesn’t hinge on getting good reviews from the music press.
Where did your inspirations come from for the new album?
Life! Over the last few years I had lost several members of my family to cancer and dementia and as a songwriter, it’s the way I channel my emotions. (Rather than getting drunk and coming home and kicking the cat!) There were also other life experiences going on to those around me, the engineer Mark had two children whilst we were working on the album, and various other physical and emotional things that happen in our lives. It has ended up a bit like a concept album equivalent of Shakespeare ‘seven ages of man’.
Musically it is a varied mix of styles based on all the music I grew up listening to so it’s really what the inside of my head sounds like! I haven’t reinvented the wheel but I have chopped up several wheels and put them together to make one large one!
When it comes to the Bristol music scene, do you feel that you are adding a fresh, new take that, perhaps, isn’t seen as much in the city?
To be honest it’s not a deliberate attempt to do something different and I also think the Bristol music scene is very varied and strong. However, this album is quite unique in the current climate, both in terms of its themes, and the way we recorded it ‘the old way’, with strings, horns, percussion etc.
How glad are you to be premiering the album in good old Bristol?
Yes, I love travelling but I’m a Bristol boy at heart and this is a great city, a melting pot. We also wanted a slightly different venue and our promoter Dave Brayley suggested The Cube.
Musically, how does the album and its contents differ from anything you’ve produced in the past?
This is the first album Steve & I have done without being in a band. So we were able to completely pick and chose who played on the album and take our time. I also like albums like Paul McCartney’s Ram, which mix great songs with quirky or throwaway songs, so I was able to chuck a couple of short songs in the mix that I would never have been allowed to get away with in previous bands.
This gig seems to be a bit of a rarity, do you have any more planned?
I hope so but this is the only date in the diary so far. We are using a lot of the session players who are on the album so it's quite a logistical challenge to get them all in the same room at the same time! We intend recording it so we can ‘tour’ the album via YouTube.
How have people reacted to the new album so far?
Very positively so far. The people I know with a great musical taste like it, which is reassuring! A few people who I had met recently and had never heard any of my music before liked it, but in a ‘surprised as I thought it would be shit’, type of way!
Matt, originally from Belfast, has only lived in Bristol for a year now and is studying Media & Journalism at UWE. He wants to concentrate his writing and media skills in Bristol's culinary culture, delving into what fine feasts the city has to offer and where the best places to go for food really are. Along with an aspiration to interview some of the influential people shaping Bristol and some who are simply passing through, Matt really is trying to make Bristol his new home! For any other info check out his Facebook or Twitter.