Interview by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
One of the most highly regarded singers and songwriters in the UK, Matt Mitchell is someone that has yet to reach the level of national exposure that he truly deserves, despite fronting major live draws Pride, Furyon and Colour of Noise.
Things started to really change with the release of the first, self-titled, album by Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts last year, his rich and distinctive voice and eclectic, but always gripping, writing getting under the skin of anyone who heard it.
This wasn’t so much an album searching for a theme but more so something that showed his range, the quality never dropping and the cohesion providing a smooth ride through its different moods.
More than anything he’d done before, this really was a statement of intent and from hard rocking to gentle introspection it dripped with a passion and soul that was fathoms deep.
As happy on big stages as intimate clubs, Mitchell exudes charisma and brings you into his world with a gentle ease, letting the songs do the talking as they inexorably put you under their spell. Working on the new album, we find Matt in good spirits and looking to the future.
First off, and most importantly, how are you doing?
Hi. Doing ok, staying as safe and well as possible here thank you for asking.
How have you been keeping yourself busy?
Well where we live we’re fortunate enough to have some lovely fields and woods very close by so when we were only allowed out for exercise that was where we were heading on a daily basis to stretch our legs and get some fresh air.
I have also been writing and demoing a 2nd Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts album. So that has kept me very busy.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO3zBvF3zzg&w=560&h=315]
Have you been doing any online live shows or seen any good ones?
I haven’t done any online live shows. Mainly due to not having the set up to do it properly. I did record a couple of live sessions when I was able to venture out, and then posted it onto Instagram. This was quite late into the lockdown.
I saw some / heard some great ones.
Have you had to change your way of writing material?
I haven’t had to change anything regards writing really. Most of the demo writing I do is done in headphones using a digital audio software called Logic Pro and then I’ll move into a rehearsal room for pre-production with the band. That’s when it usually takes on a new form and of course the feel of the players takes it to another level.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow band mates / other musicians much?
Yeah, every day.
What plans have you had to change this year?
Well…a lot of gigs were cancelled of course and also some studio time.
What do you think of social distancing or drive in gigs?
If it’s safe and works then yeah it could be ok. But only if it’s totally safe for everyone.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2ywDS5hZcw&w=560&h=315]
How do you think the music industry will have changed after this period of lockdown?
I’m really hoping the venues are able to survive and then get back on their feet ok. Live shows might have to be slightly different when they are allowed back again as I’m sure social distancing will remain for some time. And rightly so until we can all safely move forward.
It seems to me that a lot of musicians / bands / writers / artists are still being very creative at this time and making plans for new music for 2021.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-IPQh3AGg4&w=560&h=315]
What plans have you got for when the isolation finishes and gigs start back up again?
Well I have some shows lined up for the end of the year and starting to book for next year. Like most bands dates if they cannot go ahead then they seem to be rescheduling for later dates. Everyone seems to be helping each other as much as possible in this respect. It’ll be great when it’s possible to play a live gig again and go and see shows again!
I’ll also be getting the band into the studio ASAP to start tracking the next album.
How can people support you during this time?
Keep listening to the music! Keep steaming and sharing the songs and videos. And thank you for all the support as always.
Get the album: https://mattmitchellandthecoldhearts…. Connect: http://mattmitchellmusic.com/ https://facebook.com/mmitchellmusic/ https://twitter.com/mmitchellonline https://www.instagram.com/mmitchellmu…