The Epoch Times’ “Best Albums of 2009” described Truelove’s Gutter as a “perfect album”. How are you planning to improve on this?
I don’t know about all that stuff, it’s best not to let it into your heart too much or there’s the possibility I would be in danger of believing it all, which will never happen. I think I might go off on a few tangents as yet unexplored, It’s best that way I reckon. Keep wriggling.
For readers that may be less familiar with your work, could you please describe for us your musical influences?
What does 2010 have in store for you?
I have lots of different stuff on the go, writing with a lot of diverse musicians. I am doing a radio programme in four parts for BBC Radio 2 called The Ocean about how our relationship with the sea shaped our culture, language, art, literature and most importantly for me our music. There is lots of other stuff I can’t talk about cos it would spoil it but it will be interesting. Well for me at least.
What do you make of the music scene in Sheffield at the moment?
The main thing I’ve noticed in Sheffield is a growing sense of confidence that I am really pleased to see mushroom in our times. I love so much about the city’s music, it is so diverse, we shouldn’t feel afraid to challenge ourselves into believing that we can achieve great things from very humble beginnings. It’s important not to lose sense of your roots but that shouldn’t cripple you from having serious ambitions. I’ve said this before, but what I find exciting is that right now as you read this there is a bunch of kids rehearsing in a garage or school room or bedroom that will surpass anything that’s gone before … and they’ll be from Sheffield.
What advice do you have for any up and coming artists that may one day aspire to accolades similar to those you’ve been bestowed with?
Well I don’t know about all that but I do know that you must stick to whatever plan you have. The most filthy word in the English language is “compromise”. If you become successful by selling yourself short you will always regret it in the end. A camel is a horse designed by committee. That’s why all that X-Factor stuff is so short lived. It’s a short-sighted idea in the first place, it can never replace the passion you see in young (and oldies like me dare I say) committed to their cause bands. I still, after all these years, get excited by seeing anyone stick to their guns and win through. Life is too short to compromise.