‘I like lyrics that really overshare’

PUBLISHED: 10:32 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 30 November 2018

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Matt Owens who shot to fame with Noah And The Whale will play songs from his solo album at Loves Café on December 8.

We grabbed a few minutes with the talented singer-songwriter ahead of his Weston performance.

Why did you decide to go solo?

It all came about very organically. I’d always been a band guy but loved my solo singer-songwriters and when Noah split I returned to my first love of playing acoustic every night to pay the bills and with my rock ’n’ roll band Little Mammoths on the weekend.

I amassed a load of acoustic songs that worked best in a solo setting and that weren’t going to fit on a Noah or Little Mammoths record and they formed the backbone for this record.

Tell us about your first album...

Ultimately I’m really drawn to great songwriting and musicians that really serve the song.

To that end my producer Nigel Stonier and I were lucky enough to assemble a really exciting group of musicians who could fulfill that brief.

We were incredibly fortunate we had musicians of the calibre of Michael Blair who’s played on some of my favourite records of all time, Thea Gilmore, Robert Vincent, Carleigh Aikins – from the amazing Canadian band Bahamas – a killer musician who I met on tour called Adrian Gautrey who played Hammond organ and pedal steel and Paul Beavis who played beautiful drums all over it.

How would you describe your style? And what has influenced your music?

Style-wise it probably sits somewhere between Americana, Neil Young and Father John Misty.

Warren Zevon, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley from the Drive-by Truckers and Tom Waits are some of my favourite songwriters and I strive (and fail) to write three chord songs with a twist that don’t sound like anyone else.

I also like lyrics that really overshare – the type you’d hear in a chat at a bar, but that are loaded with undeniable truth.

Are you excited about its release?

I’m unbelievably excited. I’m incredibly proud of the record and can’t wait for everyone to hear the album.

What has the response been since you went solo?

I’ve found it really heartening. I’ve spent the past three years trying to gig every night which has resulted in playing roughly 300 nights a year.

I was a bass player with Noah for the last six years of our career and I needed to get back to guitar, singing and songwriting and get my sound together which I now feel I’ve realised.

Do you have any plans to collaborate with former Noah and the Whale members or other musicians?

Always. Since the split I regularly play with Fred and have done stuff with Tom and Mike too. It’s an absolute pleasure, musically and just catching up with the guys.

Did you enjoy being part of such a successful band and what were some of the highlights?

It was the best way to spend my twenties. The highlights were, without doubt, doing 10 coast to coast tours of the states and playing venues like the Royal Albert Hall and Brixton Academy that you grow up idolising.

Do you have a favourite song to perform?

Too Far Gone as I open most shows with it, so my association with it now means I’m back at it.

What can fans expect from your Weston gig?

The whole of Whiskey And Orchids and some choice cuts from my back catologue. Probably some hilarious anecdotes.

Doors open at 8pm and tickets, priced £8.80, are available at www.lovesweston.co.uk

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