Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Matt Henshaw Interview with Shutter 16 Magazine (Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)

Interview by Lauren Davidson

● I dug the horticultural section of your blog. Do you feel like your connection with nature manifests itself in your music/ do you think it has an effect on your creative process?
Dug ! I like that. Definitely, I think my whole outlook on life and the music that I make has got a natural and organic feel to it. You don’t get more natural and organic than growing your own vegetables, getting your hands dirty, and writing outdoors.

● Do you feel like your blog connects you to fans in a more tangent way than other forms of social media (Facebook, etc.)? I think it’s very unique and humanizing for an artist to journal in that way.
I hope so, I don’t know really, I don’t like to think about it that way, but I suppose anything that makes me seem unique and human is a good thing, I like beautiful, unique and positive humans, and if that’s the kind of person attracted by me writing about my gardening, Things I Like and recommending other music, then that’s great, I just like writing out long form thoughts sometimes, 140 characters won’t always do it !

● How do you feel your music has been affected after touring?
I don’t think necessarily my music has been affected, maybe how I perform or my approach to going on stage, I’ve just gotten more comfortable, it’s crazy to think I was scared to death only a couple of years ago. Played almost every night for the last year and a half somewhere to someone has definitely gave me some food for thought in terms of how I can make things bigger and better.

● What were your favorite aspects of touring?
Meeting loads and loads of different people, as I’ve only toured completely solo so far, just me and my guitar, and a box of merch, I’ve arrived in places all over Europe and had to communicate with so many different people, that’s been great. Also, as aside, and personally I’ve enjoyed travelling around and seeing all the football grounds, ie. soccer stadiums that I’d never had the chance to go to before.

● I read that soul music inspires you, and you can very clearly hear that in the rhythm of your songs. How do you feel that your influences make their way into your song-writing process?
I guess they always do. I love soul music, obviously that includes all the great like Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, but I think that “soul music” can be anything that’s heartfelt and true. And that’s the music I try and make, all my influences are gonna creep in there, nothing’s original really, but if it’s honest, that can make a world of difference.

● How long have you been playing music? I would love to learn more about your background as an artist!
I first learned to play the guitar, picked one up when I was around 10, I think. As soon as I’d learned how to play a few chords I started to sing, and then write songs, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me. It’s cathartic, it’s an outlet, a means of positive expression, and even if no-one was paying me to write songs, I would still do it, undoubtedly, I did for over ten years or so before anyone really cared.

● How did you make the decision to fully abandon your day job and leap into music full time?
The romantic story, and it is true, is that I left work one Friday and ‘Frankly, Mr Shankly’ by The Smiths came on my car stereo, and it summed up my feelings entirely, I had to get out of the office, and I didn’t go back to work on the Monday morning. But it had been a long time coming, getting out on the road is just something I had to do.

● Do you ever plan on coming to the US?
I do, and I hope I can do as soon as possible. I toured Germany briefly with a couple of guys from Washington State, and I know I’ve got some fans up and down the West Coast, and through the beauty of the internet I’m getting more and more all over. I get messages all the time from places like Connecticut, Oregon, and like your beautiful self in North Carolina, fantastic places I’ve never been anywhere near before, but I know that already there’s a certain amount of people that would like to see me, and help me save on accommodation, haha! When I get to Charlotte I’ll be sure to bring a box of Yorkshire Tea bags !! Peace, Love & Tea 2015 x