In the second part of our exclusive interview with former X Factor winner Matt Cardle, Lisa Dunn asks him all about his new album ‘Letters’. In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
How did you come up with the album’s title?
Matt: “There are a few reasons why I called it ‘Letters’. The title came from looking at my lyric book, it’s got all of my songs in there and looking at each one looked like a scrawny letter to someone and I suppose every song is like a letter.
“There’s also a track on the album called ‘Letters’ and it’s the one lyric out of all that I wrote on the album that literally came from nowhere. I sat there with Sneddy [songwriter David Sneddon] and ‘Letters’ just popped into my head.”
Do the lyrics refer to real events?
“The album itself contains songs all from my heart and life experiences and I mean every word. I’ve been writing with some incredible people like James Walsh from Starsailor, also Eg White, he’s done a lot of work with Adele, James Morrison and Will Young. They mean a lot to me and stuff that I’ve written is very honest and musically it’s very honest as well. There’s some soulful stuff and some rock stuff, too.”
Is a comparison to Coldplay and James Morrison a fair one to make?
“Definitely and if it can stand up to that I’ll be the happiest man on the planet. I rate the guys so highly. To be talked about in the same sentence as them is amazing.”
We have had lots of questions from fans regarding the writing process. They have a real interest.
“It’s the second time I co-wrote. It’s weird. Basically I’d get into the studio with people and we’d sit down and talk about the kind of tracks we wanted to write, the way it would feel. Usually before that I would talk about what I wanted to say or get across like an apology or a thank you. A lot of time I’d bring something that I already had like a melody or a verse or chorus and we’d work on that. It’s stuff where I can be most honest in a song. It’s quite easy to say what you really feel out loud. It masks the truth. Well the truth is there but its prettied up with a melody.”
How was it working with Eg White?
“We wrote really well together and have a couple of those tracks on the album. There’s a song called ‘All For Nothing’ and it’s basically about when you’re in love with someone and you’ve been blessed with a wife, child or friend and you want to always be around and keep them safe, you don’t want any harm to come to them. It’s praying that they will be alright.”
Is it the song you are most proud of?
“Yeah, well, we referenced quite a few heavy tracks ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ and ‘Trouble’. It’s got that feel about it. I wanted to write one that was lyrically heavy. I’m really proud of that track.
Who’s your biggest competition in the charts?
“Wow, everyone to be fair. Someone asked if I was worried that Cher Lloyd and One Direction had music out, but we have Adele’s album, James Morrison’s new album, Coldplay are about to drop an album, then there’s Noel Gallagher. There’s some amazing talent out there. Cher and the boys are the polar opposite to what I do.”
What’s your take on artists trying to make their way into the business?
“I know I came in through the backdoor of X Factor, but I had been trying for twelve years or so in bands. It’s not like I was sixteen years old and went on a show and that was it. I tried so hard.”
You must feel that you have done your apprenticeship already?
“Oh yeah, I’ve done all the ground work, all the kind of gigs you can do. I’ve played to the soundman and the other band and sometimes they don’t watch so you play your set to an empty room. After dragging all that equipment around and doing that year-after-year for seven to ten years I think I deserve it. There are millions of people out there doing what I have done and they all deserve it.”
What’s your favourite album?
“‘Rage Against The Machine’ by Rage Against The Machine.”
Can your fans see you gigging real soon?
“Hopefully I’ll be playing shows sometime soon so they can come and see me.”
And do you have a message to your fans?
“Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. It means absolutely everything and inspires me to write and inspired me to go out and play the best I’ve ever played.”
Matt Cardle’s new album ‘Letters’ is out now.