theaussieword.com catches up with Alex Watts.
Tell us how it all started. What had you first interested in music? My life-long single-minded obsession with music has seen me ignore my way through school, university, mundane jobs and several relationships because nothing else moves me in the same way.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music? It’s something I enjoy doing very much and hopefully it doesn’t sound terrible to other people too. It’s a real rush, making music, better than any drug I’ve known. It’s also extremely addictive.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist? I just want to keep writing, recording and performing music that interests me and hopefully some other people will like it too.
Success, what is the secret to it? Understanding your own definition of it and not getting sucked into someone else’s, because that can only lead to unrealistic expectations and unhappiness.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far? The album that I’ve just finished would have to be the biggest highlight for me. I was stewing over the storyline and approach for a long time and being in the studio and having it all come together was an absolute joy. Some of the tracks are very expansive and there were moments when I found myself conducting string players or horns and hearing it all come together from something I sketched out on my piano or an idea in my head, which was incredible.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? I have no idea. Santiago?
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye? The recorded music industry has changed a lot but almost every industry experiences change, it’s how we adjust to it that’s important. I use my label Astound Records as a way to organise all of my music business under one ceiling and keep everything in-house as much as possible. If anyone hears the records I make under that ceiling then that means the world. It does make me feel great when I see my records on shelves next to real musicians, it’s an enjoyably surreal thing.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists. Fred McCubbin, Sydney Nolan, John Longstaff.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour? My new single Hopeful is out now, you can stream it or get it on iTunes and keep it forever and ever, and we are launching it with shows at The Grace Darling in Collingwood every Wednesday in May. I’ve got a new band playing with me for this and they are particularly good looking. The best you ever saw.
Tell us a bit about your latest record, how would you best describe your music? The single is a rock/pop song with a good slice of soul to it. Often my songs are a bit looser and wilder but this one kind of stands up straight and struts down the street, though its shoes are scuffed and there’s grit under its fingernails.
Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? My debut album will be coming out very soon, it’s something I’ve been working towards for the last year and am very very happy with. More details of that will be available shortly…
Thanks for the interview! What final message do you have for us today? Listening to Prince improves your posture, hygiene and adds several minutes to your predicted lifespan. Fact.