theaussieword.com special interview with Matt Scullion.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
It all started back in my home town of Milton/Ulladulla as a fresh teenager just out of school. I was getting guitar lessons from a fella next door and heard that a couple guys down the road were forming a band. I ended in the band and together we pretty much taught each other how to play. It was a wonderful time and set me on the path I’m on now.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
My biggest motivation apart from my wife is this beautiful country I live in. It’s full of breath taking colours wonderful stories.
What are your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
To reach as many people as possible with my songs, oh and to sing “Aussie As” at the NRL grand final.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
I’ve got a few festivals and shows coming up, but next year I’ve got some big things planned what with the Tamworth CMF and a tag a long tour up to Alice. Then who knows I might just stay out on the road and tour the Top End.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music? The album Aussie As is a collection of songs about Australia that hopefully tug on your green and gold heartstrings. It’s an album you can stick on in the car and tap along to and feel lucky to be Australian. It’s also an album someone from overseas can listen to and get an idea of what makes us Aussies tick.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
I usually start with a lyric idea, it might be a story I’ve heard or a line someone has said. I then start adding a melody and it progresses from there. Some songs take a few days- some a few months. It’s never an easy process but always an enjoyable one.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
No hidden meanings, what you see is what you get.
Success, what is the secret to it? Hard work, persistence and self belief.
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Seeing my single Aussie As connect with so many people and having Ray Hadley make the song a feature on his show. Also having Cold Chisel record one of my songs.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Paul Kelly and John Williamson because of there songwriting. Slim Dusty and Ted Egan because of there legacy. Lee Kernaghan because of his business sense and Troy Caspar-Daley because of his golden tonsils.
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
I’m always working on new songs- so another album somewhere down the track and as I was saying before probably a tour of the NT, the Kimberly and Western Qld.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now? What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
A few more albums to my name and a few more bums on seats hopefully LOL. A couple more Golden Guitars would be nice too.
My favourite part of the industry is definitely writing and performing my songs. My least favourite is recording, it’s a very tedious process and can drag on and on.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Paul Kelly, John Williamson, Richard Clapton, Ted Egan, Slim Dusty, Redgum and Cold Chisel just off the top of my head.
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?
It has changed and most old school artists like myself will agree it’s either keep up or get left behind. Still getting out on the road and connecting with your fans face to face hasn’t changed and is still the best way to make a lasting impression.
How do you plan on cracking the international market?
The international market doesn’t interest me that much. I write songs about Australia and Australian characters, I don’t know if they’d really get me overseas which is fine.
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
I’ve done a lot of co-writing over the years with artists such as Lee Kernaghan, Travis Collins, Sara Storer and Ian Moss to name a few. I’d love to write with Paul Kelly and Troy Cassar-Daley though.
What advice do you give for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Try not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Be your own artist, find different ways to say things and never settle for average.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your fans? It’s definitely a social media world these days so I try to keep my fans in the loop as much as possible- which isn’t easy as I’m pretty old school when it comes to technology. It is quiet refreshing though that I still get a lot of requests for mail outs. I love it that some people out there still want the hard copy CD in there hands.
Any last words?
I feel very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful industry that has given me so much and although I’ve been around for a while now, I feel with my new album Aussie As I’m kind of starting out again which is scary but exciting.
Saturday 9th November – Country at The Camp – Branxton, NSW
Friday 15th November – Ulladulla Album Launch – Catholic Community Hall – Ulladulla, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Country Rocks the Capital Music Festival – Canberra, ACT
Saturday 7th December – Bungendore Carols by Candlelight – Bungendore, NSW
Wednesday 22nd – Sunday 26th January – Tamworth Country Music Festival – Tamworth, NSW
Thursday 23rd January – Tamworth Town Hall – Tamworth, NSW
Friday 24th January – Hogs Breath Café – Tamworth, NSW
Saturday 25th January – The Scullion Sessions – Hogs Breath Café – Tamworth, NSW