Top Tip: Steve Mason - Boys Outside
It's been a while since we've featured a top tip on the blog and what better way to relaunch the feature than with the brilliant new album from Steve Mason? The former Beta Band member has kept himself busy over the years with material released under the names Black Affair and King Biscuit Time. Now it seems is the time for Mason to step out from behind the aliases.
Pop producer extraordinaire Richard X is behind the controls and his polished sheen can be heard throughout, with hooks a-plenty and melodies you'll find yourself humming for days after one listen. Mason's vocals fit perfectly with the mixture of acoustic guitar and electronics and the whole album has a melancholy feel. We caught up with Steve to find out more:
Your new album has lots of catchy choruses and hooks, how do you go about writing your material, what's your process?
I get asked this a lot and its a hard question. There is no formula. It mainly all comes from messing about with a guitar, piano or a beat. Or sometimes i get some lyric and a vocal melody in my head and start from there. I try not to analyze these things to much, it removes the beauty.
With a few festival dates in the pipeline - what can people expect from the live show?
I will be at Glastonbury, Greenman, Bestival and Electric Picnic. With a few secret warm up shows before each one. I will have a band and will have a set list concentrating on the new album Boys Outside with a few older tracks from my back catalogue thrown in. Probably.
What was the first record you ever bought - and the last one?
First was Adam and the Ants, Stand and Deliver. The last was Am I Black Enough for You by Billy Paul.
If you could pick one song that's had the most influence on you, what would it be?
I couldn't pick one, its emotion that inspires and influences me. Sadness and love. Sound wise i always wanted to create my own sound. Lead, not follow.
Watch the video for first single "Lost and Found" below to give you a taster of what to expect: