The Secret Show interview (2007)

Matt Davies. Photo: Cazz Kenzie

The Secret Show and Funeral For A Friend frontman talks to James McLaren in one of his most revealing interviews ever.

Last updated: 23 January 2009

How have you found people's reaction to The Secret Show?

I think the response has been really good: people have enjoyed it. People who've given it half a chance and gone to see the shows, anyway.

People have been kind of surprised by just how familiar the music is to them. Not the songs maybe, but just the feel of it. Everyone's got a secret country side to them.

It hasn't been given the best critical acclaim so far...

Since when have I given a sh*t about reviews? My only beef with critics is when they're not critical of a record, but are more critical of me. That's a bit unfair but you know, if they're going to associate my day job with what I do, then I've just got to learn to say, well do I give a sh*t about that?

There's not many people who have made a success of people going solo with something outside the realms of their normal work. So why have you gone so extreme? Do you feel you've been courageous doing it?

No, it wasn't like I felt I had to be courageous to put it out there: I just did it... it was purely because I wanted to. I don't like to over-think things too much, especially when it comes to music because there are other things in life.

With The Secret Show I just wanted to be more in tune with just me; just whatever comes out of me.

Is this music you've always wanted to do or is it something you've only been thinking about recently?

I actually learned to play guitar to this kind of music. Not straight-up country as such but more late-60s, early-70s folk, country rock stuff.

That was where my musical education started. My dad was big into the Eagles and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Beach Boys...

With Funeral, you're in a genre that needs to be marketed properly: it's a teen demographic, it's very slick. How did the people behind you and Funeral react when you said you wanted to do a country/soft rock album?

Probably somewhere in the back of their minds they were thinking, can we make any money out of this? But I've known the people who work with us for a while now and I think I've got a good grasp of when they're bullsh*tting me.

They could have just said no, we don't want to put it out, it's not our cup of tea. I was sceptical as much as anyone else; I didn't know if anyone was going to want to work with it.

What eased my fears really was when the people who work with Funeral at the label were coming up to me and saying, I heard the record, it's beautiful, and actually giving me songs from the album that they like. It's not being forced on them, it's just being passed around.

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