Interview with Amy MacDonald
Over the past few weeks, myself and Amy MacDonald have been playing phone tennis. Eventually on Arthur’s Day I managed to chat to Amy on the phone when she was in between live performances on a certain national radio station. This meant we had a grand total of about seven minutes to chat, here’s what happened.
Nessy: A lot of female artists with guitars get lumped together and then the general public tend to have preconceived notions about female singer songwriters. You’re quite different to that, you put a lot of your interests and hobbies into your music, would you agree with that?
Amy: Yeah, I think that comes from being one of the very very few that actually writes the songs themselves. A lot of people that are singer songwriters, when you check the credits, they’ve written it with ten other people so it’s harder for them to put their own stamp on it. So for me, completely on my own, sitting in my bedroom at home, these songs are from my heart and they do mean something to me and I think that makes me a bit different from everyone else.
Two things that come up in your current album ‘Life in a Beautiful Light’ are your love of cars and your love of football…
My love of cars doesn’t actually come up in the album, I think that’s something that’s got muddled into it along the way. I think people think ‘Slow it Down’ is about that but it isn’t actually. There is a love of football in there though, I’ll give you that one.
Your love of cars, though, you’re 25 and own a Ferrari. There’s not too many 25 year old girls who drive Ferraris.
Yeah, I don’t like shouting about it, I’m not the kind of person who likes to show off, I’m very happy to blend into the background but I do have a passion for cars and I love driving and I do love talking about them so it’s hard for me to hide it sometimes.
When you like shying away from the limelight, is that one of the reasons you’re still living in Scotland?
No, not necessarily I still live in Scotland because that’s my home and I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else. No matter where I travel, I always get excited about going back home again and all my friends and family still live in Glasgow and for me, it’s important to stay close to that and they’re what make me happy. That’s where I feel most comfortable and most at home.
You’ve done some strange and unusual gigs, including five in one day this year, what was that all about?
That was for charity. I just wanted to do something different so I went to every major city in Scotland and did a show. It was quite tiring, the first one was at seven o’clock in the morning and the last one was at eleven o’clock at night. I was exhausted by the end of it but when you raise ten thousand pounds, you can’t complain.
You took last year off, did you intend to write the album when you were off or did it just happen?
I wasn’t intending to do the album, I was just intending to do a year of nothing. Just being at home again and being around my friends and family was really inspiring to me so the songs kinda came out of nowhere and even now when I think of them, it’s hard to even remember writing them cos it didn’t even feel like I was writing the album. I think my manager and everyone was quite shocked when I called him up and said ‘I think I’m finished.’
What inspires you to pick a guitar, is it just something you do at this stage?
Only if I feel inspiration will I pick it up and I can get inspiration from anything and everything, something that happened to me or my friends or something going on in the news. There’s a few song on there that were inspired by watching the telly. If I feel very moved my something, that inspires me and I pick up the guitar.
You’re going on tour across Europe over the next few months, what are some of the home comforts that you miss while you’re on tour.
I spend most of my time in Europe, it’s actually a full European tour so I’ll be away for a long time but I’m very lucky that I’ve got such a great band and crew and we have a lot of fun together. You just miss being able to put the telly on or going round to your mates but I’m very fortunate I’m able to do that when I go home again and and do that when I get back.
The album has been out here a while now and you’ve released a few singles from it, what’s next for you?
In most countries in Europe, we’re still on single number one so it seems like we’ve still a long way to go and I’ve had such great feedback and positive responses from fans. So there’s the big tour this year, probably more touring next year and loads of promo and press and TV in-between so I’m sure I’ll be busy for the next year.
Light in a Beautiful Light is out now and you can play the Slow It Down car game now on Amy’s Facebook page.
Here’s Amy’s tour diary from Arthur’s Day.
Photo of Amy from Facebook