David McAlmont releases a new Live CD and DVD, Live From Leicester Square, next week. David took some time out of his schedule to answer a few questions.
Where are you and how are you today?
Im in London. Im stressed because a lot is going on. A new single Isnt It a Pity is released today, a new Live album/DVD is released next week and then were off on a short 10 date tour to promote them, so theres a lot to do and think about.
You are about to start a tour of the UK, what can people expect? Have you thought of an Irish visit?
The tour is a celebration of my favourite songs of the last 18 years of songwriting and recording, so thats what the audiences can look forward to. We will make it to Ireland later in the year, closer to the autumn I hope. Incidentally we were in County Sligo earlier this month writing new material and plan to do that twice again this year.
Throughout your career you’ve always collaborated with other artists. On ‘Glare’ with Michael Nyman you chose from his compositions to write lyrics for. How long did it take, how easy/hard was it?
The Nyman collaboration was reasonably long. I met him n Facebook in 2008 and we first discussed working together then. At first we were going to do something quite arty, based on a painting, The Raft of the Medusa by Theodore Gericault, but I became fascinated by the artists methods and decided to adapt his approach to creating new material. I used Michaels pieces as canvases and painted contemporary news stories on them, which was a reflection of Gericaults approach. It was difficult at first because I made the mistake of thinking that I had to change what I did naturally to collaborate, but all the music I wrote sounded dull. Then I thought if Michael had wanted me to do something different he would have said to and so I reverted to my soul/pop approach which worked brilliantly.
With ‘Glare’ you both were introduced to different audiences. How did you find their reaction?
I think that my audience was more taken with the collaboration than Michaels. A lot of his fans were affronted by me because theyre fans of minimalism.
‘Yes’ is one of my favourite songs ever. You have collaborated with Bernard Butler on a number of occasions. Do you think you will again?
I have no plans to work with Bernard at the moment. Hes a producer now and doing very well at it, so I dont think hes inclined either, but he kindly guested at the Leicester Square Show that we recorded for the DVD.
Around the when ‘Yes’ came out, you didn’t do any press or a lot of television. Now you seem happier to answer questions. Why is that?
Bernard just wanted to create a spectacular moment and have done with it. Thats all Yes was ever meant to be.
You use Facebook, Twitter and put rehearsal videos online via YouTube? How useful have these social media tools been for you, have you found them to make life easier? For example when promoting the tour?
I think social networking has been very encouraging. I have no deal or management at the moment and dont really want any. I can reach my fans more directly this way.
You have an amazing voice, ‘Diamonds are forever’ which you did with David Arnold, was an amazing song to cover and it showcased your voice as you reached notes many can only dream about. Are there any other songs that you would like to sink your teeth into ?
There always will be a song that I want to sing. Continuing to write new material instead of becoming a full-time covers singer is an eternal challenge.
You have an extensive back catalogue, out of everything, what are you most proud?
I would have to say McAlmont & Nyman because I didnt think that I could come up with anything as unique as that.
You have a new live CD and DVD coming out with Guy Davies. Why did you get involved with Pledge music and why choose NSPCC?
We got involved with Pledge because its another direct way of interacting with my fans. Im not going to be a father, so donating to charities like Childline is a way of being the fabulous uncle that I am.
What’s next in the pipeline for you? Will you be doing any festivals this Summer?
I certainly hope so, but there is a new album to write at the moment and that is our number one priority this year. A festival or two would be nice though.
‘Live From Leicester Square’ is released on February 7th and is available to buy online from Amazon