Amy Studt; Back once again for the swooning and thoughtful mistress!
You wouldn’t need to search far through the archives of our tabloid press to find examples of the pressures and life-changing impact that is the result of being a teenage sensation. However, this isn’t a feature about Britney Spears and for some, early exposure to the glare of the media and public attention, is definitely not fatal.For the London based and Portsmouth born songstress Amy Studt, who is on the brink of her second album (‘My Paper Made Men’ released 28/04/08), it has just given her music more personality and bite.
For sure, the amiable Amy has had moments whereby she contemplated walking away from it all after her debut album release ‘False Smiles’ in 2003, spending a little time serving coffee. But music and Amy seem to have a deep connection, as anyone who has heard even just one of her songs will be able to testify.
Having built up a unique friendship with her loyal fan-base, it wasn’t going to be long before the creative impulses took over and a return to what she does always had an air of inevitability about it. Amy took the time to allow some foraging into her influences, moods and general mindset. You get the impression that she has certainly done this before!
1. You have selected 'Chasing The Light' as lead single to your 2nd album 'My Paper Made Men'. It is a song that contains gripping vocal tempo changes and is the most moody and searching offering on the album. What is the story behind this number and does it represent the restlessness you felt when you contemplated giving up music after your debut album?
I think there are plenty of other songs on the album that could contend with its moodiness but yes, I see what you mean that it is one of the more aggressive. To be totally honest it has nothing to do with how I felt when I contemplated giving up my career.
Maybe it has hiddeneanings and it's really about that and i don't even know it!'Chasing
The Light is simply written about facing up to what needs to be faced,allowing yourself to feel what needs to be felt and coming out of it stronger in the end.
2. The above mentioned song contains the cutting line “Why go through life with eyes wide shut?” Is this a question that you are asking people in the music industry? Do you think you're getting more philosophical these days?
That question was directed at some of the types of people that I've met along the way. It is to do with some of the people I've met in the music industry but not about the music industry as a whole. Some people from different genres I've found to be pretty narrow minded; trendy-snobs, rock-snobs etc.
I think if you like something then you like it, don't be afraid that it doesn't fit into your own idea of what’s cool and acceptable. I don't know about philosophical, I just write about my life and my imaginary life, it’s pretty simple, I will let everyone else analyse it.
3. Has the way you approach song writing changed between your two albums?
I wrote using my imagination more, rather than only sticking to real experiences this time round. I found it less restrictive. I may start with something true but then I build around it new layers of other
truths and un-truths. I find it gives it much more depth and it's not quite so flat.
4. Stand out second album track 'Sad Sad World', contains a P.J.Harvey lunge. Has she been an influence on you and do you think it is the closest you get to your debut album vibe and sound?
Each of the songs on my album has a different feel and style but it is the title track for me that set the tone for the rest. That particular song does seem to sit nicely with her as a comparison.
I think you naturally absorb bits of the things/people/experiences that affect you, that you collect through your life and they become a part of who you are. So it doesn't surprise me that comparisons are being made.
5. On your myspace site you regularly give your fans the chance to ask you questions. Do you feel that you have a unique bond with your followers? Do you think musicians should be more accessible in this day and age?
I have a great relationship with my fans. Some of them I have been in contact with for nearly 7 years. I'm not sure how i feel about musicians being accessible. I think it depends on the artist. For some, yes. If you're selling your 'realness' it is important. But for others, I think it’s nice to keep an element of the unreal about you.
Sometimes as an artist you are creating this other world for people and becoming too real can shatter that illusion which i think is important to keep. It’s important to keep some magic alive.
6. A few years ago you toured with Razorlight under a pseudonym. Did this give you a chance to experiment more and do you have any plans for other projects at the moment? Do you feel that it gave you more freedom to express yourself?
I felt it gave me a chance to build my confidence and see what people actually thought of my new music which was nice. As for other things, I am always open to new projects and, if anything I think is worth it comes my way, then of course I will be up for it but. At the moment I don't have anything hiding up my sleeve. Other than being horribly clichéd and saying I'm interested in acting. I would like to work on small indie films, surrealist, experimental movies ideally if it ever came to it.
7. Which of your songs sums up your current mood and why?
None right now, if only I wrote a song about being tired…
8. Are you alarmed by the ability of certain media and press institutions to make a band so big via the vice hype? Do you think that we rely too much on tastemakers in music?
I think it’s up to the individual to think for themselves and make their own minds up. Debates about who's hot, not, bad, good, who you should hate, love, whatever, I try and ignore.
As for people who rely on tastemakers? To need someone to tell you what to like is weird and backwards and freakish to me. and I can't imagine myself having much to say to a person like that.
9. Does you live sound differ to your sound on record? How would you describe your live sound and how do you want to leave people feeling after they have witnessed an Amy Studt live show?
I would hope that they would be moved by it and left wanting to hear it again and again. As for the differences, there are a few but my record is pretty live sounding in general so it’s not dissimilar to what you get at one of my shows. Live is always more exciting though.
10. Finally, who is your all-time Bournemouth resident and why? Do you get offended by people and articles that refer to you as a Londoner?
My all-time Bournemouth resident is my friend Jose (that’s the Spanish pronunciation, with an H), an old friend who is one of the few remaining friends of mine that still live there and that i am still in
contact with. I don't mind people calling me a Londoner because I feel like a Londoner now. I've lived here 8 years. I guess that’s almost long enough to call yourself one. I'd be proud to be a Londoner.