Interview: Richard Walters

By on Friday, 3rd July 2009 at 12:00 pm

Richard Walters (side)I first featured Richard Walters on Monday with a free MP3 for you to enjoy. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Richard earlier this week…

Hello Richard. What are you up to today?

We’re painting our bedroom and some furniture, and generally melting in the heat.

For the uninitiated amongst our readers, what do you reckon you sound like?

A heartbroken choirboy. A really well weathered, 27 year old choirboy.

How are you finding Paris in comparison to Oxford? Anything you really miss from the UK?

Paris really reminds me of Oxford in many ways, especially in the summer. I think it’s the museumy feel of both places – lots of grand buildings and hidden green corners. I love being over here, I like getting lost, and being new enough here to still be able to get completely lost… It’s a bit of a maze. There are so many things I miss, all small though… All very English… Decent tea, Marks and Spencer’s overpriced food, eavesdropping on the train…

Oxford’s about a 30 minute drove for me (I’m in Southern Oxfordshire)… where were / are your favourite places in the city?

I used to live in Jericho, so ended up spending far too much time on the Jericho Tavern, the Victoria, G & D’s… I spent a lot of time in East Oxford too, Cowley Road, South Park, the Star…so many amazing places.

I love that you’re writing about topics other than the usual love stories. Was this intentional, or just something that happened naturally?

Thank you very much. I think it happened over time; I tried to find twists and different angles to move away from the straight ballad that it’s so easy to fall into writing when you’re younger. It’s a good starting block for a lyric, but love songs more often than not end up sounding hideously contrived and like a complete lie… It has to be soul-baringly honest to carry any real weight, or you have to mess with the delivery of the words and sentiment.

On songwriting – how does it start for you? Lyrical concept? A riff? Turn of phrase? Or a drug fuelled orgy that results in a great song?

Hahaha, I tend to avoid group sex song writing. I’ve always found that a song just happens… If I sit down with the intention of writing a song, most of the time it’s not going to achieve an awful lot, or not anything that I’m willing to air… I tend to write when I least expect it, and it’s always words and melody together… Just singing lines that jump out, revising it, cutting and changing melodies and structure, building it then knocking it down again and again. It’s probably not the most efficient route but anything else feels like cheating to me.

Before going on stage, do you have any rituals?

I cross my fingers on both hands 2 times. I have no idea why, I’ve just always done it, a secret superstitionist… or maybe I’m stretching my fingers.

Finally, what’s one thing we wouldn’t normally know about you?

I was a bit metal when I was younger, I listened to a lot of Machine Head, Pantera, Monster Magnet… Until I was about 16, my life’s ambition was to appear in Kerrang. I don’t see that happening now.

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2 Responses

4:13 pm
3rd July 2009

Oh richard! 🙂
I remember him from the side-project of The Cranberries’ guitarist Noel Hogan. He did some pretty great stuff there and I trust this solo project will be good stuff as well 🙂

[…] I interviewed Richard Walters a couple of weeks ago, I thought that he was a great talent. However, I had a niggling feeling in the back of my head […]

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