Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview with Marlon Roudette

Interview with Marlon Roudette

Ch.L.: Music fans who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who'se never seen or heard you before.

M.R.: "I would say my music explores the struggle of being human. In love, in politics, in conflict. Not the most original of subjects, but powerful none the less. I could mention sounds and genres but  music either touches me or it doesnt and I hope my songs get through to people."

Ch.L.: How did you choose the title for the CD, is there a story behind it?

M.R.: "I was the lead singer in a band called Mattafix. Making a solo record was a big decision but one that I felt needed to be made. I've also changed a lot in my life in terms of people around me and my circumstances and I feel like I'm in a good place now. Hence the positive title Matter Fixed which keeps the continuity from the band as well."

Ch.L.: Please tell us about the songs on your album.

M.R.: "Every one of them is true."

Ch.L.: What's the difference between your last CD and the current one?

M.R.: "Lots of differences but I feel like I've bled more on this album and pushed my capabilities further. The song writing is also more classic with more detailed song arrangements and chord structures."

Ch.L.: Your current single is being played by radio. What do you thing is specail about this song that makes people what to hear it?

M.R.: "New Age was the first song to be written by myself and Guy Chambers. I had a story to tell but was having trouble putting it down and Guy used all of his experience and talent to help me with that. Also the piano riff he has written for it is a classic one. He's worked with so many incredible artists, I have no idea how I ended up there!"

Ch.L.: What will your next single be?

M.R.: "I have no idea. There are 4 or 5 possibilities on this album which i think bodes well for the future"

Ch.L.: What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

M.R.: "Slow ones! I don't seem to write uptempo music very often for some reason. I think it's because I loved reggae music as a child. Or maybe I have a slower heartbeat than most people....mmmm"

Ch.L.: You did a duet with Finley Quaye. How did that happen to come about?

M.R.:
"It’s a strange story, he was chatting up my cousin Rimini in a bar one night. She said "I won't give you my number but you should call Marlon as he's a big fan of yours." He loved Mattafix so the next day he rang me and dropped by the studio to record a song. It was all very natural"

Ch.L.: What's your favorite song among all the songs you've recorded and what's the story behind it?

M.R.: "MMmm songs are like kids so thats impossible to answer cause the other tracks will get jealous. On this album though I always get emotional when I listen to The Loss. I wrote it after my Grandmother died. Sorry that was a bit morbid"

Ch.L.: There's a lot of work that goes into a Number One hit ... what did it take to make it in your case?

M.R.: "Well in my experience a hit comes quite naturally and before you know it its recorded and you think that was easy. What you forget is that it was a product of years of hard work and tribulation that just happened to come together for a few magical moments."

Ch.L.: Who do you look up musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

M.R.: "I like real songwriters and I go through different phases. Right now I'm reading Keith Richards' autobiography which is mind blowing. I have musicians on both sides of my family so maybe it was destined but at some point you wake up one day and the first thing you do is reach over your incredibly hot girlfriend and grab a pen and a guitar and it hits you, shit, I'm a songwriter!"

Ch.L.: Before you became a star, where your friends and family supportive or was it a struggle?

M.R.: "Lots of members of my family are musicians so it didnt feel weird really. I'm probably the least talented of us all! My mother was the biggest voice. At first she was like "you should get your education bla bla bla" then she heard one of my demos and was like "wow, you could probably make a living doing that" I'll never forget that support."

Ch.L.: What inspired you to become an artist?

M.R.: "I think it happened gradually, lots of little moments that slowly pulled themselves together. Meeting someone that beleives in your talent is a huge boost. In my case it was probably my manager of 8 or 9 years, Alfe."

Ch.L.: What's unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?

M.R.: "Probably the fact that I didnt always dream of stardom. I fell into it. I also find it hard to sing about anything that hasnt actually happened to me or that I can at least relate to from experience."

Ch.L.: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you're proud of?

M.R.: "Flying to Darfur to film a video for the Save Darfur campaign. Commercially it was suicide but i walked the walk after writing political songs for two albums. When I got back I marched in London with Darfuri refugees and genocide survivors. Being around people who had only known violent struggle was very emotional for me. To be a small part of that was incredible. I also the BBC played one of my songs during the warm up for the world cup final. That was a rock and roll moment."

Ch.L.: What can your fans expect to see when they see you in concert?

M.R.: "A very honest delivery of songs that I love deeply. Also probably a few bum notes and some mic feedback which is the signature of any good live concert!"

Ch.L.: Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can tell?

M.R.: "We have loads most of which are unprintable! Also compared to the stories in Keith Richards book mine all seem a bit tame. I seem to always end up in some so called cool nightclub with techno music banging away thinking to myself "I could be at home writing a tune, oh Geeeez what a geek!"

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

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