Singer/Songwriter Will Mussett is getting ready for his forthcoming debut album ‘November Storm’ as well as a busy year of gigs and events. BN1’s John Bergin spoke to the Brighton musician about his inspirations, the local music scene and how he’ll recreate his intricate recordings in a live situation.
Listening to your Soundcloud, it’s a great mix of genres and it’s evident that you have a wide range of influences, If you could pin point just one, that’s your all time number one idol, who would it be?
I would have to say Jeff Buckley. His album ‘Grace’ inspired me more than anything I’d ever heard the first time I listened to it. In my opinion he’s a genius and I’ll always be in awe of him as I try to push myself towards that level of musical perfection.
They say that musicians are also influenced by their surroundings, what is it about Brighton that influences your music?
I completely agree with that. Living in Brighton has had a huge effect on my songwriting, especially lyrically. I often write lyrics which reference the sea. It’s an easy thing to write about and because it’s so relatable and the nature of it can be used to explain so many different feelings, emotions and situations. Another thing about Brighton which has had a strong influence on my music is the people. There are so many different characters from all walks of life, and they often seem a lot more relaxed and open when they are here. This means I can draw inspiration from people’s lives, and I can start writing songs in my head during and after the many conversations and strange encounters you’re bound to have had after a night out in Brighton!
It’s a very bold and admirable move to release an album at this stage of your career, why an album instead of the preferred root of an EP or Single?
I wanted to make an album for many reasons. I wanted to capture the results of my songwriting throughout my teenage years and young adulthood. I wanted to see if it was possible without the help of a record label, and more than anything it was something I’ve always dreamt of doing. I want to be able to look back on this album in ten years and be proud that I was heading in the right direction personally and as a songwriter.
The song ‘Keep Running’ which is a preview from the new album, lyrically it speaks words of escapism, is this the theme we can expect from the album?
Escapism is something I write about a lot from a songwriting point of view. I feel like everyone has something they need to escape from and it’s a theme everyone can relate to. So yes, that definitely has a strong presence lyrically throughout the album.
Also on the previews of the album, the production is huge with the use of lots of different instruments, how do you plan to bring this huge sound to the stage?
I’m lucky enough to have a brilliant band which includes two guitars, drums, bass and keys. There are some elements which are hard to recreate at this point, like the dense layers of strings in some songs, but the guys in the band do a very good job of performing the tracks closely to the recordings whilst still allowing room to show off their own talents musically.
The album launch is at The Green Door Store, a favoured venue by many, how come that venue felt like the right fit for your launch?
Having grown up in Brighton I’ve played a lot of venues here, and The Green Door Store has always been my favourite. In terms of a small venue it doesn’t get much better for me. I love the location of the venue, the acoustics and the wonky floor in the main room always makes me smile. I’ve spent a lot of time there with friends and family and I couldn’t think of anywhere more fitting to launch my debut album.
Obviously Brighton is filled with bands at the moment, what other bands/artists do you like around Brighton at the moment?
Everyone should check out Alexander Teller. He’s an incredible songwriter and I’ve played loads of gigs with him in Brighton over the past 6/7 years. There is also a Brighton band named Forestears who I’ve always really liked and I’m pretty sure they’re working on new material at the moment which I look forward to hearing.
After the album launches, what can we expect for the future? Is touring on your mind?
Touring is definitely on my mind. You can expect a lot more music from me over the coming years and certainly a few more albums before I’m done!
If a tour goes ahead, where’s the one place on Earth you’d like to play?
I’d love to tour America one day and play shows from coast to coast. Not necessarily any specific venue, I just love the idea of travelling across a country with my music.
November Storm is released on Fri 31 Jan 2015
The November Storm album launch takes place at Brighton’s Green Door Store, on Fri 31 Jan 2015
Words by John Bergin