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Before Lucy Spraggan‘s recent show at The Old Market, Hove (Brighton), I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet and interview her, in person, before she took to the stage. It was a real pleasure, as she was such a genuinely nice person! We sat at in the bar area of the venue to chat and it was just fab; such a chilled interview! Here’s how it went:
So, how are you?
I’m very well thank you, a bit tired as it goes, when you’re on the road, but very well.
How far are you into the tour?
I have 3 left, so I think that means that I’ve done 16…I think!
So fairly tiring!
Obviously you’ve put out the Home EP at the moment, what’s new?
Well I just sort of wrote the last record, released the last record and I’m writing another one and I had some songs left over, so I was just like, “I might just put them out,” and just stick ’em out. Literally, I think I’ve printed 3,000, which is like, not very many at all and just chucked it online, see what happens. And yeah, people have responded really well to it, it’s really nice to see.
Yeah, I’m really enjoying it!
Oh, thank you!
Are there plans afoot for a new album?
Yeah, definitely! I’ve got a new song that I’m playing tonight, it’s called ‘Dear You’, I think I’m gonna lead the next record with it; it’s a series of letters to someone. I’m just gonna record this album, like as and when. I usually sort of focus on recording a whole album at once and I don’t think it’s worthwhile really, so I’m just gonna keep doing little bits. It should be around this summer.
What was it like going in to write the second album? Was it tough?
I didn’t find it difficult…I definitely ventured into a lot more co-writing because I really enjoy it, like I think it really pushes you as a writer…obviously if you use it in the right sort of way. I write all the lyrics and bounce melodic ideas off people; it’s really nice to do. It was different, but it was great.
Do you think there will be more pressure with the new one?
I don’t think so, I think I’m gonna stick to like doing some of my more old-school songs, like storytelling, and just do some stuff that I enjoy, so maybe it’ll be a far more self-indulgent album, to be honest.
How’s the tour going so far?
Yeah, it’s really good. Everything’s sold out…apart from Belfast (chuckles), which is weird because usually Belfast is really good and sells out first. So yeah, it’s gone really well and we’ve had some amazing shows.
I’ve had a Tweet from Jamie Fennessy (@fxnnxssy) to ask, which venue has been your favourite and why…besides Brighton of course!
Yes of course, well I haven’t played yet! It’s a big toss-up between London, Manchester and Birmingham…um…and Cambridge and Shetland. It’s really difficult to pin one down because people like shows for all different reasons. I like shows when there’s really attentive audiences and if you’re playing with a full band it’s good when you’ve got like a rocky audience but there’s different degrees of each place that’ve been really nice, so I couldn’t pin down a favourite.
Let’s take it back a bit, how did you first discover your talents for songwriting?
I just…I was an angsty teenager but that’s how everyone discovers it, so I just started writing and writing down what I felt like. I think it was poetry at first and then it just turned into writing music.
So what made you take that and journey towards X Factor?
Erm…I don’t know, you know! I think it was a series of events that just sort of led me in that direction, like meeting different people and trying to get signed to majors and not being entirely successful with those guys and just thinking, “Do you know what, I’m just gonna utilise this massive platform that’s staring everyone in the face, but I’m only gonna do it on my terms.”
Has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour?
Erm…not really. I don’t think so. I’ve had a few bras on stage, that’s about as scary as it gets!
Have you got any disgusting habits?
Errrrrm…yeah, but I’m not telling you what they are! (Laughs)
That’s fair enough! So yeah, what’s your usual process for writing?
For me, there’s not really any process, like, I’ll get an idea and if I think that’s a good idea then… I actually look in my notes (points to her phone) to see if I’ve written anything that would work…so, you know, might find like a certain tagline that you think, “Oh, I could write a song around that.” And then usually the music comes afterwards. I’m writing a lot with piano at the moment coz I’m getting a bit bored of the guitar.
OK, so we might find some more keys on the next record?
What really grinds your gears?
Impoliteness; people that are rude. That’s it. And sometimes, if I’m not drunk, drunk people.
But as long as you’re drunk, then it’s ok.
Is there anything, other than music, that you’re really passionate about?
I’m attempting to join the Retained Firefighters at the moment, back up where I live and that was something that I was gonna do, I was gonna be a firefighter, that was my sort of plan and then I broke my leg and thought, “I’ll have to do music from now on.” And er…yeah, I’m quite passionate about, like working with the community and stuff like that, so starting to do that more.
Nice! Can you remember the first song you ever performed live? And what was it?
I used to go to like an open mic session near my house, so I don’t even [know]… I used to write a new one every day and like go and play all the new ones every week to like, 60-year-old men, so I don’t know, you know.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
(Long pause) …There’s been so many! I went to the zoo and I was with my whole family, my extended family, like step-brothers and sisters and like, obviously you don’t get on with them when you’re younger. And the tiger pissed on me through the gate. Like sprayed on me! So it’s probably that!
That is quite embarrassing! What music have you been listening to most recently? And have you got a favourite song right now?
I like Macklemore‘s new album…I loved his first album, so his second album for me is, like bangin’ as well. I like how independent he is and the style in which he releases his music. And I love Lana Del Rey, so I’ve got her new album, Honeymoon, as well.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
Probably Macklemore; he’s amazing! I love him!
I was just thinking, as soon as you mentioned him, “That would be the dream team mashup!”
Yeah, it would be SO cool!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Probably, “If you can’t be nice, then shut the fuck up……you dick!” (Laughs)
That’s good advice! Normally, I play ‘Would You Rather…’ with people, would you be up for that?
Yeah, (laughs) yeah, yeah, that’s fine!
Would You Rather…?
Would you rather have a third eye or third arm?
Third arm, probably.
Would you rather be super strong or super fast?
Super strong, for sure…oh wait how fast?
Yeah fast, coz it’s almost teleportation isn’t it?
Then you wouldn’t have to sit on the tour bus for ages.
Would you rather go through life unable to ask any questions or unable to answer any questions?
Unable to ask…I’m too much of a talker, so I’d be fine with that.
Would you rather live in a Disney universe or a Looney Tunes universe?
Disney, it’s far less likely you’re gonna have an Acme piano dropped on your head outside!
Would you rather always speak your mind or never speak again?
I always speak my mind anyway…troublesome, but…
Would you rather have to listen to ‘Gangnam Style’ or ‘Harlem Shake’ for the rest of your life?
‘Harlem Shake’ probably, but I don’t know how long I’d survive doing that!
Would you rather discover life on another planet or find out if God was real?
Life on another planet, I think.
Would you rather make out with a horse or suck a cow’s udder?
Suck a cow’s udder…?
Is that the one you’re going for?
Would you rather eat a live slug or drink a pint of gone-off milk?
Well…milk, I imagine…the slug thing’s pretty f**ked up!
Would you rather use sandpaper for toilet paper or vinegar for eyedrops?
Sandpaper – it’s got a smooth back!
I concluded the interview there and thanked her for her time. It honestly was an amazing experience and she was such a great person to talk to. It’s nice to see that someone who comes across as lovely in her music and on stage, is just as nice in person.
Lucy Spraggan‘s releases are all available:
- To purchase on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/lucy-spraggan/id480750298
- To listen to on Spotify –