‘I always loved music, I think all human beings do’ - Folk singer Will Varley speaks about his career ahead of Norwich show
We caught up with British folk singer-songwriter Will Varley ahead of his show at Epic Studios on October 10.
Your career began back in the early 2000s busking around London. Where did your passion for music originate from and what has the journey been like going from playing on the streets to recording in studios and touring across the world?
I always loved music, I think all human beings do. It’s been a great ride so far, hopefully it will continue!
In 2015 you signed a record deal with Xtra Mile Recordings and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in March of the same year. How did this performance come about and has this been one of your career highlights?
Frank Turner asked me to open for him when he played there for the Teenage Cancer Trust shows. I always used to joke about playing the Albert Hall, couldn’t believe it when it actually happened. I only had a fifteen minute set, but I did sixteen minutes. The sound guy told me I was a few seconds away from being cut off.
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Speaking of shows, you toured with Frank Turner extensively in 2017. How did this come about and what did you enjoy most about that tour?
I’ve toured a lot with Frank, he saw me playing in a bar in Camden Town a few years ago and invited me along. I enjoyed the free beer the most...
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Spirit of Minnie, your fifth studio album, was released towards the start of this year. How has this album differed from your previous four and what was the whole writing and recording process like for you?
This album was recorded with a band, so a very different process to my other records. It was good fun though.
You performed this album to a packed out Shepherd’s Bush Empire in February and then toured it all over the world. This must have been a really enjoyable year for you in terms of getting to perform your music to a whole range of people.
Yes that show was very special. All shows are special though, for different reasons. This year has been a great adventure.
With summer now ending, have you enjoyed your festival appearances this year and what have been your summer highlights?
Festivals have been incredible this year, the weather has been perfect.. My highlights would have to be Cropredy and Boomtown.
Next up you’ve got your autumn headline tour. Are you looking forward to this and what countries/venues are you most looking forward to performing at?
Yes I’m doing this tour solo so that will be nice to get back to just me and a guitar. I’m looking forward to getting out to Poland for the first time, and doing my first ever headline show in Paris.
A lot of the shows on your tour are taking place in seated theatres and venues which can often make a performance feel a lot more intimate. What was the decision process behind this and how does it differ for you in comparison to standing shows?
I think with a seated venue it can be a lot more fun, more relaxed for both me and the crowd, and can just make for the best gigs. I did a lot of seated Theatres opening for the Proclaimers a couple of years ago and I thought “wow I’d love to play gigs like this more often”.
You have been described as ‘The next generation’ with the likes of Billy Bragg, Tim Minchin and Frank Turner following your work. What’s it like for you being described like this and having other great musicians listening to your music and following your career?
It’s great. I feel very lucky to have had some very kind words said about me by songwriters I love and respect. It can feel a little surreal at times though.
Although on the rise, folk music still seems very much underrated in the UK. What’s it like for you being a part of this genre and how does it feel to be one of the many talents pushing folk and country music to the forefront of the UK music scene?
Folk comes and goes, I think it always has. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years now and I’ve seen folk music come in and out of fashion over and over again. I think the only thing any musician can do is just keep trying to make work that challenges you and try to tell the truth. Other than that, I try to ignore trends and fashion in music as much as possible.
After you’ve completed your worldwide tour, what can fans expect next from you?
Well I’d like to make films and maybe write another novel... but realistically I’ll probably just sit around watching Bargain Hunt for a few weeks.
• Tickets for the event at 7.30pm on Wednesday October 10 are available for £15 advance via the Epic Studios website.