6th November 2023
Matt Maltease is the 22 year old, south London based singer-songwriter renowned for writing lush indie-ballads with a bitter undertone. Repeatedly described as “UK’s response to Father John Misty” and selling out gig in big cities such as Liverpool and Leeds, Maltease is ever on the rise. I got to interview the artist ahead of his Manchester Show this November
You burst onto the scene with the hugely popular ‘Even If It’s a Lie’, yet this song still stays in Demo format. Do you think you’ll ever revisit this song?
I don’t think so.. it was right at the time to be a kind of live demo recording and not sure where I’d take it.. but maybe one day (!)
Leonard Cohen, Morrissey, Father John Misty – do you ever get bored of the comparisons? Is there someone you wish people would compare you to more?
I try not to take comparisons to heart too much.. it’s obviously flattering but I think I’m just glad if people like the songs.
On the topic of Leonard Cohen, are you still writing poetry? Any plans to release a book any time soon?
I’m writing here and there but no book in sight just yet! It’s something I’d like to do eventually definitely.
I read that you spent 12 days in LA while recording ‘bad contestant’. How does the ‘city of celebrity’ music scene compare to the South London scene you are no doubt more acquainted with?
It’s as you would expect very different – I didn’t get to spend any free time there really so my only experience was the studio.. but I’d say there’s a different kind of feeling there. South London is a little more connected to itself whereas I think LA is full of so many different pockets of people and musicians that it’s kind of a no man’s land full of paradise and evil.
You describe your music as ‘Brexit pop”. Care to give an exact definition of what that term means?
This is a twitter bio I once had that has haunted me for years.. it was meant to mean nothing more than a play on Britpop but who knew Brexit would go on to last longer than Britpop did!
Is it fair to assume you disagree with the whole argument that celebrities shouldn’t get involved in politics?
I think that politics are a part of life and so to expect people not to discuss these things because it’s not their ‘speciality’ is unrealistic. Everyone has the right to not listen and I do think, within reason, we can separate a persons output from the person themselves.
You seem to gravitate towards a love song when writing on even political topics, of course I am referencing ‘As the World Caves In’. Where does this love of ‘love songs’ come from?
I think it’s just what I’m most affected by in my life really. Heartbreak and love have been things that have changed who I am.. and regardless I think I’ve always been a kind of sucker for love songs.
It can’t escape my notice that the first two words of your new album are ‘New Day’. Does this album represent something ‘new’ for you?
I think it does yeah.. a sort of new reckoning with myself and slightly new way of talking about things.
Would you regard it as a turning point or a continuing journey?
I’d say it’s a mix between the two probably – life seems to be full of lots of little turning points and this record kind of carried me through a few of them.
Matt Maltease’s new album ‘Krystal’ is out now. You can get tickets to see him play at YES Manchester on the 26th of November here.