An Interview with Aiden Grimshaw

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I arrived in Bournemouth, in the pouring rain, a few hours before Aiden Grimshaw’s show on his Misty Eye Tour and there were already a handful of hard-core fans huddling around the Old Fire Station’s doors waiting to catch a glimpse of the man himself. Not knowing how big a fan base Aiden has already gathered, I was shocked by their dedication. I entered the empty venue and sat down with Mr Grimshaw for a quick chat before the show. I avoided speaking about that TV show two years ago so if you’re here to read about that, sorry. We spoke about his debut album Misty Eye and how the tour has been so far as well as taking many a failed photo afterwards. Enjoy.

Are you looking forward to tonight’s show?

I am, we’ve done three so far and they’ve all been really good. This one is exciting, I like playing on a Sunday. 

How’ve the first few dates been? Have the crowds been receptive?

They’ve been good, I think the whole live thing is different to what people expect so it’s taken a little while to get our heads around it but the responses and stuff have been really good so far. 

So far do you have any favourite places to play? I know you played with Niki and the Dove in Southampton.

Yeh, that one was really good. My favourite place is… I don’t know, Northern places always seem to be pretty rowdy, Southern people are a little bit more reserved.

You’ve recently released your album, how has that been? It must be quite daunting, working on something for so long and giving it to people.

Yeh, it’s pretty scary, it’s good though, it feels nice, it feels natural, like we’ve taken our time which makes it a little bit more honest. I feel they’re proud of it so it’s nice to have something that means a lot to me. 

Do you have a particular favourite track from the album?

Er, I don’t know, I like the last one, Curtain Call, I also like Misty Eye, I like them all to be honest, it’s like asking me to choose which of my children is the favourite.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was really good, it was really easy, we started in November last year and then in fevruary we’d finished, I reckon I was writing for about four weeks and it was four weeks of constant creativity, going out and getting too drunk and writing things down, it was more like a journey, I would write one song down and the next one would come after, it felt natural, we never had to fight or search for anything there was no grief.

Do you have a favourite song to play live?

I enjoy them all, it’d be weird if I didn’t. Everytime I performed so far it’s felt a little bit different. I think Curtain Call is a good one to play.

After the release of the album have you had many of your fans singing the words back to you?

Yeh they do, it’s really really exciting. These gigs aren’t the biggest gigs, they’re small, intimate ones, but yeh they all sing at me! I was halfway through a verse and they were all singing to me and I made a weird horse noise when I was suppose to be singing and I got in trouble for it. 

I bet it feels really mad.

Yeh, it’s well weird. 

The sound of your album is really unique and distinct from anything else around at the moment, how would you describe it to someone who has never heard you before.

Thanks and, I dunno, electro pop-ey? I don’t know, it’s hard because we didn’t start with a brief saying ‘this is how we want the album to be’, it’s just honest. I would describe it as honest. 

Who are your main inspirations?

I don’t know, I think you just take all the best things out of everything you’ve heard don’t you? I’ve had such a weird musical upbringing, I’m used to listening to Shaka Khan and Simply Red then my dad would be into The Clash and Dexy’s Midnight Runners and all that end of stuff and then I’d go round to my grandmas and she’s have different stuff on, so you just take all the best things. I was listening to a lot of Moby. 

Who do you enjoy listening to at the moment?

I have been listening to a lot of Biggie Small lately, everytime I seem to get pissed and go home, Biggie Smalls comes on, just lay some funky ass dancing going down. I’m enjoying Alabama Shakes, they’re just insane. This dude called Joe Paul, can’t remember what his song is called though. 

What have you found the weirdest thing about being recognised? Have you had any odd fan experiences yet?

It was more when I was on TV, I don’t really get it any more, I’ve lost my hair and never really get anymore, I’ve had two years of being a normal person.

Do you prefer it?

Yeh, it’s nice. It’s weird when people notice you when you’re just on TV, whereas now when someone notices me I’ll be like ‘yehhhh I’ve got an album, wheeey!’

My final question is, what are your plans for the future? Planning any more tours? A second album?

Not yet, I always have ideas and stuff like the other morning my phone was on voice record, ended up making loads of really weird noises (demonstrates) you always have ideas but this small little intimate tour, hopefully it’ll be good to take it out and let other people see it as well and then I don’t know! I’ve had two years sat on my sofa getting bored so it’s nice to finally get out and do something.

Pick up a copy of Aiden Grimshaw’s debut album Misty Eye, out now.

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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