Paul Goodwin

Interview with A Voice To Hear

Published on Fri 28 Oct 2011

Paul did an interview with music blog  A Voice To Hear. The site is great, but doesn't work well with all browsers, so here is the text of the interview.

For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?

I don't think so - it was more of a gradual thing - I started off wanting to be a guitarist but then started writing songs. There was a defining moment when I realised quite how good music could be live, which was many years ago when I went on a whim to see The Frames. Their drummer was missing for some reason so they had their bus driver filling in, they ended up only playing to about 5 people and they absolutely tore the place apart. I'd only been playing a little while and it had a big impact on the kind of thing I've done ever since.

When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?

I've been listening to Okkervil River, The Mountain Goats and The Hold Steady a lot over the last couple of years. Also Dan Mangan's last two albums have been incredible. I only recently discovered The Weakerthans even though they've been going for a long time, and I really love them too.

What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?

I was really proud of my first proper album "Scars". It took a long time and ended up as almost exactly what I was trying to do. For better or worse. Also, that moment at live shows when you completely win over an audience is always pretty sweet, because it doesn't happen a lot of the time.

Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?

I've never really thought that political songwriting changes anyone's mind about anything, but it can raise awareness of things I suppose. Music and current events don't really go together for me.

How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?

I think technology has had both good and bad effects. The ease of home recording these days means that there's more music being made than ever before and the ease of downloading it means that there's no barrier to "getting your stuff out there". Which is great. The problem is that there is just so much of it that it's become more important to be as immediate as possible which I think has led to an increased emphasis on sound and production over depth of content. If something hasn't grabbed people within the first 10 or 20 seconds then they're pretty likely to skip. I'm just as guilty as anyone. Also you used to have to buy things before hearing them so you were more likely to give it a good go. Even the inconvenience of having gone and put a CD in a CD player means you're less likely to turn it off. As far as the effect on my career goes - it used to be much easier to find shows before myspace.

Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?

A battered old pair of knock-off Converse probably.