A period of reflection and world travel led to Matt Gresham’s new album, The Beautiful Emptiness, which is launched at the Quarry Amphitheatre on Friday, December 12. BOB GORDON listens.
You’ve stated that this album is the art you’ve made that you’re most proud of. What’s it like, as a songwriter, to be able to say that out loud?
It’s refreshing and also humbling because it is an honesty like I haven’t felt before in my music.
You’ve been quite open that this is a post-break-up kind of album. Did writing it help you mend?
Totally… taking a break after my last debut with the X-Factor helped me to become grounded again and heal from something very dark.
What was it like travelling with a guitar, writing, being on your own, especially so shortly after the – polar opposite – television experience?
Amazing because I didn’t have the pressure of the mainstream trying to control my artistic direction.
The TV stuff certainly helped in terms of profile, what difficulties have come with it though?
Trying to work out who my friends are and those who are just near me for the wrong reasons. It really gives you a sense of who is real and who is just in it for the Instagram selfies.
Is the new album something of a full circle, like coming back home for you?
Completely, that is spot on! I have even moved back in with my mum. She is my support and strength to follow my dreams, which is what I am doing right now. I have been brought to the right people at the moment and it feels right.
I believe your mother’s going to guest at the launch?
Yes, she is going to be singing Eternal Unafraid with me. It’s the last song on The Beautiful Emptiness which we recorded together. She is such an amazing singer although she does get quite nervous, but I know that together we will rock it.
With the album now out, what are your plans going into 2015?
This year I made a decision to fully commit myself to music so I want to get out there and play. So the plan is an Australia tour, and then we hope to go to the US!