Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers
Arts Correspondent
5:00 AM 22nd July 2020

Interview With Maddox Jones

‘Headspace' is Maddox Jones' first release as a solo artist. While fronting a band is never an easy task - and Jones had his fair share of experience playing and collaborating with other artists - standing alone and allowing his deepest emotions to flow through some of the most personal songs he has ever written was a completely different experience. We caught up with the former Departure and Strangers vocalist to learn a little more...

First and foremost, hello and how are you?

I’m doing good. I’m in full EP promo mode and it’s going great so far! I am number 4 in the iTunes singer songwriter chart and number 16 in the main download chart so I’m getting a great response to this record!

Tell us about the record you are about to release…

Well, I actually released my debut solo EP ‘Headspace’ last Friday and it’s a collection of 5 songs that tell the story of where I’m at right now. I’ve been single since December 2019 which has made me take a look at myself and has found me in a period of growth and personal development. The songs on this EP talk about battling with addiction, dealing with heartbreak and the pleasure and pain of growing up.

How do you feel when releasing a record?

I feel very excited about this record. I’ve been in a number of bands and projects and I truly believe that this is some of my best work yet. I think nowadays you can be a bit of an author of your own success if you have created amazing work and can find your voice on social media.

What inspired the record?

This record has been wholly and truly inspired by my life experience and how I’m feeling about things right now. I wanted to make an honest record and be really open with the lyrics.

Tell us a little about your creative process...

I start most of my songs sat at a piano. I usually play around with a chord sequence and melody and things start to take shape that way. I write down ideas for lyrics as and when they come to mind.

If the record were an animal, what animal would it be?

It would be a chameleon as this record has a few different sides to it. I don’t stick to one genre throughout, I let each song be what it wanted to be without being confined to one particular style.

Define your sound in five words…

Epic, Electronic, Ambient, Catchy and Dynamic.

What was the first song that caught your attention?

Ever in life? You know what. I think it was Common People by Pulp. When I was a kid I remember hearing that and being like - I wanna be like that guy. Such a cool song and such an iconic band of their time.

What was the first song you bought?

Spaceman - Babylon Zoo - what a strange pop song that was, and such a one hit wonder.

And the first album?

Oasis - Whats The Story Morning Glory

What was the best concert you have ever seen? Ah that’s a tough question. Coldplay at Wembley Arena when I was university. Coldplay are very relatable and it made me feel like anything was possible in terms of achieving my dream of being a famous musician.

What did the experience teach you that you have translated to your own shows?

Being down to earth and engaging is a good thing to be in terms of audience interaction. I think I am getting better with relating to my audience with my lyrics and it comes across in my performances. I feel comfortable in my own skin right now.

What other artist are you most excited to hear from?

Hmm I’d love to hear from Lewis Capaldi right now - he’s an absolute legend, so funny. He also has written some good songs.

If you could work with them, what would you hope to record?

I’d like write a song with Lewis from Scratch and then have him release it as a single.

If you had to pick three artists to be filed next to, who would they be and why?

Depeche Mode - Because they got me hooked on dark pop music and I’ve always been inspired by them.

Elbow - Because I’ve always wanted to be seen a serious, credible songwriter not just a flash in the pan.

Daft Punk - Because I love fun pop music and that is a side of me that I will always bring out, even if it’s just for a random song on an EP. There’s one track on this EP called Dancing Feels Good that has a Nile Rodgers inspired guitar line with a ‘Get Lucky’ vibe to it. The rest of the record sounds nothing like that, but what ties it together is my voice and lyrical style.

If you could jam with one artist alive or dead, who would it be?

I’d love to jam with David Bowie. What an absolute genius. I’d love to jam ‘Let’s Dance’ with David Bowie and his band although I’d probably end up just standing in the corner looking on in awe.

If you could have written one song by another artist, what would it be?

I’m going to go way back for this one. Yesterday by the Beatles for its simplicity. Apparently the lyrics started out as Scrambled Eggs, All I want to eat are Scrambled Eggs. Apparently Paul dreamt up that melody.

Someone is making a film of your life, who will play you?

Jude Law if he was slightly fatter and wore glasses all the time and had a beard.

Maddox Jones EP ‘Headspace’ is out now, stream it here.