Music writer Matt Jacobson interviews Liverpool singer-songwriter Rob Vincent.
Liverpool-based songwriter Robert Vincent has shared his new single ‘The Insider’, alongside a video starring celebrated actor David Morrissey. The latest track from Vincent leans into the solemn side of Americana and sees him questioning the idea of dark, overburdening forces that loom large in our lives.
The song is the first in three year from Vincent, who won the AMA UK Award for his politically charged 2020 album ‘In this Town You’re Owned’, and more music will arrive in the coming months as part of his upcoming new album ‘Barriers’. He is also gearing up to play a one-off special hometown show at Liverpool’s Royal Philharmonic on October 29th.
I recently interviewed Rob about the early years, the recording process and the new single.
The early years, what captured you and started the love of music?
I remember always loving music, whether it was music to a show or on the radio, or in the huge amount of music that was played around the house. It always seemed to be there. I remember it always having a direct and physical effect on me, crying Either way I always knew I wanted to somehow convey my feelings about how music affected me.
When did you start playing and writing songs?
I think lyrically it was 6 or 7, writing poems for my mum and I always loved writing and the idea of storytelling, I remember that quite vividly. I think then the music side of things came when I started messing about with school bands. Playing cover songs at first. There was a moment when I was about 16, myself and a couple of friends wrote some songs and played them at the local open mic night and I can still remember the feeling of knowing that was what I wanted to do now, write songs. Even though the songs were probably terrible!
Did you attend gigs and any that stand out?
There wasn’t any big moment of seeing a huge band that changed my life until maybe being 18 watching Pink Floyd at Earl’s Court. But we used to go to Liverpool and watch early versions of Space, The Real People, Rain, Cast… it was a funny time in Liverpool, there seemed to be a lull in the scene in the early 90’s and then Oasis/Britpop came along and I really didn’t like that scene either. So I started listening to Crowded House, Pearl Jam, Nirvana but then quickly moved on to Americana or Alt Country as it was then.
Are you always thinking about recording or do you stop and say, it’s time to write a song?
I think they’re continually overlapping without me noticing really. There is usually one or the other going on, even if it’s just recording demos and the processes that both help fuel one another.
The new single, you mention a change of direction, was that a natural progression or did you find yourself seeking a new sound?
I think there is a shift to a more British songwriting sound, it leans into that type of songwriting, songs like ‘Beast Inside‘ and ‘Circumstance of Ignorance‘, to name a couple from the forthcoming album. It wasn’t purposeful, it just came along that way. One thing I knew I wanted to have was less traditional instrumentation and bring in a few synth sounds here and there. Don’t worry it’s not gone totally Floyd… yet.
Thanks to Rob and best wishes for the future.
The Insider is out now: Robert Vincent – The Insider (orcd.co) and you can find out more on his website here.