FEATURE: Scott Michael Cavagan – My Inspiration | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Brian Nicholson

Scott Michael Cavagan has launched a Kickstarter campaign where fans can pre-order forthcoming album 21st Century Love. Working with the likes of Baz Warne ( The Stranglers), John Waugh ( The 1975), Fiona Brice (Placebo), Jeff Mantas (Venom Inc), Rob Hughes (ABC / Heather Small) and James Gregory (The Ordinary Boys) the album has quite the pedigree.

To tempt you in to a pre-order (which you can do here) Scott was kind enough to tell us a little more about the title track and the inspiration behind it…

I first wrote the track 21st Century Love around 3 years ago and never would I have imagined that in the not so distant future it would be the title of my debut album and feature one of my musical heroes and Stranglers frontman Baz Warne. 

The lyrics are an observational view of how popular culture has changed so much in that the definition of fame in my opinion continues to be degraded. I always remember famous people/stars were people who had an extreme amount of talent, who were at the top of their field and now it seems that that has been replaced by an endless stream of reality TV stars who are constantly put on a pedestal and it’s more about who is seen with who or what people are wearing. I remember going into a department store in New York with my wife a few years ago, the girl behind the counter had overheard our accents and started shouting rather excitedly Geordie Shore at us and I remember thinking “how did this ever happen?

The classic pin up rockstar is a dying breed.

Even though there ended up being a number of guests on the album the only name I initially wanted to work with was Baz Warne who had had a really big impact on me early on in this musical journey of mine. I met Baz almost 20 years ago at a busker’s night at The Transporter in Sunderland. Myself and two band mates had got up and performed a bass less version of  Motown Junk by Manic Street Preachers. At the end of the song he came over and said had he’d known we were going to play that song as he would have loved to have jammed with us. So, the next week we did just that!

Over time he would talk to us a lot and was always so positive and encouraging with me and it was inspiring as a young musician at the time I to learn about the journey he had had in music, for instance he was the first person I had ever met who had had a record deal and just hearing stories about life on the road and recording his band Smalltown Heroes debut album Human Soup really drove me to want to succeed in the same way. One night he brought us all a copy of the album and to this day it remains one of my favourite albums and ultimately why I wanted to have him guest on the track.  In 2000 Baz joined The Stranglers and has been credited as really revitalising the band. I would only ever see Baz if he was on TV, in a magazine or watching I was watching the stranglers live.

Musically the track was influenced by the Manic Street Preachers who for the last 21 years have been the biggest musical influence on me. In fact I would say that discovering their back catalogue as 17 year old was nothing short of life-changing; the track changed quite a bit from the original and was a lot slower but it really took shape once I took it to rehearse with a live band.  The overall theme of the album was to try and  rediscover all the things I originally found inspiring in the beginning of this musical journey. I approached Baz in 2016 about the possibly of recording the track with me and I was thrilled when he said he really liked the song and would love to record guitars for it however, as The Stranglers continue to be an active touring band it did take a long time make this happen but I was over joyed one night when I received an email out of the blue in October 2017 saying to book a studio as he wanted to come and record his parts.

We had already recorded the drums which were performed my good friend Ollie Rillands who has and continues to be a constant source of inspiration and positivity and Lee Tuck had sent over a fantastic bass part so one Sunday afternoon along with album producer Richard Trubridge we had a truly inspirational session recording guitars with Baz 20 years after our initial meeting. He shared more stories about life on the road with The Stranglers and I have to say really really made the track come to life its one of my favourite songs I’ve written.

When it came to deciding the album title there were a few idea flying about but because 21st Century Love has such a great story behind it I just felt it was right.

Scott Michael Cavagan’s 21st Century Love is available to pre-order through Kickstarter.

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