You may remember the name Amy Studt from another life time, when – back in 2002 – she was a fresh-faced yet angsty teen, reaching the top ten with hits including ‘Misfits’ and ‘Under The Thumb’. Studt has shied away from the public eye since then, with just two albums completed. Now, following intimate live shows and festival appearances, Amy Studt is back with a delicate sound that embraces the different strengths of her voice and the poetry of her lyrics.
You’ve just released your double-A side single, ‘Different Colour Pills’ / ‘I Was Jesus In Your Veins’ – both instantly interesting titles. When listening to new music I’m often drawn in by a good title, is that just me?
No, I love titles. You can have lots of fun with a title.
‘Different Colour Pills’ is about the medication you was prescribed for depression, is it difficult to write so openly about the subject? For some the writing can be therapy itself, of course.
My music is autobiographical, I use it to deal with and understand the things that I experience. It is a form of therapy for me because once the song is written, it draws a line under it and I can move on. It’s not hard for me to write openly about the things I’ve gone through as I don’t believe in being ashamed of things that are only natural and just a part of being alive.
‘I Was Jesus In Your Veins’ is a little more difficult to dissect, what influenced this track?
I can understand you saying that. It’s a transitional song where there is no one definitive answer to it but there are multiple points. Some of it is about a dream I had, loss of identity, the loss of a great love, and just day to day things, and saying that you don’t have an answer or that there is no answer. It’s also about being lost and in transition. The chorus lines “So what’s up?” and “What you gonna do?” is my inner self asking me those questions.
Both tracks, and other recent material, are stunning but quite haunting too, and a far cry from your earlier career, what are your memories of that time?
My memories of that time… If I’m honest, it feels like it might not have even happened, like a dreamt it up. My memories are muddy as I suppose anyones memory from their young teens seems. I remember keeping myself in a state of “it isn’t really happening so I don’t need to worry” so that I wasn’t frightened by the enormity of it. I remember it being a lot of fun and a lot of difficulty also. I loved traveling through it, playing shows and doing videos the most.
At the time you was branded as the UK’s answer to Avril Lavigne, was that expected?
I don’t know. They (my old management and label) may have had idea’s to that effect or they might not. They never verbalised that to me. All I knew was that my music came out before hers, it’s just that she was bigger and thats the way it goes. The originality doesn’t always go to the one that got their first, it goes to the one that shouts the loudest.
You co-wrote the majority of those earlier tracks, do you still play them, or reworked versions of them? ‘Under The Thumb’ is still a cracking song!
Ah, thank you. No, I don’t play them anymore. It would feel to me like I was moving backwards to play them now. The new material is much better anyway I think.
Avril aside, which artists influence your new material?
Mazzy Star, David Bowie, The Shangri-Las, loads of others also.
Of course these aren’t your first recordings since then, with My Paper Made Men released in 2008. It’s not currently available on iTunes or Spotify, is that something you’d like to change? Or, as is often the case, are musical politics standing in the way?
Not as far as I know, but yes, I would like that album available again so that people can see the stepping stone towards this album that it is/was.
Fans have been waiting some time for the new album, any idea on when it can be expected?
It’ll be out in January 2016 – directly after New Years. It’ll be a good start to the New Year!
Finally, festival season is well and truly here, which are you playing at, which would you love to play it and which do you love to go as an attendee.
I’ve been playing a lot of the Tastemaker Festivals this year and now I have my single launch show on the 23rd of July at The Islington (come see me play!), tickets are on my brand new website which we launched last week. I’d love to go to festivals and play more festivals but I am already in preparation for my new single release by the end of the summer, and a surprise I have up my sleeve which will coincide with another live show. The rest of the time I’m in the studio doing the last finishing touches to my record. But on the subject of festivals, my favorite festival is Glastonbury. And I really loved playing Isle of Wight festival last year.
‘Different Colour Pills’ / ‘I Was Jesus In Your Veins’ is out now. Catch Amy Live at The Islington on 23rd July, more details here.