Will Varley celebrated the release of his fifth studio album, Spirit of Minnie, with a packed out show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in February. He then spent the first part of this year playing his new album live around the world, touring extensively in the US, appearing at SXSW festival in Texas and selling out venues across the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy.
Varley will finish his successful year by going on a bumper Europe and UK headline tour. The tour will take him through Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland once more, whilst also visiting Poland for the first time as well as a visit to the French capital. He will then come back to the UK towards mid-October to play shows in the likes of Norwich, Cambridge, Newcastle, Sheffield, and Portsmouth to name just a few, before culminating in a tour finale at the Round Chapel in London on the 3rd November.
Ahead of this tour, we have had the pleasure of asking Will a few questions about his thoughts on the year so far, his vision for the future, and whether he would like to write anymore books…
Now that we have approached the end of festival season, when you look back on the 2018 you’ve had so far, what have been the particular highlights?
It’s hard to say! There have been a lot of great shows. Shepherd’s Bush Empire was pretty special. As was Cropredy Festival…
How happy were you with the release of Spirit of Minnie? How do you feel it was received by your fans?
It’s been great so far and really nice to take things in a slightly different direction. I believe it’s very important not to chase your tail…
Where did your influences come from for this album?
I wrote a lot of this record in America and I think there’s a slight country twang on there, we were also listening to a lot of Radiohead and Bon Iver at the time of recording so maybe that seeped in a little?
How did you find recording the album with a full band? How different was the experience to recording your previous records?
Yeah it was very different at first, logistically and sonically a lot more challenging. Ultimately though, once we got settled in, it’s the same job.
How do you feel your sound has developed since releasing Advert Soundtracks seven years ago? What would you say the main difference are between that record and Spirit of Minnie?
Well I don’t really dwell too much on that sort of thing. I like looking forward and don’t worry too much about looking back. The records sound different I’m sure, but I haven’t listened to my first record since the week it was released seven years ago and I’ll probably not listen to Spirit Of Minnie either… I’m only really interested in the next album…
Moving forward towards the last quarter of the year, what are you most excited for?
It’ll be really nice to get out on the road for a solo tour having done most of this year with the band. I like to change things up as much as possible and try to keep things fresh…
Do any of the dates from your up-coming headline Europe & UK tour stand out as ones that you are looking forward to the most?
I’ve never been to Poland before so that’ll be fun. I love Paris too, so really looking forward to going back there.
What do you envision the next step in you career being? Where would you like to be sitting in a year’s time?
My wife’s just had a baby so I reckon I’ll be concentrating on that for a little while… I’ve never worried too much about my career, I just like writing songs. So I’ll probably do what I usually do and wait until I’ve got a handful of songs and then see if I can find anyone up for helping me to record them! Whether they’ll be band songs or solo songs or whether they’ll take six months or six years to write, I honestly don’t know!
Do you see yourself releasing another book at any point?
Could you see yourself releasing a memoirs book, similar to that of your friend Beans On Toast’s ‘Drunken Folk Stories’? Or do you prefer writing fiction?
Possibly… But I’m waiting for some interesting things to happen to me first before I can write a book about them! Ha! I’d love to write more fiction and I plan to fairly soon. As for memoirs though, I don’t know, I think at some point a day will come along when it feels like “OK, it’s time to write everything down” but that day just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’ll be tomorrow?
Will Varley’s UK leg of his tour will commence in Norwich on the 10th October, with further details including ticket prices and venues available via this link.