Barry Sutton: “I don’t trust people who don’t love the Beatles”

11872909_1612525949009926_1906210337_nBarry Sutton recently played a couple of intimate gigs in Ireland, including a set in the front window of Whelans, and lekmk Promotions caught up with the former La’s man for a quick chat.

Having had a truly colourful career to date, Sutton said being a part of the La’s was “a whirlwind of frustration and genius”, and “a legacy that endures”, while he acknowledged the benefit of time when reflecting on that period, saying “you don’t realise the impact or connection without the benefit of hindsight”.

Sutton played a mix of old and new songs while in Ireland, and like most singer-songwriters, the Liverpudlian said his sound has changed over the years, while his influences come from a range of places.

“My playing is much cleaner and more nuanced now,” he explained. “I listen to much more diverse music, I sing and I write better, and I have a much better understanding of what I want to achieve.

“I don’t trust people who don’t love the Beatles! I love Debussy, Jinx Lennon, Field Music, but my biggest influence is myself. Without being weird, you are influenced when you are searching for identity. I found one.”

It’s hard not be inspired when listening to Barry Sutton speak or sing. Every few minutes he seems to deliver a line that could be the title of a blockbuster album.

Noting the likes of Stravinsky, Beefheart, and Charlie Parker as his inspirations, the guitarist said he never stops wanting to learn, and described coming to Ireland as ‘heaven’.

He also went as far to praise Ireland’s acoustic scene compared to that of the UK, while his thoughts on the current music scene in general consisted of it being, “reactionary with flashes of genuine creativity here and there”.

For those interested, Sutton’s current playlist features the music of 1950’s bebop pianist, Lennie Tristano, an American jazz pianist, composer and teacher of jazz improvisation.

It’s testament to the avid Liverpool fan’s love for music that he would have such a far-reaching taste, and his advice to those seeking to make it in the music industry was just as inspiring as his powerful use of lyrics and sound; “Create dangerously, push on, make music of the future, not the past” he said.

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