Today on our Hot Seat we have Matt Cottrell with us. From the mean streets of Benfleet, UK, Matt Cottrell began singing at the age of fourteen. Vocalist, actor and writer, Matt has been performing in varied capacities since the late nineties both as a professional and semi-professional. As the latest member of Elysium Sky, he is looking forward gigging live with the band and seeing where the the skies of Elysium may take them.
So lets have a chat with him.
Twist Online : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Matt Cottrell : Haha! My first professional job… I was always planning to be an actor and my first job out of drama school involved running across Barnes Common, butt-naked at 8:15 in the morning. What made it worse though, was that the Location Researcher failed to tell anyone that at one end of the Common, there was a primary school and at the other, there was a crèche. So there were quite literally, hordes of children about.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Matt Cottrell : For me it was kind of an accident. Like I said, I was an actor. I’d pursued that for a long time and had shut the door on it. I’ve always listened to amazing bands though, and a buddy of mine said he needed a singer for a side-project. I was reluctant at first as it’d been a while since I’d performed but I feel it’s necessary to remove yourself from your comfort zone from time to time and it kinda took off from there.
Twist Online : Our readers would like to know more about the band ‘Elysium Sky’ and your plans with the band ?
Matt Cottrell : Erm… in all honesty, we’ve only really discussed getting our record, Echoes From Nowhere, out there to as many listeners as possible. That and just playing a bunch of live shows. Personally I find it hindering to plan, too much, too far ahead… that feels a little too contrived for me. I prefer things to happen more organically. And for me personally…erm.. I just enjoy the participation… I’d like to pick up an instrument at some point I guess. It might take a while before anyone sees that though; I’ve always had guitars in my house and can play a really bright sounding ‘A’ chord but that’s about as far as it goes, haha!
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent projects ?
Matt Cottrell : We’re in the process of booking a bunch of live shows in an around Essex and we’re putting the finishing touches to the album. We’re all really excited about those things, so… you know… watch this space.
Twist Online : You are also into acting and writing. What’s more inspiring writing, acting or singing?
Matt Cottrell : Err! Wow! I must warn you, this question has set me up to monologue so shut me up if you feel it’s necessary, haha! Erm… acting was always what I’d strive for, as a kid and way into adulthood. I guess as a child I had a per-conceived idea of what ‘being an actor’ meant and by the time I got to the point when I was able to do it professionally, I simply got scared. The whole process I think overwhelmed me… I dunno: maybe it didn’t fit into the puzzle of my expectation or something. Writing came much later on and singing in a rock band came even later still. I guess I’m in much less of a rush for things to happen nowadays and feel like I have less (if anything) to prove haha! The book will take as long as it takes and the music, it simply is what it is. Erm.. to answer the question then, I think inspiration for my book starts off small, and takes time, maybe, something almost unnoticeable and then all of a sudden I’m like, “Oh! That needs to be a chapter in the book”, or something, whereas song material can happen on a daily basis. Erm yeah… Maybe! Haha! Sorry I’m not even sure if that answered your question.
Twist Online : That was a good answer. What attracts you more, performing on stage or working in studios?
Matt Cottrell : Ahh man! Both I think! I love the intimacy of the studio. But then even the most packed out gigs are pretty intimate experiences I guess. I love it when audiences involve themselves. I don’t mean verbally even: just being there, with you, sharing your music. When the audience ‘feel’ what you’re doing as musicians: it’s an amazing feeling. I mean audiences are an eclectic bunch, some a musicians, (more accomplished) than me and then again, some are just there to rock out, both of which is great and all this makes us better at what we do I guess.
Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?
Matt Cottrell : Erm! Getting the album out! Play some more shows. Oh, and enjoying the summer.
Twist Online : What’s the best part of being a singer?
Matt Cottrell : I guess there’s nothing stopping anyone in a band talking to an audience but it’s usually the singer that does so. I love that part. For me it’s as much a part of the show as anything else. I mean, I quite enjoy just having a chat (maybe you’ve picked up on that already). As a lyricist, also… I guess in whatever you write, there’s a part, if only a small part, of you, in your writing. I know that’s certainly true of me. There’s definitely a part of me, or my life and experiences in every song. That scares the hell out of me but I reckon that it’s something to be embraced. I’m certainly glad to share these with whoever wants to listen… more so because it’s on my terms. Haha!
Twist Online : Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Matt Cottrell : Hmmm! Actually yeah. I stole some kid’s BB gun when I was twelve because he beat me up in front of the girl I fancied. Hahahahahaha…I feel I needed to get that off my chest. Oh yeah and please do check out the record and finally it’d be great to see you at a gig when we play near you.
Twist Online : Are you active on social media? What’s the best way to follow you online?
Matt Cottrell : Oh yeah, massively. I’m rubbish at that stuff but the other guys are absolutely on it. Yeah do check us out at our site www.elysiumsky.org , Facebook , SoundCloud or Instagram.
I think it’s such a cool way to reach out and communicate with people who are interested in our stuff so please do have a look and let us know what you think.