5 minutes with: Matt Cardle

Posted by: on Nov 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

If you’re male and an X Factor winner, the caveat of that usually means that success doesn’t always follow the high of winning and chart prospects dwindle within the first 3 months. A fact that is almost unfathomable considering the general public spend months rooting and voting for the subsequent winner…

However, it seems seventh series winner Matt Cardle,29, has cracked the curse- his post X Factor debut album Letters, reached platinum status earlier this year and was in the top ten of the album charts peaking at number 2 in 2011. Fast forward to October 2012, throw in a new music label and his second musical offering, The Fire, debuted in the charts at number 8.

We caught up with the lovely Essex born- lad to chat about the new album, why he parted company with SyCo and his bittersweet affair with the UK press during and after the X Factor whirlwind.





I’m here to talk about the new single/ album… I’m not going to ask you about that supposed affair with Katie Waissell that is still sparking intrigue in interviews with you to this day… “No, I didn’t, [he laughs]…”

Do you get sick of being asked stuff like that? Or is it expected due to the soap opera nature of the press surrounding The X Factor contestants? “It’s funny.If it were true obviously it would be awkward, but its not. I guess it does just come with the territory”.

So tell Gossipdrip readers about the new album, it debuted at number 8 in the charts right? “It’s incredible for me, its brilliant. It’s the second top ten album within a year, which someone said to me the other day in an interview. They were like, two in a year?! And I was like ‘oh my god, that’s crazy’. Its an incredible achievement for me, and for how long I’ve been trying to break into the industry, and do it, to finally get the recognition that I’ve always been after, its an amazing feeling. To be honest, I was never after recognition, that was a bit of a silly thing to say, I’ve been after being able to do my music for a living…”

You mean getting it out there? Not recognition in the sense of wanting to be super-famous? “Exactly- not necessarily to go out in the street and be known…just for people to hear my music, enjoy it and come see my shows, that’s what I’ve always wanted”.

What’s the inspiration behind the new album, The Fire? “It’s about the break down of my relationship with my ex-girlfriend, which has been really, really horrible, you know?”

Does she know it’s about her? “I don’t know. I doubt it- she probably hasn’t heard it. But if she has, its screamingly obvious what the songs are about. I didn’t go to her and say, ‘this is about you’, I don’t think that would be right, I just wrote. The Fire is about devastation, heartbreak- all of that kind of s**t.  But across the board, the record is really upbeat and uplifting. When you’re going through heartbreak, as people know, everybody’s gone through it will know, you feel great sometime or sometimes you feel s**t. I was writing all day everyday. Some songs were written when I was dipping emotionally, and some when I was peaking emotionally. Your feelings are constantly changing”.

I must admit, the track titles seem depressing- you expect a ballad and then the song delivers something different. I guess musically, you are placed amongst power pop and acoustic rock… There is an upbeat approach akin to Coldplay or U2…It’s a bit of a change for you considering you started out in heavy rock bands. Is that true to who you are musically? “I started off in bands, desperately trying to imitate Kurt Cobain. But I haven’t had a tortured upbringing so that doesn’t quite work…My favourite band is still Rage Against the Machine, I listen to them religiously. I was gutted for Joe [McElderry] when they beat him to Christmas number one but I loved it too! So full of hate, I was like, ‘YES!’ I was also getting into the band, Korn, so I was in various bands screaming down the mic. When my amp broke and my parents brought me an acoustic guitar, that’s when I realised I needed to sing, not scream”.

Tell us about you parting ways with record label SyCo- was it your own choice? Does it have anything to do with wanting more musical licence?  “Yeah, everything to do with that. It was a mutual decision to part ways. I didn’t want to make, Letters, number two, I wanted to change sonically and I’m not sure if they were on board. Plus, they were so busy- with a smaller label I am able to take more control in all aspects and I wanted to release the record as soon as possible. The Fire is just honest- its what I had been writing and what I wanted to release. The new single for example, Anyone Else, is just drums, bass, guitar, layered vocals- maybe like one synth? If its not broke, don’t try to  fix it. Look at Jagged Little Pill– great songs, great singer. I’m not comparing myself to Alanis Morrisette but you get what I mean- just great honest music.”

I’m sure people are always waiting for you to crack and have some burning hatred for One direction, as they were runners up in the series you won- what do you think of this opinion?  “No way, why would I be annoyed? They are 5 great looking lads with great pop songs- it’s a no brainer. But I’m not a boy band, so I can’t see the comparison- Okay we were on the same show, but surely they’re better compared to JLS or The Wanted. Someone recently asked me about how I felt about One direction and Cher Lloyd cracking America…One direction have cracked the universe- that’s amazing. I’m not sure about Cher Lloyd- I was like ‘has she?’ I mean, hats off to her if she has, but I wasn’t aware of it. I’ve played shows over there, doesn’t mean I’ve cracked the US.”

Well, with The X factor does come dramatization  it can be a bit of a soap opera, do you feel worried that you’ll always fit into that box- always pitted against the likes of One Direction and Cher? Do you feel bound by the frenzy of the X Factor? “People love to hate, in our media, in the UK. It’s just the way it is… Over here, if you’re not number one, you’re failing. I saw a headline recently when I left SyCo and it read, ‘Hero to Zero’- which I don’t get, but I’m over the moon. They love to hate on a male winner don’t they [he laughs]…whereas in the US everyone is so upbeat. With regards to the negative stuff afterwards, that’s just unfortunately, the way the media works. I know what I’m doing and my fans know what I’m doing- I’ve got a lovely, loyal fan base. I’ll always be thankful and grateful for everything SyCo did for me, everyone who voted for me and everyone who worked on the show.”

What do you think of this years X factor?  “I haven’t really been watching. Although, I know Ella and James Arthur were in the bottom two and they’re superb, so that was a bit like, ‘what? What’s going on there?’

Anybody in the charts you would pip as somebody that’s one to watch?  “Erm, I’ve been a bit ignorant with that at the moment, sorry to say- I’ve just been so busy I guess. I know Jake Bugg is amazing and tipped for big things- Hes like bob Dylan, cool voice”.