The story so far…
“I didn’t suffer a midlife crisis as much as I experienced a midlife awakening” points out Matthew Falls, the Hebden Bridge based singer songwriter who has just released his debut album at the ripe old age of forty five.
“Yeah, you might ask what took me so damn long, I went the long way around that’s for sure”
Matthew developed an obsession with music at an early age, thanks largely to his parents record collection, “I fell in love with those old vinyls” he enthuses, “ The Beatles, ABBA, Bread and The Carpenters were constantly echoing around the house, I was fascinated by the songwriting and production on those albums. But I remember feeling that playing music was somehow out of reach for me, I never believed it was something I could do and so I was a late starter.”
Starting as a drummer at eighteen, Matthew formed his first band playing local pubs, something he continued throughout his college years.
“I would drive to gigs and rehearsals pushed right up against the steering wheel with my entire drum kit in the back of my old Austin Metro. I loved every minute of it, but ‘accidentally’ picking up guitar in my first year at Uni was a game changer, suddenly I was writing songs and that’s where my heart truly lies”
As college ended and musician friends went their separate ways life took over, something that Matthew regrets,
“ I made the mistake of letting go of my dreams, thinking that they weren’t achievable, I did what was expected of me and got a sensible job, became a weekend musician and settled into a rut whilst waiting for something, anything, to happen”
Several years later something did happen that completely changed Matthew’s perspective on life,
“A customer at work, really lovely guy, came in one day and told me he had been given just weeks to live, he was understandably shell shocked. He told me not to waste my time, how every minute mattered and how he regretted constantly looking ahead and not enjoying the present. That conversation changed my life, I realised there and then that I had been on the wrong path for a long time. Sadly he passed away three weeks later but not a day goes by where I don’t think about that afternoon”.
With a new found enthusiasm for life Matthew began a journey of discovery,
“I started to open my mind, it was funny how it happened, people would suggest books to me out of the blue, people I’d known for years and, although we’d never discussed literature, they would randomly say have you read this? Friends, hairdressers, customers, I even overheard a guy in a coffee shop suggesting a book to a friend and went and bought it immediately. I absolutely believe in fate these days and I felt sure I was somehow on the right track. One book just lead me to another and I learned so much about life, love and philosophy”.
During this time Matthew began writing what would become the album ‘About Time’
“That felt like the other side of the equation, I wouldn’t call it a concept album by any means but the songs do seem to be connected by the concept of time. It wasn’t something I was particularly conscious of when I was writing but the record certainly revolves around life’s many chapters, how they begin, how they end and how looking back on different periods in your life can be so poignant and yet so joyful”