Arkansas native Matt Stell is an artist that we have really been looking forward to getting to see live and luckily, he is about to make his first ever trip over the pond to play Country to Country in London and Glasgow. We last got to speak to Matt back in June last year (which you can read HERE) off the back of his “Better Than That” EP and back to back number one singles “Prayed for You” and “everywhere but On” so ahead of his appearance at C2C, we caught up over Zoom to hear about what new music may be on the horizon and getting ready for his first UK visit. “I’m getting ready to get on some planes and not travel with very much stuff so I can just have it all on my back and I’m looking forward to it. I’m heading to Paris first but I’m really excited because I’ve never been to Europe before so I’m going to try and do as much as I can whilst I’m there. In Paris, I want to go to the Louvre and in London see everything that people want to see like Big Ben, the bridge, Buckingham Palace and whatnot, then in Glasgow I’m excited to get up and try some of those fancy scotches where they make them. This is one of those things where you start playing music, you hear about and everyone is really excited to get there, and we’re chomping at the bit to go and play country music in a new place which is one of my favourite things to do.”
During C2C, you are playing the Spotlight Stage in London on the Saturday and Glasgow on the Friday, but you are also playing the BBC Radio 2 Stage during Saturday afternoon so what can we expect from that set? “That will be full band and we’re excited about that, then when I do the changeover (Spotlight) stage in the arena will be more acoustic because we’ve got a real short time period and want to get some songs in to play some more music. I can’t wait to get the band over there and trying to figure out what you need to take, what’s going to be there and all of that logistics. I’m glad I’m not the tour manager because his job will be super tough, but we can’t wait, for sure!”
Does this also mean that we could be first in line to hear some new music? “Yes, you will get to hear some new stuff that we’ve got cooking. I’ve literally just got out of the studio last week, I spent most of last week in the studio last week and have got a bunch of new stuff ready to drop fairly soon, so we’ll play maybe one or two of those, some stuff that we love to do and of course the ones that people know as our roadmap there for playing a new place and playing new music when we get there.” What exactly can we expect this new music to look like? Are we leaning towards an extended project, some singles or a bit of both? “There will be an extended project on the way. We will get some singles out first but definitely the game plan is to release a single and have a record behind that.”
Since we last spoke, you had jumped on “Hometown Boys” which also featured Dierks Bentley for part of Hardy’s Hixtape project. This is like the who is who in Nashville involved so does Michael Hardy just call you up and say listen to this song, I’m going to get this person on it too and do you want to get in on it? “That’s pretty much how it happened! Hardy text me saying hey man, do you want to be on Hixtape? I’m like yeah and he comes back saying that’s cool! Me, you and Dierks have got a song. Then, I’m like sweet and I went in and tracked my part. At that point I’d only heard the demo but a month later they put that out and I think it was the first song on the album that they dropped. Actually, we’re going to put that song in our set here for you! Hardy’s great, he’s a talented man, he’s talented as a writer and an unbelievable artist so I was really glad to be on the project. I doubt anybody says no to it because it’s such a fun project to be a part of and it’s always doing well so I’m sure he’ll keep doing them and it’s great.” For your music personally, your last release was “Boyfriend Season” at the back end of last year. You wrote this with Geoff Warburton, Zach Abend and Seth Ennis but how the idea come about to write a breakup song from a different perspective? “It came around from us kicking around the different ways that a relationship can go bad and a new way or new angle of attacking it. That’s always what’s interesting to me, trying to find a new way to talk about something that we all know something about and that’s where this came from. I wrote it with a few of my buddies here in town and as soon as it came out, we knew it was a lot of fun, we love playing it at shows with people singing back and it does everything that you want a breakup song to do. For the first time I’m not the one at fault or the character isn’t so that’s a new and different thing.”
Then looking beyond C2C, what is on the cards through the rest of 2022? “Our schedule is pretty full through spring and summer with releasing new music and going out touring. Playing some festivals, doing our own dates and doing some other stuff with people here and there but right now we are locked and loaded, ready to put out some new music and play it all over the place.”
The current single “Boyfriend Season” from Matt Stell is out now and available to listen to HERE. Matt will make his UK debut at Country to Country in London where he will be performing on the Spotlight Stage and the BBC Radio 2 Stage on Saturday March 12th then he heads to play the Spotlight Stage in Glasgow on March 13th.