Will Varley has been supporting Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls on their UK Tour. Gabriella Ahmed and Ella Wood had to opportunity to interview all three artists. Will Varley supported Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, along with Skinny Lister on Sunday the 15th and Monday 16th November, and for the next month on their UK tour.
Hey Hey, how you doing?
I’m good darling you alright?
Yeah not bad, how’s the tour going?! How was last night?
Amazing, amazing. My favourite gig of the tour I think. The crowd went mad for it, f*****g mad for it.
Sweet, how many gigs have you done?
So we’ve done eight.. and have eight to go including tonight which is dead right in the middle.
That’s intense! You been to Notts before?
Yeah, played The Bodega, with Beans on Toast.
He’s playing next week right?
Yeah and I played with him at Rescue Rooms as well, so I’ve kinda done all three of the DHP venues now. What’s the big one..?
Yeah that’s the next one! Next time I’m here I’ll be dedicating a gig to there.
So you’ve just released “Postcards From Ursa Minor” last month right? I had to YouTube it because it’s not on Spotify! What’s your opinion on Spoitfy, and streaming services generally?
I don’t agree with the economics of streaming, for bands of my size. If I was a lot more well known, it’d make sense and I’d use them more, but if I was not at all, just starting out, 15 years ago just starting up, I’d probably go on Spotify, but at this point it doesn’t make any sense. But the trade up is, I will never go on streaming sites but at the same time, I promise, you will never hear a single one of my songs on an advert. That”s my guarantee.
Aha that’s funny, so like to people who haven’t heard your stuff, you’re kinda like folky, funny but have sort of acoustic elements to it – what would you describe your music genre as?
Someone once called it.. schizophrenic.. something.. folk.. can’t remember what the middle word was!
Was it an important middle word?
No.. maybe.. I can’t remember it to be honest with you! Psycho folk maybe?
I think you sound a lot like Beans on Toast!
Yeah, I just copy everything he does! Aha I like Beans on Toast a lot, but we kinda met each other and fell in love. Or I fell in love with him rather.
That’s cute (laughs). What reminded me of him, was the way your talk between music. Do you sort of talk whilst you’re playing?
Yeah I do, because I forget what I’m doing! Aside from falling in love with him, me did kinda meet, the shows were already pretty similar, we kinda met at a point where we’d both reached a certain point, and it was like “Hey, let’s be friends”, but then we have toured together a lot.. so maybe he’s stolen a lot of things from me! Do you mind if I eat a banana? Getting my 5 a day in. Keeping myself in shape for tonight.
So where are you off next after tonight?
Going home tomorrow.. near Dover? Kent, Where the ports are, the Diver – Calais connection. So then I go South, then I come back up to.. Birmingham. I like Birmingham as well; played with Beans on Toast there.
How do you think it sums up where you are now, compared to when you started up – you started in 2000 right? What’s different/similar etc to then and now?
Well I can grow a beard now. That’s the thing which has really changed.. well I started when I was really young. I used a fake ID because I couldn’t get into any pubs. I was about 13, I went out with my guitar, played open-mic’s, acoustic nights, and it’s kinda like same in a way? Obviously it’s different songs – I’ve written bloody hundreds of songs over the years, but kinda like it’s all the same. It’s like, it feels like the same job.. well it didn’t feel like a job then, and it doesn’t feel like one now, but I kinda started out on this journey at that age and I’m kinda still on it? It’s really weird cause I’ve obviously like everything’s changed, but my music is something I’ve done which really hasn’t changed? There’s more people at the gigs now, and people actually come to my gigs now which is really amazing. It’s quite a new thing for me. So yeah it’s all good.
That’s great, I mean it’s nice and refreshing to hear someone so passionate about their music – I mean there’s lots of artists who do it for only the money
Well yeah, but I don’t turn the money down, definitely a perk!
Yeah it’s like your job.
Yeah it’s become my job now, but it wasn’t for a long time.
What did you do on the side?
I was a Bingo caller, Gala Bingo in Kingston, I was a barman, I had a website design company, I’ve done loads of stuff- jack of all trades. My music career is just what helps fund my acting career.
Oh wow, what kind of acting do you do?
Well none, but I want to be a filmstar. I want to be the next James Bond (laughs). I dunno, I’d love to make films, direct films.
Do you have any experience behind the camera?
Well I make my own music videos, pretty much all of them, I do most of them. That’s kinda the only experience doing that, but I love it. I really enjoy doing it, but I’d like to do more in the future. It will happen.
Well you have your whole life ahead of you.
Hopefully, if I survive long enough I’ll make films. Can’t predict the future and all that.
And drink plenty of water and eat bananas.
Nah mate it’s vodka, can’t tell the difference. a 2 L bottle of vodka I have here hidden in a water bottle. I’ve gotta drink it all before the show, otherwise it’s a shit show.
Well I think that’s us all done, thanks do much darling!
Have fun at the show!
By Gabriella Ahmed and Ella Wood