WITH his native New Yorker lilt, country folk singer songwriter Willy Mason was super chilled and laid-back as he chatted on the phone from Dublin.
His mellow American accent was like music to my ears as he talked about life on tour which he described as “kind of like being room mates.”
He said: “I’ve just done the Mumford & Sons tour – it was great and I got on really well with them.”
After a solo stint in Australia, Willy joined British newcomer Ben Howard on his sold-out UK tour.
“The Ben Howard tour has been great. I jumped straight into the tour from one in Australia, so it has took a couple of days to get over my jet lag,” he said.
“It’s good to be back with these guys and the Ben Howard party has been nice enough to let us on the bus.” Since meeting over a year and half ago, the pair have toured together, playing solo in both America and the UK, which included a stop in the North East.
He said: “We played in Newcastle earlier this year and it was great.
“It was one of the best shows of that tour. The crowd were really up for it, but were listening as well.”
Musically, Willy is set to release his highly-anticipated third studio album, Carry On, on December 3, which is his first release on Fiction Records.
Coming in the wake of his critically-acclaimed and gold-certified debut, Where The Humans Eat, which included track, Oxygen, Carry On is heading in a slightly-different direction.
He said: “Carry On is a soothing auditory experience and a mix between the two other albums.”
Produced by Dan Carey, who has worked with the likes of MIA, Hot Chip and Kylie Minogue, the album was recorded in South London, a first for Willy.
He said: “It was kind of nice. I stayed across the street from the studio in Streatham and sort of got into a routine with the city.
“I’d wake up, get a cup of coffee, work kind of from 9 to 5 and then go off and have some dinner in the night. I made the two other albums in the country, where it is a bit more isolated, but the city was perfect for this album.”
Fans will be pleased to hear the new record does have elements of his previous material, however, there are new dance dimensions to this forthcoming release.
He said: “It’s kind of a mix between the two, but it does have some new sounds that fans might not recognise.
“It’s got like a clockwork heartbeat pulsing through it which comes from some of Dan’s toys that he had in the studio.”
* Willy Mason will join Ben Howard on Friday at Newcastle 02 Academy, and return to the region on March 9 to play the Old Town Hall, Newcastle, as part of his headline tour. For more information visit www.willymason.net