Feature: Richie Setford

Richie Setford Feature & Interview

Richie Setford im Interview über „Curious Growth“; Fotocredit: Merve Terzi

Wir stellen dir heute Richie Setford mit seinem neuem Album „Curious Growth“ im Review und Interview vor. Einst unter dem Namen Bannerman bekannt, veröffentlicht der gebürtige Neuseeländer Richie Setford nun erstmals ein Album unter seinem eigenen Namen. Er agiert also erstmal unter seinem richtigen Namen und auf dem Album veröffentlicht er 10 Songs, die alle aus seiner Feder entstammen. 20 Jahre hat er gebraucht, um sich selbst zu entdecken. So kann man es durchaus sehen wie ich finde. Denn als Richie Setford, so fühlt er sich jetzt erst recht.

Auf der einen Seite setzt Richie voll auf Melancholie ohne jedoch zu weinerlich zu sein. Im Gegenteil, die Spannung liegt regelrecht in der Luft. Thematisch durschreitet Richie Setford ein Feld, das jetzt erstmal keine Neuigkeit ist. Er beackert die Liebe, die Beziehung und die unterschiedlichen Gefühlswelten darin. Er nimmt sich aber auch die Phasen der Depression als Thema und bringt hierzu neues Licht hinein. Das ist gut so und musikalisch ist der Neuseeländer hier gesettelt. Er bedient die Gitarren so gekonnt, dass mir als Zuhörer halt auch verdammt leicht fällt, den Melodien stringent zu folgen.

Im Interview sprechen wir mit dem Songschreiber über das Album, die Depressionsphasen und über seine Wandlung nach 20 Jahren endlich unter seinem vollen Namen Musik zu machen.

You say it took you only 20 years to stop hiding from yourself. How is your first album as Richie Setford liberating?

Richie Setford: „I couldn’t have made this album without spending the last 3 years getting comfortable releasing music under my own name. I would have been too afraid to represent something so personal. It would have been too bigger leap. Really I was tip-toeing to this record and only once we finished it did I realise how the name change, and what that afforded me, sort of all coalesced. What the record was, what it meant to me, completely lit up. Then all that was left was to ask myself if I was ok being so vulnerable. Turns out the answer to that was yes and that was liberating.“

What is more important in the development process: the anticipation, your own high expectations or really a kind of freedom?

Richie Setford: „Out of those 3, I think “a kind of freedom” is, for me, more beneficial as mind sets go and more beneficial in terms of what one might gain as the creative process progresses. Although a certain level of anticipation, which I also read as excitement, is a healthy entry point to any new recording project. I try to avoid expectations completely.“

“Curious Growth” goes through several stages of development throughout the songs. A relationship breaks up, depression follows, you take new courage and maybe get involved in something new. To what extent are these trials and tribulations in your new songs so much more important in life than, for example, a very straightforward songwriting and predictable arrangements?

Richie Setford: „What I’m interested in, and potentially successful at, is marrying form and content in a way that firstly, moves me emotionally and secondly, stimulates me musically. Most of the songs on this album carry the remnants and ripples of an event that I experienced eight years ago and only after writing about the songs for publicity did I realise that they were somewhat connected and that I was working through some related trauma; trauma that I hadn’t allowed myself or understood how to acknowledge. In this instance the act of songwriting was therapy but i didn’t get that in the moment. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have kept going. That reflection was the key. But sort of getting back to your question, I think you can represent hardship in pop music as much as you can express joy in abstract sound compositions; that is to say, whatever life experiences one has and whatever framework a songwriter chooses to express those in, is 100% valid. Whether or not we respond to them is another matter.“

In your opinion, are there any phases in which people are not at the mercy of emotional stress?

Richie Setford: „I suppose, unless we’re comatose or dead, we’re always and forever susceptible to emotional stress. Are we subservient to those forces? Many of us find it hard, and in some cases unmanageable, to live with. Are we defenceless when those forces conspire to dictate our mood and subsequent actions? There are tools that we can use to relieve or assuage some of that noise but not all of us, in those moments, have the rationality, insight or knowledge to act. Wouldn’t it be great if schools gave kids at an early age, tools to help them understand those big emotions, ways to communicate them and exercises to relieve them.“

You were also active in the backing band of Kat Frankie and many others. To what extent is this wealth of experience indispensable for you and was it difficult for you to ignore these perspectives from the past for your own new songs?

Richie Setford: „In the way that those opportunities forge connections. In the way that constant playing sharpens ones skills and hones the ear, more so when dealing in diverse music genres. In the way that it’s always an education. Learning how to be open to different viewpoints, learning how to stay quiet and listen, learning how to be a functional team member, learning when to give and that what you have to give is valued. I wouldn’t be able to ignore those experiences when writing, it’s all filtered through my work to some degree and that makes the songs richer. How could they exist without a life lived?“



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