Counting Down The Minutes with Alison Moyet

In April 2013. Andy Howells spoke to Alison Moyet about her album The Minutes as well as touring later that year.

“For a long time I’ve wanted to work with electronica but the problem is finding the right person to work with,” Alison Moyet tells me as we discuss her album The Minutes. “The great thing about my producer, Guy Sigsworth is he studied harpsichord at Cambridge, so his musicality is sublime.  

Couple that with a really fantastic way around technology and he’s got a great edge to him which meant we could do something not only musically pleasing, but also really interesting soundscapes. It’s the most cohesive album project I’ve done. It’s definitely an album to be listened to as a whole as opposed to albums made by a myriad collection of songwriters and producers that are just a collection of singles.”  

Alison’s approach to making an album borders more on Serendipity, “My motivation is not about being famous or selling lots of records. It’s a creative project I want to make. Of course, I’d like it to be well received, I’d like it to go well, but that can’t be the starting point. It has to be a happy accident as opposed to shaping your work.”  

Alison has seen some changes in the music industry over the years, she started out working with musicians such as Dr Feelgood’s Wilco Johnson and numerous punk outfits before collaborating with Vince Clark to form Yazoo in the early 1980s.  

“I think my generation was one of the most blessed when it came to music,” she says “ When we grew up we had pop, prog and punk rock, new technologies, the reinvention of pop. We had such a great bed to grow in and the great thing about radio and television in those days was you’d get what you considered really fantastic stuff next to something really horrible. That was part of the joy to determine who you were in the world as opposed to this kind of colour by numbers; everyone’s cloning everyone else, which I find kind of dull now.”  

Alison feels there’s a personal return to form with The Minutes which can be compared with her Yazoo days “I see Yazoo as a very happy creative time,” she says, “That has been created again now in the sense that we made this record without the record companies A and R men in the same way I did in Yazoo, I feel really good about that.”  

Following the release for The Minutes, Alison will be looking forward to the autumn when she takes the album on the road.  “Touring’s my favourite thing , she says , “the vocals are going to be quite challenging to transfer to the stage as I’m using a lot of falsettos and very deep voices on this album but live is the place I’m comfortable as its that communion with people.”  

“The best thing about this is I’m going on tour with screens and synthesisers which means that I can approach the older material with  the grandeur of the sound they should have had with electronica, also with tracks from albums such as Raindancing which were more programmed it allows me a wider bed of hits to choose from.”  

Clearly Alison sounds both happy and excited about her latest album and continues to lavish praise on her producer, “I have to say this experience with Guy has been my favourite. We’ve come to shorthand so very quickly. My esteem of him is absolutely massive and if you said who would I like to record with again, I’d say I’d like to work with Guy.”

  • The Minutes by Alison Moyet is available now on Cooking Vinyl
  • A version of this interview appeared in The Guide during April, 2013 and can be seen on The South Wales Argus website.
  • For the latest news on Alison Moyet visit her official website.

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