Music interview: Paul Thomas Saunders

Paul Thomas Saunders.
Paul Thomas Saunders.
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Paul Thomas Saunders is a singer songwriter from Leeds. He releases his debut album Beautiful Desolation on April 7. He’s also on tour from the same day.

He said: “I feel like everyone will be given access to my soul for a small sum. My brother-in-law is a writer of sorts, and he pointed out acutely that in both our careers, we’re judged solely on output, not input. So I suppose I feel at a slight risk of being short-changed too. Quite literally blood, sweat and tears went in to making this record and I think all anyone hopes for is that enough people “get it” to make you fiscally worthy of making another one.”

He released his debut EP in 2010 but it has taken four years for the debut album to appear.

“Yes. That EP was dreadful. I only released it because there was a minuscule demand for hard copies after I put it online. I don’t even see that as a debut to be honest, it was a set of demos that were recorded over four nights. I think as music is digested so flippantly online, you have to be releasing media almost constantly to maintain momentum. And frankly I wasn’t ready or in a position to do that, I was still experimenting and figuring out how to record my own music. This album is the first thing I’ve released that doesn’t feel like demos to me. I’d been writing really terrible music up until I was 20, and It’s taken me since 2010 to make something to which I’m proud to put my name.

“We started recording the album in 2012, probably January, and we finished in September 2013... Yeah, I know. It just took as long as it took. We failed to apply the Midas touch on this one and had to substitute that with elbow grease. The experience of making it was pretty magical. You know how moving house with a dog can often take a few years off their life due to the stress of it all? Well I definitely felt the years being shaved off after we were handed a two-month eviction notice from where we were recording. That was when we were about a third of the way through the album. But it was great, I’ve never worked so hard on something in my life, it was 21 months of solid work with two months off for touring and shows. I won’t lie, we looked plain ill at the end of it, but I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling than slowly seeing a creation that only exists in your head slowly becoming a physical thing.

“I recorded the album at my house in Leeds where I was living with some friends at the time. I co-produced the record with my old school friend Max Prior, and got my live drummer Ali Thynne to play drums and my girlfriend.”

Tour dates:

April 7 - Birmingham Hare And Hounds

April 11 - Leeds Belgrave Music Hall

April 12 - Manchester Soup Kitchen

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