Glenn Smyth is a Birmingham boy who spent most of his youth playing football. He may have continued on that route had he not severely injured his leg, ending his football career. With more time on his hands than usual, Smyth taught himself guitar. And lucky for our ears – it stuck. He continued to follow his passion for music and writing, releasing two EPs.
His theme-oriented EPs and strong lyrical performance has resulted in quite a bit of attention for Smyth. We were lucky enough to chat with Smyth about his writing, his past and his new EP, We All Feel The Same.
Creative Control: You grew up playing football and even played for a professional club until injuring yourself. Do you think that you’d still be focusing on sports had that injury not occurred?
Glenn Smyth: I’m not sure – there’s so many twists and turns. It does go through my mind quite a bit though- but it’s all ifs, buts and maybes. I can only affect what I have in front of me.
CC: Did your love for guitar and music start just as a way of channeling emotions after your injury or did it start earlier than that?
GS: Exactly that, I was only a kid in plaster for 3 months – so I thought, What am I going to do? At the time I was a huge Oasis fan, so my dad’s mate gave me a few lessons. We’d pick him up from work – that was part of the deal – and he’d give me a guitar lesson. A fair deal.
CC: Your EP, “A Sense of Freedom,” seemed to have themes of turmoil, pressures of society and the desire for freedom. Why did you choose to focus on that theme?
CS: I didn’t consciously focus on it, but I guess I observe a lot and I’m a bit of an extroverted introvert, if that even makes sense. I’d always been fascinated with that feeling, that emotion we always chase. Like finishing work on a Friday and that first beer. Then the fact we’re never really free, are we…?
CC: What kind of themes would you say “We All Feel The Same” has?
GS: I guess an extension of a sense of freedom, that sort of feeling that we’re all the same really. We all get scared, we all get happy, we’re all insecure, etc., deep down. I’m a big believer in empathy.
CC: Is there a particular song from either of those EPs that you’re most proud of?
GS: From a musical point of view ”Nobody Knows” – it’s huge. A John Barry-esque track. I love “Be Under No Illusion” and “All Looks The Same.” Years ago that’d have been a mint 7″ single.
CC: You started your career in music by learning guitar, but your music now features a lot of electronic sounds. Why or how do you think your music style evolved into this type of genre?
GS: I like to think that music should evolve and my music partner Dave McCabe (not from the Zutons – ha ha) is a fantastic musician and he’s like a wizard – so, I go in and we try to conjure up some weird shit.
CC: I personally think your song “Time Waits” would make the perfect soundtrack for a chase scene in a sci-fi movie. If you could write the music for any movie/TV show what would it be and why?
GS: Oooh – good shout, fingers crossed that happens too. I’ve got a kid on the way and need the dough. I’d like to do something for ”Peaky Blinders” then get a bit part on it, as a brummie that’d be splendid.
CC: Speaking of writing, you seem to be very lyrically talented. So you seem to have a knack for writing – where did it come from?
GS: Thank you. I think about that now and then, I reckon it’s the Irish in me. My grandad was this mad loon from Sligo and he’d talk and talk, play his accordion and then get drunk and fight the world. So it might be in the genes.
CC: Have you ever thought of pursuing writing as a side-project?
GS: I actually want to write a book. I’ve got tales and tales of things people wouldn’t believe. Literally loads. I’ve thought about doing a comedy, too. So yeah, definitely!!!
CC: Where can fans catch you next?
GS: My manager Carlo Solazzo – (the infamous Birmingham promoter) is getting a few festivals sorted. So hopefully the summer! But I’m having a girl in June, so we’ll see.
Universal Publishing Production Music (UPPM), the world’s leading production music company, has teamed up with Birmingham’s Glenn Smyth to release a three track EP, titled “We All Feel the Same.” Glenn’s EP is now available on UPPM for licensing, iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music.