Words by:
Photography: Jack McKain

This feature is part of The Click series, taken from Issue 141. A podcast version of this feature is available exclusively to Supporters.

I was away from music for over 20 years. As you get older, as an artist, youth culture becomes very intimidating. You start to ask yourself, ‘Is there a place here for me? Where do I fit into this?’ There was an absolute ‘aha!’ moment – it might have even come to me in the middle of the night – where [I realised I needed to] create something I would have to be my age to create. As we get older, we think we need to figure out a way to pull some kind of trickery to appear younger; we are a youth-obsessed culture. I felt great about where I had arrived as a 57-year-old man, and there’s great comfort in feeling good in your skin. But with regard to my music… this was [all] at the forefront of my mind.

I used to tell my wife that I did have a desire to make music, I just didn’t want to fall into any of the tropes of being a heritage act – Eddie Chacon sings Motown or something of that sort. I wanted to find a way to be my age and still be on a forward-facing journey, creating fresh things and exploring new areas artistically. I do my best thinking when I’m sleeping; I often get up in the middle of the night and make notes about the epiphanies and conclusions I come to. All of these things are midnight letters to myself and I keep a note in my phone called Rules of Life. I’ve been adding to it for the last seven or eight years. It consists of nuggets of wisdom I come across – sometimes it’s things people say to me, things I read, or just one-liners. Someone can talk to you until you’re blue in the face, but you may walk away with one thing that really resonated with you. I write those things down.

As I go through life, I revisit this note often. As I move past and through things, I sometimes delete these nuggets of wisdom if I feel like I’m now doing them on autopilot. It’s a piece that is ever-evolving. I would compare that [late-night ‘aha!’ moment] to padding around a dark room for the light switch – suddenly you find the switch and the light goes on. I remember feeling like I knew exactly what I wanted to do. The idea of making music no longer seemed like just an out-of-reach dream.

Sundown is out on 31 March via Stones Throw