|Billy Mitchell interview - March, 1999|
This interview explicite focus only on Billy's solo album (or cassette if you like) Almost Grown recorded in 1993.
RG: What a strange selection of songs. Expecting two sides of "Billy Mitchell compositions" I found a couple of songs I listened a long time ago. That made me curious. Well, whats the secret behind that collection ?
Billy: I had been playing solo for a long time before I joined Lindisfarne (in fact I was the support act on a tour in the mid eighties) and built up a collection of songs that became favourites with me and the people who listened to what I was doing. My sister said that she would like to hear me singing without me actually being there!! Seemed like a good idea.
RG: Why did you do so many covers instead of own compositions ?
Billy: If I had written songs as good as "Youve got a friend" or "The night they drove old Dixie down" etc. I would have included them .. But I hadnt.
RG: How much time did you spend in the studio to record those fifteen tunes ?
Billy: I played each song maybe three or four times and chose the best takes. In the evening I mixed them and as far as I remember I was in the pub before closing time having a well deserved pint.
RG: What was the reason to go without any other musicians or instruments ?
Billy: When I played, there was only me and my guitar .I thought that was the way to make the album and so did Ray Laidlaw.
RG: Did you first record the guitar and then the voice ? Or was anything being recorded in one step ?
Billy: All of the songs were played live if I screwed up I just did it again .there was only me to blame.
RG: Are there any overdubs ? [I could not hear any by the way]
Billy: No Reinhard, there werent any overdubs ..just my foot tapping on some of the tracks.
RG: The "cover" of the cassette mention an address for merchandise. I suppose that this cassette was never available in any shop. Is that true ?
Billy: Yes thats true, the album was made primarily for people who had seen me gig live and wanted something to take home to frighten their children. It was available in lots of pubs.
RG: If there may come some requests for it, are there still copies available ?
Billy: Copies of "Almost Grown" are always available from www.billymitchell.co.uk
RG: Are there any plans to enter a studio again to produce another solo album ?
Billy: I have no plans to record another album like Almost Grown that project has been completed. If I write a batch of songs that Lindisfarne dont use, then I may think about it. Thanks for asking cheers.
March 99, Reinhard Groll