It’s been a rollercoaster year for The Overtones following the tragic death of their frontman Timmy Matley earlier in the year. Spurred on by an outpouring of love and support from family, fans and friends, the remaining four members regrouped and, in just under a month, will be putting out their sixth album following it up with a headline tour of the UK. We spoke to Lachie Chapman from the group about the album, Timmy and the future.
1. The album is due out in a few weeks and will be followed up by the Winter tour. How frustrating is this period of things given how close you are to the release date and tour?
“You know what? I really enjoy this part of the process. We’ve finished up the album and it sounds absolutely beautiful. Now we’re planning the tour, doing the rehearsals, planning the choreography as well as doing the TV shows and all the interviews for the album. It’s a really exciting time.”
2. You put out “You To Me Are Everything”. Is that a good indication of the album and was it difficult getting back into the studio to work?
“We chose that track because when Timmy was younger he misheard the lyrics and thought they were “you Timmy are everything!” (laughs) so it was a personal choice to do that for Timmy. When he passed away we all got together and had a cider in his memory in London. We had already been plotting the next record before Timmy died so it was straight back to the drawing board. We sat there thinking “what do we do?”. Do we do it or do we just say “Thanks, goodbye” and end it all? We decided we couldn’t do that, so this record is testament to The Overtones as both a five-piece and a four-piece. We know we did the right thing because the record is beautiful.”
3. Six albums in, how do you keep it fresh and exciting?
“Well, after six albums and a million records sold, I think we know what our fans want from us. For this tour there is going to be something for everyone. There will be some personal stuff and some songs that will have everyone up and dancing. That’s what I’m telling everyone, bring your kleenex and your dancing shoes because we’ll be remembering Timmy and getting you up and out of your seat dancing. ”
4. What can fans expect from your new album?
“It’s a very typical of The Overtones. It’s quite cheeky – we’ve even done a Spice Girls cover and I think we must be the only all-male group who can get away with doing a Spice Girls song (laughs). Other than that it goes stuff on it about the state of the nation, some beautiful songs. It’s even got the last song we wrote with Timmy’s vocals on it from way back. Timmy’s family gave us kind permission to use the song on the new record so that is going to be on there. It’s going to be a celebration – it’s going to have songs that will have fans dancing, there is joy, life, vigour and, most importantly, it’s our celebration of Timmy.”
5. Once the album is out you go on tour in November, pretty much through to the end of the year. How are preparations for the tour going?
“It’s been going really well. This tour is going to be a total knees-up and will pretty much reflect the album in that we will be remembering Timmy but also we’ll be playing songs that will get fans up and out of their sets and dancing in the aisles. I think the thing about when we tour is that people see our faces on the adverts in the backs of newspapers and things like that and get tickets. Also, we’re touring at Christmas time as we always do so it’s nice to be on people’s calendars and feel like we’re a little part of their Christmas celebrations.”
6. It’s been a turbulent year for you, what would you say the highlight has been?
“Yes, it has been a rollercoaster of a year but I think the one thing that has been the highlight for me is the closeness of the band. When Timmy passed away we all pulled together and it’s that love, the support, the kindness and the respect we have for each other that helped us through it. We really are a band of brothers and I’ll love these boys until the day I die.”
7. You’ve described this album as a statement of intent for the future. What are your plans going forward into 2019 and beyond?
“At the moment we’re just working on the next few months but I’m sure we’ll be touring again, maybe some Summer touring, maybe recording something. Who knows? It’s been a volcano of a year so we’ll just have to see where things go from here.”
8. The album and tour lead you right up to Christmas, what is your favourite Christmas memory as a child?
“Being an Aussie boy Christmas was always 35 degrees so very different as to how it is here in the UK and it usually involved a beach. Here I think that Christmas is more charming – you know, the lights, the snow, the mulled wine. I much prefer Christmas in the UK if I’m being honest. However, once you get a couple of weeks into January, the novelty of the cold weather and the dark wears off and you just want it to be Summer again (laughs).”
9. We always throw a curveball question into our interviews so, given you’re covering a Spice Girls song on your album, which Spice Girl would you be?
“(laughs). That’s a tough one because I’d like to say Scary Spice or, actually, thinking about it, possibly Mel C. Is that a trick question? It’s like says which member of Sex In The City do you relate to when, in all honesty, there is probably a bit of them all that you can identify with. However, I am going to go with Mel C, we’ve met her a few times and she’s a lovely, heavenly person.”
10. New album, new tour, exciting times ahead for you…
“Yes, we’re going to put the album out there and see how she flies and where she takes us. Although touring is an absolute slog, we love performing and especially performing at this time of year coming up to Christmas so we can’t wait to see where it takes us from there and into the future.”