Interview – Del Scott Miller

Del Scott Miller is an amazing singer-songwriter with a heartfelt bent to his music, as can be heard in his track, Repeat Myself. I love talking to up and coming artists from the local area, so I knew I had to speak to Del – find out how we got on below!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a track titled Repeat Myself, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the song? What does the title refer to?

The song is about my upbringing on Barnsley’s council estates and seeing lives consumed by drugs, depression and indifference, and the generational handing down of those lifestyles.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

Gigs, as they were for the vast majority of musicians, were non-existent but that gave me the time and incentive to make much more of the online side of the vocation, something I’d been truly piss-poor at hitherto. Purely in that sense, I think the long-term benefits of the enforced hiatus will outweigh the precariousness of the last few years.

You also recently released an album titled Afterthought. How has the reception been so far?

It’s been really good, thank you! The album is entirely instrumental and, subsequently, a bit more folky than the other music I’ve recorded. It was a relatively tricky one to pitch, but the guitar geeks seem to really enjoy it!

What can you tell us about the album?

It’s a compilation of instrumentals that were demos, surplus to requirements of whatever album they were initially intended for or hitherto unreleased entirely. The next album (if it comes off…) is going to be very different and I wanted to give those little guitar pieces a bit of sun before they became pretty much obsolete. It takes very little time before I fall out with music I’ve written!

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Repeat Myself is the first in a series of 8 (or so) singles I’m releasing over the next year or thereabouts. The next is Walk Me Home, out on July 11th.

Have you started writing for your next release?

Most of the songs intended to be released as singles are finished, and I’m about to start work on a bigger project (hopefully an album) which should be finished by the end of next year, finances allowing…

Your music is probably best categorised as being within the singer-songwriter vein. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

The biggest influences are Nick Drake, John Martyn, Billy Bragg, Pixies, The Smiths and Leonard Cohen. I’m also a big fan of film scores and elements of that approach to music creep in occasionally. I’m about to start an MA in composition at Leeds Conservatoire and have been listening to little but classical and film music for the last few months, but Bowie is usually a permanent fixture in the car.

You’re based in Barnsley, not far from us! What is the music scene like there?

About 50 minutes down the A1! Barnsley isn’t a massive place and subsequently the scene can be a bit stifling; everyone knows each other and there tends to be the same 15 or so acts on a permanent rota around the town venues. We do have an outstanding club sized venue in The Old School House though (just a little smaller than York’s Crescent Community Venue and with a similar ethos) – it’s changed hands recently, and I hope it gets the acts and reputation it deserves.

Do you have any tour dates lined up in the local area?

I tend to gig around Sheffield and the North Midlands more than the local area (the next gig is at the outstanding monthly IEG Night at Chesterfield Labour Club on July 17th) but I’d LOVE to play in York again if you can work your magic…

Any last words for the fans?

I hope they’re both well.