Today’s Feature – August 29-30: Amy Macdonald

August 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm (Today's Feature)

The fact that Amy Macdonald’s star shines so bright across the pond has truly hurt my chances to see her in person here in the U.S., whether at a pub or live in concert (I probably had little chance with the pub idea anyway). But from what I have been able to see and hear from the Bishopbriggs native, I’m convinced there’s two of her. One Amy Macdonald enjoys her time behind the scenes, going about her business in a quiet fashion. The other… you can’t help but notice. From the stage, the fair-skinned, blue eyed singer/songwriter uses a voice so powerful; so strong, that you’ll have an impossible time trying to turn your focus anywhere else.

While American audiences may not realize it, Macdonald already has the credentials to back up her talent – her debut album, “This Is the Life” knocking off Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” out of the top album slot in the UK earlier this year. It’s gone on to earn double platinum status there, with over one millions copies sold worldwide and finding number one spots in Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands as well. Surprised you haven’t heard her name before? You should be.

“This Is the Life” is written mostly about everyday situations, the kind of stuff that you’ll easily relate to. It contains Amy’s own “acoustic guitar patterns over beautifully detailed arrangements; a seamless set of contemporary folk-flavored pop-rock with a warmly natural sound.” While the instrumentation and style are impressive, you’ll eventually hear what I touched on before – it’s Macdonald’s voice that really makes this album stand out amongst all others. You must take it in live, and there’s little doubt in my mind that she’ll be conquering the states soon enough. Check out the album, and dive into the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Amy Macdonald (PEV): Tell us, how did you first jump into the music industry? Was music always an instant passion for you?

Amy Macdonald: Music wasn’t always a passion of mine, it began when I heard the album ‘The Man Who’ by Travis. I saw them perform at the “T in the Park” festival and it was then that I decided I wanted to be a musician.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

AM: I never thought I would have a career in music so it probably wasn’t until the day my album was released that I realized this was my job.

PEV: Born in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow (UK) what kind of music were you listening to growing up?

AM: Well, like I said it was Travis that got me into music but before that I love Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys.

PEV: Tell us about the first time you came to the US. Also, the first time you played for US fans.

AM: The first time I came to the US was back in 1990 for a family holiday to Disneyland. I’ve been many times since, I just love the excitement of going to the US. The first time I played a gig was in April 08 in Boston, followed by two gigs in New York. It was a great experience and I found the American audiences very welcoming.

PEV: Tell us about your creative process? What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music? Is there a certain “method” or “science” to your writing?

AM: I have no methods or science, I don’t have to be in any particular space, I can pretty much write anywhere. All I need is the inspiration, which isn’t always free flowing.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Amy Macdonald performance?

AM: The live gigs are always very energetic. I think people are surprised at how rocked up the songs are live. I think it’s great to put a different slant on songs and try to change them a bit when playing them live.

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

AM: I can’t actually remember when or where my first performance was but im sure I’ve grown in confidence and my songs are a bit better than they were back then.

PEV: What can fans expect from your Decca Universal debut album, “This Is The Life”?

AM: This is the life is a mixture of songs about simple, everyday subjects that anyone can relate to. I write songs about life and about what’s going on around me. Usually most people can relate to what I’m saying. I think the album is very upbeat, and will get peoples toes tapping.

PEV: How is “This Is The Life” different from other albums out right now?

AM: It’s got a bit of everything going on, so many different instruments, so many different types of songs. It deals with a wide range of subjects and I think my voice and singing style is completely different from most other artists around now.

PEV: How would you describe your sound? In a thick and talented industry, how do you expect to stand out?

AM: I’ve been described as a bit of everything really. I feel I can fit into many different genres and my music can appeal to fans of many different styles of music.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Amy Macdonald?

AM: I’d do anything to get my hands on an Audi R8.

PEV: What one word best describes Amy Macdonald?

AM: Cheerful.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts?

AM: Touring is great. It’s my favourite part of what I do. My band are some of my closest friends and it’s great to spend a lot of time together. Obviously when I’m away I miss everyone back home. I miss my family and friends and I hate being away from my boyfriend for long periods of time.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

AM: My favorite city to play is always going to be my hometown of Glasgow however at an international stage, so far my favorite has been Zurich in Switzerland. I’ve had great success over there and the gigs are always great fun!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

AM: They have always been supportive. I’m very lucky to have family and friends who understand my situation.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

AM: Right now I don’t have any spare time! When I do I usually catch up on all the TV I’ve missed from being away.

PEV: What’s been the craziest reaction from a fan you’ve ever had?

Some people tried to follow me home once, other than that my fans seem quite laid-back.

PEV: Ten years down the road, where will Amy Macdonald be?

AM: I couldn’t possibly say. Obviously I’d love to still be making music and performing but if that doesn’t happen then I’m happy that I’ve already been on an incredible journey and met so many amazing people.

For more information on Amy Macdonald, check out


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