Paul Freeman is a singer/songwriter hailing from Newport, South Wales. With a natural ability to craft heartfelt lyrics and pair them with beautiful melodies, he has carved out a distinct niche for himself as a bona fide talent. Preparing to release his next record, Paul spoke to AMBY about dressing up as Santa Clause, a career as a pro golfer and The King of False Alarms.
AMBY: How would you describe Paul Freeman’s music to those unfamiliar with you?
Paul Freeman: Hmm genre’s are funny things really. Back when dad was a kid it was all just called music, but these days because of iTunes and downloads there seems to be a need to put everyone into a category. It sure does help with Pandora so I guess mine would be ‘singer songwriter’, ‘alternative’, ‘rock/pop’.
AMBY: I hear you are working on your next record. When are we looking at a release for it?
Paul Freeman: I’m hoping to have it ready for the end of February (due for release in Spring). It was going to be a 12 track record but as I have recorded so much material I’m going to do it in 2 parts with 9 or 10 songs on each part. The title of it is “The King of False Alarms”. I have 2 sides of what I do that I’d like people to hear. One is more stripped back & acoustic and the other is tracked with my band. Hopefully people will like them both!!
AMBY: Who influences you as a songwriter?
Paul Freeman: I have always been influenced by honest songwriting whether it comes to Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, Tom Waits or even the guys that write a lot of the top 40 stuff. It’s always been the lyrics that have a grabbed me. I have a hard time listening to crap lyrics even if the melody is good I just loose interest. It’s not necessarily about being poetic sometimes the simplest line can say something with the most emotion.
AMBY: What is the funniest thing to happen to you at one of your gigs?
Paul Freeman: At the end of my recent tour with Chris Isaak halfway through the 2nd song I had planned a stop. I was using this to try and get the crowd to cheer louder and louder, then all of a sudden they went mental. So I’m standing there feeling pretty great about myself thinking I had them in the palm of my hand. I turn round and Chris Isaak and the band are standing there in full on stage outfits about to present me with a bottle of whiskey. It was a really touching and humbling moment and definitely one I’ll never forget. Of course I shared the whiskey with the band afterwards. Either that or dressing up as Santa Clause to surprise James Blunt on stage, he was very confused!!
AMBY: What do you have planned for this year?
Paul Freeman: Once the record is out I will be mostly touring on both sides of the Atlantic with a possibility of playing some more guitar for Roger Daltrey. Which means learning a lot of The Who songs. Talk about an education, those songs are amazing!!
AMBY: Who would your dream gig be with?
Paul Freeman: The Boss without a doubt, although McCartney wouldn’t be far behind. I played with Ronnie Wood and Steve Winwood last year. And that fulfilled a huge fantasy so that was pretty cool. I seem to really love the old stuff!
AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
Paul Freeman: I really like The Wild Nothings record, A City on a Lake, Washed Out, The National and I like the last Civil Wars record and the new Killers one too.
AMBY: If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would you choose?
Paul Freeman: Good question I met Dustin Hoffman recently in a book store and he seemed really cool so I’d like to hear more of his stories. Then I have to say the Boss and I guess if Dylan Thomas was alive he would be top of the list. We’d probably need a female in there somewhere to break up the testosterone so Tina Fey would be good for a laugh!
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Paul Freeman: Definitely the record release, but probably just more touring. It really is my favorite part. I feel so very lucky everyday to be able do this so I’m very grateful for any opportunity I get to do it more..
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Paul Freeman that nobody knows yet?
Paul Freeman: Ahhhh I would trade my music career in to be a pro golfer instead any day of the week. It’s my favorite thing so much. I have been known to cancel recording sessions for a day on the course. I actually blew off a meeting with Clive Davis because I was playing golf. I had been working with him for a while anyway but still my managers thought it was hilarious probably cos one of them was out with me!
Thank you Paul Freeman, for giving us your answers!
Alicia & Yaz Atout