An interview with Rhys Sutcliffe

In the run up to Herald Radio’s Family Fun Day to celebrate our first birthday, we have been catching up with some of the performers who will be gracing us with their appearance on stage on May 5.

Last week, we spoke to Lucy Jones about what she has been up to, and now this week, we have had a chat with Rhys Sutcliffe to find out a little bit more about the local artist we all love.

Rhys, from Carmarthenshire, is a former Local Artist of the Week, and no stranger to being on air on Herald Radio. Here’s what we asked, and what he had to say!

1. When did music become an important part of your life?

I remember listening to Green Day when I was very little. The first song I ever remember hearing was probably Basket Case. It seemed so relevant growing up to learn how to play music.

The older I became the more important the music was. It’s a form of expression that’s so diverse, that you can do whatever you want with it. I suppose that when I decided to record my debut EP, my own music became really important to me. I wrote it during a weird and ‘all over the shop’ period in my life. It’s good to know that music I wrote helped me through a couple of struggles.

2. What is your goal as a musician?

I would just like to carry on making music that I know is of the best of my ability. I would hate to churn out music for the sake of it. It takes me a long time to write songs that I believe are good enough to show to others, and I’d like to keep that standard pretty high for myself.

I would always like to chase a bigger gig or a bigger release, but I want to be realistic about it. I’d like to know that the work I put in solely off my own back would be the reason that I would make decent music that people enjoy.

3. What would be your dream venue to play?

I’d love to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. Every singer/songwriter wants to crack London, and Shepherd’s Bush has produced some genuinely awesome live performances over the years. If not, I’d love to play a festival in America.

4. Who influences you the most and why?

I’m influenced most by the really hard workers of music. Back in the day it was Springsteen and Cobain. My current influences are the benchmark I would like to set myself up against if was given the chance to play music for a job. Brian Fallon and Frank Turner are huge influences for me with regards to the writing. Though my guitar hero currently is Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro. I’d love to be a singer songwriter who could play acoustic guitar like he plays electric, its insane.

5. Has there been any obstacles you’ve had to overcome? If yes, what were they?

I don’t think I’ve ever had any significant obstacles with playing music, nothing ground-breaking really. I once broke my arm and had to re-learn how to play the guitar. But apart from that, nothing really. I had a cliche obstacle to get over when I wrote a song for my ex-girlfriend, the sentiment there was hard to get over. But I still enjoy playing that song, and I’d never consider dropping it.

6. What do you feel has been your most successful composition?

I think it was probably the first track off my debut EP. Its a song called Amsterdam. I remember putting that song out as a tease to what was to come when I released my EP. To support it, I played a gig at my hometown and those who came to see me were singing the song back at me. That was huge for me, even if a felt a little dorky.

7. You’ve mentioned wanting to record a concept album in the past. If you were to release an album such as this, what would it be about?

I’ve always thought that if I were to record a concept album, it would be under a rock outfit. Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria is a phenominal concept writer, so much so that hes released comic books and now has a film deal as a screenwriter. Thats huge, kind of monumental for songwriting.

Though, I think that I’m no where near good enough a songwriter to produce something like that. American Idiot and The Black Parade were some of the first concept albums I ever listened to, and whilst those albums are considered to have a simple concept, they are hugely influential on the current generation of musicians breaking out on the scene.

I’d just like to write something good. Perhaps a story of two people’s lives tangling and being set from their young years to their old age. That would take me years though!

8. What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently rehearsing with musicians to put a behind to my solo work, and I’m in the process of writing the debut album, so we’ll see how long that takes. It’s cool to make noise with a group of like minded people. We’ll see how that goes!

9. Have you got any gigs coming up?

I’ve actually been booked for a few weddings this year, so that’s a change for me. Otherwise, I try to book myself out to bars and pubs on the weekends. It’s nice to just get around. I’m trying to book out as much time off work to book gigs in Cardiff, and the process is slow but is looking good so far.

10. How can we stay up to date with you?

You can find me on Facebook and Soundcloud, and can send me booking enquiries to

Don’t forget to head down to Milford Waterfront on May 5, where you will be able to see Rhys play live at our Family Fun Day

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