IT’S all about the music for Paul Carrack and always has been.
The multi instrumentalist with the distinctive voice featured on massive sellers for the likes of Ace, Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics is gearing up for a 14-date UK tour which commences next month and finishes up in his native Sheffield.
But followers of Carrack, who has collaborated and written for everyone from The Eagles, to Eric Clapton and Elton John, will know that he is very rarely off the road.
And that has always been the case for the now 60-year-old, who has enjoyed a 40 year career that most X-factor wanabees could only dream of, both here and in the USA.
“Each gig is a separate event for me” said Carrack, who has shunned the limelight in favour of family life and good old fashioned hard work whether that be recording, gigging or supporting other artists.
Indeed, he admits he doesn’t get stopped in the street, nor does he want to be, despite his songs and voice being instantly recognisable when they are played on radio or VH1, both of which have contributed to the familiarity people have with his phenomenal musical output.
“Playing live is what I’ve done all my life, It’s all I’ve ever known and I still love doing it, “ he said.
“I suppose I’ve got over the hump of being successful, selling records and making it in the industry if you like, but these days you have to get out there and play to an audience to get your music heard, or make a living.
“I’ve been with same band for 13 years, they were already together when I joined and that stability is important when it comes to providing the audience with an experience they will enjoy which is the important thing so they will want to keep coming back.”
Carrack has been known as a solo artist for a number of years now, which is partly the reason he was not part of the reformed Mike and the Mechanics tour which took place this year.
When asked why he has never reached megastar status despite becoming an industry stalwart along with plenty of acts who have, he put it down to a number of factors.
He said: “I’ve never sought fame, and although I’ve been in quite a few bands and worked with a lot of artists, I kind of established a solo career after these and that took over, with the albums I have released and the touring.
“There was also bringing up a family to consider and to be honest I’m in it for the love of music, and that is it plain and simple.”
Known for his collaborations and versatility at the top level of the industry, last year Carrack took on a new venture when he recorded an album ‘A Different Hat’ with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
It featured newly interpreted versions of well loved tracks made famous by the like of Bonnie Raitt, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Nat King Cole and was very well received.
But he has always been known for his carefully crafted, radio friendly songs which have people humming along and currently he is working on an album to be released next year, as well as a DVD and planning for next month’s tour.
He said: “We’ve yet to finalise the set list but we have six new songs in the bag and of course the hits will be there, like Tempted and Over my Shoulder because the audience demand it.
“Although a lot of them might have been to see me plenty of times, it’s what they want to hear and they are the ones who pay their money to come out and watch the concert – they don’t have to after all.”
Asked for any advice for young bands starting out, Carrack said he can only advise that they try and play live as much as they can.
He said: “There’s not really a market for selling music like CDs or records as there used to be, or if there is it has shrunk to such an extent that it’s hard to make money out of it.
“I don’t see many bands out there, there’s not enough of them, even though I think there is a big appetite for live music so to anyone starting out I would say try and get out on the road and play whenever you can.
Paul Carrack’s new MP3 Time to Move on is released on October 23 and his band play Birmingham Town Hall on Saturday November 12.