Following the release of his debut album, Sweet Dreamer, our writer Rebecca Moynihan had the pleasure of speaking to Will Joseph Cook all about the process of bringing his album to life, how he deals with his self-critic, and what he is most looking forward to on his journey as a musician.
What has it been like watching your efforts progress into a debut album that’s ready for release?
The journey and build up have been a whole range of emotions. It was a strange feeling at first because as much as it is the start of something new, I’m also closing quite a big creative chapter. Now it’s out, I’m really enjoying people discovering it and also starting a fresh with my writing.
How was it supporting Sundara Karma? Did you take anything from the experience?
It was awesome; it was actually the longest run of UK dates that I’ve ever done. We learnt a lot; playing to sold-out crowds every night really brought me and the band’s performance together.
What’s your favourite song from your album and why?
I like them all for different reasons. That said, ‘Hands’ is very personal and emotional and very open in its lyrics. I’m really glad I finished it in time for this album.
How does it feel to go from playing small festivals like Dot to Dot to playing a Sunday slot at Reading and Leeds?
It’s amazing to be given the opportunity. Last year’s set was great so I’m gassed to be coming back. Like so many people, I have strong musical memories of that festival – even ones from the stage that we are playing this year. I think that’s really special.
If you were in control of choosing artists for your own festival, who would be your headliners?
Empire of the Sun, Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem.
What are you most looking forward to with your upcoming UK tour?
I can’t wait to play songs from the album to an audience who knows them. The songs have lived in my head (and hard drive) for far too long.
If you could choose three words to describe your sound to people who’ve never listened to you before, what words would you choose?
Unabashed, alternative pop.
What album did you listen to on repeat when you were growing up and do you think it shaped you as a musician in any way?
I really rinsed the first Vampire Weekend, Darwin Deez and Calvin Harris records. They definitely shaped the music I make and I still love those albums now.
Do you ever struggle with your self-critic when you’re being creative, and how do you deal with it?
I think your self-critic is super important; it’s ultimately a good thing if it drives you to make a better project. However, it can be really negative if your self-critic is hung up over something that you can’t change like a song/video/artwork that you’ve already released. I am definitely guilty of that. The way I combat it is by throwing myself into the next idea. New thoughts and sounds always get me excited and help me move past it.
What is your biggest goal as a musician that you hope to achieve?
I think the ability to travel with music is one of the coolest things about it. I’d love to record and collaborate with people from all over the world. Hopefully, I can start to do this more with the second album.
With the release of Sweet Dreamer, Will Joseph Cook is set to embark on his biggest headline tour across the UK this year. From listening to the album, and seeing the high praise it has received just days after its release, the only advice T’HUD can give is to make sure you grab a ticket to his tour whilst you can because these tickets will be selling out fast. You can check out the tour details over on Cook’s website: http://www.willjosephcook.co.uk.