The Maccabees’s White brothers have been keeping busy since their split. Guitarist Felix White has launched a club night, and Hugo White has moved into production, beginning with Reading crooner Matt Maltese.
Today, Maltese drops his latest track ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’ with production from Hugo. It’s the first time they’ve worked together but it’s a soaring and stunning start – so we caught up with Hugo to learn a little bit more about their collaboration.
How did you get involved with Matt?
“A friend played me some of Matt’s demos earlier on this year thinking it may be a good fit for us to work together.”
What drew you to working with him?
“There was such craft in his songwriting. Lyrically I could see he was pushing himself. Overall, everything he did was so emotionally engaging and that really stood out to me. I think the discovery that we both shared the same love of a more obscure Leonard Cohen album, ‘Death Of a Ladies Man’, is what really opened conversation for us.”
How hands-on were you with the recording? Did Matt bring ideas or did you work on it from scratch?
“Matt had the song fully formed as just a piano and vocal piece – the task was really in how to create and address the band and the way we built that around him. It was maybe a case of pushing things until Matt said ‘too far’ or ‘not far enough’. We chose some great musicians to work with and actually the session came to life really quickly and naturally.”
Are you looking to do more together?
“Yes, we’ve kept an open dialogue on it all and are back in the studio together any minute now.”
How different was it from producing work for The Maccabees?
“One of the things that’s great about production is how vastly different every situation is and it always requires adapting depending on who you’re working with. We did most of the recording for ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’ in The Maccabees’ studio, which is now more than ever feeling like home.”
Matt Maltese plays London Servant Jazz Quarters on November 14.