Marti Pellow interview: Scottish legend debuts new album and recalls 'fun' Emmerdale cameo
15 March 2021, 12:52 | Updated: 17 March 2021, 11:18
Marti Pellow is one of Scotland's most successful singers, and he's now back with his 12th - yes, 12th! - solo album.
The former Wet Wet Wet frontman caught up with Smooth's Jenni Falconer for our latest Virtual Coffee Break, where he spoke about the joy of making his latest album Stargazer.
Marti also chatted about the early days of Wet Wet Wet, and recalled his "fun" cameo in ITV soap Emmerdale back in the early 2000s.
Watch the interview in the video above.
Talking about the process of recording solo material compared to being in a band, Marti told Jenni: "I’d only ever written with me and Graeme and Wet Wet Wet, I’d only written together with the guys that I went to school with.
"So once that door got open to me that I could go and dance with other people and write with other people then I was like a racehorse.
"My whole record collection opened up to me and people thought differently and I interacted with different writers in a different way because they had different energy or whatever and took me down different roads.
"I wanted to go and do different things and wanted to experience writing with lots of people. If you write with the same people all the time you kinda know when they go to their little bag of tricks what they’re going to bring out, for the want of a better phrase. So I like to be spun out because I don’t understand or I’m learning a different way to approach a song. And I love that."
Marti's lead single from Stargazer is the contemplative track 'These Are the Days', which he said was about looking back at his childhood.
"When I was writing that I was just thinking of uncomplicated times, without getting too heavy or anything like that. I’ve had times where I would just be with my friends and we’d have our dogs and we’d all go out, walks in the country because anywhere in Glasgow within 30 minutes on a train or whatever you can be in Loch Lomund, or you can be in all these beautiful places out in the countryside.
"And I just had those images just playing in my head, they were just churning about and I wanted to write that, that feeling you get when you wake up in the morning, for instance, and you remember that you’re about to go on holiday but you forgot.
Read more: Marti Pellow performs his Wet Wet Wet classics online during lockdown sessions
"When you were a young kid you suddenly wake up and then you’re like, 'Oh, I’m gonna go on a wee journey or something' and you get that beautiful feeling in your stomach and you go, 'Yeah!', that rush of adrenaline. And I loved that as a child and I wanted to write that.
"And so this song’s about those times as my life was unfolding, just reflecting, a bit of nostalgia. And the second verse just deals with a progression of what my life was as it’s been unfolding. A simple song. It was a great way to spend an afternoon."
Jenni also looked back to Marti's first acting gig before he took on the West End and Broadway, when he appeared in an episode of Emmerdale as himself.
Marti recalled: "A friend, Lucian, a friend of my record company at the time, he was working there, he said, 'Marti, Emmerdale have asked if you’ll do this wee thing where you come on and you sing a wee song' and I’m like 'What?'. Fear, fear.
Read more: Wet Wet Wet's Marti Pellow shares heartwarming story of how parents first met
"I’m like, 'That’s bizarre'. He said, 'Listen, it’ll be a bit of fun. Just go in there, it’ll be great.' So I went and everyone was lovely.
"I remember on the day everybody being really, really lovely and I had to sing a bit of ‘Close to You’ which was my first solo single. And I was very chuffed with myself because at one point I was walking backwards and taking off my coat and speaking, so I was multi-tasking. So that was good for me."
Looking ahead to the future, the 'Love is All Around' singer was hopeful for touring soon, promising fans that they'll soon be able to "come party with Marti".
"As soon as it becomes safe I’ll put dates on. When it’s right, then that will happen because I would hate to have some people buy tickets and then say, 'Oh, we’re going to see Marti on this date' and then it gets moved, that I think would be a bit upsetting for you.
"So when it’s right I’m going to be out there and loving it and loving it as much as I have missed it, I really really have. Because it really is part of my make-up, what I do. And I would hate to lose out on that for much longer."
Marti Pellow's new album Stargazer is out on March 26. His new single 'These Are the Days' is out now.