RON SEXSMITH

"It's beyond belief for me to have met some of my heroes. It encourages me in my writing as I try to follow in their footsteps."

Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Chris Martin. Paul McCartney, Lucinda Williams, Michael Bublé, and Steve Earle. The fans of Ron Sexsmith are many and notable. Yet this shy, Canadian songwriter never really had the major breakthrough his crowd of admirers believe he deserves.

We spoke to the man with the distinct voice about his career so far and his brand new album produced by Bob Rock, who has also worked with the likes of Metallica, Aerosmith and Cher.

A late bloomer
Your 11th album, Long Player, Late Bloomer, is out worldwide in March 2011. What can we expect from the new album?

"Well, it's a bigger sounding record than I've made before. Musically, it falls somewhere between Blue Boy and Retriever - at least I think so," Sexsmith explains.

Dusting myself off
This new album seems to be fuelled partly by Sexsmith's failure to make the big breakthrough that most of his fellow musician colleagues and loyal, international fanbase hoped for, due in part to personal changes in his private life.

Elvis Costello even suggested that Ron Sexsmith is 'cursed by having been born out of time'.

In other words, if he had been part of the rock industry a few decades earlier, he would have been the star his talents justify. Which, is apparently reflected in his new album, Long Player, Late Bloomer.

"This album is, I think, coming from a different place lyrically than any of my previous records. It's not so much a sensitive or vulnerable record as it is coming from a place of feeling a bit disillusioned and wounded by personal failures. It's also about picking myself up and dusting myself off, so to speak. Still, there are love songs, a couple of story songs and humour as well."

Elsewhere, Sexsmith has joked that he has "...made all these Lars von Trier records...I see this record as my action movie!" True enough, Long Player, Late Bloomer sounds upbeat, yet lyrically it's Sexsmithian disillusioned.

Heroes
As to his admirers, including Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and many more, Ron Sexsmith takes a humble stand:

"It's beyond belief for me to have met some of my heroes. It encourages me in my writing as I try to follow in their footsteps."

For the new album, he was even blessed with a 'yes' from top producer Bob Rock. The pair had a very good collaboration, Sexsmith has explained in several interviews. Although he has a big say in the recording process, he knows his role:

"I'm very much involved from start to finish, but I'm not a producer so I have to place my trust and songs in the hands of people whose opinions I value and who I think can help me do what's best for the songs."

The perfect song
Naturally, every song is important for the Canadian. So what is the perfect song to him?

"A perfect song for me I guess, is one that is concise and that has a distinct melody and vibe."

After all these years and all the acclaim, Ron Sexsmith is still out there crooning - writing his tender, melodic songs, recording, touring, hopefully expanding his fanbase and developing his craftsmanship as a songwriter, singer and musician even further. When asked what keeps him motivated, the answer is simple:

"It's the only thing I know how to do, really... and I still love doing it."

There'll be a documentary out about the making of the new album, and you can meet Ron Sexsmith on tour in the US and Europe throughout 2011.

For more info, visit www.ronsexsmith.com

- Rune H. Jensen, rhj@dali.dk.

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