The Cutter meets up with up-and-coming songsmith Louis Berry to discuss Jerry Lee Lewis, songs that get you thinking and Jurgen Klopp.
Louis Berry is a scouse songsmith with all the requisite traits you would hope from a searing talent born and raised on the Mersey.
There is melody and bluster and lyrics with significantly more depth than the poppy platitudes that inhabit the charts. There is also ambition and belief in spades.
Considering the strides this 23 year old from Anfield has already made – and the brilliance of songs such as 25 Reasons and .45 – this belief is more than justified.
We caught up with Louis before he departs for the US to record a debut album that will undoubtedly propel him to a level he already deserves.
DC: You were signed after just two gigs so it’s fair to say your rise to prominence happened very quickly. How did you react to that? Did it take you by surprise?
LB: I’ve always expected it since I started to be honest. It is really exciting when it all happens though definitely.
DC: Your sound has been compared to Bob Dylan and Jerry Lee Lewis. That must feel pretty surreal…
LB: That’s why I started being an artist and I don’t like to compare myself to any artists of today. We have to find more artists coming around of the calibre of them times as opposed to six singles then they’ve gone.
DC: Why should the uninitiated listen to 45?
LB: It touches on a lot of different things. It’s not there to tell anyone what to think it’s there for you to think.
DC: It’s been said that your music has become an escape route from your past. Is it possible to elaborate on this?
LB: Growing up where I grew up there were ways to gain respect and just survive. Being involved in that you can go deeper and deeper. Music for me was a chance to get away from it.
DC: Along with yourself there’s some fantastic music coming out of Liverpool right now – Jo Mary, the Tea Street Band, and By The Sea to name a few. Do any of you guys know each other and is a scene starting up?
LB: I know one of the lads from the Tea Street Band – Nicko – and he’s a cracking lad. When you’re doing what I’m doing it’s a different kind of music really. I’ve never been involved in a scene because as you said it’s all come around quite quickly.
DC: What lies ahead for 2016?
LB: Next month I’m going to America to record the album and then I haven’t announced it yet but I’m going to be doing a live tour of my own. Then it’s the festival season.
DC: Moving on to your other love – football – and specifically Liverpool FC. Who would you like to see coming in this January window?
LB: For me personally a great manager can work with what he’s got and then you see the progression of a team and how it’s moved on and grown. There’s talk of Teixeira coming in and that could be exciting but I think we’ve got some talent in the team massively. I’m excited for Coutinho coming back alongside Firmino.
DC: What would represent a successful season for the Reds considering the disruption that a new manager brings?
LB: A top four position if possible would be great. I’m not expecting miracles.
DC: Which players in particular might thrive under Jurgen Klopp’s guidance?
LB: A lot of people hark on about the mistakes Emre Can makes but he could be brilliant. Firmino needs to be a bit stronger for the Premier League but he will come good as Coutinho did. I also like that Gomez kid.
As a whole though it’s things like positivity and taking the team over to the crowd. That’s what football should be about. You’re playing for the fans not the money.
DC: Simon Mignolet signed a five year deal this week which wasn’t exactly warmly greeted by many Liverpool supporters. Can he regain the fans’ trust?
LB: I heard rumours about Stegen coming from Barcelona so maybe that’s why people were unhappy. With Mignolet it’s just a confidence thing. He’s a brilliant shot-stopper but his composure is terrible and passing the ball around his own area is just stupid. You don’t see that in an under 11s team and that’s really frustrating for me when I’m watching it. He’s been caught out before and will continue unless he stops.
DC: Who is your all-time Anfield hero?
LB: I’m going to say Jamie Carragher because he never got the big hype Gerrard got as a player. Like Gerrard he’s a real scouser and got that fight. You can imagine him saying to a team-mate ‘Hey knobhead, do that again and I’ll knock you out’. That’s what scouse is. Seeing him on telly now is like sitting in the boozer with one of the lads.
DC: And the worst player you’ve seen wear the shirt?
LB: (laughs) I can’t do that to someone. There’s been a lot of bad but I can’t do that.
DC: How would you respond to hearing one of your songs played at half-time at Anfield?
LB: It has done a few times. It is absolutely brilliant and for me it’s as close as I can get to being on that pitch. You can’t describe the feeling. I’ve sat there when it has come on and thought ‘wow’.