How The Overtones have coped with the tragedy of bandmate Timmy Matley's death
The Overtones bring a horribly-difficult year to a conclusion with an album of remembrance and celebration, an album which confirms who they are and the fact they are going to continue.
They play Worthing Assembly Hall on November 27 on the back of the release in October of their sixth album, The Overtones – their first without their bandmate and friend Timmy Matley who died in April at the age of 36.
Overtone Mike Crawshaw said: “We have had a tough year, to say the least. The album needed to do a lot of things. It needed to do something for us, the four remaining members of The Overtones. It needed to be therapeutic and like a counsellor to us. It needed for us to be able to express our emotions and thoughts and feelings… It needed to do a lot of things. It needed to have definite sentiments. It needed to cover a wide variety of things like sadness and reminiscence and it also needed to allow us to remember to smile and to celebrate. It needed to have that sadness, but we are The Overtones and we are a positive bunch of guys and it also needed to have that element of happiness.
“Everything was considered on this album. We thought long and hard. There was lots of discussion about the songs, the choices. We dust off the classic songs and hopefully we breathe new leases of life in to them. We had started to plan the album (before Timmy died). Albums take a long time. You don’t just go into a studio and start straightaway. You get a list of about 40 songs and you work out which ones you are going to do. Those initial conversations were happening. We had started to sing a few songs through. One of those songs was Love Is In The Air. And also Save The Last Dance For Me. It was the last time we sang together. We were not fully into the throes of singing it, but we had started those discussions.
“Timmy’s influence is very much on the album… and his voice also features on the album. It was a song that we thought was really beautiful and we were looking for the right moment to use it. We recorded our vocals this time around and we grabbed Timmy’s vocal from the original. That song is Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.
“There are a lot of powerful moments on the album. But it is not just an album of sorrow. We also wanted to celebrate what we had achieved. There are moments of sadness and reflection but also moments that will make you smile. It is a reflective work but it also covers what The Overtones are and the fact that we are starting the next chapter.
“It has helped us with the grieving process. The album has served as therapy. When you stand at the mic, you always have your heart on your sleeve. You put your heart and your soul into it, never more so than on this album. After his passing, we all took a little time to ourselves, but we were still communicating. We didn’t speak about work. We were coming to terms with what happened. We got together and had a couple of beers in a beer garden and we spoke as friends and brothers about the friend and brother we had lost. We had the personal chat and then we said ‘Let’s talk professionally.’
"And it was unanimous. It never entered our minds that The Overtones should not continue. We love what we do, and it is a great privilege to do what we do, but it is also in some ways a responsibility. We have a responsibility to entertain, but the music is more than just getting people’s toes tapping. We get feedback from fans saying that our music has helped them through hard times, and that is one of the reasons we wanted to continue.
"There was a crazy amount of sadness because of what happened because Timmy should still be here and nothing is ever going to change that, but to do Timmy justice and to honour him properly, we know we have got to move forward.”