John Smith: ”The only way to cope with life is to write songs, for me. As soon as I picked up the pen, the songs started falling out”

John Smith
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

“I’m really happy with it,” John Smith declares at the beginning of our conversation about his new album, The Fray. The title refers to recent turbulent times in John’s life, with the cover summing up everything with a bright yellow flower that’s seen better days. 

But writing and recording the music seems to have been a cathartic experience for the singer-songwriter. “I went with that brash yellow because it’s optimistic, it’s a happy colour. The whole time my wife has been calling the record ‘Sad songs, happy man’.”  

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.