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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

Hi Will, great to talk to you! How are you doing and whereabouts are you today?

I’m very well, thanks! I’ve just come home for a few days to get some extra rehearsal time in before the next leg of the tour as some friends of mine are coming along, Molly’s Lips, and they’re going to do a couple of tunes with me. So, we’re just having a little run through of the songs.

Okay brilliant, what’s it like working with Molly’s Lips?

Yeah it’s great, I’ve known them for years. They’re actually members of Cocos Lovers who set up Smugglers Records with me and it’s nice to catch up with them.

Would you mind telling me a bit more about your record label?

Myself, Cocos Lovers and a couple of other bands run the label together. We’ve got a record store, a festival and we put albums out as well. So, yeah it’s a really nice thing to be a part of, a nice vibe.

Smugglers Records is based in Kent, I was wondering why you chose to set it up there?

Well I grew up in London, near Kingston, and Will from Coco Lovers lives in Kent and I followed him down there. So, you could say that it’s all because of Will. He’s a very inspirational chap and following him to Kent then led to us setting up the record label.

How do you find touring? Is it tiring or do you enjoy the buzz?

It is tiring but you kind of get into a rhythm, you get into the swing of it. And I find that I suffer more when I stop. I can go for a few weeks and when I take a few days off, that’s when I start to get tired and maybe a bit rundown. But, yeah, when you’re in the rhythm of it you can just go and go. Yeah, I think it’s great, I love meeting people and visiting new places.

You’ve got a tour coming up in North America, is that right?

Yeah, that’s right. I’m flying out there in mid-March and then I’ll be out there for a month and I’m really looking forward to that, it’s with Beans on Toast.

We interviewed Beans on Toast last year actually, he seemed like a really great guy.

Yeah he’s a really nice guy, I’ve toured a lot with him before, he’s been very good to me and helped me with a lot of things.

Are you looking forward to your gig in Nottingham on the 20th of February?

Absolutely, yeah (with much enthusiasm)! I love to play The Bodega and the DHP family who run it are a really great organisation and it’s a really great venue. Although I’ve played there before a few times, this is going to be the first time that I’ve sold it out!

I was going to mention that actually, I checked a few weeks ago and it had already sold out! You must have made quite an impression in Nottingham!

Yeah it did that really quickly! And thank you! I played at Rock City with Frank Turner and that was one of my favourite gigs on that particular tour. There’s something about Nottingham, Nottingham’s got a great hunger for live music, and it’s kind of engrained in the culture of the city which is brilliant for me.


The Independent described you as “Powerful, political and pertinent”, do you favour writing songs which have a political basis such as ‘We Don’t Believe You’ or does your song writing reflect what’s going on in your life?

I don’t set out to write political songs. I kind of just write songs about what I’m figuring at the time. Sometimes that will mean that I’ll write a song about a TV programme I’ve watched or something that happened to me when I was on a train and other times something more serious, something from the news or something that’s been bothering me. So, I tend to write songs for quite selfish reasons.

You released ‘Postcards from Ursa Minor’ back in October 2015, are you pleased with the reception that your recent album has received?

Yeah, absolutely! People seem to have really enjoyed it, they like the type of songs on it. It was my first album with Xtra Mile recordings so it was a bit different. Before I was used to project managing things on my own but now I have a large network of people helping me and they’ve been great to work with, they’re really cool people.

Do you have a favourite song on the album?

I guess ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ would be my favourite. That song was quite a labour of love for me and it took me quite a long time to write it. And I felt like I connected with Jose Matada‘s story quite a lot (Jose was a stowaway who fell out of a plane in 2012 whilst attempting to gain entry to the UK). So, I hope that he would approve wherever he is.

I’ve heard that your single ‘Seize The Night’ features vocals from Frank Turner. Did you enjoy collaborating with him on that song?

Absolutely, he’s a great guy. In the same way that Jay (Beans on Toast) has, they have both been incredibly generous towards me, especially in terms of taking me away on tour, and introducing me to a lot of people. I can’t really take him away on my tour (laughs)… yet. So, in a way, inviting him to do some vocals was kind of like a way of saying thanks for everything, you know?

I’m very interested in your music video, for instance you’ve used cartoon figures in ‘Seize the Night’ and one which really stands out is ‘Talking Cat Blues’ where you have the face of a cat and there are various clips of different cats. How do you get these ideas for your videos?

I’m glad you enjoy them, I’ve actually always done them on a budget and that’s really important. It forces you to use whatever resources you have around you, the fact that you’re stretched to a very small budget means that you’re going to be more creative. I mean, I’ve always been really interested in filmmaking, it’s something that I’d like to do more of. I would really like to make feature films.

Have you got any ideas for a feature film as of yet?

Not at the moment, but I’m keeping my eye out for the right story to tell.

You did a walking tour in 2014, where did you go and what was it like to undertake such a unique style of tour?

Yeah it was amazing, we started in Falmouth, Cornwall, and we walked along the South Coast. I think it took about a month and we played gigs every night pretty much, at cafes and those sort of venues. It was an amazing time, a very romantic period. I got quite a lot of songs out of it and lots of people made a lot of friends so it’s something that I’d like to do again in the future when I’ve forgotten how much it hurt my feet! (laughs)

You are cited to be pushing the boundaries of the ‘one man and a guitar’ format. What appealed to you first, playing the guitar or song writing?

I always used to write songs, I made up poems and little stories when I was kid. And all these years later it feels like the same thing, I’m still making up little stories. For me, guitar came as a way to soundtrack the words. So, I’m more interested in the words than anything else.



And what’s next, do you have any songs that you’re writing currently?

Yes! On this tour I’ve got a couple of new songs. Ideally, I’ll have ten new songs and can release another album some time soon but there’s a lot of things coming before I’ll be able to do that, the North American tour for instance. But, yeah, sometime soon hopefully!

Brilliant! Thanks for chatting to me, I just want to quickly mention that I have the same surname as you!

Oh really, wow! Varley! Maybe we’re related in some strange way! Thanks for speaking to me, it would be great to speak to you again sometime in the future!

You too, thanks Will!

For more information on Will Varley, visit his website:


Check out his ‘King for a King’ music video:




Image Sources:

Images provided by Sonic PR.

3rd year BA English student at The University of Nottingham (UK), Reviews Editor for Her Campus Nottingham.