Keys to Life: Sean Read

Publish Date: 6 March 2024


Episode Three

Each month we interview a special guest who spends their life in the world of music, film or theatre, from those behind the scenes, to those in the lime light, to find out what some of their keys to life are

This February we interviewed Sean Read, member of the British band Dexys, as well as being a band member in the Soulsavers (Dave Gahan & Soulsavers), and a member of My Glass World. Sean is also a respected music producer, recording, mix and mastering engineer that has worked with a plethora of artists in various capacities over the last 20 years, including British music luminaries such as Beth Orton, The Charlatans and The Manic Street Preachers, to numerous independent artists, bands and rising singer songwriters.   

Sean good day to you;

What do you strive for in life? 

Odd first question!
I suppose I’m just trying to be as good as I can be at my job, practice my sax whenever I can and keep on top of the changing musical scene as well as learning the studio craft as best I can. I’ve learned that being a producer is as much about people skills as  technical or musical prowess so I’m trying to find ways to get the best out of musicians and singers who are often either lacking in self belief and confidence or conversely have an overly inflated sense of their own abilities.

How does playing a musical instrument make you feel and being a multi instrumentalist do you feel different depending on the instrument your playing?

I love playing sax and keyboards. If I feel my practice has improved me in some ways it’s a very satisfying feeling. Playing in a band is the best though. You can’t beat that feeling of being locked in with the other musicians. A band is like a gang. It goes beyond the songs.

As a member of Dexys, the Soul Savers and My Glass World, as well as being a busy music producer, recording, mix and mastering engineer, and song writer on numerous projects, how do you balance your time between them all?

I don’t really. It sort of balances itself with the diary. Tours come in,  studio get booked, records get commissioned.
I just eat, what’s on the plate in front of me

What artists and bands have inspired you and why?

Countless bands and Artist really, lately I’m inspired by the kids making music I come across. A lot of musicians my age are very disillusioned with the music business as it is (to be fair, it is in a pretty  poor state) where is the kids all seem to have an enthusiasm, they’re still at the stage where they love doing it for the sake of doing it rather than trying to make money out of it.

When you get home and you want to unwind, what kind of music do you usually listen to and why? 

Usually some folkie or acoustic stuff. Nick Drake, Spencer Cullum, This is The Kit, Aldous Harding. That sort of thing.

What do you do to get rid of stress? 
Drink beer, drink wine, smoke weed, run, swim. Meditate, cook.

What book/s are you currently reading
and tell me one thing that you enjoy about it?

I’m reading Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. She’s great at voicing the narrators character.

What is the number one kind of music that even a straitjacket wouldn’t hold you back from dancing to? 

I like dancing to soul and r&b as well as ska and reggae.

What is one of your favourite places to eat, drink and unwind with friends in London and why?  

My favourite pubs are The Betsey Trotwood – run and frequented by loads of music friends.The Boogaloo – same reason. And The Anchor and Hope on the canal near me – it’s a real old school London down at heel pub. I love going there for a pint at dusk and watching the parrots fly down the canal to their evening roost.

What song or piece of music always lifts you up?  

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth by George Harrison. I always play it on New Year’s Day in our house.

Sean, thank you for sharing some of  your Keys to Life.

Newsletter photo credits:

Sean Read photos curtesy of Sean read and used with permission.