From highlighting a triple threat status as the jazz-handed Mr. Schue, Matthew Morrison has taken his vocal talents into the recording studio and emerged with a Christmas album. The on-screen teacher – renown for lifting the spirits of a disheartened Glee club – plans to add a similar cheer to our holiday spirit with A Classic Christmas EP. As you can probably tell, the holiday EP provides his own take on six popular (or classic) Christmas tracks. Unfortunately, Mariah Carey didn’t make the cut, but the album does house caroling bangers such as ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’, ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Let it Snow’.
Naturally, the once in a lifetime opportunity to interview Mr. Schue couldn’t be passed up, so we gave him a quick call to chat about Die Hard, Twerking and A Classic Christmas…
Planet Notion: Hey Matthew, can you tell us a bit about the Christmas album?
Matthew Morrison: It kind of comes at the heel of my last album, which was where it all began. We were in the studio together and it was a great process, we were having a lot of fun and decided to keep on going. I wanted to do it the right way, an homage to people I grew up listening to, like the Frank Sinatra Christmas album, Bing Crosby, the albums with a lot of rich orchestration. So we did it with a 60 piece orchestra and made a couple of Christmas songs.
PN: What was it like having a 60 piece orchestra?
MM: It’s a process that unfortunately they don’t do much anymore. A lot of the big recording studios that used to house all those musicians have gone away. We actually recorded it at Capitol Records in the Frank Sinatra room, and I got to sing on Sinatra’s old microphone!
PN: Was the Christmas record a natural progression from the June’s Where It All Began?
MM: It’s called a classic Christmas because it has that timeless sensibility. You know, because everything nowadays is so produced by computers and I really wanted to get that authentic sound of a full orchestra. The hardest part was picking the songs because there are so many great Christmas songs.
PN: So what is your favourite Christmas song?
MM: I would say ‘O Holy Night’ because it is so beautiful and simple. Not simple to sing but it’s a simple melody and one of the most beautiful songs.
PN: Are you a Mariah Carey kind of man?
MM: I LOVE HER CHRISTMAS ALBUM. She is one of the people that came out with an original Christmas song.
PN: I always associate Christmas with watching Die Hard…
MM: I frickin’ love you for that. The first one does have a very Christmas feel to it.
PN: Do you have a classic film?
MM: I love this old Jackson Five Christmas special that I have on DVD. It really puts me in the Christmas spirit.
PN: What are your plans for Christmas?
MM: I will be in New York city. My fiancé has never experienced a New York Christmas before. They are some of my favourite Christmas’, there is something about being in the city, the snow, seeing the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center and going ice skating in central park. There is something special about that.
PN: According to Glee, you don’t like Twerking?
MM: I show up and say the lines that they give me so I have nothing against twerking personally. It’s one of those dances – and I think I said it on the show – that I think people are obsessed with now, but will look back in five years and laugh at how silly that was.
PN: What do you think the next dance craze will be?
MM: I love the dance shows that are out right now, bringing back a more classic kind of dance that I think people need to see and appreciate. There is something so technical and beautiful about it, the way they move and the costumes they wear. I hope that stuff comes back around.
– James Embiricos