My listening side of music is broken down into two categories – there’s the type of music that I want to make and it’s part of a learning process, a sharing process, but also it’s comforting, because you know that there are other people out there who want to make that sort of music too… But then there’s music that you listen to and say not just that this person here is making techno, but that this person here is making really interesting techno, or really interesting house music or someone out there who’s still obsessing about an analogue drum machine and messing about with it… But then the other side of music listening is just the music that you listen to. I think there’s always that separation. And it’s the same with art. I can appreciate a Titian painting and tell you why that Titian works, but I am never going to be an oil painter. You can have the respect and appreciation, and it’s the same with music – I can respect a lot of punk music, because I understand its visceral nature, but I’m never going to make punk music.”
Ok, so I am going to ask you some of the standardish questions that I’ll ask other music types. Let’s see how we fare.
What makes a musician?
<<<< Long silence >>>>
Ok fair play, that was pretty damn equivocal. Bear with me, you’re my first interviewee. Do you want to elaborate on that at all or…?
“I guess I can. The long/short version of just that is I suppose… er… and there doesn’t necessarily have to be an audience there so er… because you can quite happily sit in your room and ‘do your thing’…”
mmhmm, so do you think anybody can be a musician?
Ok, so. When did you first notice music?
“Weirdly I was thinking about this just the other day. Music was always there. I mean, my parents, whilst you might say they weren’t particularly musical, they were full of the music of their time, and pop was everywhere and my mum, I mean, she was into Motown and my dad was like a secret punk… So I suppose it was probably my dad playing punk music that was the first time – the sex pistols, x-ray specs, punk, post-punk, new wave – that was when I first really listened to music. But then I’d happily spend a Sunday jumping around my nan’s house to ‘the birdie song’. It’s not, “There was dancing and music”, and then blues, was the other major one.”
All right. How much money, as an approximate percentage of your outgoings do you reckon you spend on music?
Just put a number on it. If one is bread and ten is a car, how much do you reckon you shove at music.
90%. Cor blimey.
“But that’s – that’s going to gigs, buying music, buying capacitors, that’s everything. That’s everything after food and fags.”
And do you think that is representative of the amount of time you spend on it, thinking about it…
Erm… And does any money come back in.
“Not as much as I would like!”
Ok. How do you know when you’ve made it?
“Fifteen years ago, ten years ago, record sales or … private jets.”
“No, seriously! Ten years ago, rubbish indie bands were being flown around on private jets, and they were rubbish! But they had jets! Now I think… the music industry…it’s an interesting place, and it makes interesting work – now you can say that you’ve made it because a million people have listened to your music online.