Sunday, 19 February 2012

Interview With Malcolm Middleton

I was passed this interview along by Alistair from the Scots Whay Hae! blog.  Originally intended for The Skinny magazine, however not used.  I've posted it up for three reasons:

1.  It's bloody Malcolm Middleton!

2.  It's an easy blog post from me as I don't have to do anything.

3.  It's to promote the Margins Book & Music Festival 2012 which takes place next weekend (Fri 24th to Sun 26th) and features Malcolm Middleton, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, Roddy Woomble, Withered Hand, Alasdair Roberts and a whole host of literary and poetry goodness.  Held at The Arches tickets can be purchased from the above website link.

Check it out.

Tell us about Human Don't Be Angry.

 It's just a new name to release music under. I was tired of the solo singy-songy stuff and fancied something new and fresh. I'd become a bit of a caricature of myself, or at least I thought I had, which is much worse. So time to move on for a while. I'll go back to the song-writing at some point, but for now I'm enjoying the (mostly) instrumental music.

So why do an album under a different name?

It's like wearing a disguise. I don't feel tethered to having to write about the same subject matter, or from the usual point of view. I think if any musician releases 5 or so albums you can become a bit bogged down by worry and expectations. I wanted a clean slate, and to step out of myself for a bit.

How would you say this differs from your usual music?

It's obviously still me, but I'm not singing about depression or death, or whining because I don't know what's going on. For the most part the music is lighter, but still somewhat subdued I guess. I've been bandying the words "upbeat" and "fun" around quite a lot...

What can we expect from your Margins Festival show?

Loud upbeat fun summer tunes. Jan Hammer meets Big Country. A shiny new enthusiastic and polished band. A balloon. And maybe an onstage smile. 

You're being supported by Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells. What are the chances of that Arab Strap reunion?

Who can say? I'm up for it, but it'll depend on what kind of mood Grand Master Moffat is in.

Are you planning a HDBA tour?

Yes, the album comes out on the 16th April so I'll be playing quite a bit. I'm happy playing guitar again and want to enjoy it as much as I can, before the old me takes over and gets the urge to write depressing songs again. I think I'd like to do another HDBA album before I go back to that though. 

What do you think of the controversy over the public entertainment licence in Glasgow?

I think it is crazy. Stupid. Mental. Pathetic. A shit idea. 

Pick one song from the album that will make people realise what HDBA is all about.

It'd probably be the opening song "The Missing Plutonium". It says it all.

What's your take on the cultural scene in Scotland at present? Some writers have been talking about a golden age for lit- what does it feel like from your (musical) perspective?

Ha, the question says it all. "Some writers have been talking about a golden age for lit". Joking aside, it's obviously a good thing if you're into your culture and stuff ;) Personally, I like music with guitar solos, films with explosions and cheap plot twists, and books about philosophy or hobbits.

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