Had this photo sent to me today:
This certainly sums me up nicely. I have a terrible memory. Not a great thing to admit… but I have to make of it what I can while I can! Music can benefit from a lack of memory. It’s hard to be a copy-cat when you can’t remember what you’re supposed to be copying! My intention is to always create the most original, heart-felt music I possibly can. Unusually, the source of my inspiration is rarely pre-existing music. I’m more influenced by film and tv – and most of all – comedy.
My all time hero is Tony Hancock. A very troubled individual, but a stone-wall genius. If you don’t know anything about him then you really should stop reading this right now and get some of the early Hancock’s Half Hour DVDs. No, strike that, YouTube him right now! His character is archetypal English. Misery incarnate. The episodes that remain are absolute works of art… true gold dust! I say “the episodes that remain” because you should be aware that back in the day, we’re talking the 1950s here, the BBC would routinely wipe tapes clean in order to record a new show. For that reason early episodes of Doctor Who and Dad’s Army have been lost forever. Also, with Hancock’s Half Hour, a lot of the early stuff went out live and recording for posterity hadn’t really been considered. Anyway, this guy was a legend. I get more inspiration from an episode of Hancock than I would a thousand Radiohead albums! But that’s the point. Rather than be out there copying stuff and slinging it on the interweb along with a trillion other bands, I’m trying to stay on the good ship “originality”. So, okay, it is probably the case that it’s pretty much impossible to actually create a new sound… you can count those bands on one hand – your Nirvanas and your Sabbaths – but it is also the case that striving for an original sound is a great mission statement for a band. I’m not necessarily talking ‘experimental’ here! Whilst I could easily post 5 minute interludes of silence all day long and freak out naked with some hippies round a fire waving vuvuzelas I would rather stay in the realms of the pop song.
You can still be original and yet be entertaining. It’s not such a fine line. You’ve just got to not lose your head. You have to stay true to what turned you on in the first place. Now, you see, I apparently have a bad memory. I’d like to think it’s a bad short-term memory! So while this means I can’t remember what the Kaiser Chefs last had a hit with or who Amy Whinehorse is currently screwing I can remember what it takes to write a good song. I remember the first time I heard “The Sun Always Shines on TV” by a-ha. You may laugh (and some of you won’t even know who I’m talking about), but I think that song has stayed with me through the course of my ‘music career’. Even when I didn’t know it! I would have dis-owned it as a stroppy punky teenager. And I would have dismissed it when I was being an arty indie kid. But that song has all the hallmarks of ‘epic’ that I have always been aiming for.
The moral of the story – get hold of some good comedy, listen to Take On Me and stop being a sheep. You don’t have to listen to coffee table music. And if you must listen to coffee table music, why not listen to songs about coffee tables! Has anyone done that yet?
Now, I’m rambling… I came on here to post something important. What was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue… … no… it’s gone. Nevermind. Tomorrow’s another day.