Here are some interviews for the album Andrew Muecke 1990 – 2021: A Collection.
HIP HOP PARANOIA
Describe your sound in 3 words
Evocative ambient soundscaping
How would you describe your musical progress over the years?
From ‘loud, busy and slightly experimental’ to ‘softer, less busy but still slightly experimental’
Which song of the album reflects you the most?
I think song four, Devotion, which uses a vocal sample sung in an unknown Indian dialect. I think that it is relatable yet surprising. I like the idea of being relatable but surprising!
Do you have an artist that you would describe as a hidden gem that we should know about?
David Sylvian. He spoke of trying to “blow peoples hearts wide open” with his music and he has done that for me, many, many times
What would you change in the music industry?
It needs to embrace musical originality more. A lot of current music sounds too similar
Which book should we read while listening to your music?
“Reverence for Life: The Ethics of Albert Schweitzer for the Twenty-First Century”. For my musical project HAPPY GHOSTS, I based a whole album around his philosophy and called it REVERENCE FOR LIFE. An extraordinary human being
You’d give up making music for…
Helping others to make music!
Thank you! (09/09/2021 Here is a copy of the original review)
1. Andrew, you create a lot of different kinds of atmospheres in your songs, how did your musical journey start? what does inspire you to write your songs?
After picking up a bass guitar for the first time as a young teenager, it instantly felt right and I knew that I had found my instrument. The bass inspired me to write music almost immediately – the interesting thing was that I was not a singer, so I was going to have to find ways to play the bass that kept me entertained. Playing the bass in a traditional way was not going to achieve that, so I learnt how to play expansively really early on and I think that has helped me greatly with song composition ever since.
Over the years I have learnt to play other instruments adequately and I used the same writing principles that I do with the bass. What this has afforded me, is the ability to write music on a number of different instruments, with the end results potentially being very different – so songs that I write on bass, end up being unlike those that I might compose on the guitar or keyboard.
In almost all instances, I write music before I do lyrics, so I can safely say that it is music that inspires me to write songs – and from the very first song I wrote, my goal was to try and be as original as possible. It was that type of music that grabbed my ear as a listener growing up – I was never really into Top 40 music and loved those artists which stood slightly left of centre. That meant that when I started my own journey, I had to follow that path and try and find my own musical voice.
2. It’s been quite a ride: What can you tell us about your collection “1991-2020”?
Most people can easily understand a front person or singer-songwriter releasing a retrospective collection – it is their voice or persona which is identifiable and provides that consistency. The driver behind this is essentially the complete opposite – I have been writing music for a long time but it has been for a range of different vocalists and different projects, so these tracks don’t have that common identifiable feature. This collection incorporates songs from the previous thirty years so there is a massive amount of variety there. But it means that it is also asking a lot of people and I am very aware of that. Thank you for your patience!
3. What are your next plans? Are you playing live?
I am involved in a number of projects at the moment and it is looking like a busy 2022. I have two releases scheduled for my long-term avant-garde project called Happy Ghosts – one is essentially complete, with the other not too far away, and I am really excited about the direction they are going. With the Happy Ghosts work I am always trying my best to do something as artistic as I can. I am also recording an album under the name “Fundamental Shift” with a talented vocalist and slide-guitarist called Andy.
It is great to be back playing bass guitar live which I do as part of an instrumental three-piece called “Janda King”, which has style we call heavy-ambient. I consider myself very lucky!