A Singer of Songs comes bearing gifts. Beautifully crafted songs, recorded in his home studio. If you ever see him in the pub, ask if he would like a glass of Jack Daniels. And then bring him a Pabst Blue Ribbon. He will then blame you for blowing his chance with the pretty waitress.
To accompany your reading, here is a track off A Singer Of Songs first album, I Dig For Gold. So press play and read on.
Desert Island Top 5 albums (i.e. you can only have 5 albums to listen to and yes, there is a cd player and unlimited batteries on the island).
Since I’ve been stuck on this island before and still have my Sparklehorse, Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, Neil Young and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy albums buried in the sand (I shall not tell you under which palm tree), I don’t feel too bad to leave those out. So these are the next five:
- dEUS: ‘Worst Case Scenario'
- Vic Chesnutt: ‘Little’
- Arvo Pärt: ‘Alina’
- Crowded House: ‘Woodface’
- Sigur Ros: ‘()’
Tell me a reason why I should move to Barcelona and a reason why I should not.
Move: the sun. Don’t move: sunscreen is so expensive.
What are your biggest musical inspirations (or things that inspire your writing)?
All things well-written, hangovers, old leather, girls on buses driving by, late nights, early mornings, the right cigarette at the right place, cities getting ready for a big night, cities gone empty after a big night, muddy roads, Polaroid colors, the Mediterranean Sea during the magic hour, and stories stories stories stories stories stories.
You recently spent some time travelling around America. I know this is a vague question, but what are your thoughts on American culture (I myself, am equally fascinated and confused by it)?
I do not have a vast theory ready (yet), but these are some of the things that drew my attention:
- People always say ‘Be safe’ when saying goodbye.
- There is Ketchup on ALL the tables.
- Everything is so darn big. Hamburgers, cars, cities, coffees, trucks…
- Music is everywhere.
- So many people on the road. Underway. In between things and places.
- Waiters and waitresses are SO friendly.
- Steel. Everywhere. Much of it beautifully rusted.
- So many people being so genuinely enthusiastic about things.
- In God they trust.
- Yellow school buses. Always remind me of ‘The wonder years’.
- Flags and then flags and then some more flags…
- Silence in the suburbs.
- Unknown people talk to you while smoking, drinking, eating and walking.
- Sunsets over Main Street.
- Cup holders in cars.
- So many lively conversations with so many gentle souls.
You can take one book and one movie from the present and you can put it in a special time machine mail box that will send that book and movie back to your 16 year old self (and don't worry, the book and movie will not disappear if they are sent to a time before they existed - the time machine mail box has been specifically designed to deal with this situation).
What book and what movie would you send and why?
- Movie: ‘Smoke’ by Wayne Wang & Paul Auster. Little post-it attached to the tape: “Move to Brooklyn, idiot!”
- Book: “All the pretty horses” by Cormac McCarthy. Post-it: “Learn how to break a horse”
Name one song you wish you had written instead of whoever actually wrote it.
“Angeles” by Elliott Smith. I wish I could creep into his studio, steal the song, then tip-toe over to his kitchen, steal all his knives and walk away quietly.
For reasons unexplained, amazing artists sometimes never get heard. Who deserve more love than they currently get?
People should start giving artists the appreciation they deserve while they are still alive. Vic Chesnutt, Nick Drake and Mark Linkous are only a few of the many who had to die to get the attention they deserved. Honor the dead! Support the living!
You can only have one thing for the rest of your life, which do you chose: cigarettes, coffee, wine, beer or ketchup?
Alright, I think we need to have a very serious debate about this question. Everybody knows that the best cigarette is the one you have with a cup of coffee in the morning after a pleasant night that was soaked in beers and that was started off with a hamburger drenched in ketchup accompanied by a glass of wine. (The words ‘beer’ and ‘wine’ can be switched according to preference).