Ep27: Robin Ince on forging a career with “a dirty bomb of failed creativity”

Ep27: Robin Ince on forging a career with “a dirty bomb of failed creativity”

Homepage Feature Podcast

Hello, hello! Welcome to my conversation with Robin Ince, recorded on 1st December 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, find out more about Robin’s work here and check out the Book Shambles Patreon here.

The Nine Lessons and Carols for Socially Distanced People Encore show is this Saturday 18th December – watch here.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • the importance of giving yourself permission to be creative
  • building a creative career after things didn’t go how you thought they would, and how “wasting” your 20s could lead to better work later
  • a day in the life of Robin Ince – prompted by a question from previous guest Bec Hill, I ask for productivity tips and receive a surprising answer
  • wrestling self loathing, the inner critic and an engorged ego – how to keep making things
  • what it’s been like staying in one place in 2020 after years spent constantly on the road
  • how, at times, we are the voice of lots of people who are very quiet


Explore Robin’s work:

Find out more by visiting Robin’s website and following him on Twitter.



About Robin Ince

Robin Ince is many things. A comedian, an author, a broadcaster and a populariser of scientific ideas. The Guardian once declared him a ‘becardiganed polymath’ which seems about right.

He is probably best known as the co-host of the Sony Gold Award winning BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox. He also co-hosts the podcast Robin and Josie’s Book Shambles, which gains over 100,000 listeners a month, which is part of The Cosmic Shambles Network, which he also co-created.

His most recent book, I’m a Joke and So Are You, was described by Chortle as ‘one of the best books ever written about what it means to be a comedian’. He also wrote the book, The Bad Book Club, and has edited and written short stories for two volumes of Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians, as well as writing and presenting documentaries about the history of self-help, comedians and melancholy, Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, Richard Feynman, General Relativity and Dr Seuss.

As a stand up he has toured the world and won three Chortle Awards, the Time Out Outstanding Achievement Award and was nominated for the British Comedy Awards Best Live show. The Guardian once wrote that, ‘When someone writes a history of modern comedy, they should make room for Robin Ince’ and of his latest show The Scotsman described it as an ‘alchemic mix of enthusiasm, knowledge and observation’.

He has created, curated, pioneered and hosted numerous nights mixing science, music and comedy at some of the most celebrated venues around the world from the Hammersmith Apollo to the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the Royal Albert Hall. His brainchild Nine Lessons and Carols for Curious People continues to sell out theatres every year, over a decade after its first appearance, and in 2019 he embarked on a world tour of arenas with Professor Brian Cox.

He has received an Honorary Fellowship of UCL, an honorary doctorate from Royal Holloway College (University of London), and is a fellow of the British Science Association.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep26: Rat (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin) on how Miles Hunt and the YouTube sidebar led to a musical collaboration with…me!

Ep26: Rat (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin) on how Miles Hunt and the YouTube sidebar led to a musical collaboration with…me!

Podcast

Greetings, audio adventurer! Welcome to my conversation with Rat, recorded on 4th December 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, click here to get your copy of the collaborative single we just released and click here to get your ticket for the Ned’s Atomic Dustbin shows in 2021.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]


In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Obey Robots – our new collaboration project – how Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff) and the YouTube sidebar brought us together
  • Rat’s experience of going on Top Of The Pops in the early 90s, sandwiched between Roxette and Hale and Pace
  • the comfort of disappearing into a room with a guitar in hand
  • knowing your place as a performer – how the Ned’s manager Tank drilled respect for the audience into the band from the early days
  • writing and recording over email – how the internet made it possible for Obey Robots to spring into life this year, and how Ned’s might not have existed if it had happened sooner
  • how you – yes YOU – can get into home recording too (with honourable mention of this great book, “Guerilla Home Recording” by Karl Coryat)


Explore Rat’s work:

Find out more by visiting NAD’s website and following Rat on Twitter.




About Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

Ned’s Atomic Dustbin are an English rock band formed in Stourbridge, West Midlands, in November 1987. Formed at sixth-form college, the band recorded their first album while some of the members were still teenagers. 

From these humble beginnings, the band went on to sign to Sony Music, and their debut album “Godfodder” shot to number 4 in the UK albums chart in 1991. They released three albums and travelled the world, plus played Top Of The Pops twice before disbanding in 1995. In 2008, Ned’s reformed for a show at The Astoria, and since then have been playing regular reunion shows with The Wonder Stuff and Pop Will Eat Itself.

In 2019 they released 14-track album “Ned’s Acoustic Dustbin”, and in 2021 they will be performing in London and Stourbridge to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “The Ingredients” EP. Get tickets here.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep25: Thea Gilmore on ignoring normal to build an 18 album career

Ep25: Thea Gilmore on ignoring normal to build an 18 album career

Homepage Feature Podcast

Hello and welcome to my conversation with Thea Gilmore, recorded on 16th November 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, visit Thea’s website here and scroll down for more links to her work.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • building a longlasting music career – removing power from the middlemen and finding ways forward that aren’t whatever normal is
  • how growing up alongside your fans is a bit like being followed around by your school class
  • how imposter syndrome can keep you grateful
  • honesty in music – taking down the wall brick by brick to become more uncomfortable
  • creating a sustainable income as an artist – the importance of both our subscription clubs in our continuing survival as artists, and Thea’s pioneering early work in this area
  • how fame seems awful
  • what it’s like to be one of Bruce Springsteen’s favourite artists


Explore Thea’s work:

Find out more by visiting Thea’s website and following her on Twitter.



About Thea Gilmore

An artist of enduring international acclaim and a justly revered lyricist, Thea Gilmore’s musical settings have taken many ingenious detours in the 22 years since the release of her debut album, Burning Dorothy. Uncategorisable, whip smart and unafraid to speak her mind, her Twitter bio reads “Singer. Songwriter. Tall bird. Corruptor of words”.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep24: Alicia Gaines (Ganser) on making music to entertain yourself

Ep24: Alicia Gaines (Ganser) on making music to entertain yourself

Podcast

Hi there! Welcome to my conversation with Alicia Gaines, recorded on 14th November 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, wrap your ears around the latest Ganser album here and scroll down for more links to Alicia’s work.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • making music to entertain yourself, and why trying to sound cool has no place in 2020
  • the challenges of releasing an album during a global pandemic
  • using social media to make your own party instead of waiting to get invited to someone else’s
  • the shared psychosis of being a band – what it’s like making art as a collective subconscious trying to random in the same direction
  • how learning to advocate for yourself is essential in an artistic career
  • how school marching band / orchestra backgrounds propelled both of us towards careers as bassists
  • working out what the next mood is – how to stay creative


Explore Alicia’s work:

Find out more by visiting Ganser’s website and following them on Twitter.




Alicia recommends: The Durutti Column, Peter Gabriel, Liars and the work of Kate NV.


About Ganser

Growth with no reward. Finding strength in your less desirable traits. Coming up with the perfect comeback hours later in bed, glaring at the ceiling. Asking yourself: am I improving, or am I just changing into something unrecognizable? Chicago quartet Ganser probe the futility of striving for self-growth during the chaos of our times for dark comedy and jagged sounds on their potent new album Just Look at That Sky, released July 31st on Felte.

These are songs that never shy away from ugliness and confusion, that believe embracing the totality of the self sometimes means leaning into our dickish behavior. In the past, some listeners have had trouble reconciling non-male voices with the sorts of topics Ganser writes about, but that comes to an end with Just Look at That Sky. Co-produced with Electrelane’s Mia Clarke and engineer Brian Fox, this is an assured, fully realized triumph of a record from an art-punk band that’s figured out how to focus on making great art, even if everything else around them falls apart. – Eric Hatch


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep23: Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) on aiming for 40% happiness

Ep23: Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) on aiming for 40% happiness

Podcast

Welcome to my conversation with Catherine Anne Davies, recorded on 10th November 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, pre-order the new Anchoress album here and scroll down for more links to Catherine’s work.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • the importance of sheer bloodymindedness in a creative career
  • why everything we were told when we were starting out in the music business isn’t true any more – and why that’s exciting
  • how the Manic Street Preachers helped Catherine to university
  • “five-star loneliness” – the truth about touring
  • the importance of collaboration, and why making her recent album “In Memory Of My Feelings” with Bernard Butler (see episode 22!) was like taking a holiday
  • stage fright, performance nerves and “productive anxiety”
  • why boundaries are essential for artists


Explore Catherine’s work:

Find out more by visiting Catherine’s website and following her on Twitter.




About Catherine

Propelled by the Manic Street Preachers’ lyric “libraries gave us power”, The Anchoress (aka Welsh producer and multi-instrumentalist, Catherine Anne Davies) is a voracious devourer of words and music. 

From her early roots as a classically-trained flautist, to her current obsession with vintage synthesizers, Davies has spent much of the last four years developing her writing and engineering skills to become one of the most interesting up-and-coming songwriters and producers in the UK and has collaborated with a variety of artists including the London Philharmonic, Nitin Sawhney, Ed Harcourt, Bernard Butler, Liam Howe and Paul Statham.

The second Anchoress album, The Art Of Losing, will be released in March 2021.

Photo credit: Isabella Charlesworth.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep22: Bernard Butler on sticking to his guns, staying creative and always moving forward

Ep22: Bernard Butler on sticking to his guns, staying creative and always moving forward

Podcast

Welcome to my conversation with Bernard Butler, recorded on 22nd October 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, and scroll down for links to Bernard’s work.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Bernard’s latest collaboration – “In Memory Of My Feelings” with Catherine Anne Davies aka The Anchoress
  • looking for “the crack in the door” – working out what you can bring to a project as a producer / songwriter
  • the power of songwriting to change lives
  • sticking to your guns and refusing to live off past glories
  • how committing “career suicide” led to one of the biggest pop bangers of all time (and it was written in just one afternoon)
  • what it’s like to be treated like a character, not a person
  • turning down the chance to work with Adele in favour of a football match – and having zero regrets
  • why going on about “the good old days” is a crime against humanity


Explore Bernard’s work:

Find out more by visiting his website and following him on Twitter.




About Bernard

Bernard Butler is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, noted as one of Britain’s most original and influential guitarists.

Beginning his long and varied music career as a founding member of Suede, Butler is well known for wildly successful collaborations with David McAlmont, Duffy and supergroup The Tears (with former Suede bandmate Brett Anderson).

As a producer and songwriter he’s worked with far too many names to mention, including The Libertines, Kate Nash, Nerina Pallot, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Texas, Sam Lee and Paloma Faith as well as playing guitar on records by Aimee Mann, Bryan Ferry, Roy Orbison, Bert Jansch, Neneh Cherry and Ben Watt.

Alongside all this he is resident lecturer at BIMM London, teaching some very lucky students on the BA Songwriting course.

Top photo credit: Hollie Fernando.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep21: Andrew Hung (Fuck Buttons) on losing confidence and the lifechanging power of finding your singing voice

Ep21: Andrew Hung (Fuck Buttons) on losing confidence and the lifechanging power of finding your singing voice

Podcast

Hiyaaaaaaa – I’m very pleased to share my conversation with Andrew Hung recorded on 15th October 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, and scroll down for links to Andrew’s work and his recommendations.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • losing confidence and the lifechanging power of finding your singing voice
  • what to do next when your first band was really successful
  • the power of silence in collaborating with Beth Orton
  • courage, hope and journeying back from burnout
  • instrumental music versus songs – what’s the decisionmaking process?
  • social media – is it worth it?
  • what is “cool”, and are we supposed to care?
  • the value of labelling things – can it help focus the creative mind?

Explore Andrew’s work:

Find out more by following him on Twitter.




Andrew recommends: the music of Kasey Musgraves, Kate Bush and The Cranberries.


About Andrew

Andrew Hung is a musician based in London, England. First coming into prominence as a founder of Fuck Buttons, the ecstatic noise group who garnered a rabid cult following, Hung continues to work both on his solo music, as a film composer and as a collaborator.

In 2016, Andrew’s soundtrack for “The Greasy Strangler” was released, as was Beth Orton’s album “Kidsticks”, which he co-produced. Andrew’s first solo record “Realisationship” came out in 2017, his soundtrack for “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn” came out in 2018, and he’s just finished his second solo album, which will be released in 2021.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep20: Jim Bob (Carter U.S.M.) on not knowing how things *should* work – and doing them anyway

Ep20: Jim Bob (Carter U.S.M.) on not knowing how things *should* work – and doing them anyway

Podcast

Thank you for visiting – I’m delighted to share my conversation with Jim Bob aka J.B. Morrison, recorded on 28th August 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform, and scroll down for links to Jim Bob’s work and his recommendations.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • how to make an album when you think you’ve lost the ability to write songs
  • why Jim Bob only works with people he likes
  • the benefits of aiming higher than you should as an unschooled musician and novelist
  • what it feels like to get in the pop charts in 2020, after having a number 1 album with Carter in 1992
  • how to live a creative life after peaking early
  • how the fun has gone out of Twitter
  • how writing novels is (even more) brutal than writing songs
  • what it was like playing to 14 people on a bill with Ed Sheeran

Explore Jim Bob’s work:

Find out more by visiting Jim Bob’s website and following him on Twitter.



Jim Bob recommends: the new Bright Eyes album “Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was“, the music of Phoebe Bridgers, “Songs For The General Public” by Lemon Twigs. And he loves The Jam.


About Jim Bob

As singer with Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, Jim Bob had 14 top 40 singles, 4 top ten albums (including a number one), sold over a million records, toured the world and headlined Glastonbury. In 2007, ten years after initially splitting, Carter USM reformed for a series of huge, sold out shows until they called it a day again in 2014. 

Outside of Carter, Jim Bob has had a long and varied career as a solo artist and writer. He has released eleven solo albums, two autobiographies and six novels (several under the name J.B. Morrison). His latest album, “Pop Up Jim Bob” came out in August 2020 and went to number 26 in the pop charts, and his fifth and sixth novels, “A Godawful Small Affair” and “Harvey King Unboxes His Family” were published in one volume in March.

This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep19: Lemn Sissay MBE on the importance of kindness in a longlasting career

Ep19: Lemn Sissay MBE on the importance of kindness in a longlasting career

Podcast

Thank you for visiting – I’m very pleased to share this conversation with Lemn Sissay MBE, recorded on 26th August 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • the difference between poetry and song lyrics – is there one?
  • how bad school experiences can ruin poetry for us normal people
  • what not to write on your Tinder profile
  • staying away from unproductive negativity – how to take better care of ourselves
  • the importance of kindness in a longlasting career

Explore Lemn’s work:


Google the name “Lemn Sissay” and all the returning hits will be about him because there is only one Lemn Sissay in the world. Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated award winning writer, international poet, performer playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland AND Wigan library.

He was awarded an MBE for services to literature by The Queen of England. Along with Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie and Margaret Atwood he won a Pen Pinter Prize in 2019. He is Chancellor of The University of Manchester and an Honorary Doctor from The Universities of Huddersfield, Manchester, Kent and Brunei. He is Dr Dr Dr Dr Lemn Sissay. He was the first poet commissioned to write for the London Olympics and poet of the FA Cup.

Photo credit: Slater King.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer”are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this:
Ep18: Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff) on how Covid-19 stopped him from quitting the music business

Ep18: Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff) on how Covid-19 stopped him from quitting the music business

Podcast

Thank you for visiting – I’m very pleased to share this conversation with Miles Hunt, recorded on 27th August 2020.

Press play below or click to listen / subscribe on your favourite podcast platform.

[Content warning: some friendly swears.]

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • how Covid-19 dashed his hopes of leaving the music business and becoming a truck driver (and why he wanted to quit in the first place)
  • should we just turn the internet off?
  • why he hates the D chord
  • has digital music ruined the chance for an album to change your life?
  • when writing songs, is the songwriter just a conduit?
  • person vs persona – who is the real Miles Hunt?
  • what does he really think of streaming?
  • how writing your autobiography can help mend relationships that went bad

Explore Miles’ work:


Miles Recommends:

Deja Vega, “Made Of Rain” by The Psychedelic Furs and The Comsat Angels.


Miles Hunt has been the singer, rhythm guitarist and principal songwriter for The Wonder Stuff since 1986. Hailing from the British Midlands the band are now nine albums deep and continue to record and tour to this day. Hunt also fronts Vent 414, a three-piece band that includes Morgan Nicholls (Senseless Things / The Streets / Gorillaz / Muse) on bass guitar and Peter Howard (EAT / Queen Adreena / The Clash) on drums. He has also released a number of solo albums, written for children’s TV, been a presenter on MTV Europe and has a lifelong ambition of becoming a truck driver.


This podcast is 100% powered by my Correspondent’s Club. Thanks to every single member for your support!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful weekly email every Thursday – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

Share this: