Thursday, 29 October 2009
musician andy bull
Music is something that I don't write about as much as I should because it's something that's always been important in my life - I think it is for many of us. There are whole periods of time that I can attribute to a particular album. When time passes and I play Andy Bull's debut record We're Too Young I will think about the person I was and where I was going this year. I play it all the time. Get lost in it. Love it. I hope you do too. (Click on his website to hear a few tunes - one of which is one of my faves: Small Town Girl).
Which five words best describe you? Born on September the 5th.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? The first job I ever took was scrubbing dishes in the kitchen of a local restaurant. It's been a few years, but I know that I'm moving up in the world, because now I scrub dishes in a much fancier restaurant.
What's your proudest career achievement? Recently I put out my first album, and I've had people from all corners of the world, from all kinds of countries, write to me and tell me how much it means to them. That makes me really proud. But actually, I think my proudest career achievement has been the professional relationships I have had with the people with whom I work. They take work and care, and I'm proud of the journey those relationships have taken.
What's been your best decision? In terms of music, the best decision I've made is to keep on doing it. People often say, "Oh, yeah, music, good on you, give it a try." And I say: "What do you mean, give it a try?". I once heard a dancer say that he was given a choice in life; "dance or die". What he meant, in a roundabout way, was that for him a life without dance was not a life at all. He was dance; dance was him. If he were not free to dance, he would feel like a shadow, not a full person. I feel the same way about making music. So my best decision is made for me already in a way.
Who inspires you? Musically? I guess recently I've been quite inspired by the people I see while I work. Sometimes I watch people while I'm serving food, and it's quite good to observe. It's entertaining watching people interact in social situations. You get a sense of social dynamics, anxiety, class, money, attraction, power, all of that kind of thing. That can make for good songwriting fodder. Sometimes after a shift working for the chef I'll emerge from the kitchen covered in grease and looking bedraggled, and I'll walk through a gaggle of beautiful women dressed to the nines, smelling like expensive perfume and drinking champagne. It's very jarring; those things that might fill you with status anxiety or awkwardness; I find that sort of thing great for writing songs. Of course, the person who breaks your heart is usually the individual responsible for most of your creative output. The trick is to just keep going for people who are completely selfish, immature, aloof, none-committal or volatile. That way you'll never run out of songs.
What are you passionate about? My earliest passion was drawing. Then it became acting. Then writing. Then music. You know, all those really solid, profitable, pursuits.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? There are no shortcuts when it comes to learning lessons. And also that at no point do the lessons stop coming. And some of those are very painful ones to have to learn!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The first ape who stood upright. Can you imagine that? That ape is responsible for a whole lot. If you told her/him, she'd probably crawl back into the swamp just to avoid the sense of responsibility.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Do I only get the one? Because there's a fair backlog. Apparently they take much longer to achieve than one might initially consider. I guess I'd like to make a cent; preferably without having to compromise any more than the usual required set of personal standards/morals/relationships.
What are you reading? I just finished reading The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Really loved it. While reading it, you get a sense that your role, the author's role, and that of the main character, is all being blurred. It felt kind of mind expanding. You really have to hand yourself over to the writer and just trust that he's taking good care of you; which he is luckily, because Auster is a master craftsman, and is very respectful of the reader. The respect is returned, Mister Auster.
images andy bull