Derbyshire’s not known for its thriving music scene, but Derbyshire native Grawl!x is bringing a psych-indie sound which just might put it on the map, next to the likes of Haiku Salut. We caught up with the man himself – James Machin - about his life and latest album, Aye!
Hiya, how are you doing?
I'm just bloomin crackin', thank you for asking.
What’s going on in the world of Grawl!x?
Oh y' know, the usual. Making a video at the moment in preparation for me album 'Aye' what comes out on the 28th of May.
How do you describe your sound?
Ambient, electronic, acoustic, pop, crazy-fun-hug-times.
What was it like making your new album, Aye!?
It was lots of fun. Recording were a mite sporadic but that just made it all the more special when we were doing it. The first one we made ('Good Grief') was quite the case of finding our proverbial feet; so there a was bit more time to just get on with the music 'n such.
How did you go about collaborating with Haiku Salut on Aye!?
I've known them lovely ladies for many a year now & we're always helping each other out one way or another. Personally, it's just an excuse to see their lovely faces.
I’ve read that the album concept is influenced by the Kubler-Ross model of dealing with grief – can you explain this a bit?
Well the Kubler-Ross model seperates dealing with grief into 5 seperate stages (as demostrated in many a sitcom). Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Having done the mininal amount of reading on the subject, I found it to be quite fitting with this & the last record. In particular putting 'Aye' under the bracket of acceptance.
You toured with your band, playing in churches across the UK…are you religious?
As it goes, I happen to be an atheist. This thankfully doesn't preclude me from enjoying the eerie splendour of a good church. Hopefully museums will start being a bit more partial to putting gigs on some day. Who knows?
Did you grow up in Derbyshire or move there? What’s the music scene like there?
Born & bred as they say, I'm afraid. Fortunately, the music is bloomin’ crackin’. Off the peak 'a me cranium, I'd recommend the aforementioned Haiku Salut, Mallard the Wonderdog, Pet Crow, Richard J. Birkin & Scribble Victory.
What should fans of Grawl!x listen to?
Whatever takes their fancy. Just kidding. Um...Grouper, Panda Bear, TIny Vipers, Julianna Barwick, Arvo Part, Andy Stott. Not that we're in the same league of course. They just good.
Can you recommend any up and coming music talent?
How come you went with ‘Grawl!x’ as your name?
Partial to the occasional illustration as I am, I found it in a glossary of cartoonist terminology. It refers to the $#!%^&* you get in comics when somebodies swearing. This inference of suppressed rage seemed appropriate somehow. The exclamation mark was just for kicks. I thought an @ would be taking it too far.
What’s an album that changed your life?
Grouper - Ruins
What’s coming up for Grawl!x?
After we pop out 'Aye' it's straight onto the third album in the Grawl!x oeuvre if you will.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
Chocolate chip Hobnobs, an umbrella & map back.
If you were an ice cream, which flavour would you be?
Astronaut. (This exists)
Name one track or band that you think we should be looking out for in the future.
Next Tiny Vipers record.
Grawl!x is on Facebook and Twitter.