Now that Mothboy's third album, "Bunny" is out and available, we thought it might be interesting to sit down with Simon Smerdon, the musician behind this project, and speak to him about his releases, his decision to stop Mothboy after this album, his guest, tastes and future endeavours. Click below for a short interview with Mothboy, enriched with some audio excerps from all of his albums.
1. We now all know that your third full length album, "Bunny", is also the final one you will release under this name. What exactly led to this decision, and is the mothboy ever going to make a comeback? Mothboy might come back but I think the reality is that it won't... I set Mothboy out to be pretty much non-genre specific and said each release would encompass various different styles and ideas which I enjoy to make. However, to keep this up for every release on a limited budget is proving harder and harder. I think its run its course aswell, I've made 3 albums and 2 ep's etc etc of eclectic material and thats enough for me (as Mothboy anyway). I think there is is still the odd remix or track or two still coming out in the next few months but apart from that there is no more tracks being made as Mothboy... "Bunny" and "Deviance" are my proudest acheivements and I don't think I can top them... Plus, I am 35 now, I can't call myself a "boy" anymore :)
2. One of the constant elements to be found on "The Fears", "Deviance" and "Bunny" are the participations by Akira The Don. Can you tell to the uninformed reader who this musician is, and how he came to be featured on all of your albums? I've known Akira for a long time, back since he was a journalist for a now-defunct music magazine called Playlouder (he was known as Adam Alphabet back then). He was in a Hip-Hop crew called Crack Village. Inititally I don't think we saw eye-to-eye, but I got invited to play some shows with them, remixed them and even got Adam to turn up to rap at shows for me. He started to become noticed after he got signed (for a short time) to Interscope and by that time he was already going to be on "The Fears". He supported Mothboy from the word go almost. NOT having him on a Mothboy album wouldn't feel right. Plus I got 3 excellent tracks out of him (4 if you include the very rare "the illustrated" with Cibelle). He's like liquid with words, its a joy to make tracks around his stuff.
"I Can See Cities (with Akira The Don)", taken from "Deviance"
3. Let's speak of your other guests on "Bunny". You have some pretty high profile ones, such as Martin Carr (of The Boo Radleys) and Ted Parsons (of Swans and Godflesh fame), as well as some people who are less well known. Can you tell us how you got to work with the first, and give us more details about the later? Martin I met through Akira who gave him some of my stuff. On the back of that he asked me to do a session he was doing for BBC Radio 1 with him alongside other people like Shitmat, Ladyscraper etc and I agreed. The first 3 Boo Radley's albums we're quite influential on me growing up. He asked me to remix "Pontcanna Stone", it didn't get released, as it was completely different from the original I asked whether I could use it for "Bunny". Ted is a slightly different story, I was asked by him to do a remix for his N.I.C project, he said if I ever needed anything in return then to ask... so I did. Getting Ted was a massive thing for me as I loved Swans, Prong etc such a great drummer. I stuck him on loose funk / jazz jams on "Bunny" though haha. With regards to all the other guests who probably aren't as well known, it basically follows the same thing... They all do music that I really really like Sezrah is such a unique vocalist and has a great idea of melody regardless of genre. Dave Madden knows how to manipulate the tiniest of sounds really well, I've known Robert for some time now and think he has such a genuine expression vocally, actually I've wanted to get a release with him on for a good ten or so years now, he currently plays with Misty Roses who are superb. Gus I've known since I was 19 and is still the best sax player I know, he's also on all the Mothboy albums, I've known him since the punk days. Both Suzi C and Paul Gannaway play in Cut-Out / Bug-hunt and I love what they do, Suzi only gets chopped up on 'You / Me' on "Bunny" but its makes a good track even better... Paul can drone forever with his guitar so I always wanted him to be on the end track.. Both of them appear on "Deviance" aswell.. Suzi sings on "Outside" on that album. Paul actually did a really good cut-out remix of that track but I can't seem to find it which is a shame as I think people should hear that. But anyway, Mothboy was always going to have guests on albums .. that was part of the plan.
"Version 2 (Pontcanna Stone) (with Martin Carr)", taken from "Bunny"
4. You were writing bass heavy, low tempo music when Skream was still in his crib, but have never embraced the dubstep craze. What's your take on this now ominous genre? Watering-down of good ideas, or finally the recognition that good music doesn't have to be fast and hectic? ahhh Dubstep! I should love it shouldn't I... slow beats, bass, nothing fancy... however, I like some of it but not so much the wobble, bro-step, clunky slow rnb influenced stuff... the warmer 2-step, House, Detroit influenced stuff interests me a lot more like Martyn, Applepips... that sort of thing... Also people who switch up the beats like Ramadanman.. But the majority of it leaves me very very cold.
5. Mandatory closing question: since the Mothboy chapter is allegedly closed, what is going to follow it? At the moment I am working on some minimal beat, house, bass influenced stuff with a vocalist called Brian Greene from Kinnego Flux. Something quit warm and stripped back, there is one track up on my soundcloud page called "whisper echo"... the project doesn't have a title yet.
Mothboy's "Whisper echo" (feat. Brian Greene)
I have just finished my parts for a project called Gator Bait Ten which is myself, Mark Filip, Kurt Gluck and Ted Parsons, kind of sounds like a knife fight between Swans, My Bloody Valentine and Lustmord .. Doom-Gaze I guess. Then I will take stock and see what I wan't to do further... I'm quite excited about whats around the corner as I don't know what it is yet.
Mothboy is going to be swimming 22 miles for charity to raise money for Aspire. Please see this link for more info www.justgiving.com/sjsmerdon