If you’re unfamiliar with Equinox, he’s a poet, a wordsmith, and one amazing spoken word artist. We’ve actually covered him here twice, once with his song Goodbye with Dementio13, and Eights with Tundra. I had actually agreed to do a review of his new album, It’s Hard To Be Happy When Your Head Is Full Of Sin, but I’ve made an editorial decision to delay that. Instead I’m hosting his interview with you here today as a bit of a primer…an introduction, so to speak. Then tomorrow I’m going to post the full review of the new album. That gets Equinox two posts in two days AND double the exposure the he so very much deserves. I hope he’s okay with my decision! So, without further delay, I present Equinox!
For someone new to your music, what can you tell us about Equinox?
Equinox is an old dream that has taken quite some time to come true. I had ambitions to become a pop-star when I was in my teens but it soon became apparent that I couldn’t sing of play any musical instrument! Instead, the lyrics I had already written turned into poetry. A friend of mine was making an album last year and asked me to recite a poem for him to put music to, the track was Josephine from the Radio Europa album tYdBxX. It got me thinking that I could maybe do a full album so I started contacting artists to see if they would be interested in interpreting some of my words.
You’ve got a new album due out soon! Could you tell us more about it?
Yeah, it’s called It’s Hard To Be Happy When Your Head Is Full Of Sin and is released on 26 June via Recordiau Prin Records. There are fourteen tracks each with a different artist and the general subject matter is of depression from which I have suffered for all my adult life. I gave the artists free reign over the style of music they wanted to produce, I just suggested a few things along the way, and the results are staggering. It’s interesting to see how they see the poems and what music wold best suit them. The genres are very varied – ambient, experimental, pop, disco-punk, post-punk, folk, all sorts – it’s very eclectic.
What got you started in music and what kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up?
I was exposed to music very early in my life, from maybe 3 or 4 years old, via Top Of The Pops on BBC television. The music of the day was Glam Rock and I was enthralled by Gary Glitter, Slade, Sweet, Mud, Marc Bolan and Suzi Quattro who was my first crush! Music became a huge part of my life in the early 80s when synthesizer music became popular and the New Romantic scene in the UK threw up amazing artists like Depeche Mode, Human League, Visage, Blancmange, Soft Cell, almost too many to name. A look back at the Charts of the day will show just how many classic tracks were released.
I became disillusioned with music in the late 80s and my taste started to grow slightly alternative with Tackhead, Mark Stewart, Fats Comet, The The, Marc & The Mambas and I began to adore dub music too.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
I have a lot of musical influences. I’m extremely lucky to have worked with one on the album, Vince Clarke of Erasure, Depeche Mode and Yazoo. He was the first person I approached to collaborate and he said ‘Yes’ immediately, I think he’s a genius and what he did with Goodnight Vienna is amazing. There are artists on the album that I’d love to do more with too and I’m hoping they feel the same too.
I’d love to do something with Martin Gore who I have the utmost admiration for.
What is your recording process like?
From my part, it’s been quite simple. I’ve recorded my voice into a high-quality app. The rest has then been up to the musical artists via the internet
Your music collection…all digital or lots of vinyl?
Quite a mix. I grew up before the advent of digital music so I have hundreds of vinyl albums, singles and 12”s. I have lots of cds too which I prefer as I play a lot in my car, and I don’t get chance to play vinyl as I have young children who are very inquisitive! I’m not a fan of digital music to be honest, it serves a purpose and is very clever, but it is a huge advantage to artists like me who can’t afford the outlay of ‘physical’ music. That’s why we’ve made the digital version of the album very inexpensive at just £2 for fourteen tracks, we have also produced a very very limited run of cds.
What is your opinion on the current state of music?
The great thing about the internet is being able to find loads of brilliant music. I’m quite a fan of Afro-beat and World music. I enjoy listening to stuff from all over the world. There are lots of amazing artists who are just waiting to be found and some of them make some of the moist exciting music I’ve ever heard – Superhand, Chow Mwng and Radio Europa spring to mind. I also still have leanings to great pop music too so I still have a soft spot for Depeche Mode for instance. I do enjoy a well written pop song and there’s a guy called Johnno Casson (aka Snippet who is also on the album) who writes some superb songs as does Will Harris who is part of mylittlebrother. I could name many more!
It is so much easier for artists to make music now and get it out there, the internet has been fantastic for that. I’ve had radio plays and attention from Argentina, Portugal, Ukraine, all over the world via the power of email and the web.
What do you do in your down time?
Listen to lots of music and review for several music publications. I have a young family and an amazing wife so spending time with them is important. Life is very short and you must make the most of it. I like going for long walks and reflecting, sending time in the garden too. Just simple pleasures. They often provide the biggest rewards.
Any parting words or comments?
Enjoy the album and take care of everyone