Interview with MEDUSA
Can you tell us about the band? We are a three piece rock band currently based in London, we have had a few different line ups with myself as the constant member on guitar and vocals. I view myself primarily as a songwriter at this point, as far as what my focus is.
How would you describe your sound in one sentence?
Melodic, honest, punk-styled rock with a little influence of 90’s dance music in some songs.
What is your current focus? We are currently working on the third album which will be recorded this summer. It will be called Headcase’s Handbook and I mostly now just need to write the last two songs.
Can you tell us about your previous albums and the way in which they were recorded? We released our self titled debut album in 2006, which was a very raw, quickly put together thing. At the time it felt like I had been doing Medusa for a very long time and that we would never release an album. I didn’t want to wait even longer trying to put together a perfect album. We had recently changed styles to a more 80’s rock influenced sound and I had only a couple of songs written in this style, just two but I phoned up and booked a recording studio for 5 days, for a couple of months in advance, just in time to put together a new band and write the rest of the songs. For the second album Can’t Fucking Win, I felt I wanted to spend a bit longer putting together a deeper and longer album, something which was really a well-thought-out piece of art. I met a recording engineer by chance at a rock show and he suggested that I could record the first three songs with him at his home studio and record the album in sections. As only five songs were written for it at the time, this seemed a good way to start making progress with it. It ended up taking longer to complete doing it that way because it takes longer to mix and master a couple of songs at a time than a whole set at once. That, along with waiting for studio slots and booking extra time to get the right mixes. So now we are going back to the way in which the first album was done for the new one, only with more studio time.
What are your songs about? Well, I write a lot of songs. Only the best ones that I feel will stand the test of time, get released as Medusa songs. The rest, I think of as practice songs. I feel that the best songs are about primal emotions, the most basic and extreme of human feelings. To me, that’s just what music is at its best.
What is the first step when making a new song? The title, usually. Or sometimes a part of the song that comes to me that I then assign a title to it, to expand the concept before developing it further. Titles are important in Medusa.
What is your philosophy of music and albums? To me a great album is a body of work involving an artist going to the very edge on a journey where they learn and lose things and document all this whilst simultaneously striving to master the craft of songwriting to deliver their absolute best and openly lay down their soul and their pain by writing and rewriting until they can stand by it their whole lives and know that it will stand the test of time. Anything less is light entertainment for retards.
How often do you rehearse? At the moment, every ten days to two weeks. For 3 hour rehearsals. We are only rehearsing songs for the album.
Where do you rehearse? A community centre near where I live, in London. They host dance classes and life modelling there too so it’s quite different to some of the places we’ve used as rehearsal rooms in the past!
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? I think that it’s less special which kind of decreases its value but I guess if it means you can hear more songs, you can absorb more. Each album might have less value to you because it’s not the only album you bought that month for example but if you found another couple of albums you also love, then it would be a good thing. Regarding the money side of it, I don’t think it matters because to me, music should be art and the musicians who operate things primarily like a business make me sick. In music, money is a nice bonus but I think it shouldn’t be the focus. It’s abusing the medium and in often cases being dishonest with fans. A musician’s thought when creating music should be ‘what do I feel?’, not ‘what is going to sell?’.
What got you started in music? Becoming infatuated and obsessed with certain bands, starting around age thirteen.
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