“At the moment, my musical room is the spare room in my apartment. It’s a small bedroom without a bed. There’s a river outside. The room overlooks half of Dublin from quite a height and I sometimes watch factory fires in the distance. Aeroplanes tiptoe across the sky. There’s no history to the building; it’s only a couple of years old. There used to be a factory on the site but that’s passed into oral history. Kids drink by the gate to the apartment block, slurring into their phones in the shadows that the CCTV cameras can’t reach. There’s nothing for them to do and everywhere to do it in. There are shells of men in the nooks and crannies of the industrial estate down the path, with enormous, hideous, slavering dogs. The men don’t seem to speak; I’m starting to think it’s the dogs that are dealing the drugs. But that’s down below at street level. The curtains are drawn when I work on music. They’re heavy and thick. The light is low. For monitoring, I often open the curtains and stare at the horizon. Never in daylight.
There’s a PC, a laptop, some keyboards, a Kaoss pad, some circuit bent stuff, microphones, miles of cables, a D.I. box, a guitar, some homemade filter things, pedals and some things I smashed. I need time to make music, and that’s hard to come by for me these days. Other than that, it needs to be dark and quiet. My back needs support, too – it’s on its last legs, if you’ll pardon the term. I might start working to a schedule soon. If it’s good enough for Nick Cave, it’s good enough for me. I don’t have the luxury of working on music any time I feel like it, as my job gets in the way (not that I don’t consider myself very fortunate to have a job). Much of my music is composed or recorded in manic bursts lasting a few hours. When I’m away, it’s important for me to have a recording device handy, be it a Dictaphone, a Zoom or even a phone. My brain’s deteriorated to the point where I have to record every idea that pings through my head, good or bad. I work alone but everyone’s different. A lot of the second album will be recorded in extreme isolation. It’s the only way it’ll work. It’s going to be darker, more bleak, more emotionally resonant and much more intense, so it’ll take focus and energy. I have a strong sense of place, too – not that I believe location is enough to engineer inspiration – but I’m interested to see what a change of surroundings can actually do.
More often than not, I start with one sound and start building from there. Sometimes I’ll try to recreate a melody or passage or phrase or whatever that’s already formed in my head. A lot of my stuff is made in one sitting, then embellished, simplified or restructured at a later date. At least two of the free tracks I’ve released this year were made after I woke from nightmares. This year, I’m looking into different approaches to writing and recording. Alongside the second album, I’m going to try to write and record another album in a week.
What I like most about the space is the diffusion of weak lamplight, the height of the table, the quiet and the curtains.”
In 2009 Hunter Gatherer released the acclaimed solo album, I Dreamed I Was A Footstep In The Trail Of A Murderer. He has just released a 7″ on Osaka Recordings containing Père Lachaise (A side) and Undergrowth (B side). It’s a vinyl-only release and each copy comes with an mp3 download code on the Okasa site. He plays the Co-Op, Newmarket, on Saturday September 25th as part of the Young Hearts Run Free night and the single is launched at Whelan’s on Thursday October 7th with support from Meljoann & Ilex. For more information visit www.myspace.com/huntergathererforevers.