“My favourite space to create music would have to be at home, specifically this tiny room with hardly any space in it to move. Actually, the smaller the room the better the feeling of being creative! Big studios are kind of odd to record in and any experience I’ve had of them has certainly dismantled the idea of being creative. One of the best things I ever bought was an IAUDIO (mp3 voice recorder). After a good feed and having just watched a classic Woody Allen movie, usually I pick up the guitar and play a few silly riffs, then I quickly land on something I like. Years ago I’d be stuck on where to record it, but now I have the IAUDIO always by my side and it’s able to capture the moment instantly. This impulsive way of being creative works best for me.
The room where I record in is full of midi keyboards, cupboards, George Bush masks, synths, six guitars, microphones, a sauce pan, keyboard stands, mic stands, prison uniforms, a drum kit stocked up at the side, trumpets, gorilla puppets, triangles, melodicas, xylophones, slippers, underwear, trousers, harmonicas, spoons, jumpers, socks, speakers, laptop, scrabble, an old wooden chair, a green screen, two amps, tons of percussive instruments and a microwave just in case i get peckish. What I’m trying to say is that it’s tiny, with too much stuff in it! That’s why it’s perfect.
The most important thing to have in this space, apart from the instruments and sound recording gear, is time itself. Having time to relax and go at my own pace is very important. During the recording of my debut album Pleasant Square, I quickly began to spend more and more time in this little room. In the beginning stages of recording the album, I did quite a bit of recording in my engineer’s studio, but soon realised that by being able to record myself, it easily created musical moments that would have been impossible to capture in a normal studio recording setting. So not only was this the place where I chilled out and wrote alot of songs, but it ended up being the room where I recorded most of my first album. Hence, many hours crammed into it.
In regards to writing material, I personally feel there is no schedule for when you write. Maybe some people do that and it works for them, but I never ever think too hard on what I’m going to write about and when I’m going to write it. For example, I use to write a lot of lyrics down, but in the last year or so – usually when I get hooked on a melody for a couple of days and decide to have a go at recording it – the lyrics are the final step in completing the tune. In other words, the free associative method (recording lyrics on the spot) of writing lyrics works perfectly for me. You’ll be happy to know that this method of writing saves on the amount of paper being used.
Working alone is a wonderful environment when being creative. Having said that, some of my fondest memories of being creative are of times when I jammed ’til all hours in the morning with close friends. It’s not about being isolated or surrounded by lots of people. I feel a creative mind is a mind that feels comfortable with oneself in whatever environment they may be in. I could be stuck in a lift for hours and it might be the perfect place to write, yet I could be in a room full of every musical instrument you can imagine and not feel creative simply because I’m not feeling comfortable in my own skin. That’s just me.
Overall, what I like most about my own space is that it has helped me complete the biggest challenge in my life so far, the completion of my first album. Within the four walls of this tiny room, there was a period of time where I didn’t worry about what people thought of me or what they have to say about my music. What was beautiful about recording my album in the room, was that I was very much myself in my own little world.”
Robotnik released the very catchy single ‘People Walk Away’ (video link in this post) in April, ahead of the release of his debut album Pleasant Square tomorrow, May 9th. He plays Upstairs @ Whelan’s on Saturday May 10th. Tickets are €15 and on sale from the WaV box office now. For more information, gig dates and tracks, visit www.myspace.com/robotnik.