2012 Artist Survey Bonus Answers: Egyptian Hip Hop
Nick Delap, Alex Hewett, Alex Pierce, and Louis Stevenson-Miller Reflect on the Last Year
Feb 27, 2013
For Under the Radar's 10th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2012.
Pick up the print version of the Best of 2012 issue to read responses from the following artists: Alt-J, Fred Armisen, Bear in Heaven, Camera Obscura, Chad Valley, Charli XCX, Choir of Young Believers, Clinic, CSS, Dan Deacon, Desaparecidos, Django Django, Efterklang, Egyptian Hip Hop, El Perro Del Mar, Grimes, Halls, Richard Hawley, Hercules and Love Affair, Ladytron, Liars, Lord Huron, Lower Dens, Mount Eerie, My Morning Jacket, The Mynabirds, The New Pornographers, of Montreal, Peaking Lights, Porcelain Raft, Laetitia Sadier, Tame Impala, Tegan and Sara, and Telekinesis.
Then download the digital version of the Best of 2012 issue to read all those surveys, as well as bonus responses from the following artists: !!!, Clare and the Reasons, Codeine, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Esben and the Witch, The Fresh & Onlys, Get People, Islands, Kwes, Lost in the Trees, NZCA/LINES, OFF!, Plants and Animals, Still Corners, Violens, Xiu Xiu, Young Dreams, and Zambri.
We are also posting additional web-exclusive bonus answers to the website. These are from artists whose surveys are in the print magazine, but are extra answers that didn't fit in the issue. Here are bonus answers from Egyptian Hip Hop and pick up the Best of 2012 issue to read the rest of their answers.
What was the highlight of 2012 for either you personally or for the band?
Alex Hewett and Alex Pierce: I think definitely getting such a great reaction to our record coming out. We had no idea whether we would be deemed has-beens or whether people would welcome it. To our surprise, people were very receptive of it, which we really didn't expect. We went through a lot to get this record out, so it's really nice for us to have some reward for that effort. Also we gained the best manager the world has to offer. Sofia Karchi. She has helped us a lot.
What was the low point of 2012 for you?
Alex Pierce: Probably when we found out we couldn't swim in the sea on our last day in Tunisia (where we played our first gig in a year, at the first festival they had since the political upheaval which occurred there recently), due to high winds. That sucked.
What are your hopes and plans for 2013?
Alex Hewett: We're touring Europe in early spring, and hopefully we'll have another record out! We're starting to write new stuff now, so fingers crossed.
What are your thoughts on the 2012 U.S. presidential election?
Nick Delap: I'm glad Obama won. The prospect of a Republican America sort of scared me. The amount of votes they got scared me too. They seem to let faith decide too many things. I'm glad that the possibility of war with Iran is smaller thanks to the Democrats and I'm glad Obamacare will continue to be implemented. I don't reckon much else is going to change in the next four years but I'm glad the party that represents most American people's best interests won.
Steve Albini criticized Amanda Palmer for recruiting musicians to play in her backing band for free. Was he right to do this and was Palmer right to change her mind and pay her musicians?
Alex Pierce: I can definitely understand his viewpoint, especially considering the kind of musicians she was seeking out. Though ultimately I guess it's the personal decision of any musician who wants to be involved.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
Alex Pierce: We've befriended two Japanese girls who happened to be at our Manchester show. That's a nice thing.
Tell us about your first kiss.
Alex Hewett: Over too soon...
Would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Explain.
Nick: Depends whether they're 28 Days Later-style zombies or slow Dawn of the Dead zombies. Slow: Make friends with Leon S. Kennedy and go to Fort Yongo (our rehearsal space/Hewett's house in Pendleton Salford). Due to the rough area all the windows are barred super securely and there's no way in unless you have keys. We can all chill there and be cool. Fast: Completely fucked-everyone will die.
In your opinion, what artist represents the cutting edge in music today? Who is doing something that no one else is doing?
Alex Pierce: I think due to the Internet there's very, very few people who aren't influenced in some way by something that has either been before or is happening now. Saying that, however, Lucky Dragons continue to be one of the most forward-thinking and unique acts out there. Has anyone else ever played an incredibly melodic gig that is simultaneously a bonding experience in which the only instruments are rocks, wires, and audience members' hands?
Alex Hewett and Louis Stevenson-Miller: Connan Mockasin most definitely.
What should musicians do, if anything, to support Pussy Riot?
Alex Pierce: Despite this being covered extensively in the press, I've not paid too much attention to it but I do know that they are clearly the face of a problem which extends way beyond their own situation, so I think focusing solely on Pussy Riot is not necessarily the best thing to do.
If you believe in an afterlife, who do you most hope to see when you die?
Alex Hewett: Beefheart, Harry Partch, and Arthur Russell having a jam.
What's the best advice you've ever been given about the music industry and who gave it to you?
Louis: "The music industry is one of the grossest and most disgusting business in the world, don't trust anybody except yourselves boys." - French accent, our manager Sofia.
What is your least favorite sound? What is your favorite?
Alex Pierce: Probably the hum of a badly earthed circuit while trying to record. Favorite sound is probably Jon Hassell's trumpet.
Do you believe in monogamy? Explain.
Alex Hewett: It's difficult to say whether polygamy is right or wrong, but I find it hard to believe that a human being has enough room in their heart and in their head to be in love with more than one person. I certainly don't. Once you have what you need in infinite supply why look elsewhere?
Arrested Development is returning. Which other canceled TV show would you like to see return?
Alex Pierce: JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM.
The music industry has gone through massive changes in the last decade, mainly due to the Internet. What changes do you predict will happen to the music industry in the next decade?
Alex Pierce: The industry is, always has been, and probably always will be an ugly thing. For a musician, the worst thing to do is to get caught up in caring about it, because it is the antithesis of what music should be about. I hope for more independent labels, musicians, and gigs, and the epic downfall of controlling, evil major labels. If any musician tells you different, I feel bad for them.