2013 Artist Survey: East India Youth

William Doyle on Lou Reed, Spotify, Ziggy Stardust, His Favorite Word, and More

Feb 04, 2014 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 11th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the important issues of the last year, as well as some quirkier subjects. Check out our next print issue and digital issue for surveys from My Morning Jacket, Foals, Amanda Palmer, Local Natives, Wild Nothing, These New Puritans, Lanterns on the Lake, Xiu Xiu, and Summer Camp.

Here are answers from England's East India Youth (aka William Doyle). East India Youth's debut album, Total Strife Forever, was released last month on Stolen/[PIAS] America.

Top 10 Albums of 2013

1. These New Puritans: Field of Reeds
2. Jon Hopkins: Immunity
3. Grumbling Fur: Glynnaestra
4. Julia Holter: Loud City Song
5. James Holden: The Inheritors
6. Factory Floor: Factory Floor
7. Teeth of the Sea: MASTER
8. L. Pierre: The Island Come True
9. Laurel Halo: Chance of Rain
10. The Flaming Lips: The Terror

What was the highlight of 2013, either for you personally or for the band?

Finally finishing the mix of the album. Ready for it to be released. It was a big weight lifted off my shoulders and was a long time coming.

What was the low point of 2013 for you?

Carrying my inordinately bulky keyboard case and my heavy bass case on trains in the Netherlands, having not slept for 30 hours, and not going to sleep for at least another 12 hours after that.

What are your hopes and plans for 2014?

That I make it through the year alive and unscathed and I get to start work on my next record.

What are your thoughts on the passing of Lou Reed? Did his music influence you at all and in what way?

I remember watching a documentary on Transformer about seven or eight years ago and that really opened up some doors for me. Just the way that album was made and how Lou approached songwriting. Obviously The Velvets were a massive wake up call for me when I first heard them. To be quite honest, though, I hadn't really seriously listened to anything past New York as I kind of lost interest in him as a current artist. But his contribution in the '60s and '70s is one that I think anyone who creates art will have been affected by, either directly or indirectly.

What are your thoughts on music streaming services such as Spotify and Rdio? Are they good or bad for musicians?

I cannot be too hypocritical here as I use Spotify myself on occasion. It can be a useful tool. I remember a few summers ago when Spotify was brand new and I was young and I had no money, I delved into it and discovered the wider catalogues of some of the most influential bands and obscure artists out there. It helped me become a better music fan who later went on to buy music both digitally and physically on a heavily regular basis, and it made me a better artist for having a wider breadth of musical knowledge. I'm not saying that this is the only way, but it really worked for me at the time. There's plenty of issues with people not being paid for their work, which I really sympathize with. But the truth is not many people are making money from record sales at the moment anyway and we're still adjusting to new technology and what the implications are for artists to be paid fairly. I think it's important to debate and to adjust the parameters of these technologies to better fit the artist and their audience rather than to outright decide whether they are bad or good services. It's not a black and white issue.

Who was the first person to break your heart? Whose heart did you first break?

I'm not prepared to give names out so easily. It seems like an odd thing to approach with a humorous detachment.

What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?

Physical education.

Do bad reviews bother you and which negative review has affected you the most?

They can be useful things to make you ask really serious questions about your work. I can't think of any in particular aimed at me or my work at the moment but they're as important as the good reviews in my mind. Just don't take either too damned seriously and you'll be just fine.

What moment in history do you most wish you could've witnessed in person?

Maybe the final Ziggy Stardust concert? I'm mostly happy to leave history as it happened and I have no real longing to be in a previous time. I'm more interested in what important moments in the future I will be witnessing.

What is your favorite word and why?

"Hiraeth"it's a Welsh word with no direct English translation. A definition would be a homesickness tinged with sadness or grief over the lost and departed. A melancholic yearning and nostalgia for the homeland of your past.

www.soundcloud.com/east-india-youth



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