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Arab Strap

2005 Year-End Artist Survey

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive
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Malcolm Middleton

Arab Strap

Top Ten Albums of 2005

Sorry, this question is presuming I actually listened to 10 new albums this year. I'll try my best:

1. Stevie Nicks: Bella Donna - I've just discovered her after passionately ignoring her all my life. A great voice and great songs.
2. King Creosote: KC Rules OK - Kenny from Fence Records AKA the King. Combining Scottish folk with Northern English pop via The Earlies, who are his backing band for this record.
3. Martha Wainwright: Martha Wainwright - The most talented one in the family I think.
4. Jackson C. Frank: Blues Run The Game
5.Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering
6. Iron and Wine: Woman King EP
7. Coldplay: X&Y
8. Regina Spektor: Soviet Kitsch
9. Iron Maiden: Somewhere In Time
10. Stars: Set Yourself On Fire

What was the highlight of 2005 for either you personally or for the band?

Releasing and touring my solo album Into The Woods.

What was the low point of 2005 for you?

Didn't really have any personal low points this year. Shame about the world going to ruin though.

What are your hopes and plans for 2006?

To find out more stuff about life ya know, etc. And to carry on making mistakes to learn from.

If you could drop a copy of one album in the mailbox of every American citizen, what album would it be?

Pat Benatar: Tropico

Will the iPod, and its ability to combine all genres and its emphasis on individual songs, render the album format irrelevant?

Yes, of course. I've stopped downloading music and don't accept free CDs anymore because it does impair my enjoyment of music. Stupid I know, but for me it's true.

With Kate Bush, Gang of Four, Ray Davies, Scott Walker, and others issuing new releases, what icon needs to return and make another album?


With the mainstream success of artists like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, The White Stripes, and Franz Ferdinand, has the meaning of “indie rock” shifted? Has the term lost all meaning?

The term lost it's meaning at the start of the ‘90s. All the above bands are mainstream and commercial in my opinion. “Indie” is very marketable these days.

If you couldn't be a musician, what other profession do you think that you'd enjoy and why?

I'd be an Egyptologist or study theology or be a lumberjack or a spaceman or a factory worker or a writer. Or, I dunno.

If you could travel through time, where and when would you go and why?

I'd go to the place and time where someone finds ‘the Answer’ and figures out what this is all about.

Do you feel more or less optimistic (about music, about your personal life, about the world in general) than you did a year ago?

No, never.

Arcade Fire broke through in 2004. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Wolf Parade broke through in 2005. Who will be the “it-band” of 2006?

Arab Strap, of course.

If you had/got to switch careers with another artist or band, who would it be and why?

I'd want to be Dave Murray from Iron Maiden circa 1980.



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