16th Annual Artist Survey: Robyn Hitchcock | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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16th Annual Artist Survey: Robyn Hitchcock

Hitchcock on Democratic Socialism, Kanye West and Trump, Family Vacations, and the Title of His Autobiography

Jan 21, 2019 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar‘s 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Robyn Hitchcock.

The longtime British singer/songwriter’s most recent album was 2017’s self-titled album, released on Yep Roc. Robyn Hitchcock was his 21st studio album, but his first self-titled one. His debut solo album, Black Snake Diamond Röle, was released way back in 1981. But, of course, before that he was in the 1970s psych-rock band The Soft Boys.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. midterm elections have played out? What do you think the results mean for the Democrats’ chances of taking back the White House in 2020?

Let’s hope, let’s pray, let’s envisage that the Democrats take the White House back and keep it forever. Trump will crumble eventually, but what he represents will be harder to purge. If the Democrats pick a cartoon character, Americans will find them easier to identify with than a candidate with a complex message.

Despite compelling testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and sexual assault allegations from other women, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court Justice and many Republican women didn’t believe Ford’s story. What does this tell you about the general state of the #MeToo movement in 2018?

“Republican” and “women,” funny to hear those words still together. Not even funny really…

Are you less of a fan of Kanye West now that he’s visited the White House and has in other ways supported President Trump?

A biopsy may reveal that they have a similar cell-structure. There are creatures out there that we just don’t understand. Sometimes they appear in the mirror, enlarged.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

Free and comprehensive medical and psychological healthcare would be a good start.

In 2018 there were more dire predictions about climate change and we witnessed some of its likely effects firsthand with various deadly storms and forest fires. What should touring musicians be doing to better offset their carbon footprint? How bad do you think it needs to get for governments and corporations to take stronger actions to fight climate change?

Children can see it already. For the adult powers that be, it will take the drowning of New York or San Franciscoany metropolis with a wealthy, white populationto make them change their tack. I hope I’m wrong.

Are you ready for artificial intelligence and a more automated future? Some predict that it may come sooner than we think and will lead to massive job losses.

We are trying to replace ourselves before we destroy ourselves, is how I see it. The race to artificial intelligence, the race to obliterationthey seem like the same race.

What’s your favorite birthday party memory from childhood?

I don’t remember the parties as such, but the joy of realizing when I was about nine that my birthday (early March) occurs as the sky stays light around 6 p.m. in Britain, and midwinter is truly gone.

What was your favorite family vacation as a kid? What was your least favorite?

My first visits, on aircraft, to Spain and France were so exciting. I’d wake up and think, “I’m overseas!” Now I live overseas. Britain is overseas. English seaside holidays on drizzly stony beaches in chilly wind with freezing water are not always fun, but they can be addictive.

What’s been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Surviving it.

When you die, do you think you’re going to the Good Place or the Bad Place?

The No Place.

In the Trump era do you feel that it’s a responsibility to make political music and/or speak out about political issues or do you think it’s better to provide your listeners an escape from the never-ending bad news feed?

It’s our responsibility, unless we’re indifferent to the fate of the Earth and everything that lives on it. But you gotta give the bad news plenty of breaks, or nobody will watch your channel.

With the success of candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on top of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, do you think that Democratic Socialism has a real future in America or do you think it will never be embraced by the mainstream electorate?

Fuck, I hope so. Reagan was a Democratic Socialist compared to this bunch.

Where do you stand on social media in 2018, is it uniting humanity or ruining the world? And which platform do you find most useful and which one do you think is doing the most harm?

Social media, like any stimulant, is okay as long as you’re using it, rather than it using you. It’s all part of not “being in the moment,” though. Perhaps that in turn is part of our absorption into global consciousness, as we morph into a shoal of smart phones.

Is there any item or belonging that you always take on the road with you when touring? Is it for superstitious or nostalgic reasons, or something else?

A small plastic triceratops, or a miniature trolley bus.

Which actor or actress would you most like to see play you in a biopic of your life? Who would you like to direct it? And what would the title be?

I would like to be played by the late Alan Rickman in a movie directed by the late Jonathan Demme entitled “Two-Way Fish.”

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Diary of a Limpet.


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January 22nd 2019

nice Artist