2014 Artist Survey: Coves | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2014 Artist Survey: Coves

John Ridgard on Ebola, Selling Out, the First Albums He Bought, and His Worst Haircut

Jan 14, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For Under the Radar’s 12th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2014. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2014 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions.

Check out our Best of 2014 print and digital issues for answers from alt-J, Camera Obscura, Chromeo, The Dears, Death From Above 1979, Deerhoof, The Drums, The Flaming Lips, Glass Animals, Hookworms, Sondre Lerche, of Montreal, Ought, Owen Pallett, The Rosebuds, Strand of Oaks, Teleman, Sharon Van Etten, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Woman’s Hour, Wye Oak, Zola Jesus, and others.

Here are some answers from John Ridgard of Coves.

Top 10 Albums of 2014

1. Thee Oh Sees: Drop

2. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard: Oddments

3. The Soundcarriers: End Tropicala

4. Panes: Panes

5. Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence

6. Angel Olsen: Burn Your Fire For No Witness

7. The Raveonettes: Pe’ahi

8. Warpaint: Warpaint

9. Iceage: Plowing Into the Field of Love

10. Mazes: Wooden Aquarium

What was the highlight of 2014 for either you personally or for the band?

Our first trip to the U.S. supporting The Raveonettes.

What was the low point of 2014 for you?

There was no low point. It was a good year.

What are your hopes and plans for 2014?

To lose my mind making album two.

U2’s new album was downloaded for free into millions of users’ iTunes accounts without their permission. Was it a wonderful gift to music fans or an invasive action that devalues music? Also, which artist, other than you, deserves to have their album automatically downloaded to half a billion people more than U2?

It was the most horribly egotistic thing any musician has done in my eyes, tantamount to a painter entering your home and putting his artwork up without asking. Absolute bullshit.

Did you take part in the ice bucket challenge? If not, why not? Grimes declined due to animal testing issues, was the grief she got for that deserved?

Nope. And no one asked me to. Is that because my friends think I am too cynical to do something like that? Good, ‘cause I am. That already well-funded charity earned billions from all the idiots trying to grab their 10 seconds of fame on the Internet, and all the while there are various heavily underfunded charities trying to help deal with the effects of the Ebola epidemic.

The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri opened up a new national dialogue on police shootings and racism in America. Do you think anything will actually change because of it?

Every generation learns from the last, and I think humanity has come a long, long way in the last hundred years. That’s why you might hear your grandfather saying something so completely unacceptable by today’s standards. Unfortunately, it takes sad stories like this to keep chipping away at the block. But yes, I think it does change things.

What’s your craziest theory for what happened to the missing Malaysian Air flight?

I don’t know, I don’t really go with crazy theories. I will ask my mum and report back; she usually comes up with the most bizarre theories as to why these things happen.

Which common criticism of your music do you most agree with?

We have been lucky that I haven’t seen a negative review. Whatever it is, I will probably agree with it, quit music, and do something useful.

What’s the most uplifting or heartwarming fan interaction you’ve ever had?

All of the U.S. ones. It’s amazing playing to people that don’t have our English cynicismpeople actually want to talk to you after the show over there!

What’s the topic no one asks you about in interviews that you wish they would? Conversely, if you could get journalists to stop asking you one question, which would it be?

I love talking about terrible music equipment.

Who from your youth (such as a former bully, an unrequited love) do you most hope pays attention to the fact that you’re now a successful musician?

I should answer that when I am a successful musician, but I think it will be no one, I’m not bitter. I guess I would like my college music lecturers to know as they were really ace and I would like to think that they succeeded with me a bit.

What was the first album you bought and do you still enjoy listening to it now?

My first albums were Chas & Dave: Greatest Hits, Queen: Greatest Hits I, Motorhead: Best Of. It’s a no to all.

Which subject do you wish you paid more attention to in school?

All of them. I totally dreamed my way through school and took away nothing. I can hardly remember it, to be honest. I put this down to the depressing, monotonous, read-from-a-textbook teachers. Uninspiring.

Both Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman died in 2014. Did either death deeply affect you and do you find it strange to grieve for a stranger? Which celebrity’s death in your lifetime has most affected you?

I’m not really able to assign too many emotions to people I don’t know personally. If they took away the music or the film or the artwork forever, that would be sad, but the part of that person that I know will remain on the Earth for as long as we do.

What responsibility does the international community have to help the African nations dealing with the Ebola outbreak?

Surely as much as the country that it is happening in. Its spread is inevitable. Waiting for it and doing nothing is probably a bit like lying in the middle of an empty road waiting for a bus.

Which well-known filmmaker would you most like to direct one of your music videos?

Wes Anderson. All that color.

More and more big artists are putting out surprise albums (Thom Yorke, Beyoncé, U2) with little to no advance warning. Does this make it harder for more medium-sized artists to compete, ones who abide by more traditional announcement, promotion, and release patterns?

I love it. I think record labels and PR companies strangle the release of albums these days with month-long lead times, streams of tracks, giveaways, syncing… By the time the album comes out, everyone owns so much of it that they are no longer interested.

Given the choice, would you like to be immortal?

Yes, I like being alive. It’s Okay.

What was your most disastrous haircut experience?

I once let my friend dye my hair with one of those caps with holes in. I looked like a leopard afterwards.

In which instance did you most sell out and compromise your music?

We have both just left our jobs to do this full time. We are skint. We haven’t even touched on how far we would go!

What quirky piece of band merchandise would you most like to produce for sale to your fans?

Our U.S. label made some paperweights of us. I don’t think you can get weirder than a paperweight in our digital age of air-conditioned offices.

Do you ever long for the days before the Internet and cell phones? If so, what do you think has been the worst side effect of those technologies?

No, I love technology.

Which 2014 song most got on your nerves?

“Happy” by Pharrell. PLEASE!!



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July 14th 2016

I wish you the best of luck! I say this because I’ve been there and am heading back again when Andrew heads off to school (in 4 ye&7v;).Wea#821r;se had to cancel all weekend activities for the rest of the summer because our oldest starts band camp on Monday and that’s all week from 9am – 9pm with 2 2 hr breaks. And of course the games start before school starts and as a member of the bad she is required to be there (it affects her grade).From there it’s nothing but school, sports, school clubs, and field trips of us!