2016 Artist Survey: Justin Lockey of Minor Victories and Editors | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2016 Artist Survey: Justin Lockey of Minor Victories and Editors

Lockey on Trump, Brexit, Scary Movies, and Friends

Feb 23, 2017 Artist Surveys 2016 Bookmark and Share

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For Under the Radar‘s 14th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2016. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2016 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Justin Lockey of Minor Victories and Editors.

Minor Victories is a supergroup featuring Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Editors’ Justin Lockey, and Hand Held Cine Club’s James Lockey. In 2016 the band released their self-titled debut album via Fat Possum. The band also released another album in 2016, Orchestral Variations, that was an instrumental reinterpretation of their self-titled debut. Editors’ most recent album, In Dream, came out in 2015 via Play It Again Sam.

For our annual Artist Surveys we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about Trump and the election, 2016’s deaths, self-driving cars, Stranger Things, first kisses, scary movies they shouldn’t have seen as a child, which Friends character they are most like, and much more.

Pick up or download Under the Radar’s Best of 2016 / 15th Anniversary Issue for Artist Survey interviews with Amber Arcades, Austra, Faris Badwan of Cat’s Eyes and The Horrors, Boxed In, Caveman, The Charlatans, Cursive, Lucy Dacus, The Dears, C Duncan, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13 and Speedy Ortiz, Dutch Uncles, Ezra Furman, Robyn Hitchcock, The Invisible, Justin Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories, Lost Under Heaven (LUH), Lush, Midlake, Phantogram, The Range, Springtime Carnivore, Sunflower Bean, Surfer Blood, TEEN, The Thermals, Nick Valensi of CRX and The Strokes, Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak, and Yuck.

A shorter version of Justin Lockey’s survey appeared in the print version of Under the Radar’s Best of 2016 / 15th Anniversary Issue, this is the full unedited version.

Top 10 Albums 2016

1. Angel Olsen: MY WOMAN
2. A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
3. ANOHNI: Hopelessness
4. Lanterns on the Lake: Live With the Royal Northern Sinfonia
5. Agnes Obel: Citizen of Glass
6. Emma Pollock: In Search of Harperfield
7. Mogwai: Atomic
8. School of Seven Bells: SVIIB
9. American Football: American Football
10. Lisa Hannigan: At Swim

2016 was regarded by many as a fairly tough and negative year. Was it also a hard year for you personally? If so, how? And also what were the high points for you?

Surely every year could be tough and negative depending on your viewpoint? 2016 wasn’t all that hard a year for me personally. I was away touring for most of it, and then when I wasn’t touring I was making records. Some utter shit happened that fucked us all though: Bowie/Brexit/Trump etc./the rise of the Alt-Right fucking jabbering incoherent side of society. High points: Being busy, and hanging out with my family when not busy.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election played out?

It was utter fucking clown shoes from beginning to end.

Let’s discuss Donald Trump. What does the rise of Trump tell you about America in 2016? What concerns you most about a Trump presidency? How do you think his presidency might personally change your life? What message do you have for those who voted for Trump? What actions will you take over the course of the next four years to either protest a Trump presidency or support it?

I live in Britain where we have enough of our own problems (Brexit, a fucking Tory government, a prime minister that wasn’t even fucking elected, the rise of food banks and child poverty, the list goes on). So, the sideshow that is the American presidency kinda takes second place in my immediate thoughts. Sure the Trump/right wing machine is worrying. The fact that he was elected and the way he was elected and all the shit that went with it is pretty dire, but we also have a divided country governed by fucking morons too. I have no message for the people that voted Trump, it was their vote, their personal choice. You chose to have a fucking lunatic narcissist as your leader so you should probably spend the next four years working out why the fuck you would do that.

What reality TV star would you have rather been elected president?

None. Reality TV and its “stars” are the most vapid form of “entertainment” that has ever existed. I’d rather you just gave the presidency to a box of cereal or a lamp or a goat. That would at least signify some kind of social progression in your country.

If you were president, what would you try to accomplish in your first 100 days in office?

I would make every elected official across the board spend 100 days in their representative constituencies with the actual people who voted them in and listen to what they actually wanted.

What are your thoughts on Brexit and the future of the European Union? To what extent do you think the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump were motivated by the same factors?

Brexit is a fucking disgrace. I guess there are parallels between this fuck up and the American fuck up. Both are mass movements against the status quo of modern politics. I do, however, think that shaking up things in this kind of way is much like shooting yourself in the face, as radical right wing tendencies never really work out. People should maybe read more about the last time the right rose up to power in politics.

We lost three highly influential music icons in 2016. What are your thoughts on the passing of David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen? And what are your favorite albums by each artist?

They were all fucking legends in the greatest sense of the word. Their passing, in each case very sad, also highlights their brilliance and the respect and ridiculously high quality catalogue of art they produced in their respective lifetimes. Each of them changed the course of people’s cultural lives in some way shape or form.

What do you think Prince and Bowie’s afterlife project sounds like?

High-brow cosmic space funk.

Which Friends character are you most like?

The table in the coffee shop they hang out in all the time. The rest of them I give zero fucks about.

What scary movie did you see way too young as a child, how’d you end up seeing it, and does it still scare you now?

Alien. I think that’s where my fear of spiders comes from. (Face huggers.)

Are you ready for self-driving cars and a more automated future?

Not really. I really like driving and don’t really want a computer driving for me. What’s the fucking point of that?

Under the Radar has been around for 15 years now, since December 2001. How do you feel the music industry has most changed in that time, both for the better and the worst?

It’s equally turning into a place where A.) There are no rules and anyone can do what they want and get music to anywhere they want without signing their souls away. I like that aspect, a punk-esque, anything goes, do what the fuck you want kind of attitude. B.) A pastime hobby for rich kids who don’t need tour support, who don’t have to scrape every penny to buy instruments, make rent every month etc. etc.

If you have kids or plan to have kids one day, will you encourage them to be a musician or artist or would you prefer they get a more stable job?

I would not encourage them either way. It’s their choice, their path, I can only support them in their interests and in what they wanna do.

What’s usually the biggest stumbling block to your happiness?

Answering really long surveys!

What celebrity, musician, or historical figure, living or dead, would you most want to be stuck in an elevator with?

None, celebrity is my least favorite category of human or animal.

What band, besides your own, has the best name?

Anal Cunt.

What’s the most vivid dream or nightmare you had in 2016?

I had this one where…actually forget it it’s boring.

What VHS tape or DVD did you wear out growing up?

Public Domain by Powell Peralta.

What problem in the music industry isn’t discussed enough and which one is over-covered?

There are too many to choose one. I’ll start with Drake and work backwards from there.

What song, past or present, best sums up 2016?

Any Drake song.



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