2016 Artist Survey: Michael Collins of Drugdealer | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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2016 Artist Survey: Michael Collins of Drugdealer

Collins on Bowie and Prince, Scary Movies, Self-Driving Cars, the Democratic Party, and Memorable Fan Encounters

Feb 27, 2017 Web Exclusive
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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 Drugdealer, the recording project of Michael Collins. Drugdealer’s debut album, The End of Comedy, came out in 2016 on Domino imprint Weird World. The album featured the guest vocals of Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering.

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.

Top 10 Albums of 2016

1. James Ferraro: Human Story 3
2. Sheer Agony: Masterpiece
3. Eola: Dang
4. Lil Ugly Mane: Oblivion Access
5. Cakedog: Champions
6. Aldous R.H.: Sensuality
7. Mild High Club: Skiptracing
8. The Savage Young Taterbug: Shadow of Marlboro Man
9. Rhianna: Anti
10. Mndsgn: Body Wash

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

Daddy from Party Down South.

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

Pardoning all whistleblowers and investigating/disclosing intelligence openly.

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?

Bowie: Hunky Dory

Prince: The Work (demo collection)

Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen

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

Gorgeous silence.

Which Friends character are you most like?


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?

My mom let me watch all horror movies at a really young age because she knew I wanted to direct films in the future. The Shining.

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

No one is ready, but everyone will submit to it. Food will be delivered intravenously and people’s windshields will be scrolling feeds.

Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.

My childhood psychologist looked me up, said he dug the new tunes.

Tell us about your first kiss.

Every kiss is the first kiss.

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?

The music industry is a constantly changing mirror of globalization and business today.

Which Stranger Things character do you most relate with? Why?

Never seen. Everyone says it has good music.

What advice do you have to the leaders of the Democratic Party in terms of how to rebound from this election?

Look to Bernie. Take a good hard look at yourselves. Maybe have some psilocybin therapy.

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?

What will the economy look like in 20 years? Will there even be a stable world for them to live in? I would encourage them to do everything they can while they are still living.

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

Stanley Kubrick.

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

I’d have to say Strawberry Alarm Clock.

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

One about being kidnapped by Hillary and a group of cannibals in the Midwest.

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

The Darkside Dreamwalker.

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

Rewarding the safest options rather than the deep innovators.

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

Harry Nilsson: “Everybody’s Talkin.’”



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