Friday, 29 April 2011

Emmy The Great Interview

Extracts from the Rhubarb Bomb interview with Emmy The Great that appeared in Issue 2.1


What else are you up to?

I’m writing a show for the London Word festival with a Poet at the moment called Jack Underwood so tomorrow I’m going to get started on that...

What do you mean a show?

Well... we don’t know!!! (Laughs). It’s about libraries so we’re splitting it up into 10 categories. We’ve comedian doing something and an author doing stories. We’ve got romance and science fiction, we’re going to fill it out with skits and stories and songs and stuff like that

The Libraries are closing aren’t; they? I use to work in a library

Really where?!

There is a library in Wakefield, a Music and Drama library. It’s pretty cool, I think it is one of the biggest collections in the UK, its got loads of Music and Drama obviously, and is also part of the national fiction reserve, which is where one copy of every book that has been published stays. I really enjoyed working there. It was a bit old fashioned – which is not necessarily a bad thing but it was a shame I think it was underused. And now I think it is closing and I don’t know where those books are going to go...

They’re closing it down?! That’s awful. You should campaign...

Is that part of what you’re doing at the Word Festival?

Yeah. I was at a protest a couple of weeks ago that a lot of people went to...


I know you’ve mentioned its important where you record, and you go to the countryside, to Lancashire to record?

The first record we recorded in Lancashire cos we felt like a Manchester band at the time. We had a music family up in Whalley Range near Manchester, and we really felt that’s where we became, me and Euan, who we were as a band so that’s where we recorded. This time round where we did it was kind of less important but we ended up, my parents moved out of their house over the summer, and so we all moved in! And we took over the house and that was really cool cos my Dads an artist so we mainly worked in his studio where he has this super intense esoteric tripped out landscape and it really found its way into the music! I think at the moment it’s really cool.


When I first heard your music on Myspace it was just you and a guitar, and now your playing with a full band; is this a natural progression for any musician?

I think so. Dylan is the obvious ‘high bar’, but then someone like Billy Bragg really suits playing on his own, cos he’s got a simple message and he wants to go everywhere and tell people. I kind of feel ambitious with my stuff because my lyrics, I feel like they need a little bit of extra stuff. I’m not a very strong minded person, if I had to go alone places I probably wouldn’t show up! Or sit in a corner feeling really intimidated by the audience! I think probably to keep yourself interested if you’re not a lyricist like Billy Bragg! Then you do want to get more people involved and see where you can go. Don’t make the same record over and over again. You want to push yourself and you become a musician you want to learn more about music.

Paul Bateson

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