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Q & A: WE TALK KURT VILE AND NORTHEN FOLK GRUNGE WITH MICHAEL WEBSTER





PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.


My name’s Michael Webster and I’m a singer-songwriter, producer and creative based in the North West of England. I run a record label here in Manchester, producing and releasing music from artists on the roster, as well as putting on gigs and events across the city. I’ve got a bunch of my own music out already, a load of singles, an EP and also a live EP I recorded at Spirit Studios here in the city.


TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?


I’m hoping to put out a new EP in the coming months, before the end of the year - it’s got a bunch of my songs that I’m most proud of on there and it’s shaping up to be a real good one. It’s a proper insight into my musical stylings, the variety of genres that inspire me and the range of songs that I’ve made, going from calm and relaxed to a more upbeat energy and even some that are more introspective and mellow.


WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?


Most of my songs I’ve written have been done independently of one another, however, a lot of these were written around the same time or so, so I think it’s only right they go out as a full release. My first EP was 7 tracks long (I just love to go a bit overboard haha) so this one’s gonna be the same, a whole bunch of tracks that compliment each other real well.


CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?


The best way would easily be “Northern folk-grunge”. I put a lot of my background and history into my music, especially with my accent I can’t really hide it all that well when I sing so it’s always there haha. I chose folk-grunge as I’m influenced by so much of a range that I can’t really define my music all that well, but the predominant influences are definitely 90’s alternative rock like Pixies and Nirvana, and also folksingers like Neil Young and Bob Dylan.


WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?


Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile’s album “Lotta Sea Lice”. It’s a gorgeous album, with such inspirational songwriting on there, a real laid back style to it but also hitting so hard at times as well. It inspired a massive shift in my songwriting, knowing that there weren’t certain restraints to it and that you can utilise accents, dialect and to formulate rhyming schemes that couldn’t be done otherwise.


DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?


It’s a bit of a strange one if you’re acquainted with my music, but I absolutely love the music video for “Da Shine” from ASAP Rocky and Skepta. It shows such a contrast between Skepta


being in London and ASAP in America - not only showing the differences in the areas, the culture and that but also highlighting the similarities between them too! It’s such a well shot video as well, the scenes throughout are superbly done. I’m actually a huge fan of hip-hop and rap as well, which may surprise some people.


WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?


I’d say about 80% of my time is doing music in some degree, either going to gigs, recording, producing, putting on events and but I often like to relax by watching TV shows, reading or playing video games. I’m a huge fan of fantasy games like Skyrim and that haha.


DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?


I’ve got to a point now where I’ve performed for so long that I just get on with it. It’s taken me a long time to get to this, but I just buckle myself down and get myself started and then I just go from there!


HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?


I started doing music as a way to get away from my job when I lived in Scotland and I’ve just been going from there since then. It’s been a real whirlwind, but after doing my degree in Music Business I’ve got a much clearer plan of what I want to do, helping artists by producing their work, putting on gigs and that. It’s great!


HOW DO YOU WRITE?


I often just sit down and play and see what comes to mind. I’ve got a lot of chord progressions, riffs, ideas and I can always end up coming out with something a bit more finished than what it was!


WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


Mostly, it’s the situations I experience and the surroundings that I’m in. A lot of my songs are written from my own perspective, what I see around me or even politics or socio-economics that I read on the news and that. I’ve also written a few songs based on books, or lines and lyrics that I’ve enjoyed. There’s no real limitation to inspiration!


WHAT IS NEXT?


Well, I’m hoping to get this new EP out by the end of the year, I’ve got a whole bunch of plans after that. Plus I’m working with artists on new music from them… plenty in the works!


PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.


Facebook - www.facebook.com/michaelwebstermusic

Twitter - www.twitter.com/mchlwbstr

Instagram - www.instagram.com/mchlwbstr

Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/337KNnNPPHatcOU7epvTLT

Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/gb/artist/michael-webster/4348685

Bandcamp - https://michaelwebster.bandcamp.com/

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