Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or you as an artist?
MHM: I make the music I want to, when I want and how I want. There’s no agenda, no rules. This is art for art’s sake. Musical freedom.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
MHM: I was born on the 3rd of July riding a summer’s breeze. Spanish father, English mother, and a creative heart. I’ve always painted, sketched, written, made beats or wrestled a tune out of any instrument within reach. I can’t remember a time without music. It’s always been there for me.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
MHM: I dont think its about inspiration! For me it’s a compulsion. I am compelled to get those howling demons out of my head. Set the music free before it explodes and drives me insane. Amongst many things I write about the paradox of mankind. Both ugly and beautiful, hateful and kind, sinner and saint, inspirational and dum as fuck.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
MHM: To continue to channel the demons and rebirth a new whilst making sonic art.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
MHM: Watching my son Morgan Sol record the piano part for ‘All of the Saints Will Sing Again’. That boys got serious soul.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
MHM: If your music resonates with folk then word will get around. I do a little instagram and Interstellar Smoke Records push the media side. Unless you have the cash to buy big advertising and press, you will have to rely on word of mouth. That just requires great music and a little luck.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
MHM: I have no live shows planned, so no need for the live machine.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
MHM: It is what it is. We all know its the platforms making the big profits from all artists music. It’s basically free promo for all creators and big money for the streaming sites. Folk like to stream and maybe buy a vinyl version or a cassette for the collection. It’s a shame the quality so poor on most of them. Bandcamp tends to sound better and they also provide a higher revenue share for the artists when people decide to purchase. People will always find a way to get there music for little or nothing, its human nature. Corporations will always fuck artists over, again, human nature.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
MHM: ‘All of the Saints Will Sin Again’ – That song arrived fully formed in the morning and it was recorded and mixed by the late evening. I just channeled it, played it, recorded it and mixed it. The demons wrote it.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
MHM: Like I said earlier – artists are usually at the shitty end! Yet it’s the artists that create the need for the industry in the first place. The makers put the hours in, learn their craft, spend their hard earned on gear and travel, dare to fucking dream and write music that mere mortals can only dream about. For people like me it’s everything, every moment spent, always hearing music, always dreaming music. It’s a way of life, a state of grace. Then some venues and promoters want bands to play for free, not even a beer. I say to those bands and artists – dont fucking do it! Bide your time, know your worth. Many record labels still want to own your music for life too, even though they won’t pay for the production of the recordings and the royalty after recoup is about 1% of wholesale. Zero investment for zero return. Just doesn’t make any sense if your decent folk. That’s why you have to hunt to find the diamonds in the dirt, like Jack at ISR and a few other beautiful label folk out there. “Quid Pro Quo” both artist and label in it together 50/50. Sadly their kind are few and far between.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
MHM: I’m constantly writing and recording at my home studio. Some of which will be the next Mathew’s Hidden Museum volume and some will be a new Josiah album. All of which excites me massively.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
MHM: You can find MHM on instagram, bandcamp and all the evil streamers 😉