RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST MOCK DEER
What made you decide to start the band / become a soloist?
The short answer is, I went solo to make my musical journey easier and then later formed a band to make my musical journey easier!
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
I started playing and singing in bands when studying in Manchester after relocating from North Wales. I was in bands with my friends and although that was fun, it wasn’t going anywhere and so I started a solo project on the side ‘Mock Deer’. I then moved to London and continued with the solo project, only working with other musicians again a good few years later.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I don’t believe I’ve done enough interviews to answer that question I’m afraid!
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I used to a lot more than I do now, I bloody loved a good CT!! In fact, one of the biggest arguments I ever had with my wife was over a CT, whilst simultaneously trying to find a chippy that was open on a bank holiday in West Sussex. Never discuss Conspiracy theories on an empty stomach!
What useless party trick do you have?
I don’t have one, however, I’m really good at supplying people with Negronis at parties.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I’d have to say the launch show for my album ‘The Art of Loneliness’ back in feb 2020. It might partly be nostalgia as it was just before covid really kicked off. But it was the first time in a long time that I was playing with a full band to a full friendly room all just willing us along. We hadn’t had much rehearsal and though we weren’t perfect by any means, it felt great and the adrenalin really lifted the performance.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Haha, there’s been a few tbh. There was one time back in Manchester, I believe it was part of a city festival at a place called The Bay Horse in the Northern Qtr when my friend and guitarist in the band for some reason could not tune his guitar (There may have been alcohol involved). I think we had a 30 min set and by the time he’d got it sorted we had 10 mins left to play. So we played like 2 songs, very stressed, very embarrassed and I think, still out of tune!
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
I was very naughty in school. I’m a fairly gentle person and have become a little more introverted as I’ve gotten older, but as a kid, I was the class clown! I was heavily involved in the theatre as a child/young adult and was very, shall we say, confident! I also developed a very early aversion to authority and censorship, which did not go down well in the strict catholic school that I attended. I have a terrible memory for the past, but some of the stories my old school friends tell me of the things I did at school are very entertaining!
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Assuming that the alien is a superiorly evolved being, I would probably mumble something about it having some basic (perhaps to them now even extinct) philosophical ideas lyrically, with a backdrop of music that derives geographically from North America as well as my current island-dwelling, with time period influences being the 1970s, 1990s and present day.
What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?
I think it might be that I still don’t like to follow the rules, I mean we all do to some extent but I think that my songs often have some pretty interesting and not very ubiquitous structures,I think it’s probably something that makes career progression slower but I’m ok with that.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
Our current Prime Minister
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
It changes all the time but my current favourite is the recent single ‘Contempt for Others’ … we’ve been doing some very stripped down shows (Just myself and Theo on keys/BVs) And for this song I get to put down my guitar and just full-on croon all over Theos ace, dark piano lines.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Yes, a new EP out in March and the first single (See above) is released on the 14th Jan. The EP is called ‘Perceptions’ and was recorded live in Italy with my friends and members of the amazing Canadian band ‘The Burning Hell’
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
The process really just started out as a bunch of songs that I thought sat pretty well together, but when it came around to the mixing process and listening to them again with fresh ears it was clear that there had been a process, even if it had been somewhat intuitive. There are a few themes in there but I think the core of the EP is about time and perception (Hence the title)
What was the recording process like?
The process was almost the complete opposite of what we did with the album. I had some new songs/ideas that I took to the guys in Italy and we just developed, rehearsed, and recorded on the hoof, each day I was there, which I think was 5 days in total. We’d get up in the morning, have breakfast, I’d disappear to my room to make some last-minute edits on the lyrics, then we’d set to work until around 5:30/6 pm at which point we might head to the one local and very welcoming restaurant in the village or have an evening in with communal dinner, drinks and games and then repeat the process the next day.
It was really wonderful, I’d never approached recording like this before, it has always been a very long, thought through process, so this was really refreshing and invigorating.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Perhaps being a little more prepared might have helped, just from a time perspective really. We did a small amount of post over-dubbing to add some textures that we couldn’t manage in the recording process.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Hmm, interesting question. It’s definitely a more lo-fi sound to what I usually aim for, but there’s something great about that I think, there wasn’t room for procrastination, or hesitation, I had these songs/ideas and we just went for it. I think if anything I could see the songs evolving when played live and potentially even alternative versions being recorded at some point. But these versions retain a raw, creative feel that I’m very fond of.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Yes, hopefully, lots of playing live + I also have another EP in the pipeline.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Try and be nice and if you can’t be nice then fair enough, I guess you have your reasons.