I’ve just released an EP. But I’m not here to tell you that. I’m here to answer a question which quite a few people have asked me. Why is it called Nobody’s EP?
Because I mean, it is somebody’s EP… in fact it’s actually mine. I wrote the songs, I pressed record, I played a bit of guitar, drums, bass, marimba, gong, tambourine, egg shaker, pint glass… and then chanted awkwardly over the top. I even took the photo on cover, which shows an exquisitely decorated caravan and red pickup truck I stumbled upon last weekend in the New Forest. So why does as man who loves attention so much anonymise himself this way?
Well let me tell you. People have sometimes said to me things like, ‘I like both your albums’, meaning the two uploaded on my Bandcamp page. They think I started all this silliness in 2011 and I don’t usually bother to tell them that there were over 100 songs before that. What I am willing to share online is the product of several years of trial and (mainly) error. Nobody’s EP is actually my 10th ‘studio’ release (the 11th if you count the 2010 covers album MINX), and this is why it gets its name. I am acknowleging that for everything that I have to show for myself, I am completely unknown on the scene. Musically speaking, I am a nobody. The title mocks my own sense of self-importance, which sometimes becomes inflated beyond all practical use as I sit and listen to my songs thinking about how great they are. Or how great I think they are.
You fall down and you stay down
In the mud where you belong
You’d think I might have made more of myself in eight years of writing and recording music. The obvious answer is that I’m not very good and my music isn’t very interesting. But I don’t think it’s that. Those who listen, they listen well and they listen often. There are a handful of people to whom my shoddy old recordings are like gold, and new releases are like Christmas. For these precious few I am so grateful. Without these people, I started making music in 2011 and spent my teenage years eating noodles and playing video games.
I think it has something to do with my attitude. I am very happy to board myself up in my room and create something pretty, presenting it to my friends on a velvet pillow, but when someone gives me a guitar and says ‘play something’ I will usually say something like ‘I need to get another drink, would you like one? You look great this evening. Gosh this wine is nice. Anyway I should be going.’ It’s a very measured version of what has come to be known as ‘freaking out’.
Hollywood is waiting for me
You can dream too easily
I worry a lot. I worry about a lot of things, but most of those things aren’t relevant to what I’m talking about so let’s steer it back on track. Back to that party I was telling you about. I worry that what people hear isn’t what they expect to hear having listened to the records. I can’t deliver as just one man with only eight fingers, a pair of thumbs and a mouth. Without a cloning device I just can’t do it. People will be disgusted. ‘Do you even hear yourself? God you sound so nasal and whiny. Who even invited you to this party? Give me that guitar so I can smash you over the head with it.’ In my mind, this is what would happen if I tried to play a song to somebody.
I know it won’t be like that. I know I can do it, and everytime I go and watch solo artists playing in bars I get that I-could-do-this-better feeling, but my own perfectionism keeps stopping me. I worry that the battery in my guitar’s pickup will run out, that a string will snap in my eye, that I will trip over a cable and break my neck.
You came to me on your wedding day
You said, ‘I can’t do it, let’s run away’
Anyway, shut up, it’ll be fine. I’m going to start playing gigs and it’s going to be great and people are going to really like it.
Easy to say.