It’s that time of year again when MPT asks some of the year’s interviewees to look back on the past 12 months. It’s fair to say that when this series was conceived several years ago I didn’t imagine in my worst nightmares the sort of year that I may actually be asking people to reflect on. But, hey ho.
First up is Adam Stafford who has had a fine year with the terrific ‘Taser Revelations’ LP and some great live performances. Fortunately, in amongst the shite, Adam has found some good things to say about 2016 even if the year hasn’t left him in a terribly optimistic frame of mind.
The Banshee Labyrinth – May 2016 (Book Group LP launch)
Your Own Music
Your own musical highlight of the year?
A: Without doubt, the release of my LP `Taser Revelations‘ in March. It had been practically finished in Oct 2014 but took a long time to mix and release. It was a relief to see it finally issued and read the nice things people had written about it.
Favourite performance of the year?
A: Probably a toss-up between the album launch at The Hug and Pint in Glasgow and performing an original score to Teinosuke Kinugasa‘s silent film ‘A Page of Madness’ at The Restless Natives Festival. The former was properly touch-and-go as I had lost my voice that morning, but the packed crowd inside the venue gave me the pure adrenaline to power through; the latter opened me up to the creative possibilities of using new media such as live sampling and musical keyboard apps.
What’s the one thing that went wrong in 2016 you’d like to fix?
A: I became fairly unwell in August this year which put a real strain on my personal life and creativity. I am much better now but could have been doing without the stress of that event.
What you gonna be doing next year?
A: I have ambitions to record a double-LP of some older stuff and also some brand new compositions. Whether that will be issued in 2017 or 18 will depend on my productivity and work-rate I suppose.
Beat Generator Live, Dundee (May 2016)
Album of the year?
A: ‘Stateless‘ by Tangents.
Song of the year?
A: ‘Fine Fine People’ by Rick Redbeard.
Best gig attended?
A: Granddaddy at Summerhall.
Best discovery in 2016?
A: All of the music on Moonhop/Triassic Tusk’s immaculate compilation `Screamers, Bangers and Cosmic Synths‘.
Who should we be looking out for in 2017?
A: WOLF (Kim Moore) and an Edinburgh Motorik-Psych outfit called Hans Klammer (pictured above).
Anything and Everything
Hero of 2016
A: My wife for enduring my endless bawbaggery!
Villain of 2016
A: Although he seems like a distant memory now, due to all of the utter shite that has happened in 2016, I would say David Cameron. He arrogantly thought he could glide with complacency through Brexit, before disappearing leaving a legacy of political devastation worse than Thatcher and Blair. A legacy that included brutal austerity, closet xenophobia and racism, a sustained attack and intolerance of the under-class, mentally ill and disabled (whom he is responsible for thousands of deaths due to Government enforced poverty), creating the most surveiled nation after China and North Korea, dodgy family inheritance dealings and back-room tax deals with mega corporations… Then to end it all he sauntered off into his house humming a little ditty like the psychopathic cunt that he is.
High point of 2016
A: Personally, one of my high points of 2016 was shooting the music video for ‘Phantom Billions‘ in February. It was hard work but the crew were fantastic and it got me in the creative mindset of wanting to shoot another film again.
Lowpoint of 2016
A: It seems like the whole of 2016 has been one massive low. I felt genuinely sad when Bowie and Cohen died, but I think the rise of the closet-racists on the right – emboldened by the hate-filled right-wing press – has been the most worrying trend. From Brexit to the slaying of Jo Cox and the rise of xenophobia, misogyny and racism in America to the fundamentalist killings of hundreds on Bastille Day. And I think 2017 is going to be just as bad, if not worse…
Favourite book of 2016
A: My favourite read this year is ‘Ghosts of My Life‘, a collection of writings by Mark Fisher who argues that we are haunted by futures that failed to happen.
A: Although it was released in 2015, there is nothing I’ve seen this year that is comparable to Aleksei German’s `Hard to be a God‘, a nightmarish masterpiece, a carnival of pure lunacy, a new kind of cinema which rings true with the times we are living in.
A: Take your pick: Bowie, Cohen, Abbas Kirostami.
What place will you most associate with 2016?
A: A pine cabin in Balquhidder where we had our first family holiday.
Something to look forward to in 2017
A: The end of winter/beginning of Spring/Summer. My Tom Waits film Screening at The Happiness Hotel on 24/2/17. The new Meursault album.
Previously on MPT
Adam Stafford interview (May 2016)
‘Taser Revelations’ review
And finally, a reminder of the glorious ‘Phantom Billions’ from ‘Taser Revelations’: