Assuming a number of different musical personas, Aidan Moffat is perhaps known best for his work with miserablist folk outfit Arab Strap. He has been a regular fixture on Glasgow’s indie scene since the 90s and was even immortalised in song by indie-pop luminaries Belle and Sebastian, whose iconic 1998 album ‘Boy with the Arab Strap’ paid homage to Moffat and his band. Beard in tow, he returns with the candidly entitled ‘Everything’s Getting Older’, a collaborative effort which sees him pair up with fellow Scot and alt-jazz hero Bill Wells for a Valentine’s Day inspired album of spoken word and delicate, multi-instrumentation. We caught up with the hirsute poet to get the lowdown on his hotly anticipated performance at Dazed Live...
Dazed Digital: Your music is famed for its witty, lyrical content. Where do you like to write and can you describe the songwriting process?
Aidan Moffat: I write anywhere I can, but these days most often at a desk in my ‘office’, which is actually just a dumping ground with a computer in it – it’s a total fucking mess. My philosophy is that if I’ve got a tidy desk then I’m not doing enough work. There’s no particular way I do it, I just let it happen when it happens, sometimes it starts with words and sometimes with music. I know that sounds vague, but you wouldn’t want to know how Paul Daniels does his tricks, would you?
DD: What are the pros and cons of working as a solo artist and how does it compare to being in a band?
Aidan Moffat: Well, obviously you’re your own boss when you work alone, which is great. But the flip side to that is that you don’t have someone to bounce off, and to be honest I think I getter a much bigger thrill and sense of satisfaction from working with other people. I’ve got an album coming out soon with Bill Wells, and I think we really brought out the best in each other.
DD: If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
Aidan Moffat: I haven’t a clue, but I’ve got a few collaborations planned that may or not come to fruition. I was supposed to start a vocal group with James from Twilight Sad – I sent him the first demo about two years ago and he’s still waiting on the second. One day...
DD: Your brilliant debut ‘The First Big Weekend’ was a paean to carefree youth. But how do you like to spend your weekends these days?
Aidan Moffat: I’m usually working because I’ve got my son to look after during the week, but occasionally I manage to slip out for a few pints. I don’t really like Saturdays though, I’d much rather get pissed on a Thursday. There’s not so much arseholes up the town on a Thursday.
DD: Was your song ‘Cunts’ aimed at anyone in particular?
Aidan Moffat: I had a girlfriend who always used that word for anything but its original, intended purpose. It’s both an insult and a term of endearment in Scotland, you know: ‘You’re a good cunt!’ is about as affectionate as Scotsmen get.
DD: What are you listening to at the moment?
Aidan Moffat: At this precise moment – as I write this – I’m listening to an album by Jon Mueller called ‘The Whole’, which is a hypnotic, percussive, trance-like rock record. Slightly scary too – it’s just kicked in . . .
DD: Any memorable performances to date?
Aidan Moffat: I just did a brilliant wee tour with my old Arab Strap partner, Malcolm Middleton, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been pretty quiet the last couple of years and haven’t been able to gig much because of Dad Duty, so I’m just getting back into it again now. And I’m loving it.
DD: What are you going to bring to the Dazed Live event?
Aidan Moffat: An autoharp and an abundance of Scottish charm and wit.
Aidan Moffat is playing Dazed Live on Saturday April 9, 2011. The festival takes place at several locations in and around Shoreditch and is presented in partnership with Levi's and Absolut Vodka. Find out more about the Dazed Live HERE and buy your tickets HERE
Dazed Live, in collaboration with the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund, will donate 15% of ticket sales from the festival to help care for the survivors and to help rebuild the affected areas