Martin ‘Youth’ Glover is a founder member of the massively influential post-punk band Killing Joke, whose songs have been covered by Metallica and Foo Fighters. Other major artists such as Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails cite Killing Joke as a major influence on their own work.
Youth has become more widely known in some respects as a ‘go to’ producer/arranger for artists as diverse as Kate Bush, the Verve, Crowded House, Pink Floyd & Paul McCartney who he talks about below.
1I recently reviewed and luxuriated in the sonic splendour and warm embrace of the final part of your *‘Dub Trees’ triptych Celtic Vedic for albumism.com.
Setting aside the fact that it could be a serious contender for the currently vacant title of ‘new Dark Side of the Moon’, how does it feel to have started and finished such an incredible journey with Celtic Vedic closing the Dub Trees sonic saga?
That is a huge compliment and a heavy handle to even consider the implications …thank-you!
Ok well, it feels good to have that continuity and journey as well as completing the third chapter , though I fear this is only the beginning! Dub Trees has always been a way of recycling remixes, unusual sonic experiments and various orphaned out takes through the prism of Dub Trees.
I’m currently doing more remixes and being more productive than usual, and I can see that continuing. Also Celtic Vedic is just scratching the surface of this vast well of cultural correspondence that just demands further exploration …
2.When you embark on a personal recording project as opposed to producing is there a ‘marinating’ process or is it a flash of inspiration once you enter the studio? Once it does happen, and having worked with so many incredible artists/musicians how do you decide who gets ‘the call’ if you need assistance instrumentation-wise?
There is a paradox I’ve noticed. If I write for myself as an artist I don’t get much but if I’m writing for others or in the context of a remix, it’s limitless how far I can go.
Part of why I work so hard in so many different areas, is that I’m constantly writing material that has no home. These ideas can end up anywhere and everywhere and I’m very intuitive in this respect.
I’m constantly working with artists without labels, management, plans or agendas; and often this will lead to something good, though it has not necessarily been pre-planned.
This album really came about after meeting Daniel Romar, whose flute and pipe work totally blew me away! Jaz Coleman met him when he was working in a London hotel he was staying in.
He nodded him on to me and Daniel turned up with a symphony manuscript he’d written! I was like: I can’t do much with that, what else do you do? He played this flute he’d made from an ancient Sumerian design and explained he was a folk historian from Galicia!
Wow! That set my imagination on fire! We recorded these amazing ambient soundscapes with just him and his weird flutes and pipes and then I added some beats, some Indian musicians, and of course Jah Wobble’s bass. I actually erased all of my bass parts or most of them after Wobble agreed to do it.
- In September you are hosting what looks like one of THE cultural events of late Summer, the Puretone Resonate Festival at your beautiful El Mirador studio complex which is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Andalucia in Spain.
This seems like an incredibly generous gesture! Is this something you have done before and how did you go about selecting the artists who will appear?
It’s a ridiculous, foolish and crazy thing to do, which is why I’m doing it of course! Opening your front room and state of the art studio to the world is obviously a great thing to do.
4.You are generous with your time in terms of social media : particularly Facebook and Twitter often replying in person. Clearly this is not something you have to do, so is there any particular reason that you do this?
I really love having a direct connection to people, and people who love music especially people who don’t have a third party interface, label or magazine; although I love labels and media too.
It’s great to be able to communicate with people who appreciate my work. The conversations are inspiring and entertaining and the posts are often educational, so I can’t deny I’m into it and use it primarily as a tool to promote my work and work I’m doing for others.
I also use technology to get feedback on crazy ideas like hosting a festival which I wouldn’t have considered if wasn’t for social media.I may change though. I can be quite fickle with technology,I once had an early mobile phone in the early 90′, got fed up with it and didn’t have one again until around 2000! I think the Iphone is a more important invention than the Internet, as it changed the way we use the Internet .
5.As far as your production work is concerned, and looking on your +website it’s incredibly varied & diverse and admirably non genre-specific. When you get ‘the call’ from artists, do you instinctively say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or do you ‘process’ it over for a period of time & consider what you can bring to the ‘project’?
Determining which projects I take on: all I know is it can be really down to the whether I like singer or. If I like the song, if it’s fairly immediate. Once I like something that rarely changes.
- What were the determining factors and the subsequent thought processes where David Gilmour and Paul McCartney were concerned?
A balance of new and what they always do is best. Established successful artists can either be really open and comfortable about following direction, or really closed and inert about doing something.These guys were super cool, they have worked with the best and are very confident, so it’s best not to mess around too much !
- I recently saw some images from ‘The Anarchist Colouring Book’ that you created that for me possess a new and fresh approach to colouration and composition. When did you first realise that you had that particular string to your cultural bow?
I’ve drawn psychedelic images for years since I was a kid, but it was Jaz Coleman who suggested that I do an anarchist colouring book- good idea!
8.Seemingly the sun never sets on your ‘in progress’ projects, are there any currently that have really impressed and/or surprised you?
I’m really loving the new David Tibet collaboration on House of Mythology Records with live performances to follow in October. I’m also playing with Jah Wobble again and guitarist ++Keith Levine which added a whole new dimension…
9.2016 and 2017 /17 are set to incredible years for Killing Joke, what with a feature film, a book of graphic art, and Mont Sherar’s definitive photographic collection: ‘Twilight of Mortals’. How does it feel looking back at nearly four decades of Killing Joke?
Very cool journey. Killing Joke keeps surprising me and always feels like home most of the time!
- As someone who’s constantly creating and shaping areas of our culture, I would think that you probably have the rest of the year mapped out project-wise. Would you mind being a seer for a moment and giving us a look into the ‘World of Youth’ for the rest of 2016 and into 2017?
I’m almost ready to mix the Holly Cook album as we’re close to finishing recording. There’s a Roger Eno album collaboration and a ++Nik Turner ambient album coming out soon too.
Then there will also be another new Wobble album with Andrew Weatherall & Alex Patterson, there’s the David Tibet one and much, much more that I can’t talk about just yet.
Thanks very much for your time Youth!
Thanks for the interesting questions! Yx
(Picture above: Glen Burrows)
© Rahman the Writer 2016 http://www.rahmanthewriter.com