Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Bleed It Out”?
Bleed It Out is a love letter to hardcore punk fans of bands like Black Flag & Gallows.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Going to punk gigs and seeing everyone with a ticket get involved. It’s easily the most visceral of genres where anyone can find respite from their losses simply by showing up and joining in the mosh pit. Seeing how my songs are the polar opposite to these shows, I thought it would be a nice juxtaposition to play around with.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Absolutely! I finished shooting with Campfire (Edinburgh production company) a few months back where we pooled together comedians, mailing list fans, musicians and poets to take part. It’ll be released at the same time as the single goes to download, Monday 15th May 2017.
The single comes off your new album Mirror Man – what’s the story behind the title?
Mirror Man is the third track off of the album. Physically resembling a departed loved one is a caveat that is as much of a comfort as it is a hinderance in grief; I learned that first hand after losing my father. Friends & family would comment on how much I looked like him and I had mixed feelings about it all. Ended up writing Mirror Man that day I learned he passed and kept coming back to it.
How was the recording and writing process?
When writing songs, I like to put on an ironed shirt, do up a tie, and sit down at the piano as if I’m going into an office job. It helps me focus and I feel I write best that way. Recording-wise, this was an absolute dream – I really have the best band a musical-theatre loving alt-pop writer could ask for! In this case also, I truly had the best producer.
Why did you choose to write record in such a short amount of time?
Mirror Man itself may have been written in a day but the other songs took much much longer to get right. I guess with that song, I wanted to leave it as raw as possible.
What was it like to work with Tony Doogan and how did that relationship develop?
I first met Tony at GoNorth 2014 (now called XpoNorth) – a music/multi-media festival in Inverness, Scotland. He came to see my live show there and we got chatting about working together shortly after. Obviously, his body of work sold me on working with him at first (The Mountain Goats, Belle & Sebastian etc.) but getting to know and work alongside him showed just how meticulous, honest and encouraging of a producer he is.
How much did he influence the album?
I remember sitting down with him whilst visiting the studio and discussing topics such as “What kind of record do we want this to be?” “How can we match the live show I saw with the arrangements you have?”. Questions which proved invaluable to the final product – easily a great influence.
Does the man in the mirror on this record is based on you personally or someone else?
Yup, plain and simple – that guy’s me!
How introspective is this record?
Half of it is. With Mirror Man & Equaliza aside, the other songs are character studies on people I’ve met and or read about and the different ways in which we harbour and deal with loss.
What aspect of loss and grief did you get to explore on this album?
All sorts. With Susan you have a murder-ballad/slow jam that focuses on loss as a motive to wrongfully attempt a happy ending for the perpetrator. Equaliza is a tragic love song about lamenting the necessity for anti-depressants whilst romanticising their results. Greek tragedies, self reflection, hardcore mosh pits – it has it all!
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I like to make notes wherever I go in a small moleskin journal or on my phone and then forget about them until it’s time to write. I’ll use those notes to build a story or as a jumping off point to something bigger. Some are true stories I’ve been told, such is the case with Aftershave.
Any plans to hit the road?
Just Scotland right now with headline dates in Glasgow (28th June, The Hug & Pint) and Edinburgh (29th June, Sneaky Pete’s).
What else is happening next in Angus Munro’s world?
I’ve a much happier record I’ve been working on you’ll be glad to hear! The band and I will be playing some of it at these gigs. Looking into possibly releasing some singles beginning of next year also.