Chimpomatic

Interview: M. Ward

Following the release of his new album Post-War and a short UK tour, Chimpomatic caught up with M.Ward for a very brief Q&A.

Chimpomatic: 'Post-War' seems like it is going to be a big record for you. How would you say it is different from 'Transistor Radio'?

M. Ward: 'Transistor Radio' looked backwards – the idea was for the new record to look forward.

Chimpomatic: Your previous albums have been much more low-key. How has working with an expanded band affected your music?

M. Ward: I feel that using the same performers throughout the whole record gave the new record a more unified feel – the music tends to go in all kinds of different directions so its good to have an anchor.

Chimpomatic: You have just signed with 4AD here in the UK. What was your thinking behind this and what do you hope they can do for you? Why switch from Matador to 4AD - when both are under the Beggars umbrella?

M. Ward: I love Matador Records but I wanted a label that was based in the UK instead of New York – my position is a little unusual as I am devoted to a different label in the USA (Merge).

Chimpomatic: I have always been taken with your guitar playing, but seeing you recently at Bush Hall it was your piano playing that surprised me - it seemed very instinctive and primal. Where does that come from and who has influenced you with that?

M. Ward: My favorite piano players are Randy Newman, Howe Gelb and Fats Domino.

Chimpomatic: You commented that the crowd were quiet that night - you could indeed hear a pin drop when you played your first song but to me this was a sense of respect and awe. Is your relationship with your audience an easy one?

M. Ward: I guess so – I don’t really think about it too much…There is really nothing too difficult about any aspect of my job.

Chimpomatic: You have had 5 albums now and it seems like people are really sitting up and taking more notice. You must have met a lot of people on the road over the years, and seem to thrive on collaboration - whether it’s touring with Bright Eyes & Jim James, producing for other people or guesting on albums.

M. Ward: I learned how to play guitar by learning other peoples songs, mainly The Beatles - nothing much has changed – still learning how to write and play by learning other people songs…

Chimpomatic: Are you a fan of much other British music?

M. Ward: I like Billy Bragg.

Chimpomatic: What’s next for M. Ward?

M. Ward: Touring USA, Europe and Australia

Chimpomatic: Why are all your songs so short?

M. Ward: I'm not sure.


Links

4AD
Merge Records
Chimpomatic Review: Post-War
Chimpomatic Review: Bush Hall, London

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