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Eden Mulholland - Interview with Eden Mulholland

07 Nov 2015 // An interview by Ria Loveder

Artist, Eden Mulholland is one busy bee. With his new album Hunted Haunted having been released, a second national tour under way and a bunch of other projects on the list, he is an artist that is using his creativity to its full potential. Ria had the opportunity to ask him questions about his ‘sound’, challenges he faces, and future projects he has lined.

1. You are known for music that doesn’t conform. Your music has a certain peculiarity of composition with every tune sounding like it was created by a different artist. What inspires you to create music that is so diverse?

I think it’s a reflection of the variety of collaborative projects I work on. I can’t help but be influenced by the art being created around me. Many of the songs on my solo albums originally start as sketches for other projects – so I just roll with it.

2. Do you ever feel pressured to create music that has a similar sound? Or that sticks to a particular genre?

Yeah I do sometimes, I get feedback that my records can sound a bit schizophrenic – which isn't everyone’s cup of tea. Actually, it’s not always even my cup of tea either! But I can’t bring myself to deviate from my natural instincts.  For better or for worse! Lol. I do however make a real effort for the production to be consistent across the whole album.

3. What process do you find the most challenging when creating new music?

Procrastination. I’ll faff about for weeks when I’m supposed to be writing songs – then I’ll get really freaked out on the last day and bash it out in 2 hours or something like that. I need to be under pressure for my own writing process, I get impatient and antsy over long stretches of time. I want to hear the finished product RIGHT NOW NOW NOW. Whereas, when I work on composing stuff for theatre or film, I’m the complete opposite. So there you go, I’m Jekyll and Hyde.

4. Your latest album Hunted Haunted came out a few months ago, how have you felt the feedback has been from reviewers and critics?

On the whole the feedback has been outrageously positive. 4 and above stars for the most part, Rolling Stone Magazine, Courier Mail, Sunday Star Times – Wonderfully gratifying when it connects like that. But I’ve also had some critical thoughts too, and once I get over myself and stop being so precious, it’s actually really nice to realise that not everyone is going to love what you make – that it will completely miss the mark for some listeners and really pull the heart strings of others. Don’t get me wrong though, it would totally SUCK hard-out if no one liked it, Lolz.

5. What was the muse to create name the album Hunted Haunted?

Right up until the last minute we were calling the album The New Old Fashioned – which is much more ‘Title-ish’, but it didn’t sit well with me, it seemed too explicit or something? Too self aware? So I went for a much more ambiguous title. Both words I could use to describe aspects of the album and together it tells a little story. I like the way it’s only an ‘a’ that separate the two words.

6. You have recently said in our Muzic.net newsletter that you are working on a variety of things for theatre productions. Can you give us a bit of info on what that will entail?

I’m work-shopping new works with Malia Johnston and Sarah Foster later this year. Both in New Zealand. We are in the early stages at the moment, exchanging creative ideas over the Internet until we get together for a few weeks and get stuck into the devising process. Generally with Malia I will have all my equipment set up in the rehearsal studio and we will spend a large portion of the workshop jamming on new material, she will try various movement experiments and I will respond with music live. From there It’s a slow process of refining the raw ideas and material to the point where the essence of the work presents itself. I’m grossly oversimplifying the process but it boils down to intense creative play-time followed by detailed refining. It’s super fun, we always come up with some crazy, crazy shit. It’s often the most rewarding and productive experiences in my life.

7. You are travelling over to the US to release Hunted Haunted, that must be pretty exciting! How do you find the American audience takes to your music?

In the past the Americans have responded the best out of anywhere in the world to my new music (apart from NZ). For some reason it has struck a chord there. We had some great success on student radio over there with the last EP release and want to continue to build the presence until I can tour there properly.

8. You are doing another national tour this year, what is your favourite thing about performing?

I love staying with my family and friends, often it’s the only time I get to see them around the country. People are so generous on tour, it’s amazing to meet complete strangers who like your music and want to listen to you play it. How could there be anything better than that for a musician?

If you guys want info about Eden’s latest album, check out my review, I highly recommend it as it has tunes for a range of music tastes, it won't disappoint!

 

About Eden Mulholland

When reviewing Eden Mulholland's music a certain peculiarity of composition stands out, and that is his refusal or inability to be restrained by genre. Whether writing an anthemic lullaby such as The Big Empty for his band Motocade (2010) or the hauntingly aggressive The Virus for the dance work Body Fight Time (2012), or the tender yet manic Body Fight Time on his aptly named EP, Jesus Don't You Get My Jokes, the juxtaposition of disparate entities seems to come naturally to him. This makes for a filmic quality to much of his music and it comes as no surprise that he is equally at home composing for dance or film as he is for his band and solo work.

In his music, as in life, anything goes. Sadness can be uplifting, desire be as impassive as a rock and memories be as suddenly vivid as the monitor lizards he occasionally sees on his runs up the hill behind his house. If all this sounds poetic then the cap fits. Even his take on pop music involves unexpected arrivals and departures, conventional and operatic voices, ripped apart rhythms and ethereal bridges, solidly resounding hooks and moody ascents.

It's a compositional approach that is enough, as one reviewer said in reference to his Jesus Don't You Get My Jokes EP, "to give you major goosebumps". But this goosebump inducing element, similar to 'duende' in flamenco music or or 'wairua' in Maori composition, also yields pop's signature 'earworms' as evidenced in songs such as I will Echo from his Feed the Beast album (2013), or Holy Moly from his Motocade album Tightrope Highway (2009), songs that enjoyed radio and video impact and longevity. Consequently his artistic reach embraces both a longstanding loyal niche following as well as commercial recognition.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Eden Mulholland

Releases

Hunted Haunted
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Feed The Beast
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Music For Dance
Year: 2010
Type: Album

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