Biography  |   Story, interviews and links

While most artists seem to have an eloquently written biography, filled with an abundance of superlatives, I thought for this website I’d try something a little different. As I write this it’s the start of 2009. I’m sitting in the offices of my studio in a small village in the north west of France having one of those 'how the fuck did I get here?' moments, as any middle aged man would probably have when asked to tell a few details of their life by an over-zealous web designer who is eager to get the website finally on line. Perhaps I should hasten to add that the website has been held up, these past few months, due to my apparent inability to write something about myself, after, of course, agreeing to do so in the first place……

There are a multitude of biographies available on-line, most of which make me seem a little more windswept and interesting than I probably am. Some of them have a few details of my life as even I would recognize them, but for the most part there are usually inaccuracies involving dates, places, credits, wives, releases, times, lovers, concerts, facts and children. Apart from those things, they mostly get it right.

I grew up in Central Scotland and in 1981, at the age of 19, made my first album with my band at that time Cocteau Twins. This was undeniably pivotal in my progression as a musician and artist, although I had no idea of that at the time. Who would know that at 19? It certainly seemed a surprise to make a second record, but like any addictive drug, it’s not the first try that hooks you but the second. My path slowly unfolded in front of me allowing me to spent the rest of my life up to now producing a kind of music, which although highly personal, judging by the feedback I am given, seems to have touched people - a fact that can be both humbling and overwhelming.

Along the way I have had the privilege to work with some wonderful people. I have been involved with making music, producing other artists, playing concerts, making music for film, making films, making mistakes, playing as a guest musician, having a record label, making more mistakes, building recording studios, hell, I’ve even had my life upturned by drug addiction and been taken advantage of by an uncaring and rapacious music industry. All of those things have brought me here, to this place. Goodness, there’s a book in there..isn't there just?

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s I experienced a whole lot of living, some of which I’d really rather not ever experience again, but most of which was rewarding and educational. I guess I was allowed the freedom to develop my own way to express myself with a guitar and a bunch of electronics which echoed the organic feelings that (my) life has been made from. The ability to express emotion with some wood, wire and electricity is something which has been somewhat of a gift as I don’t think I’m really that clever. If I was, I certainly wouldn’t choose the life of an artist unless I had the PT Barnum like skills of a Damien Hirst, or at least a feeling of belonging within the creative community. I have neither, but as I’m a grown up now I don’t seek the approval of others quite in the same way as I did when I was younger. Quite simply, I’m here, I do what I do, sometimes not really knowing why and that’s OK.

With the exception of working with Siobhan De Maré as Violet Indiana, for the last few years I’ve been concentrating on instrumental music, some collaborative recordings, contributing scores to a couple of movies, playing concerts that present an instrumental soundtrack to animated film - something else I’ve become interested in making, continuing to produce artists that I believe in, traveling to many places never visited before and happy as ever to discover new ways to do what I do.

So that doesn’t tell you much really, does it? Well, hopefully my work speaks for itself. It would be a little weird if at this point in my life it didn’t. So I don’t really feel the need too start listing all the things I’ve done, as traditionally a biography should do. But there is a lot of information in this website for those who seek it, especially in the discography section, which goes a little further into the details of past work than anything I’ve seen on the internet. My web log (I do so dislike the word blog) is something I started to do in 2005, essentially to overcome my fear of writing but at the same time illustrate the chasm which exists between the public perception of an artist’s life and the, sometimes absurd, reality. The news section hopefully will be informative, and the online store hopefully somewhere that is a preferable choice to purchase CD’s, given that they can often be hard to find in traditional retailers.
So, um, yeah, that’s about it until someone writes something with more superlatives….