“This archaic of view of the tortured, suffering artist must end immediately. There is nothing to aspire to in this illusion”
Formerly recording as East India Youth, William Doyle has written for i-D Magazine on the issues surrounding the lack of support in the music industry for artists suffering from mental (and physical) health issues. Read it here.
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Novo Amor returns will return in the early hours of 2017 with a new EP entitled ‘Bathing Beach’. Audiences in the Netherlands and Germany can be the first to hear its songs during a short run of shows centred around a Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival performance in Groningen, Friday 13 January, and tickets are now on sale as follows: Continue Reading →
Tired of formulaic music industry Conferences, Daniel Nordgård, Lily Armstrong and Andy Inglis decided to do something about it. This is Sørveiv Conference, attached to the Sørveiv Festival. Kristiansand Norway, 28-29 October 2016. Here is our mission statement. Here are our Speakers. Our Program will be announced very soon.
Andy was asked to contribute to Harkive, an annual, online music research project that gathers stories from people around the world about how, where and why they listened to music on a single day. Since launching in 2013, the project has gathered over 8,000 stories, creating a unique snapshot of the many listening cultures, habits and practices that exist on that day with the resulting analysis leading to a useful, informative and interesting resource for anyone interested in Popular Music.
You can read his contribution here.
The single greatest failure of the music industry in my lifetime was its inability to convince people that £15 for an album wasn’t expensive. Imagine someone giving you a pint glass, charging you £15 and saying you could refill it with beer as often as you liked for the rest of your life. That’s as close as I can get to articulating music’s worth to me. Continue Reading →
I’ll be speaking about Artist Management for Empty Tape at their pre-SPOT Festival event Pit-Spot, Studenterhuset Aalborg, 27 April. I’ll be focussing on supporting sustainable careers particularly through caring for the mental and physical health of your artist. Those attending The Great Escape this year might also like to attend this presentation on musicians’ mental health, presented by Sally Gross of Westminster University, and hosted by Help Musicians UK and Vice
I’m giving a presentation on working DIY in Olso for Music Norway as part of their Åpent Hus events, Friday 22 April. I’ll be joined by three practitioners of the DIY ethic.
Friday 22 April
0930-1200 (please arrive by 0915)
Observatoriegata 1B, 0254 Oslo (map)
I was asked to contribute to Walk The Talk; a seminar addressing the lack of gender equality in the music industry, hosted by Balansekunst. I couldn’t attend in person, so recorded this monologue which was used to open proceedings on the day, at the by:Larm Festival and Conference in Oslo
A message from Will:
I am writing to you back on home soil and within a dramatic 35-40º drop in temperature from our previous Antipodean dwellings. I’ve got my coat on indoors, in other words. But that’s okay. Part of the fun of tour has been switching between wildly different climates, seeking out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no one has gone before… Continue Reading →
The UK music industry is up in arms about the cost of Visas that enable artists and their crew to travel to the U.S. to play shows. They’ve been up in arms for a while, and there are conversations going on between representatives of the Musicians’ Union and U.S. Homeland Security. I hope these conversations bear fruit, and that the cost of US Work Visas is greatly reduced.
Actually, that’s not true.
I don’t care. Continue Reading →
Ahead of my full-day lecture on Tour Management at University of Westminster, London, for Music Tank, The Line of Best Fit asked me to write about my touring experiences, so I managed to find a link between gelato and a near-death experience in Sicily. Read it here
I also like to talk, and I’d like to help the music industry to talk more clearly, more passionately, in a voice other than that of a middle-aged white man. So if you will permit me, here are ten suggestions for all you seminar-bookers out there:
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Check out is 1100. We wake at 1105. It doesn’t matter. We’re in no hurry, and no one is likely to come and chase us. We get ourselves together and sit next to the car, crack open the contents of The (recently resurrected) Box and have a breakfast of avocado, carrot sticks, cream cheese and water. It’ll keep us going until we get to the City of Brotherly Love. George drives and I catch up with some work, trying to get back to those in the UK who’re about to knock off for the weekend. I’ve spent a little time in Philly before, visiting friends here, and I see one on arrival – Tom is loaning us a keyboard stand, so we stop by his office downtown to collect. He meets me on the street while George cruises around the block, and we catch up on the news about mutual friends who’re now scattered to New York, New Jersey and Nashville. Tom was in a band I managed for a while, and we had great fun touring the UK in Status Quo’s former tour bus with a band from Bournemouth called True Swamp Neglect.
We park right outside the venue – Boot & Saddle – and meet Amy behind the bar and Steve the sound engineer. It’s a great little room. Compact, well-lit, good PA. George sets up and I go get some tips from Amy about where to get pizza, and head out on this mission. All I have left on my North American Junk Food list is pizza, a milkshake, a Dr. Pepper and a box of Junior Mints. And just twenty-six hours left to tick them off.
I have what’s been diagnosed by a speech therapist as a ‘severe covert stammer‘ – often referred to as ‘interiorised‘, which means you don’t hear it in the usual s-s-s-stuttering way, because I’ve spent my life hiding it. It manifests itself in other audible ways though, which, if you met me, you might put down to my accent, or my talking quickly, or you just not catching what I’ve said. I like talking, and do a lot of it, though in every sentence there will be something I find difficult to say, so I may need to swap a word out, or switch the syntax, or in some way distract you – audibly or physically – from what I’m failing to articulate, which involves always thinking a few words ahead so I can make changes before I get there, like swerving to avoid something in the road.
I might intentionally mumble a word because I just can’t say it, and then quickly move on to the next ones, hoping that they will give you enough information to allow you to piece together the crux of the meaning. In loud environments I might intentionally shout gibberish in your ear as a way of ‘breaking the dam’, figuring you’ll just think you couldn’t hear me over the music, say, which gets my mouth moving, making it easier to get the sentence out second time around. I also swear more than most, partly because, for example, it’s easier to put what’s called a ‘hard onset’ before a word I can’t say. The ‘k’ in ‘fuck’ is a useful tool in that regard. And in a revelation that may seem counterintuitive, it’s actually more difficult to speak when I’m back home in Scotland, because there I can’t really get away with altering my dialect (not my accent; that’s a constant) without people accusing me of “talking posh”, so back there I say “ah dinnae ken” instead of “I don’t know”, whereas everywhere else in the world I can use phrases – in both dialects – with my accent remaining intact. Tiredness, anxiety, the affect some foods have on me and even my posture can all cause problems. In extreme cases – if I need to talk for extended periods without rest, or if it’s very cold – my mouth stops working. It starts with a tingling sensation around my right eye, spreads down the side of my face and envelops my whole face, until the muscles around my jaw seize up and my lips become numb, as your hand does if you sit on it for a few minutes.
Some of the speech issues are context-based. I can say “toilet” all day without a problem, but if I walk into a bar or cafe and and try and say “Can I use your toilet please?”, I can’t say it. I just don’t have the ability to control that particular group of words in that order. They run away from me. I can’t ‘just slow down’, I can’t just ‘take a breath’. The ability to deliver the sentence is as elusive to me as quantum mechanics. It’s easier in North America. I can just say “restroom” or “bathroom”. No problem with that. But not “traditional”. Can’t say it under any circumstances.
Years ago, when I struggled far more with it than I do now, I’ve seen me walking six miles home because I wasn’t able to board a nightbus and say to the driver “Fifty pence please”, or any other variation of any other words that would allow me to illuminate my destination.
Part of the reason I took up lecturing was to help get all this out in the open. And it’s why I like writing more than talking; I’ve ten conduits to write through, only one to use when I talk. On top of all this I have conductive hearing in my right ear, which basically means it’s a bit dull on that side, and since I’m not in my twenties anymore, the left ear no longer compensates so, in loud places, hearing myself or you can be tricky, which impacts on the confidence I have in my speech, which in turns increases the frequency of my stammer.
And the reason I’m telling you all of this is to try and explain why I walked into a pizza joint to buy three single slices, but walked out with four, and one whole pizza…
I’m giving a 90 minute talk (+30 minute Q&A) on Tour Management at the All Years Leaving Festival, Hare & Hounds Birmingham, Saturday 24 October. Info here, and link to combined lecture + festival ticket. East India Youth will perform at midnight, upstairs in the main room. Continue Reading →
Aside from lecturing around the UK and Europe, I’m also delivering Tour Talks; conversations, lectures and Q&As when I’m actually touring. Many of those who want to learn about the live industry aren’t necessarily keen on an academic environment, so I’m using the venues I’m working in as lecture halls, and inviting bands, managers, students, members of the public… anyone who’s interested in Tour Management, Venue Management, The International Festival Market or Artist Management to come down for a crash course in whatever topic we’ve agreed to discuss. Here’s a list of all the talks and lectures. If there’s one you’d like to attend but you don’t qualify for entry due, email me and I’ll see what I can do. Continue Reading →