Say hello to Lloyd Markham, novelist and musician with the band Deep Hum.
1. How would you describe your music?
Well in Deep Hum I’ve taken to jokingly describing us as either “Pound Land Pink Floyd” or “Council House Tangerine Dream” because while we’re doing these long jazzy psychedelic jams our setup is somewhat humble and we’re not exactly photogenic scenesters. I use a lot of cheap mass produced gear which would no doubt make your average synth snob wince. So there’s a grungey edge to our sound.
2. As well as being a musician, you are also a writer. Do the two practices influence each other?
Definitely. I often approach structuring a book like I would an album and vice versa – thinking about how the broader themes are linked together and so on. I also regularly use music to help me visualise a scene I am trying to get on the page. It’s a bit dorky but sometimes I imagine the scene almost as a music video. Music videos are normally very abstract and more focused on tone and mood – so imagining the scene that way can help me when I’m struggling to connect emotionally to a scene I’m trying to write. When writing a story it’s very easy to get bogged down in logistics. You end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out new and interesting ways for characters to enter rooms, leave rooms, sit on chairs, open doors, etc. Music, with its emotional immediacy, can provide a welcome relief from this.
3. Do you approach writing music and words in the same way?
Not quite. With writing, I nearly always do a lot of pre-planning. The story is often mostly figured out before I start typing it up. Writing is, at least for me, something that is very satisfying upon completion, but getting started requires a lot discipline. It’s tough at first but with a big payoff at the end. It’s also very conceptual and tends to stick in my brain even when I’m not working on it.
With music, it’s sort of the opposite. I find I can just dive in without any real plan and immediately have a good time. But getting stuff finished and actually produced to a decent quality – that’s where I find I need a lot of discipline. My computer is full of half finished recordings and compositions. I also find, because I’m more improvisational in how I approach music, it can sometimes feel very ephemeral. Like the second I’m done with a track I immediately find myself moving on to another.
4. Last time we spoke you mentioned a possible second album. How are your creative projects going at the moment?
Very well thanks. I’ve been very preoccupied with the upcoming release of debut book Bad Ideas / Chemicals – so I’ve been doing far more logistical than creative work lately. But I have found time in there to begin work on the next self-released Deep Hum album. There is also another album we did that will be coming out through a label sometime this year, but we’re not ready to announce any specifics on that.
5. Where do you want your work to be in a years time, and how will you get there?
Ideally, I would like to have finished up my second book and be making at least part of my income through my art by then. Whether I will accomplish that will depend on how much of a success my first book is and whether I can effectively harness that success. A man can dream.
Check out Deep Hum’s music on Bandcamp and keep your eyes peeled for Lloyd’s book. 🎶
It’s so interesting to hear how creatives in other professions work. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, Lloyd. I hope we get to work together soon!
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