18 April 2011

Fresh Meat Monday - The Great I Am

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Good day, I'm Graham Crossan and I'm the writer and 'liberal benevolent dictator' in the Glasgow-based music project 'The Great I Am'. I'm also an unapologetically lapsed zen-buddhist with Presbyterian overtones, if that's of any interest?

How would you describe the music you make?

The music The Great I Am make is of no specific genre, though at this time I do favour electro/hip hop and traditional celtic based stuff.

How did you start out making music?

I started making music as soon as I learnt the riff to 'Smells like teen spirit'. That was my generations 'Louie Louie' you know. From there I just bumbled and fumbled my way through a multitude of styles really, and realised I didn't have a favourite type of music. This was the genesis of The Great I Am - if I like it, its in. I was also fed up of being in bands doing one thing one way with a set line-up.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

There's a few ways I write songs. By fluke or happy accident is a common way, ie, just absent-mindedly buggering about on the guitar until something takes shape of its own accord. I walk a lot because I realised that they sometimes just pop into my head that way. I will then stop and sing the different parts into my phones recorder, starting with crap beatboxing. As for lyrics, the same methods apply, as does talking in tongues whilst washing the dishes.

What can people expect from your live shows?

The initial live shows should be a right old genre-jumping, instrument-swapping knees up. Soon enough we'll be able to do a full electro/hip hop show, or a full live band/acoustic show as well as a mix of the lot.

What are you all listening to at the moment?

I know that Greg Hurst (Magic Daddy) was right into Radioheads new album last time I saw him, Julian Corrie (Miaoux Miaoux) is listening to a lot of experimental dubstep, micro-house, and post electro, Dave Gillies (Dirty Keys) played me some experimental hip hop last time I was over, Chris McCrory (Male Pattern Band) posts a wide range of stuff he's into on facebook. Juliana Napier (Punch and The Apostles) I've not heard from in over a year (She stays in Berlin with the rest of PATA now), and I've not seen David MacDonald (Rio Butterfly Band) for a wee while either. Just now I'm listening to a lot of Classic FM, as I've never made a serious investigation of that music. I'm only starting to learn which composers I really like, and I dont know the spellings of their names yet!

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2011?

This year, as aforementioned, you will see us doing something a bit different on the live scene. Also, Greg Hurst (Magic Daddy) and I are working on an exclusively electro/hiphop album right now. I've got a 3rd album of guitar/drums/bass tunes mostly written, and want to record that with Chris McCrory as he is also a producer. I'm aiming to release albums 2 and 3 at the same time (hopefully autumn), then work on the bits and bobs I've got for album 4. We hope to play some UK/european festivals, and maybe establish a collective of 'bands that dont really fit' to do regular club nights. A few people want to pass our stuff onto a few legendary labels aswell, but we're going to need to show our mettle first!

The Great I Am - Perchance to Haver

Viva Payola Records

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