13 January 2010

The Android Angel Answers 5

I came across The Android Angel’s “Glow Worm” a few weeks after it’s release, and it was one of those moments that I really wanted to kick myself for not being on top of this one. There was something about the strumming and pure emotional power that really caught my attention. After posting my review of the album (link), I had the chance to communicate with The Android Angel (Paul Colto), who took the time to answer a few questions. As real as his music, these responses really show more than a musician, but rather the man behind the artistry, not to mention that I got to pick up a new British idiom. I would like to thank Paul Colto for taking the time for answering 5. Enjoy!



1. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Like most musicians, I love to listen to as much music as I possibly can. Guitar bands I’ve always loved and whose songs I have grown up with and studied a great deal include Mercury Rev, Spiritualized, Super Furry Animals, Radiohead and The Mars Volta. I also love classic songwriters like Neil Young and Bob Dylan alongside more contemporary ones like Cornelius, Bon Iver, Caribou and Antony and the Johnsons.

Non-musically I try to incorporate everything and anything beautiful that I see and feel in reality, or in dream, in some way in my music.

2. "Android" always connotes something cold and inhuman to me, but your music is all too human and full of emotional contexts. So, why the moniker, "The Android Angel?"

I’d basically lived a wilderness existence in England for five years after University and felt like I was going insane. So two years ago, inspired mainly by the poems of William Blake, I gave up my various vices to just write, record and perform music that I enjoyed making. The Android Angel, as a musical project, emerged. I’d like to think that the name represents the detached isolation of devoting your life uncompromisingly to your art but to be totally honest, I can’t remember why I chose it.

3. It seems like many musicians are taking their cues from the past to the point that they sound like veterans, but you have not gone down this road. Though every musician has influences, as an artist, how important is it for you to have a signature sound that is your own and not the past's?

To be honest I don’t really think of it. Android Angel is an outlet that provides me with complete control and freedom to make music for no reason other than enjoyment. There’s no agenda, I simply make whatever music I feel like making. When I’ve got 10 or 11 songs I record them all to the best of my ability and then release them in the hope that other people might gain the same satisfaction listening to them as I do making them.



4. Your strumming really caught my ear. Out of curiosity, do you have a favorite guitar? How about your other instruments, any favorites?

Along with all my other uninsured equipment, my favourite guitar was stolen from the back of my car in July last year. I realized once it had gone that I’d bonded very closely with that guitar because I wrote a lot of the songs that are making me the musician I hope I am becoming on it. It was an Art and Lutherie acoustic guitar I inherited from a girl who bought it on a whim but never really played it. I sourced a replacement on EBAY a few months ago and we’re getting on pretty well so far.

As far as other instruments go, possibilities never seem quite as infinite as when I’m playing the piano. I’m not that good at it, but I know enough to get what I need out of it. I love playing the drums but I have a very fractious relationship with the electric guitar - we have a bit of history…

5. You essentially recorded "Glow Worm" on your own, but during live performances there are two other musicians present. For those of us who have not seen you live (yet), what can we expect to see and hear that we would not expect from listening to the album?

I toured the first record with just a drummer, but for the “Glow Worm” show in London in April I’ve got a bass player on board too so that we can do some of the heavy rock music from the record alongside the acoustic stuff. Having bass and drums will also give me the chance to play some songs from my first album “Bless” in full technicolor for the first time.

On the first tour we’d finish each set by getting people in the crowd onstage to play percussion on the last song which worked a treat. I’d like to think we’ll come up with a way to take it to an even higher level this year – perhaps we could completely swap places so by the end all the crowd is onstage and the band is the audience. Hmm…

Keep up with Android Angel at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.

Also, do yourself the favor and head over to iTunes and pick up the latest album, “Glow Worm.” And of course, you could also pick up the debut album, “Bless.” (I did a bit of the ground work for everyone – listed below each album are the direct links to the national iTunes’ stores by album.)



“Glow Worm” (30 November 2009)

Australia
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
Deutschland
España
Finland
France
Greece
Italia
Japan/日本
Luxembourg
México
Nederland
New Zealand
Norway
Österreich
Portugal
Schweiz/Suisse
Sweden
The United Kingdom
The United States of America





"Bless" (24 December 2008)

Australia
Belgique
Canada
Denmark
Deutschland
España
Finland
France
Greece
Italia
Japan/日本
Luxembourg
Nederland
New Zealand
Norway
Österreich
Portugal
Schweiz/Suisse
Sweden
The United Kingdom
The United States of America

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