I do not know if anybody really reads my interviews. But, the one who does, will notice that every time I introduce a musician I have interviewed I only have good words for them: kindness, gratitude, natural manners…And it is true, at the moment, I have met a bunch of great musicians and great people. And I have to say that, although I had my doubts with Micah P. Hinson after watching him on stage, I was totally wrong. Micah is quite a character. With all his funny little ways, his virtues, his great talent and his genuine personality. You have to accept him as he is, and you will be pleasantly surprised once you succumb to his charms.

Micah P. Hinson and Timber Timbre were in charge of opening the 50 FICX (Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijón). Fifty years of very interesting independent films that have been celebrated with the presence of  the film director Amir Naderi and almost two weeks of concerts. Gijón’s Casino was the locale of choice for the show. The Canadian band Timber Timbre jumped on stage to delight us with some songs off their last album “Creep On Creepin’ On”. A blend of mysterious pop compositions seasoned with violins and keyboards accompaniments, some post-punk influences and alternative overtones. A great surprise. And Timber Timbre were the  band that supported and accompanied Micah P. Hinson in his  own show.

Micah showed up on stage with some orange soda, his white rimmed glasses and all that “nerd” outfit. 170 cm, no more than 60 kilograms of pale skin and bones. And when you hear him singing the first note of the night you get captivated by his deep and sentimental voice and start to wonder how come something so profound can get out from that skinny body. His is a truly song-writer. People have said  that he is the current Leonard Cohen of the indie panorama. As he said before to me, “my music is the sound of life”. Take it or leave it. So his repertory was a tour by his not so long but intense career since their professional debut in 2004 until the recording of his last one, which has come to a standstill because of a car accident last year.  Folk and spoken-word tunes always seasoned with a post-punk and noisy halo, because we cannot forget that he grew up in Texas  listening to bands like “My Bloody Valentine” or “Pixies”.


Micah finished his show delighting us with an Elvis Presley cover (I can’t help falling in love) showing his back to a certain number of people that were chatting and yelling during almost all the concert (they were behind me so I can state it).“If you want to talk and drink you can do it outside” said Micah. There were also some words to those who used constantly his cameras, iphones and ipads to capture any moment of the show. “We are living a period in which we are forgetting the good manners because of the technology. We should integrate both. Man, forget your fucking iphone and enjoy the show, just listen to the music. When I was eleven I saw Smashing Pumpins first live and I remember any moment and song of the gig and I didn’t have a smartphone to record it”.

After the show Micah opened the door of his dressing room to me. Cigarette after cigarette he answered all my questions with great patience and loads of fun and honesty. So here is the result. Enjoy it.

– When did you start in the music world and how was your beginning?

Well when I was a 17 or 18 I was living with a woman, a ballerina in Austin (Texas) and a friend of mine (John Mark) that was living in Manchester listened to my stuff and liked it so I started to record it. He showed it to some labels around but nobody liked it. Two years later we also tried in the radio, the BBC and finally the label Sketch Book Records called me and they wanted me to come to UK. They paid my debts, got me a passport and I arrived in London. They were shocked because of my look. They did not expect someone like me. They expected like an old man and not a boy that looked like if he was 16. And yeah those were my beginnings.

– How was your experience in UK where you recorded your first album?

I think I have never told this anybody before. I arrived in London and basically during one week and a half I was drinking wine and watching porn magazines. I was not able to create anything. I was out of mind. Then I moved to Manchester and everything changed. It was more inspiring for me. I had some friends (John Mark from The Earlies) there and met people that really helped me. The record was full of improvisation and they helped me a lot with my weird mind at the time of recording and getting the sound.

– Which are your main musical influences?

Mmmm I don’t know…I try to ignore that at the time of composing but well I like oldies, music from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. And then when I was younger I listened a lot to My Bloody Valentine, Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Nirvana and all that kind of hard rock bands far from Country and all that Texas stuff.

– Do you have any ritual at the time of composing? And before a show?

Not specially. I just wait for the idea to come. Nothing more. The last time I wrote a song was almost two years. A really long time. The longest in my life. And before the show: loads. I smoke a lot of cigarettes (and other illegal things), eat a lot of fruit, drink orange juice…And if somebody says it is time to go on stage I always have to light a cigarette.

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– How would you define your music to somebody that does not know you?

I will call it “the sound of life”. You have quiet times and loud and intense times…It is related with life, relationships, love and all that daily stuff.

– The last record you have bought.

I have bought some recently: Crystal Castles , the latest Sigur Ros, Richard Hawley, some Bob Dylan‘s stuff…

– A record for a Saturday night.

Loveless – My Bloody Valetine or any of the Ink Spots (it is a R&B and Rock&Roll afroamerican band from the 30’s).

– A record for a Sunday morning.

Andy Warhol – The Velvet Underground. I play it every fucking Sunday morning.

– Is there any special place where you would love to play again?

Mmmm…Union Chapel in London is a good place. I played there with Iron&Wine before and I proposed marriage to my girlfriend there after one of my shows. Yeah, it is a special place.

– After some hard experiences in your life, how have they influenced your way of composing? Have they helped your more creative side?

Well I started writing songs when I was 14 or 15 but it wasn’t until my life really started to get dirty when my songs had something to tell. My songs are a reflection of the decisions I’ve made in my life. I think If I made other decisions or I lived another life or in another place they would not have  had the same response in people.

– Is there any special connection with Spain? you have played here so many times, maybe more that in your own country (USA)?

Well, I don’t know…people of this land like what I do, if not I could not keep coming back. I’ve played in Italy, England…but I do not know, people here understands my play, my music, and even though you are going through hard economic times you still spend your money and come to see me so it is great. I’m always glad to come back to Spain.

– Do you think your music has undergone an evolution?

Of course. Now I believe I’m attempting  to get the “perfect” sound and I think I got that in the ” The Pioneer Saboteurs” record. And now in my new record (we are still working on it) I set off from a starting point. It is not that I’m going to change what I usually do  but itis like a new jumping off from what I did before because I can’t outdo that particular sound I got in my last album…I don’t know, everything is a circle and is connected.

– Which is your favourite own album and why?

Maybe “The Pioneer Saboteurs”. For me it is the heaviest and truest record I’ve ever made. And it wasn’t intentional, but at the beginning it sounds really clear, really nice and then it gets crazier and  if you listen to it with good speakers or headphones you are plunged into all the reverb and distorsion. It is like a tour by my hand to another world. You come into the record with the ears of a normal human but I want you to leave them and give you a new ones.

Photos: Nacho Iglesias