Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Seven questions with... Alex Steward aka Umber

I love finding out more about the artists whose music tickles my ears and keeps me sane whilst out and about. After oohing and ahhing about how good "Sunshine Young" by Umber is ... I thought it apt to get to know him a wee bit better. When I asked him my wee blog interview ... this is what he had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
Hello, i'm Alex Steward. Son, brother, musician & green tea enthusiast. I write music under the name of 'umber'.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
A split release with my good friend Liam Hennessy who goes by the name of Drops. It'll hopefully be out later in the year. Other than that i'm always writing music and compiling enough tracks to put out for a release.

3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
I'll always say that Penguin Cafe Orchestra have been a great inspiration. But who influenced me to write how I write nowadays have been bands like Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós and Godspeed You! Black Emperor - the almighty three.

- Name a place that has inspired you.
Most recently it has got to be my visit to Sweden last year. I spent a few days in Gothenburg and the place is just great. I instantly fell in love with everything about it - the views, people, food and especially the northern islands. A couple of the field recordings you can hear on my latest album 'Sunshine Young' are from Sweden.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
Hmm. I've said this before but living out in the heart of the English countryside has been quite inspirational. It's very peaceful and tranquil here.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
I just enjoy writing music. When I come home from a tiring day there's nothing better than playing guitar and listening to the same drone for 2 hours straight. There's also a great feeling of accomplishment once you have created a piece of music and you can just sit there and think 'oh, did I do that?'.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I write music that's true to me so I guess i'm trying to express honesty. If i'm not happy with a little bit in a song then i'll just scrap it and start over.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
A major role! The world wide web has helped so much. I did a collaboration to the track 'Sunshine Youth' with my friend Tom Honey of Good Weather for an Airstrike where I sent him a guitar track over the internet and just basically told him to do whatever with it. I was more than happy with the results when I heard it. I also asked Sophie Green of Her Name Is Calla to perform violins on the tracks 'The Warm Calm' and 'Gött Mos' using the internet again. Praise the internet!!

7) What is next for what you do?
As I said before, a split with Drops and just writing more music for future releases. But first, a green tea!


Thanks Alex. Please check out "Sunshine Young" by Umber and, if you can, please support independent music. Take a listen below.


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