DiscoverThe Art of LongevityThe Art of Longevity Season 7, Episode 4: John Grant
The Art of Longevity Season 7, Episode 4: John Grant

The Art of Longevity Season 7, Episode 4: John Grant

Update: 2023-05-17
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Asking John Grant to describe the essence of the record he is working on now, elicits a response that fascinates from the get go. 

“I’m trying to marry the vibe of Blade Runner with - wait a minute - let me go and get this movie [shows me Tetsu The Iron Man]. I want to blend Sonic Youth with Blade Runner, Evil Dead and Halloween 3”. 

John was struggling to articulate a few things on the day we met, including the one word essence of this new album project, but I’m going to guess the word that he was looking for was cyberpunk

If you don’t know it, Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a 1989 Japanese tokusatsu cyberpunk body horror film created (as in written, produced, edited, and directed) by Shinya Tsukamoto. It’s insane and unlike any other movie made then or now. It’s an auteur’s project and that sums up John Grant better than anything else. The man has a singular vision and for that we can be grateful. We do not want John Grant by way of compromise! 

And then there is Blade Runner, which I’m guessing you are more familiar with. Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic is an anchor point for Grant, who is influenced by those sweeping, cosmic valve-synth Vangelis soundscapes that cropped up so fully formed on his last album Boy From Michigan - a high watermark record that John feels is only just finished, yet is already almost two years old. In today’s music biz, two years is an awfully long time. 

But then, making the follow-up to Boy From Michigan is not a trivial undertaking. Creativity in John Grant’s particular zone of avant garde pop is not an environment in which you can simply turn up at the office and turn on the tap. His world is not always a well-oiled machine. 

“Guy Garvey told me that creativity is like a pipeline that you have to keep flowing, even if it’s just to flush the shit out before you can get to the good stuff”.

I do love it when artists listen to artists. Thing is, it doesn’t happen enough.

For the time being however, if you cannot wait too long for more from John - good news. Grant’s alternative supergroup Creep Show brings a welcome escape from the weight of the world - for him and for us. New album Yawning Abyss is due for release June 2023. 

Creep Show is a wonderful collaboration. With a name inspired by George A. Romero and Stephen King’s 1982 film and novel, Creep Show brings together John Grant with the dark analogue-electro of Wrangler (Stephen Mallinder / Phil Winter  and Benge, the latter producing Grant’s 2018 album Love Is Magic). The Creep Show project deserves every bit the success achieved by Gorillaz, in a parallel universe in which all music is judged on listenability

Who could not listen to this man's voice?

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The Art of Longevity Season 7, Episode 4: John Grant

The Art of Longevity Season 7, Episode 4: John Grant

The Song Sommelier