Friday, 16 July 2010

Indietracks interview #26: MJ Hibbett and the Validators

MJ Hibbett and The Validators are, of course, familiar faces at Indietracks. We think this might be the fifth time Mark has played at the festival in some form, and we’re delighted to welcome them back this year.

The band came to widespread online notice in 2000 with they releaesd the first ever internet single, Hey Hey 16K, an ode to the ZX Spectrum and other home microcomputers of the 1980s. Two million people downloaded the video in the first week. Since then they’ve performed live on Radio One, had a Record Of The Year in Rolling Stone, an Album Of The Day on 6Music, toured up and down the UK, featured in an Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, and are currently recording a Rock Opera!

Hi Mark, what music are you enjoying at the moment*?

I'm currently a little bit obsessed by the Allo Darlin' album, and have listened to not much else for the past fortnight. It's exciting and funny and packed with tunes and all round wonderful - every time I listen to it a new line pops out and makes me smile, or Look A Bit Sad, or think "Bloody hell, I wish I'd thought of that." When I've not got that on then it's mostly Standard Fare, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing both of them!

(*We should confess at this point that we did this interview back in March, and Mark may be listening to something else now.)

Tell us about an unusual place you've played a gig in the past?

Last year I played in a forest clearing at the back of an allotment in Brighton to an audience of troubled teenagers and their social workers. They threw sticks at me and I gave them a stern telling off! Other than that the past year has been the usual mix of train carriages, boats, bowling alleys, industrial museums and people's back gardens.

Do you have any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

Yes, - Dinosaur Planet! This is going to be our fifth album, a proper concept album about the return of the Dinosaurs from Space, the reason they disappeared, and what happens next. I cannot emphasis enough that this IS a PROPER concept album - it's not some namby pamby bunch of loosely connected songs about the same thing, and it's definitely not one of those bloody awful "music from a imaginary film" loads of nonsense, it's a proper story with a large cast of characters, talky bits between the songs, and a LOT of explosions. It's basically "War Of The Worlds" but with more Dinosaurs. We've just finished the basic tracks and are about to have a big session recording the dialogue, it's very very exciting indeed!

Do you have any surprises planned for the Indietracks festival?

We're planning on doing a song or two from "Dinosaur Planet", which will hopefully surprise the people who seem to think I'm making it up! This is going to be the only MJ Hibbett & The Validators gig for the whole of 2010, as half the band are working abroad until the end of the year, so we've been having a Heated Debate about the setlist since February, so whatever we end up doing will have been thoroughly vetted by all concerned!

Thanks Mark! You might remember that Mark also did an amazing ‘seeing double’ cover of Dreaming by fellow Indietracks stars Allo Darlin’ for the blog earlier this year. If you missed it, here it is again!

1 comment: