Photo by: Carolyn Lederach

Photo by: Carolyn Lederach

The rules are simple...there's a hat, this hat is filled with many questions ranging from the personal to the off beat.  We pass the hat, and artists gets a chance to answer the question they choose from said hat.  Fun is had by all.

Nick Mulvey made his triumphant return to the US with a magical band in support of his newest release, Wake Up Now.  The first stop on the tour was in Philly at Johnny Brenda's and we got to sit down with Nick before the show to chat about the new album and other things.

Without further ado, here's our Chat in the Hat with Nick Mulvey:


Chat in a Hat - Nick Mulvey


What is your favorite thing about Philly?

It’s my third time here and both times have been in and out with the soundcheck and then the gig, but we got in yesterday.  My favorite thing about Philly is the Magic Gardens.  It was magical, as the name suggests.  And the Philly Cheesesteak.


Worst Job You’ve Had:

I’ve had a few.  I had a summer job at a pet shop when I was like 16.  That was pretty low, changing the food and cleaning the cages.  It was pretty menial.


What is your favourite song / album right now?

My favorite song is ‘Bachelorette’ by Björk.  It’s a song I’ve loved for years but has suddenly come back in my life. its like a second language and she sings “I am a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl, you're the bird on the brim hypnotized by the whirl”...   and it goes on.  it’s just so good, it’s beautiful. 


Whats the stupidest thing you did in your teens to look cool?

One time I borrowed my friends mom’s bike that had a child’s seat in the back. I was riding this bike and I saw this group of girls.  They were standing right outside where I needed to go.  I didn’t even think about it, I just decided to be cool to try and impress them.  I was going to smoothly and dramatically swing my bike around and park it outside the shop, which involved swinging my leg around the bike, which I would normally do with my bike.  I completely forgot I was riding this other bike with the kids seat on the back.  It just all went disastrously wrong and ended up in a very hard crash.

I did a lot of stupid things.  Side parting with my hair.  Centering parting was a mistake too.


What is the coolest venue you’ve ever played?

It sounds larger than life.  I have a friend who organizes festivals in the UK and he called me up a couple years ago and straight off the bat asked if I wanted to come by a gig for the king of Bhutan.  Bhutan is a very remote kingdom in the Hymilans so there’s like China and India and then in-between Tibet and Nepal is Bhutan.  It’s a really amazing country, it’s one of the last remaining pristine places on the planet and they keep it that way by making it very inaccessible.  There is tourism but they charge large amounts like $200 a day visa to be there.  To prohibit the kind of tourism that has overwhelmed Nepal and destroyed what’s sacred of the place.   


So it was the birthday for the king of Bhutan and it was in the local football stadium in the capital, Thimphu.  It was amazing it was the first festival of its kind in Bhutan and the first outside artist coming to it.  The stadium was full of thousands of Bhutanese people who were the best audience you could ever imagine.    They’ve never experienced amplified sound.  They love heavy metal.  Nothing really gets into that country that isn’t heavy metal, like Iron Maiden.  But they went wild and it was just a joy and such an amazing experience.


Describe your new album with animals:

Basking Shark has a conscious in a self reflective way.  I love the idea that we are the only conscious creatures.  We can say a dolphin might be a little bit, or chimpanzees.  But there’s a radical misunderstanding about the whole thing.   I think something more radical in that the entire universe is alive, in a sense, and that its fair to say our energy is recycled sunlight.  So if recycled sunlight can have self reflective consciousness, then is it not reasonable to suggest that the original source might have some intelligent that our limited instruments can understand?  So I’m going to include the sun as well as the basking shark.  Who are we to decide what is and what isn’t an animal.  The reason I say this is because my album is all about consciousness and self inquiry as a response to the crazy times we’re living in now.  As well as a deeper understanding of ourselves.  The album is about consciousness.