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– Male Boxx: Andrew Wyatt

Boxx Magazine | Male Boxx: Andrew Wyatt

Thursday 31st December 2015,


Male Boxx: Andrew Wyatt

Lily Moayeri May 1, 2013

Andrew Wyatt

If you’re wondering who Andrew Wyatt is, you might best know him as the long-haired frontman so good at singing those amazing Miike Snow songs (surely you heard “Animal” at some point in 2010). Although he might look like the scary guy refusing to leave a dive bar at the end of the night, a closer look reveals that under his curtains of unruly head and facial hair, Wyatt is handsome, with a million creative ideas in various mediums (music, art, writing) racing through head and out of his very pores. A realization of a few of these ideas is Wyatt’s abbreviated, brand-new solo album called Descender

“Everyone in Miike Snow has an idea about what they like things to sound like—and has the talent level to back it up, plus the experience,” says Wyatt, speaking of his Swedish bandmates Chris Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg. “It’s a true collaboration, never the vision of one person, nor representative of one individual’s idiosyncratic point of view. It’s meant to be that way and it’s wonderful.” But as he continues speaking, it’s clear there’s so much more Wyatt wants to explore, which inspired him to start his own solo project. “By definition there are other things that fall outside of what makes sense for Miike Snow to do. I felt like I needed to address some of those things. Things I appreciated that maybe weren’t fitting within that context.”

Recorded during a short break between Miike Snow tours, Descender is brief in length but full-blown with the inclusion of the 75-piece Prague Philharmonic Orchestra on every song. (“Why try to beat the kids at the laptop game? This is something that, as someone older, I could do that maybe the kids can’t.”)  Moving like a classic Disney long-form cartoon with the same storytelling element, Descender is in turns acutely tender and uncontrollably wild.

Although spending some time at a classical conservatory many years ago didn’t quite prepare Wyatt for the daunting task of having his writings interpreted by classically trained, professional musicians.

“It was difficult,” states Wyatt. “I didn’t have experience in that arena, and I really had to come prepared with the scores. The conductor Adam Klemenz was fluent in both English and Czech. I’d communicate my wishes to him and he’d execute and control the sound. [The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra] are good and relatively affordable. Plus they had a great place to record: an old film music studio which was a 19th century lecture hall at the university, but was outfitted during the Soviet time with all the drab accoutrements one associates with that era.”

The entire recording experience is captured in the mini-documentary, The Making Of Descender. This short film turns a very intimate camera on Wyatt and the creative process. One can sense the frustration and the despair within the eight minutes of footage. There is a devastating moment in the film where Wyatt declares Descender sounds like “the ruins of my grand ideas”—a statement he stands by. He is mistaken though. Grand and sensitive, Descender doesn’t sound like the ruins of anything to us but something to build upon.

Our job was not done until we asked Wyatt about the women (musicians) in his life. Although Wyatt has frequently collaborated with Lykke Li (on recordings and many festival appearances), it turns out there’s even more ladies he admires…

Who are some of your favorite female musicians of all time? How have these female artists inspired you and your music?

“A very important inspiration for this album (Descender) is Kate Bush. I was trying to do Hounds of Love, in my own way. But I probably failed.”

Are there any female musicians on your radar now that people should check out?

“Obviously Lykke Li and Grimes. You will soon hear of a very talented young woman named Twigs. Other inspirations are Joan As Police Woman, the sound installation artist Maria Chavez, the singer-songwriter Carmen Villain, the band Prince Rama, the DJ/producers CREEP and the young band Grand Rapids.”

Are there any all-girl bands or female bassists, drummers, guitarists that you admire?

“My buddy Stella Mozgawa and I are working on some stuff currently.”

If you could collaborate with any female artist who would it be?

“I’ve worked with Yoko Ono and Lykke Li already this year, so I’m off to a good start with the ladies. I’d like to work with Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle/Chris and Cosey). No one would expect that.”

(Cover photo by Lili Perez; inset photo by Sebastian Mlynarski)

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