Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young: “Just make music and the world will take care of the rest… it’s nice to let people get to something in their own time”

Handmade collage by B.

Eddy Current Suppression make stripped-down, barebones, raw, punk, rock n roll. In 2003 they started as friends hanging out making music, all these years later they’re still friends hanging out making music. At the end of last year the Melbourne band released album, All In Good Time, we caught up with guitarist Mikey Young aka Eddy Current to get a little insight into how he came to doing what he does and ECSR.

Why is music important to you?

MIKEY YOUNG: I don’t really know. I can’t remember ever not loving it. I just do and I have no choice. Certain chords and melodies and sounds make me feel so fricken happy and excited and and bummed out and full of regrets.

What inspired you to first pick up a guitar? The first song you learnt was Devo’s “Mongoloid” right?

MY: Yeah that and Peter Gunn Theme in Grade 4 guitar at primary school. Both easy to learn one stringers…once again really not sure why though. Seemed fun to learn I guess. Maybe my bro had started playing drums by then so it seemed logical. I stopped after primary school for a year and a bit then got psyched again in Year 8 and bought an electric.

When you started Eddy Current Suppression Ring I understand that you didn’t really have ambitions or expectations; what’s one of the biggest surprises you’ve experienced over ECSR’s existence?

MY: The whole thing has been a surprise, still is. Even that people cared about a new album and the upcoming shows so much. It may seem naive but we really don’t realise most of the time that people care so much. It’s really nice. Maybe the biggest surprise was the AMP award. I tried to give a speech but I was a mumbling fool. Rob Solid saved the day.

Personally what do you get out of playing live?

MY: I can be overly analytical when playing live, worrying about sound, pockets of the audience, all kinds of things, but when it’s right and I forgot everything and I stop thinking about where I am and what’s happening, that can be pretty glorious. The response from the audience can be pretty overwhelming and heart-warming too. Also, in all my bands, I get to play and travel with my best friends and family. Getting paid to do that is a pretty sweet deal.

After creating music for all these years, what still makes it exciting for you?

MY: Trying to make music I can’t do very well. New toys, new collaborations, probably that the most. Making music with new people is the best thing to kick me out of a slump

What does it mean to you to still be doing ECSR in 2020?

MY: Same as ever. I really longed for that simple approach to music again and I missed hanging out with those dudes. Being in a band is the best way to force me to hang out with my friends, or else I get lazy and reclusive and a year goes by and I haven’t seen people I care about. Jamming over the last year and having no expectation from the outside world was really nice. It’ll be a different kettle of fish playing live again but I feel like it’ll all be ok.

In December last year you released album, All In Good Time; what got you writing? How did it start?

MY: Golden Plains jams in 2016 started some ideas. Then they got shelved for a while and we got busy with other things. Family, work, other bands…Brendan, Brad and I started jamming for a while with a drum machine in a real quiet fashion while Danny was busy and we wrote a bunch of songs. Maybe half the songs from the LP are from that time. Hence the slightly mellower vibe. Over the last year, time opened up for Danny again and we got back into it for real.

What was the concept or significance of All In Good Time’s cover art?

MY: No concept really. My partner Raven painted some shapes as an idea for it when we were struggling to nail something. It was great but a little too painty so we computerised it and made it all blocky and rigid and changed the colours and that’s what came out. It happened really quickly. I like it.

As far as publicity for your work goes; why do you prefer to take a low key approach?

MY: To try my best to not make external things matter. Just make music and the world will take care of the rest. I’m not chasing a career in any band I’m in so I have no need or desire to force what I/we do on the public. I think it’s nice to let people get to something in their own time.

Previously you’ve said that when things with the band get to a certain size you “just want to run away and start something else”; where does this feeling come from?

MY: I’m a wimp and a homebody that doesn’t really want to be a full time rocker. Chasing the joy of starting something new. Small shows are often more fun than big shows. Money talk and contracts make me feel weird sometimes. Not dealing with being in a band and attention as well as I could. All those things and a few more.

As well as being a musician, you’re also a producer; what do you enjoy most about collaborating with other people?

MY: Aaah I don’t know if I’m a producer. I wouldn’t call myself that. Most bands I’ve recorded and mixed, I’ve been pretty hands off and just try to be the engineer and let the band sound like the band. I don’t really inflict my personality and tastes too much on a band unless forced to. I’m not great at being assertive.

What are the things that matter most to you?

MY Heat, food, water, family, friends, partner, music, books, films, football, internet.

Please check out: Eddy Current Suppression Ring. ECSR Facebook. ECSR bandcamp.

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