Burnt Out Wreck Interview: Bassist Alex Carmichael: Rock Band

BURNT OUT WRECK (featuring ex Heavy Pettin’s Gary Moat) release their new track ‘Talk About Love’ from their debut album ‘Swallow’.bass player

– How is it going along with the life of Burnt Out Wreck?

It’s going great, reviews of the album have been very positive and the reaction we got at our first gig at the Legends of Rock in Minehead was excellent.

– How was it releasing and recording Swallow album?

As far as recording the album itself goes, that was done by Gary and Adrian before the actual band was put together, so I can’t really answer that one.  We were together by the time of its release though, and that’s always an exciting time. You know it’s good but you’re never quite sure if anyone else is going to like it. Luckily, they did.

– When writing a song, is there such a thing as investing too much time?

I think so. Song writing is an art form and when you’re trying to be creative, you need to know when to take a step back and say “that’s it”. Otherwise you can drive yourself insane trying to make it perfect, but there’s no such thing as perfection.  Songs do evolve over time when you play them live and changes creep in here and there, but when recording you just need to draw a line and move on.

– Do you consider album artwork as important now that music is mostly downloaded?

I do yes, but I’m a bit old school when it comes to that sort of stuff. I like being able to hold an album in my hands as part of a music collection and the cover and art work are a big deal. There have been a few occasions when I’ve debated with myself about buying an album or not and the art work has been the deciding factor one way or another. It sets the scene for the album before you even play it.

– Do you have any tours coming up in the near future?

No official tours as yet, but gig dates are coming in for later in the year fairly regularly. Hopefully that continues and a tour will just sort of come together. We do have a sort of mini support tour arranged when we’re out with Focus for a few dates. We’re all really looking forward to getting out there and making a noise.

– Could you describe some of your earliest influences in life and in music?alex carmichael

Influences in life I guess come from parents and family and I was fortunate there. As far as music goes, I remember the moment when everything changed. I’d be 12 years old maybe, liked music but wasn’t passionate about any of it. I was watching Top of the Pops  one Thursday evening in 1972 (?) when a band I’d never even heard of came on. It was Slade playing “Coz I luv You”. That was it for me. Hairs standing up on the back of the neck time and a big grin on my face.  I was immediately a huge Slade fan from then on and still am. They opened the floodgates and within months I was into Sabbath, Zeppelin and Purple. If your going to be influenced, they’re the chaps to do it, right?

– Is the band fans of Spotify and similar streaming services? What are your thoughts on this?

I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, but I’m no fan of Spotify, streaming services and free downloads. I’ve never downloaded a song in my life, never mind an album. These sites literally rob artistes and bands of their main source of income. I guess it’s ok if you’re one of the main players who are never off tv and radio, but for everybody else, it’s a nightmare. How do you stop them? No idea.

– Without social media could bands today manage to survive?

Of course bands would survive. Music is the message, that’s what it’s all about. There was music before and there will be music after social media. Having said that, it’s a great thing for unsigned bands to get their music heard, promote gigs and such like. It’s those sites mentioned earlier that give the music away for free that threatens the survival of bands, not social media.

– In your opinion, which album would be essential to have if someone were stranded on a deserted island?

That’s a really difficult question because my opinion on that changes from day to day, depending on what sort of mood I wake up in. If I was stranded on a desert island, I suppose I’d need something to get me up and get me going every day, so I’ll leave Floyd at home. For that, I just go to default mode and have Slade On Stage from 1982. I saw them on that tour and listening to the album never fails to make me smile. And leap about like an eejit. Ask me tomorrow and I’d say Sabbath or UFO or Rainbow or Motorhead etc etc

– Where do you see music in general going in 100 years from now?

Technology wise, you’ll probably have pay per view hologram concerts in your own living room or be able to listen to whoever you want via implants in your head. Content wise, we’ll no doubt have heard it all before. There’s very little stuff that’s truly original anymore, just different takes on the same basic formulae. I tend to find that any band who now claim to be original, or are lauded as being original and different, generally turn out to be shit. Perhaps that’s just my old school attitude coming through again though.

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