A Year in Music – Niall McCann (Film Director) – Questions by Killian Laher
Niall McCann is the director of Lost in France (2016). His new film The Science of Ghosts with Adrian Crowley will be released next year.
What music stood out for you in 2017?
I thought it was a great year for music. I like lists so here is one of my favourite albums this year. I won’t list them all because we will be here all night but here’s some of them:
Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration
John Maus – Screen Memories
Richard Dawson – Peasant
Godspeed You Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers
Mogwai – Every Country’s Sun
Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
Destroyer – Ken
The Moonlandingz – Interplanetary Class Classics
John Murray – A Short History to Decay
LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
Adrian Crowley – Dark Eyed Messenger
The Bug Vs Earth – Concrete Desert
James Holden and the Animal Spirits – Animal Spirits
Arcade Fire – Everything Now – Because people turned on them and it’s a good record. Apart from that Reggae song.
Any discoveries that had passed you by previously that made sense this year?
Oxbow – Thin Black Duke. I missed these guys last time round they released a record in 2007 but thankfully I was lucky enough to listen to this on John Doran’s recommendation on the Quietus Website. Simply brilliant.
Are you still buying music? Any recommendations as to where?
I do, unfortunately for my bank balance. I’ve been bitten by the vinyl bug the last few years but I still buy CDs as well and pay for Apple Music on my phone. I’ve seen first hand the effect that people not buying music has on the artists who make it (the music). If you like something and want more great music in the future, we have to realise that we need to pay musicians and all artists for their work. If you are Radiohead or Nick Cave you can do huge tours and make loads of wonga but if you are at the other end of the spectrum starting out or playing more leftfield music to smaller audiences, you need to make money from what you do and that means us paying for music. Otherwise we will be a lot poorer off than the price of an album. Same goes for all art forms while we are at it.
Sometimes it seems there are as many rereleases as new albums. Are you interested in reissued albums?
Sometimes if it’s a record I loved or want to check out that maybe I missed first time round, but it’s rare and it’s not really something that races the pulse, no.
As Mozzer said in better times:
“Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package!
Re-evaluate the songs
Double-pack with a photograph
Extra track (and a tacky badge)”
How are things going yourself? Any plans for 2018?
My new film The Science of Ghosts which I made with Adrian Crowley, Matt Boyd and Greg Dunn of Stoneybutter.com Its premiere will be at the Dublin Film Festival, end of next February. I’m really happy with it and it makes a nice end to what I consider to be a trilogy of music films, starting with Art Will Save the World and then Lost In France. Kevin Barry, Brigid Mae Power, Radie Peat and the Crash Ensemble also feature.
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