Thursday, 11 July 2013

Neurotic Wreck Interview

The other day I received an email from a singer / songwriter that goes under the name of Neurotic Wreck. What can I say - I instantly liked the name. Then I listened to the material and I loved it. Self-proclaimed “standout track” Show Me Who Broke Your Heart is a gem of a song and since the man behind Neurotic Wreck, Dan Shea, explores his obsessions: lost love, conflicted sexuality, half remembered memories with his songs, I thought he’s a top candidate for another emo Q&A. So we talked about romance, bullshit, romance bullshit and whether all this is really complicated. We talked about music too. Enjoy. 

What’s the first thing that attracts you to a person? 

That very much varies person to person. On physical terms, it tends to be eyes and hair. On paper I've got a very specific type, doe eyed androgynes mostly, which could be a degree of narcissism as that phrase'd describe me. Getting past the physical, I can't abide ignorance: I'm attracted to talented people who can blow me away and teach me something new, keep teaching me all the time. It could be a lesson about how to approach life or a new way of approaching art or just interesting trivia, but someone who can shut me up.  

Why is this romance shit so complicated? Is it complicated? 

Honestly, I think it's so complicated because we make it so complicated! On some level, if there's no difficulty along the way we feel we don't deserve to be happy, a lot of the time. It's a very human thing, if there're no problems we'll make some, focus on the minor thing over the major.
Romance is something you either get or you don't, it's something you can't fake (for a long time). You're either a romantic or you're not. Sometimes the complications arise from trying to be something you're not, in that case. See, not the most coherent answer: but that's romance. Messy, incoherent, indescribable but when it's going well it's the best thing in the world. 

 Up until now, what’s the most important thing you have learned about relationships? 

I don't know if I've learned anything. When it's over, I always console myself with the lessons I've learned: don't give too much of yourself, don't come on too strong, too intense. Then the next relationship I'm in the problem is I've been too detached. So I change tack and the cycle continues. I would say I've learned to listen but sometimes listening too much can be a problem. So n/a: I've learned nothing. Try again in a few years when I've got a much thicker skin, hopefully the answer will be different! 

How do you know someone fancies you? 

Honestly, I've no idea. If they tell me, it usually comes down to. I lack the confidence to approach people I'm attracted to. One guy in particular I'm mooning over at the moment, there's the possibility he likes me of course but I'm unsure.
So in brief I know someone fancies me when they say "Dan, I fancy you", in terms either more or less vulgar than that. Even then I often suspect they're just joking, and it's going to end in someone pointing and laughing. 

Who or what inspires you? 

Oh, lots of things: my close friends and family. The closed-minded, bigoted outlook of those that surround me in the town I live in, in a negative way, give me something to aspire to: get out of there! Some specific artists across various mediums: Dennis Cooper, PJ Harvey, Jamie Stewart, the list goes on. Beauty inspires me, pretentious as it may sound: anywhere I can find it. 

What life advice would you give to your 16-year-old self? 

Honestly, I think I was better adjusted then than now in a number of ways but: start believing in yourself quicker, keep a bit more of yourself to yourself, read more, don't dumb yourself down to fit in because those people you're hanging out with are poisonous anyway and don't get that stupid bobbed haircut, you look like a dunce. Then I'd ask him for advice on how to get boys. 

What’s the difference between boys and girls? 

Other than physically? I don't think there's a hell of a lot of difference. I think we like to pretend there is but other than biologically people are people (to quote Martin Gore). Lots of people get too hung up on the miniscule differences which're usually socially constructed anyway. I'm more attracted to boys, usually, but emotionally I'd imagine it's all the same stuff. Show Me Who Broke Your Heart off the EP I sent you explains my feelings on this in a snappier, less clumsy way than I could just in cold text. 

 What are you listening to right now? 

At the time of writing the window is open and I'm listening to a dog bark, maddeningly. Otherwise, the stuff I'm into at the moment: quite a lot of Death In June and Current 93, Kanye West's Yeezus, Zebra Katz and revisiting the first two Streets albums. Of course, the new Neurotic Wreck + Longdrone Flowers things I'm working on and in the case of The Longdrone Flowers rehearsing for the increasingly frequent shows, but that's not as much for pleasure although I do enjoy it. 

Is there a mantra / belief you live by? What is it? 

"Keep your mouth closed and your mind open" 

Is not playing games the new playing games? Are we tired of trying? Is life too short to play the long game? 

Playing the game is a stupid waste of time but also seems to be the way of getting anything done. Personally, I'm not tired of trying as much as I am being ignored.

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