There was a lot of fuss about former Arab Strap frontman Malcolm Middleton’s recent single, We’re All Going to Die, and the timing of its release around Christmas. We asked him if it was a publicity stunt, a reality check, a coincidence, or all three wrapped up into a two minute fifty slice of classic, introspective pop. ‘It wasn’t a publicity stunt I’m afraid. That would imply that I cared about publicity. It was simply a joke that got taken out of hand and then avalanched a bit. I’m glad it only got to number 31 over here as it could have ruined the nice little rut of miserablism that I’ve carved for myself. Ho-ho-ho!’ Four Cigarettes has been played over and over on my Ipod. A wonderful track. Do you recall writing it and then playing it for someone the first time? ‘I remember writing it and then immediately recording a pretty detailed demo the same day, including all the string and brass parts. The demo is slightly rockier, with louder choruses and distorted guitars. I felt it need softening a bit though. I can’t remember playing it to anyone. I tend to work in a vacuum’. Has it been a challenge moving away from the sound you created so successfully with Arab Strap? Though there are parallels to be drawn obviously. ‘It hasn’t been a challenge — more like fun. I now get to do all the bits that were good in Arab Strap but also stuff that I like without having to compromise or fight about it. I miss being in the band, though we did end it at the right time’ Does Australia [where he’s about to tour] hold fond memories for you? If so, which part in particular? ‘I played on a boat in Sydney harbor in 2002 with Mogwai, Arab Strap, Machine Translations and myself. That was good fun. Most memories involve alcohol fueled youthful jet-lag. I’ll hopefully make some more memories like that, except without the youthful, of course’.
Malcolm Middleton’s new EP, Sleight Of Heart, is out now on Pod through Inertia. Malcolm will be touring Australia between 7th and 10th of May.