by Zolton in New Music on Thursday 2 October 2008

We said a few weeks back that Micah P. Hinson is ‘like every rustic, broken down, and pieced back together country great that’s ever been. Only hipper and slightly less sombre’. With that in mind, we spoke to him recently and asked him whether his hometown of Texas was a difficult place for a young, aspiring musician to grow up in: ‘The boredom of Abilene [Texas] helped the creativity. There wasn’t much to do to fill a person’s time, so you had to find ways of filling it. So as far as music, this was helpful. But regarding other extralegal activities, it was not so helpful. But you know, you take the good with the bad, mix it up, and see what pops out’.

How did your experiences there shape your songwriting and would you have been as successful a songwriter, do you think, if you hadn’t gone through the dramas of your late teen years?
‘I’m not sure how to really answer this one. It goes back to the question of whether hard times are important to songwriting. I firmly believe that it is not necessary to the process. Yeah, it helps, but surely if I hadn’t caused all that hell, music still would have come. It just would’ve come from a different angle’.

Any music right now that’s really exciting you – bands, producers or songwriters?
‘Hmmm, the only thing new that I’m excited about is the Glasgow band, The Twilight Sad. Other than that, I’m at a loss’.

How quick/slow was the writing process for [new album] Micah P. Hinson and the Red Empire Orchestra?
‘The songwriting process took about the same as it always does. It usually takes about the span of a year to write, record, and then prepare for a release. It’d probably take a shorter amount of time, but between albums they keep me so busy with the road that I can’t focus on much anything else’.

Are you still enjoying listening to it or have you moved on from it already?
‘I listen to my albums every so often. I listen to them so much during the recording process, that by the end, my ears generally tire of them. It’s good this way, though, ’cause it always sounds like magic to go back to’.

Download the Micah P. Hinson track, Tell Me It Isn’t So.

Micah P. Hinson’s …And The Red Empire Orchestra is out now on Pod through Inertia.