Interview: Andrew Hung
I think my records have been autobiographical up to this point and whether that continues I'm not sure, but certainly Deliverance feels like the moment when I finally start delivering what I've always felt I could.
Deliverance, the new solo album by Andrew Hung on Lex Records is a captivating record that explores so many aspects of what makes Andrew an amazing musical creator and captures feelings of both fragility and strength perfectly. Ahead of the albums release, Gavin Brown caught up with Andrew to talk all about Deliverance and what went into making the album as well as his film score work, favourite record shops and his memories of Fuck Buttons.
E&D: Your new album Deliverance is out very soon. Are you looking forward to getting it out there and as the creation of the record a smooth process?
Andrew: Yeah, it was a much smoother process than Devastations. I think maybe I’ve relaxed a little bit more? Or perhaps, I had a lot to learn before making Devastations whereas with Deliverance I was going at a much more natural pace as opposed to going full throttle. Am I looking forward to getting it out there? Yeah I am! I’m looking forward to it not being mine and being of the world.
E&D: You have released the track ‘Find Out’ ahead of the album’s release. You’ve stated that this song is about isolation but also hope, is that an ethos that is found throughout the album?
Andrew: Yeah, I’d say so. It was a record that was written during covid but I wouldn’t call it a “covid” record per se. Everyone has had a different experience of covid but there have been threads of commonality running through everyone’s experiences. The isolation is probably one of them. For me, the isolation was an opportunity to explore deeper parts of me that perhaps I neglected and for that I needed hope. Otherwise why would I do that? I think my records have been autobiographical up to this point and whether that continues I’m not sure, but certainly Deliverance feels like the moment when I finally start delivering what I’ve always felt I could.
E&D: What other emotions and feelings does the music on Deliverance explore?
Andrew: I think there’s desperation, sadness… but also a striving. I think that’s where the sense of hope comes from; the striving.
E&D: Does this album come from a similar place sonically and emotionally from your last album Devastations?
Andrew: Yes, I’d say it’s part of the same journey. I think my first three records are part of the same story. Realisationship was a realisation, Devastations was the crisis and Deliverance is the wondering. Sonically Realisationship was very broad which Devastations nailed down and Deliverance has nailed it down even further. I’ve found my sound.
E&D: You are doing a series of in stores when Deliverance is released. Are you looking forward to these more intimate appearances and are you doing more live shows later in the year?
Andrew: Yeah I am actually! Afternoon shows, visiting cities by train, hanging out with music fans. Yeah I think it’ll be fun! I am going to do more live shows later on in the year for sure!
E&D: What are your favourite ever record stores and what makes them special to you?
Andrew: Oh I loved this place called Imperial in Bristol. Tiny, dingy place but such a good record shop. I’d go as far as to say it was a formative venue for me. There was a dude in there who when I took up the Unkle record, he recommended me Brainfreeze by Shadow and Cut Chemist. I absolutely love those records to this day and the value of someone recommending music can’t be overestimated.
E&D: What was the first and last records that you bought?
Andrew: First record was Shampoo’s album on cassette. I still maintain that that album is good. Punky and doesn’t take itself seriously. And last record… maybe… well I’m about to get a copy of Kate Bush’s Red Shoes. Severely underrated album.
E&D: What other music are you listening to most at the moment?
Andrew: I’m actually researching for a film soundtrack so I’ve been listening to tons of music. I’ve gone on a Celtic areas specific music binge which are areas who’s music I love already. These albums are old but I hadn’t heard before: I’m loving Sinead O’ Connor’s Lion and the Cobra, that album is so raw. I also love The Delgados Hate. And then outside of that research I’ve really liked Helen Ganya’s album Polish the Machine which came out a few years ago.
E&D: How do you feel that the music on Deliverance will translate into a live setting?
Andrew: Very well. hahahaha! I’ve actually played a show recently at the Social in London; really small venue with a great sound system, and yeah the new songs went down really well. After three albums, I’ve got a really good handle on the tools I have to hand.
E&D: You did a brilliant video for the track ‘Ocean Mouth’. Was the video fun to make?
Andrew: Thank you so much! You know what, it was fun and I’m really looking forward to doing more videos. I actually started out making films at uni before I started making music. I was making films to music I loved like Boards of Canada and Squarepusher and the tutor asked why I was making films to other people’s music and that’s when I had the impetus to make my own. I started making music on Adobe Premiere. But yeah ‘Ocean Mouth’ was really fun to make. I love that making films is basically problem solving on the fly. It approximates something primal I think.
E&D: How is life on Lex Records and how did you come to sign to the label?
Andrew: Life on Lex is good! Yeah they have continued treating me really well. My manager Zoe is also the label manager at Lex Records. She’s incredibly talented and versatile so I’m really lucky to have her looking after me.
E&D: What are your favourite ever releases to come out on Lex?
Andrew: I think I’d have to say it was the first record I bought from Lex which was Hymies Basement. I was really into all the Anticon stuff at the time as well.
E&D: How was the experience of Fuck Buttons contribution to the Olympic opening ceremony and how did that come about?
Andrew: Yeah it was really … god, it was everything. Strange, fantastic, amazing, emotional… I remember when the opening ceremony first came on and pretty much everyone in the country was watching it, our music was the first to come on during that bit where the camera whizzes through all the areas of the UK, my phone just started pinging incessantly. I also think it was the first time my parents were like “oh yeah okay, I understand what he does”.
E&D: Is it surreal looking back at it?
Andrew: Yeah, totally. Fuck Buttons did way better than it had any reason to.
E&D: What were some of your favourite memories with Fuck Buttons?
Andrew: I’d say playing Primavera mainstage. Oh… maybe headlining Glastonbury Park Stage… both of those. The louder I can have my music the better and there aren’t much louder places than those two. And of course the Olympics, the biggest stage we’ve ever been on. And then I also remember the little memories like buying nonsense from the little gas stations between cities in the US, finding weird restaurants on the beach in Croatia.
E&D: Will you ever do anything with Fuck Buttons again or is that a closed book?
Andrew: I think it’s extremely unlikely at this stage but I couldn’t tell you what the future holds.
E&D: Would you ever consider Andrew Hung and Blanck Mass playing solo shows or even a tour together?
Andrew: Yeah, I would consider it but again I think it would be extremely unlikely at this stage.
E&D: What are some of the most memorable live shows that you have ever done and what made them so special?
Andrew: So the Glastonbury show was special because it’s Glastonbury! I’ve been to that festival ever since I was a teenager so to play there was a dream. Primavera was incredible because the Spanish go off! That festival just goes to another level of fun! It’s kinda civilised yet completely debaucherous as well. It’s like a second away from being depraved.
E&D: How was the experience of doing the soundtracks for the films The Greasy Strangler and An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn?
Andrew: They were both great. The Strangler was like a whirlwind; I came onboard very late and so made that soundtrack in 3 weeks and then off to Sundance. It was an amazing experience. Then Luff Linn I actually had way too much time which I’ve learnt since is not conducive for me. I like a tight deadline, I like a bit of pressure. I like good solid boundaries. BUILD THAT WALL! Just kidding!
E&D: Do you want to do more film scores in the future?
Andrew: Yeah for sure! I’m about to begin one now! I love the idea of playing someone else. I was in a music video recently, one with an actual crew and film cameras and I really enjoyed it. I had to act in it. I think I’m approaching this film like I’m an actor, but in music form. The research has been really fun; listening with a purpose.
E&D: What are some of your favourite film scores?
Andrew: I would say… oh I love Donnie Darko‘s soundtrack. Scores… I love Danny Elfman’s music for Edward Scissorhands. I love John Carpenter’s score work and his films. Vangelis…
E&D: How was the experience of producing Beth Orton’s album and would you live to work with Beth again?
Andrew: We co-produced that record but yeah it was a dream to work with Beth. She’s incredibly talented and I think an underrated artist. She’s a bit like Weatherall in my eyes; she has this wealth of knowledge that has come from working with so many greats. That experience oozes off her. Yeah I’d love to work with her again for sure.
E&D: Will you be doing any more production work for artists in the near future?
Andrew: Yeah I’m always up for working with other artists!
Photo by Zoe Davis