MJ Hibbett


1. Who are you?

I am MJ Hibbett, singer and LEADER of the group MJ Hibbett & The
Validators, also known as “the Hey Hey 16K guy”.

2. No, really, who are you?

OK, i am the Spirit of VENGEANCE of a million fat speccy kids who got picked
last for everything! Yeah! Er… except I don’t feel very vengeful about it.
Or spirited. I’m _trying_ to be the sort of person Modern Folk Singers SHOULD be i.e. singing about things that Actually Happen using the sort of
words people Actually Use, with tunes you can Actually Remember, but it is a
long personal voyage so who knows how far i’ve got?

3. What are you up to at the moment?

At the moment I am fidgeting around waiting for it to become four o’clock so
I can nip home and get my bags packed ready for a holiday on the Isle Of Wight. YEAH! In more ROCK terms I’m just about to go on TOUR, which is
EXTREMELY exciting (I love Going On Tour, although this is because it’s a great chance to do lots of reading on the train, meet old PALS and stay up a
bit late, rather than anything more DIONYSIAN, i am OLD), then when I get back we start the Validators rehearsals to learn up the NEXT batch of songs
for the NEXT album, which hopefully will be called “Mental Judo”.

4. What three rules would make up your manifesto?

Never mix money and friendship. Only regret things you _haven’t_ done. Drink
the beer called “Gold”, avoid the beer called “Old”.

5. If you were the dictator of a modern industrial country, what would
you abolish? What laws would you implement?

I’d abolish Arts Funding and replace it with a system of Arts Vouchers, distributed to every single person in the country to give THEM a chance to
choose how their money is spent, and to give THEM access to all the arts. I’d abolish the constitutional ties of the Royal Family to our State
(presuming, obviously, it’s THIS industrial country I’m in charge of – if not I would build up a MIGHTY ARMY and invade anyway, but in a nice way) but
not their titles, so they can stay for the old people who like them, but gently diminish in importance. I’d make it a crime punishable by death to
claim to be “Delightfully Un-PC” or anything similar, and introduce FLAYING
for people who claim “asylum seekers” have done them any harm when they’ve never actually MET anyone seeking asylum. I’d abolish the privatised
railways and renationalise generally, ESPECIALLY for the post office. I’d introduce strict laws to allow for Actual TRAINING of people in their jobs,
so that they feel they HAVE a job rather than just being temporary labour that can be disposed of any minute (especially for the post office, again).

How’s that to be going on with? Believe me, there are many MANY more!

6. What are your lyrics about?

See above! Also, I hope, these days they’re about accepting yourself and enjoying BEING yourself. I know that sounds like Hippy Nonsense, but it
makes me happy to think that way, and I think that having someone BELLOWING about it in a room above a pub every now and again can help other people
dignify their own decision to be that way. I always try to write words that I can stand by, so if someone took them away from the music, waved them
angrily in my face, and demanded I explained and defended each line, then I would be able to. I think everyone should write words like this!

7. What is your opinion on the contemporary music scene? What do you

There’s a HUGE amount of BRILLIANT music being made at the moment, but most of it doesn’t get out into the Popular Culture very much – if you listen to
the shows on Kooba Radio (www.koobaradio.co.uk), for instance, you’ll hear TONS of new music by new “unsigned”
(I hate that word) bands that’s almost all GRATE, and if you listen to 6Music (which is SO VERY MUCH aimed directly
at ME as a demographic that I even get to GO on it!) you’ll hear GALLONS of songs you never hear anywhere else, which are at LEAST interesting and
usually ACE. I’ve also just started going to anti-folk gigs, which are WONDERFUL, it’s the sort of thing I’ve been looking for for years!

There’s SO MUCH music being made at the moment, only a churl would complain.
The only thing i dislike really is the fact that the venerable institution that is Indie Music has become associated in the public mind with dreary
useless twats like Keane. Indie used to be a thing of JOY and DRUNKEN DANCING, which meeting did i miss when they turned into into THE SLOW MOPE?

8. What distinguishes you from your peers?

Why, my rugged handsomeness and devilish charm of course! Also the fact that
I’m still AT it – most of the people I know who started off where and when I
did have LONG since packed in Being In Bands, possibly quite sensibly. I am still waiting for my MEDAL for FORTITUDE.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Sat in the East Wing of my MANSION on the Isle of Wight, looking out across the bay (i.e. out of the window, we’re overlooking it) to the carnival in
the harbour where THE KIDS are celebrating my elevation to LIFE PRESIDENT. Hey hey, it’s my BRAIN, I can do what
I want with it!

10. Any regrets?

Yes, when I was 19 I was supposed to go to my little brother’s concert, but didn’t bother. Also, when I was 28 I was supposed to go to my friend Robin’s
Stag Weekend, but didn’t get the money together to do it. Not very interesting or ROCK, but true!