1. Who are you?
I am Martin White, aspiring filmmaker, currently devoting a year full time to the creation of a twenty-minute animation about a goat, which I intend to take to as many film festivals as I can next year. The film, that is, not the goat.
2. No, really, who are you?
It would appear that inside this aspiring filmmaker there is a comedy accordionist trying to get out, within whom there is a serious accordionist trying to get out, within whom there is a serious musician trying to get out.
3. What are you up to at the moment?
By day I am making the goat animation, by night I play the accordion in various capacities. The band I play in, Scarlet’s Well, is gearing up for a year of touring and the recording of a fifth album, a solo album of my own accordion compositions called ‘Mystery Fax Machine Girl’ is to be released shortly on the Kabukikore label, I write a regular-ish column for Popjustice.com as part of my ongoing tenure as the site’s resident accordionist, and I perform the occasional solo gig of funny pop and rock accordion cover versions. One of these features on Bjork’s forthcoming charity compilation album of remixes and covers of her track ‘Army Of Me’. I’m keeping busy.
4. What three rules would make up your manifesto?
– Leap before you look.
– Never mix vodka and plain chocolate digestive biscuits.
– Never lend anyone anything: They will break it.
5. If you were the dictator of a modern industrial country, what would you abolish? What laws would you implement?
– I would abolish umbrellas. Cumbersome, antisocial accessories. As a German once said to me, “Man is not water-soluble.”
– I would enforce the decimalisation of time, just to see what would happen. .
6. What are your lyrics about?
I’m much too self-conscious to write lyrics about anything so I try to work with lyricists or set old poems to music. There’s a couple of Poe settings on my solo album.
7. What is your opinion on the contemporary music scene? What do you like/dislike?
I miss well-executed, proficient, passionate whimsy in the charts. People seem to take themselves very seriously. I enjoy taking music seriously, and I also enjoy empty throwaway chart pop, but there’s no middle ground. I wonder which of todays’ records will stand the test of time in the unforgiving karaoke arena.
8. What distinguishes you from your peers?
You mean all those other accordion-playing animators? Ask them!
9. Where do you see yourself in five years time?
Happily in love and starting work on an animated film musical.
10. Any regrets?
Leaving it a couple of years longer than I should have done to pull a Paula Radcliffe on the rat race.