Last week, I posted about "occulture" music, a genre of electronica inspired by anomalous phenomena, fantastic fiction, and the occult. One of the artists I mentioned is Mount Vernon Arts Lab, aka Drew Mulholland, a Glasgow-based musician with a penchant for sacred sites and strange locales. The column from Arthur magazine that I linked to in my post listed Mulholland's album "Seance at Hobbs Lane" as essential listening in the occulture genre. The album includes Mulholland's collaborations with members of Coil, Portishead, Add N to X, and others. Turns out, my friend Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor Journal interviewed Mulholland in 2001. Fortean Times republished Mark's interview this summer to coincide with the release of "Seance of Hobbs Lane." From the interview:
What are the roots of your interest in the 'power of place'? Do you think this can be a literal power, like a form of energy, or is it a psychological – or psychogeographical – effect? Or both?!
It's something that I've only rediscovered recently. As a much younger gentleman I sued to explore our local area, which was quite strange at that time. World War II air raid shelters, bomb craters, abandoned railway tunnels, anything off the beaten track. I think this is the sort of thing most boys do. But after playing at the nuclear command bunker a few years ago I started to be fascinated by not only derelict military structures but also obscure urban stuff and then discovering that there was a kind of network of urban trespass fanzines and web sites, and a subject called psychogeography. For me this took in everything from visiting the location of The Wicker Man's climax to the scene of the ambush of Percy Toplis, the Monocled Mutineer, to the bombing range used by 633 Squadron. It was the alternative away day aspect that appealed to me. What would you rather do? Have a drink in the Green Man or watch Eastenders?…
You've played gigs in some unusual places. What has been your favourite and what would be your ultimate gig venue? How do you do live gigs?
The disused nuclear bunker (in Scotland) was quite far out although after I played there I went exploring and came across a locked room that only contained a table and a submachine gun. They also have a chapel down there and some of the locals have been married in it, which is too far out even for me! My ultimate gig would have to be Hobbs Lane Underground station!