A chat with IAMUR Founder, Mistachesta

mistachesta

“Who is Mistachesta?” you may ask. The latest in a long line of Bond villains? The inventor of a new fabric softener that will prevent socks from disappearing? The multi-faceted artist and humble to a fault all around nice guy who co-founded this groovy website that you presently find yourself looking at? One of the aforementioned is true. What is also true is that Mistachesta was reluctant to be interviewed and featured on a platform that he created.

I felt that no amount of cajoling or wheedling would sway him. I had nothing to blackmail him with. I respected him too much to throw a full blown tantrum. It was a total shot in the dark that, after a wonderful first anniversary for IAMUR, he would acquiesce to this Mistachesta chat.

Please see the title of this feature. Miracles DO happen! Without further time frittering we now speak with the one and only subject of today’s article, his humility and reticence duly noted.

To begin, congratulations are in order for the rapid rise of IAMUR during its first year and handful of months in existence! Thank you for asking me to join the team early on and most importantly, thanks for sidestepping your reluctance about doing this interview.

Well, thanks Rick!  I’m so… I was going to say ‘proud’, but that’d be a massive understatement regarding how I feel about what we’ve done with IAMUR since June last year.  My thanks back to you for being part of this team and for your amazing contributions.  It amazes me that in the space of just over a year we’ve grown to over twenty, hugely enthusiastic and awesome, people in the team.  Honestly, it’s mind-blowing and before we go any further, I want to give out a huge and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone at IAMUR – it’s an absolute pleasure to be working with such generous and creative people.

On behalf of the team, please allow me an “awww shucks!” My first query is about how you arrived at the name Mistachesta. I’m envisioning a very sassy feline friend and need you to clear this up for me.

It’s a very dull story… you’ll be sorry you asked, Rick!  My given name is ‘Col’, and many, many years ago, one of my friends, ‘Chin’ (another unusual moniker), randomly began referring to me as ‘Colchester’, which somehow evolved into Mistachester.  The spelling ‘mistachesta’ looked better when I was painting it on the underside of my deck.  It just stuck all these years – partly my doing.  I tend to prefer a degree of anonymity, so it was useful, and felt natural, to use that nickname for online accounts.

Well, my nickname has been “Plicky” for over three decades now, and had to do with the sound of the guitar pick on strings, so I’m one to ask about nicknames! Will you share an autobiographical glimpse of yourself with our readers? The usual questions about early family life, where on the planet you grew up and how The Arts began to play such a huge role in who you are… I phrase it this way because you are not only a musician and songwriter but a very adept visual artist. Was that in the DNA? In the household? How and when did artistic expression take hold of you?

That’s mental… I know a guy with a very similar nickname over here, ‘Picky’. Anyway… I’m from Manchester, UK.  That’s what people say when they live ‘near’ Manchester given it’s a place most people across the globe will have heard of, probably due to the famous football teams.  I’m actually about half an hour outside Manchester in a semi-rural village, practically perched on top of ‘the moors’… surrounded by typical British rolling countryside, close to forests, rivers and waterfalls.  Growing up in these surroundings instilled in me a real love of nature and the outdoors.

I have a relatively small, and not particularly musical, family.  As far as I’m aware I’m the only guitarist (lefties are the besties!).  Though my brother was a singer for a grunge band, Rubins Galore, when we were at school (they were really good) and my cousin was a drummer in a number of bands in Edinburgh, one of those being K T Tunstall’s band.

In terms of my passion for The Arts, yeah that’s definitely in the DNA.  My dad had immense talent for drawing and I can remember him effortlessly doodling really cool sketches when I was a kid.  He was also a fan of calligraphy – old school, nib and ink pot type stuff.  My interest in visual art really kicked in during my high school days.  I wasn’t the most engaged student and, unlike my brother, didn’t care much for academia.  I managed to drop a bunch of subjects and spent all my time in the art department, where one of the teachers introduced me to Fernand Léger, The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Van Gogh and other amazing painters.  I developed a love of art, art history and galleries from that point.  One of my favourite paintings is “Soldiers Playing at Cards” by Léger, which I managed to see up close at the Kröller-Müller Museum in The Netherlands some years back.

My other passion was music, so after finishing my high-school education in the late ‘90s, I went on to study Sound Engineering and Audio Reproduction Technique at The School of Sound Recording (SSR) in Manchester – Spirit Studios as it was called then.  That was an amazing experience.  I started out with live recordings on a reel-to-reel four track, working all the way through to 64 track Soundcraft digital mixers and finishing up as a qualified sound engineer.  I still wanted to get back to drawing and painting, so enrolled on an art course at college, which is where I became friends with one of the most inspiring artists I know, Scott Tetlow (check out his work).  He was working in the college art department whilst I was a student there, and was fortunate enough to end up sharing a studio with him in the middle of a nature reserve.  I learned more from being in the studio with Scott than I did at college.  After that, I went on to three years study at Salford University, graduating with a honours degree in Visual Art and Culture.

Mistachesta, feat. Dan Ripley and Giulietta Zardetto – “Weightless

What a wonderful fulsome answer! See? This interview thing is already paying off for those of us who didn’t know all of these things about you though I suspected you had a background in sound engineering by virtue of the quality of your mixes. And, uh… lefties are besties! (ahem). On the topic of your wonderful music making, were you in bands and gigging during those all important formative years? Did you live in a location that offered a music scene and various musicians you could interact with or did you initially go it alone?

Ha!  Yes.  And I’d love to share stories about touring the country, playing to hundreds of semi-interested fans but that wasn’t the case.  I was the vocalist in a band with some school friends back in the mid-90s playing mostly original stuff and a few covers… After the arduous task of deciding what to name ourselves – one suggestion was ‘The Clinkers’ until someone pointed out ‘clinker’ was slang for dried faecal matter that sticks to the butt cheeks – we settled for ‘Surround’.  Although in retrospect ‘The Clinkers’ would’ve been appropriate on account of us being a bit shit!  For a start, I couldn’t sing… still can’t… so the band was destined to fail. 

We had some gigs around the local area, playing in pubs and small clubs and I remember we somehow acquired a ‘manager’.  He managed to get us a paid gig at a club in a nearby town, which we were all excited about.  We hauled all our gear over in a few cars, arriving early to get set up and run through a sound check.  I think we managed two songs of the soundcheck before the owner pulled the plug… it was what we’d call ‘an old man’s pub’, certainly wasn’t our target audience and we didn’t get a penny.  Being young and dumb, we trashed the room they gave us to store our stuff (I remember stealing an umbrella… totally rock-n-roll) and never saw our ‘manager’ again.  We entered a Battle Of The Bands on one occasion and the day before we were due to play, one of my best friends and guitarist in the band called me to tell me that the guys thought they’d have more chance of getting somewhere if I didn’t sing, hahaaa!!  I knew I wasn’t a great vocalist, but that stung… I knew they were right  and I still went along to support them… they didn’t’ get very far in the competition.  I joined another band after that playing rhythm guitar.  We were a real hotch-potch of characters and ‘specialised’ in funky-grunge-post-punk-progressive-rock.  Yeah, that went nowhere too.  After that, I veered away from music and bands for a good while, deciding that the whole collaborative approach wasn’t for me. 

Winding forward a couple of years, a girl I knew got into a relationship with a guy who also played guitar and had a similar taste in music.  Turned out we shared the same birthday too (albeit a year apart) and for the past 20 years we’d been jamming together almost every week, before he moved to the California a few months ago.  I’m actually just about getting ready to fly out there for a two-week jam session with him in San Diego. 

Wow, given the way those dudes treated you over that Battle Of The Bands thing, I think the appropriate name was The Clinkers after all… And for our next obvious question, how did you arrive at the idea of creating an online music magazine? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do, a feeling that there was an internet void to be filled, or a singular event that sparked your initiative?

It started on BandLab… Prior to IAMUR, I ran a ‘community’ on there called ‘Expanding Horizons’ which was essentially a page dedicated to promoting and sharing work from other artists via ‘Sessions’, playlists dedicated to a particular genre.  I managed to build a little team to help take ‘ownership’ of playlists and built it up from there to include self-funded competitions, featured albums comprising previously unreleased and exclusive tracks, and a ‘feature of the week’ promoting a particularly awesome track posted by one of the BandLab artists.  That community project was really popular and helped a number of BandLab artists get a few more visits to their profiles.  Expanding Horizons came to an end when I left BandLab for a spell…

As you know yourself Rick, there are so many amazing musicians on there, posting their songs, collaborating with other musicians, and exchanging pleasantries via comments and personal messaging.  You kinda get to know a few people when you first join ‘the Lab’ and your circle expands over time… you get to find a little clique that shares similar interests, and many of those people know a little bit about each other from their interactions and collaborations.  But, I felt there was something missing.  Rather than just ‘blind posting’ music, I wondered whether there was any appetite in certain artists sharing a bit more of their backstory… ‘who ARE these people and, what makes them do what they do??’.  I couldn’t think of any other site that was doing anything like this at the time, and really wanted to know more about the people I’d been interacting with on this platform. It had to be external to BandLab for it to work though, so I pulled the IAMUR site together and published those interviews there. In the early days, we interviewed a good few BandLab muso’s, and it went down really well.  It grew from there.

(The sound of me applauding profusely)As a family man, a prolific songwriter, a founder and manager of this rapidly growing IAMUR platform, when the hell do you sleep? Are you an insomniac, a creatively driven masochist, or a superhero?

Hahaa!! Honestly, I don’t sleep well at all… in fact, I defy sleep and I know it’s not good for me.  I have a full-time career outside of IAMUR which can be quite stressful.  By the end of the working day my brain has taken a bit of a battering and it takes me a long time to wind down, so it’s usually late evening when I’ve fought through the fatigue and can start working on other things.  I do put a lot of time into IAMUR in the evenings and after I’ve achieved whatever goals I’ve set myself, I’ll usually grab the guitar or get into some midi projects for a while.  It’s a combination of being unable to switch off, and a fear of missing out that prevents me from sleeping.  Life shouldn’t just be about work… and there’s so many things I feel I want/ need to do.  I just can’t seem to fit them all into the hours we’re given.

Mistachesta – “Sadhug” from the ‘grounded‘ album

I joined the Bandlab community approximately two years ago and instantly discovered you via word of mouth and your killer tracks that other artists were “forking” (adding additional parts to, for those unfamiliar with that BL term)… how and when did you first discover and join “the Lab”?

I think for anyone reading, it’s worth explaining ‘Bandlab’.  I’d never heard of it until an old friend mentioned it one night when we were jamming, and I just didn’t ‘get it’ at the time.  BandLab describe it as “the cloud platform where musicians and fans create music, collaborate, and engage with each other across the globe.”

After my friend mentioned it to me, I remember checking it out that night when I got back home.  Created a profile and uploaded a few of my thoroughly sketchy tracks… not really knowing what I was doing.  What I found though, was this hidden universe of ‘ordinary people’ with genuinely extraordinary skills.  So many of the musicians on BandLab are incredibly inspiring (obviously including yourself, Rick, and Tamara… and too many others to mention individually) – just regular people, but with incredible skills.  It’s a genius idea, and one that encouraged me to put more effort into my solo projects, and collaborations with other musicians from all over the world. 

I’ve met some great people on BandLab, many of whom have become good friends.  I think I initially joined ‘the lab’ back in 2017… took some time off… deleted my account… and came back in 2019.  Over that time I’ve been in awe with a lot of the stuff people have released and honoured to have worked with some of them.  Aside from my solo projects, I’ve been in a few ‘virtual’ bands during my time on the Lab, namely COLDCORE with my good friend DC out in Portland, Oregon.  He’s an outstanding lyricist and vocalist, I mean truly outstanding.  We’ve released two albums so far which I struggle to describe in terms of genre… it’s kind of electro-rock.  I don’t know a better way to explain it, but I really love working with him.  We were graced by the presence of UK based virtuoso Dan (#dansolo) Ripley, with one of his killer solos, and Outerimage, an old-school Hip-hop artist from Florida, throwing a few bars on one track also.  I had the joy of working with a brilliant multi-instrumentalist who goes by the name ‘Delsea Drive’ on a three track post-rock EP, “Alone”,  which is very dear to me also.  He actually came over to the UK from Philly a couple of years ago, and we managed to meet up which was fantastic!  There’s 19 tracks Rieneke, (a brilliant vocalist from The Netherlands), and I have released; our “Falling” album and the “Tiny Things” EP.  There’s an unreleased EP with Jake Bronson over in New York, under our band Datura which I loved working on… an EP about to be released with a good friend over in Sweden… I’m trying not to miss anyone out here, but if I carry on this will take too long. 

Mistachesta and Delsea Drive in Manchester, 2020

You have been moving with a stellar cast of characters there! I am an admirer of the talents those people possess, any number of which are signed to lucrative contracts on the imaginary record label that I own and operate.

You and I share a love of Grunge. Just when popular music seemed stale and oh so formulaic, my discovery of the Sub Pop label with its awesome array of talent was a massive spark of rejuvenation. Of course early Soundgarden and Nirvana kicked my ass, but the sheer eclectic invention and cool nonchalance from bands like Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees, Mudhoney and so many others… When did you first experience the sound of Grunge? Which artists, and what was it about them that drew you in? Furthermore I must ask what other genres of music you like most and if you could name a few of your favorite artists for us, past and present. I hear so many cool layers in your composing and that includes a gift for hypnotic Massive Attack-style productions.

Aahh grunge.  Now we’re talking!  I have my brother to thank for this actually.  He’s a bit older than me and has always been a big music fan so a lot of the bands I’ve enjoyed over the years – certainly the grunge influence – came from him.  I wrote a little bit about my first encounter with grunge for one of our ‘Pick Of The Week’ posts where I was taking about a really awesome band called Sun Puddle, under the Grunge Pop Records label, (those guys have an outstanding roster… check them out!) so you can check that out for more background.  Before I’d heard Nirvana, I was listening to Def Leppard, Dire Straits and Guns N’ Roses.  I was also a bit of an Iron Maiden fan.  I loved the album art, and the Eddie character, even before I’d listened to the music.  I’ve always been interested in the sound of guitars and heavy drums… those bands mentioned, Dire Straits, Iron Maiden and so on, are all technically brilliant and precise, so when I heard the sludge and grit from Nirvana which gave off the whole ‘we just don’t give a fuck’ vibe, I was just in awe.  Back then, the internet wasn’t really ‘a thing’ and America seemed so far away, so we relied on NME and Melody Maker for information about bands.  I remember reading about Kurt and how he lived in his car – the photos of him with greasy hair and scruffy clothes, seemed to suggest that might be true.  It was something magical.  Despite being from the UK, the whole Seattle scene really resonated with me and something I felt strongly connected to. MTV fed me the likes of Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, and I’ve managed to see all of them live over the years.

My musical preferences have expanded over the years.  While grunge is dear to me I love, and am open to, almost all music.  I tend to be pulled in more strongly by melancholic styles.  So yeah, Massive Attack and Portishead and moody folk artists like Nick Drake, Bibio, The Paper Kites, Loma, Gregory Alan Isakov, Novo Amor, This Is The Kit for example.  Ben Harper, Mogwai, Kings Of Leon… I’m a big fan of electronic, ambient, lo-fi and lounge music also, so obviously later Radiohead and Atoms For Peace fit into that, Poliça, Boards of Canada, Autechre, The Future Sound Of London, Blue States, Aphex Twin… I went through a Café Del Mar phase years ago too.  There’s too many to mention. 

As I mentioned above, your mixes are always top notch. I know that you have a home studio set-up these days and wonder if you could tell our readers a bit about how your creative workflow operates from song inception to final mixdown. Be as general or specific as you like, brother. I’m confident that we have enough readers who are into gear and studio details to warrant such a question and answer!

Well thanks man!!  I probably put more effort in finishing tracks than starting them. The mixing of a track and placement of sound is something I’ll often obsess over more than anything and more so when collaborating with other musicians if I’m tasked with mixing.  I have a few pet hates and am aware I can be a bit anal when it comes to the mix.  For me the most important thing is starting out with good audio… that’s often overlooked and can ruin a great track.  If there’s background noise or room noise on a vocal, or the input volume has been set too high when recording and it’s peaking out, or there’s loads of sibilance for example… it can be dealt with in most instances, but takes a lot of time and it’s not the most fun thing to be doing.  Good levels and clean recordings to begin with return great results, if that’s what you want.  I’ve worked with a few people who don’t really mind how things turn out, which… sorry to say… niggles at me a bit.  I do try to make things as clean as I can for projects I care about.

My home studio hardware consists of a Macbook, a Scarlett Solo and an AKG Lyra microphone.  Instruments (all left handed) include a Yamaha APX 5LA Electro Acoustic, Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster, Epiphone Les Paul Standard 50s Cherry Sunburst, Revelation RBJ-67 DLX Bass… and my most cherished guitar of all is my Yamaha Pacifica.  The Pacifica was one of the first guitars I ever bought as it’s super cheap and I wasn’t a great player so didn’t want to invest loads of money at the time.  I’ve bought and sold guitars over the years and have found that an expensive guitar doesn’t really make it a good one. 

Regarding recording software/ DAW’s, when I was training as a sound engineer we used Cubase and Pro Tools.  I used Fruity Loops for a while years ago, and expect all those will have developed significantly since then.  I’m more familiar with Logic Pro X, which is pretty decent and straightforward.  There’s a bunch of plugins and effects I use within Logic; for guitar effects I’m predominantly using Neural DSP Archetype (Plini, Rabea and Nolly), Guitar Rig Pro 6 and Line6 Helix Native.  I recently moved from a standalone purchase approach to a subscription model with iZotope, which is well worth it, which gives you pretty much all the tools you need for editing and achieving a decent mix. 

When it comes to workflow, for my own recordings, I tend to noodle around a bit before finding something I think would be worth recording – get my levels where they need to be and start layering.  I’ll play around with the placement, so panning, entrances and exits, at the end before adding my cringeworthy vocals if there are any to be had.  With all that said… if it’s just a random track or idea that I’m recording with no plans to release or develop, I take it for what it is and have learned to be less obsessive with quality… and just enjoy it for what it is.

Mistachesta – “I’ll Follow” from the ‘I’ll Follow’ album

“Cringeworthy”? You have candidly stated in public that you are not always fond of your singing voice. (!!!??) Although I believe that not many of us who sing are ever truly satisfied, I am curious enough to ask what it is about your voice that sometimes bothers you. (I am not alone when I say I dig it.) If you could sound like any well known singer, who would it be? Cornell? Cobain? Layne? Name more than one if you please.

I know that vocalists who take singing seriously typically train their voice through regular warm-ups and exercises.  I’m not one to practice and I don’t profess to be a singer… maybe it’s the trauma of being kicked out of my high-school band (haha!).  I have a really limited range and only add vocals to music because I ‘have to’.  Most of the ‘songs’ that I put out are spur of the moment recordings which typically come together during a few stolen moments with the guitar, playing out whatever feelings are going through me at the time.  The lyrics fall out almost automatically and are only slightly tweaked during recording… Whilst it’s possible now to collaborate with so many amazing artists all over the planet, and have someone do a much better job with the vocals that I ever could… some things are just too precious, personal, or carry too much emotion to hand off.  I do cringe at my vocals sometimes… I don’t know what it is. 

Who would I want to sound like?  Honestly, no one else.  All those guys you mentioned have been huge influences and amazing artists with fantastic vocal styles – Vedder, Corgan and Thom Yorke too.  But I wouldn’t want to sound like anyone else.

Let’s say you have just written your masterpiece. Describe that song. (Hard questions allowed!)

Yeah dude, this is a really hard question… I’m a fan of simplicity.  That probably stems from my mediocre skill-set when it comes to guitar.  I’ve never been that guy who can play fast, with nimble and accurate placement.  When I’m jamming I tend to fall into a repetitive, hypnotic groove as if I’m stuck in a loop.  I think there’s some Mogwai influence there.  My masterpiece though… haha!!  Gosh… Uhm, it’s going to have to be some kind of Radiohead/ Nirvana cross-over with vocals in tune, sections of clear guitar notes soaked in some swampy reverb and a hard hitting chorus to get the feet tapping.  I think there’s a couple of tracks I’ve made that I’ve been really happy with.  One being I’ll Follow from my “I’ll Follow” album, and an other being Chemicoma, with Jake Bronson on vocals.

“Chemicoma” by Datura | Mistachesta (songwriting & instruments) & Jake Bronson (vocals)

Man, you answered that beautifully. I hope you will let us know when that song drops.

As a music fan and not necessarily regarding your capacity for finding new talent to profile on IAMUR, what is it about a given song you discover that appeals to you most? Is it the music first, the lyrical content, the overall vibe? Speaking personally I can totally get next to a song that is lo-fi but kicking originality in the buttocks, or has fantastic lyrics-sketchy playing and vice versa. Your thoughts?

It’s about how it makes me feel.  Often the first few notes of a song, even before the vocals and lyrics can have any impact, will make some kind of impression. Lyrics are always less important to me; I can happily drift off with a vocal melody without paying attention to the words and fall in love with a song.  Definitely the overall vibe… Pink Moon by Tash Sultana for example.  I have listened to that track so many times and it gets me every time but I couldn’t tell you what it’s about.   The way she sings with such emotion and variance, the guitars… how it rises and falls, it takes you on a journey.  Hard Believer by FINK and John Frusciante’s cover of Song To The Siren would other examples of songs that just suck me in… just get those in your cans and close your eyes.  Totally agree with you on the originality point too.  There’s so much music that sounds like so much other music… I don’t care much for that.

Here’s a question we used to toss around in the studio during those occasional interminable stretches between takes : name your ten indispensable albums. Your “stranded on a remote island” albums where you inexplicably have a power source and device to play them.

I think I’d rather drown in the surrounding ocean than have to choose a list of albums… Can I cheat?  Let’s say there’s cellular reception on this forsaken island and I’ve managed to keep my iPhone dry… I’ve got a fully charged powerbank, so there’s a good few hours of streaming to be had without having to limit myself, or the experience.  I’d be passing the time with Bleach (Nirvana)… this album sparked my passion for grunge and is the reason I picked up a guitar for the first time.  I’d have a bit of The Bends (Radiohead)… takes me back to some special ‘things that were’.  There’d be some States (The Paper Kites) playing at dusk… someone I used to know introduced me to this band, and it’s just a beautiful collection of thoughts and sounds.  After that I’d need to hook up the PA (which somehow drifted up on the beach) to the solar panels I’d fettled from found objects, and settle in for a Seattle session of Ten (Pearl Jam), Superunknown (Soundgarden), Dirt (Alice In Chains) and Above (Mad Season) before winding down with Sketches for My Sweetheart The Drunk (Jeff Buckley).  Assuming I survive the night, I’d dedicate the next morning to John Frusciante, starting out with a start to finish play through of The Empyrean, a dive into Curtains, and then a flick over to his Automatic Writing EP under Ataxia with Joe Lally and Josh Klinghoffer. 

At this point I’d hit the ‘shuffle all’ button, and get to hear some Jon Gomm, Boards Of Canada, Kings Of Leon, Erykah Badou, Mazzy Star, Ben Harper, Mogwai, Softcult, Les Rythmes Digitales, Tash Sultana, Portishead, Common Saints, Sly And The Family Stone, Bush, India Arie, Puressence, Guru’s Jazzmatazz (the Streetsoul album was awesome), Air, Glen Hansard, Polica, Camilla And The Tingaloos, Bowie, Autechre, Frou Frou…. Like most of us, my music collection is vast and as random as a roll of the dice.

You mentioned so many artists and albums that had me nodding along, AND you managed a deft answer to a question I myself probably would have ducked. Kudos, brother! Aside from being a songwriter, musician, visual artist, family man, and running IAMUR, what are some of your other interests? Are you an avid reader? A foodie? Dish it up, man. (sorry)

Reading… that’s always been a bit of a chore for me.  We have some big-time bibliophiles at IAMUR which I find fascinating, and admirable.  I just don’t have the attention span or patience for it.  Sitting down with a book means having to focus on that one thing, you literally can’t do anything else whilst you’re reading, can you.  I’m unable to do ‘just one thing’ at a time.  I draw quite a bit… not as much as I used to, but promise myself I’ll get back to it at some point.  Cooking though… that’s something I really enjoy.  My grandfather (dad’s dad) was a chef, my dad was a huge foodie, and my mum was a cook.  From an early age my brother and I were exposed to all kinds of flavours and ingredients.  Dad loved experimenting in the kitchen, and thanks to him I’m yet to find something edible that I dislike.  Technology has always been an interest of mine and is where I earn my crust.  Aside from that, I’m a lover art and architecture, of nature, rivers and streams, forests and fields, hills and valleys.  Getting out amongst the trees with my dog, away from everything, is what my soul needs the most.

With IAMUR off to such a strong start, where would you like to see this music loving talent finding ship sailing in the next few years?

Well, as a quick review of the last year and a bit… we started out with just an idea in June ’21 and have recently expanded the team in response to increasing demand (a great problem to have), and to ensure the welfare of everyone involved which is very important to me… it’s got to be enjoyable for all involved.  We have readers in 94 countries across the planet, which is astonishing given we don’t have a marketing budget. We’ve amassed over 30,000 followers on BandLab, the platform which essentially triggered this initiative.  We’ve grown our Instagram profile to almost 1,500 followers, we’ve supported 100 bands and artists by way of interview (actually… as luck would have it, this marks our 100th). 

We’ve increased output from between 4 and 6 features a month in the early days, to 30-40 features a month in recent months.  We’ve just recruited a Digital Content Creator to support with the socials and are starting to see some really encouraging reviews on our (much neglected) Facebook page.  We’ve established some fantastic relationships with a number of record labels, artist management and PR organisations.  We’d received (and attended) an invitation to a pre-launch party by Sony Music/ RCA Records at their new London offices (thanks again Olivia!). 

Everyone at IAMUR is contributing on a voluntary basis, some of whom are budding creatives looking for that ‘first step on the ladder’, so we’re helping build their portfolios to increase their appeal to potential future employers.  I can’t thank the team enough for all their support.  Going forward I see us continuing to grow, maintain the ‘no fee’ policy (it surprised me that independent artists are paying, or being expected to pay, for reviews and interviews… that’s shameful if you ask me) and support independent artists in other creative ways, for example offering guidance in creating eye-catching and effective EPK’s is something that came up in conversation recently.  There’s a bunch of exciting things we can look into over the next year and beyond – however, supporting independent and undiscovered artists remains as our primary objective.

COLDCORE – “Oh, the sea” – Mistachesta (music) & DC (vocals, lyrics, origami and acting)

Your closing statement is one of the strongest objectives I believe you and the rest of us can take great pride in.

Well my friend, it has been a pleasure interviewing you. This is where you take the floor and give any shouts you wish to give, talk about any new projects in the works, and share your links to Mistachesta’s online presence.

It’s always a pleasure chatting with you brother, thanks!!  As for up next… one of my BandLab friends over in Sweden, ‘Coffemonster’, and I have a few tracks we’d worked on together which seemed to get a good reception, so we’ve been talking about releasing those on the streaming platforms, so my twenty something monthly listeners might fall into those when they’re up!  And I am very excited (more excited that I can articulate actually) to be working on something with the super talented and downright awesome Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Dee Pasha.  That’ll be something we can share soon. 

Other than that… I’m taking three weeks off to jam on a beach in California!  See you again soon!

Listen to more from Mistachesta on Spotify:

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14 Comments

  • Shaun
    2 weeks ago Reply

    This was a great read! It is really cool to learn a bit more about you Col!

    • Rick Tyrrell
      2 weeks ago Reply

      It’s good to celebrate people with drive and vision, not to mention kindness and musical gifts, like Col. Thanks for reading this, Shaun.

    • mista chesta
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Thanks very much my friend, really appreciate it!

  • Dan
    2 weeks ago Reply

    Well it’s 3.46am and yet again I fail to sleep so coming across this was perfect… Great interview Rick and bless ya Mr C… Genuinely nice guy and all round superb musician

    Thorough and wonderful read

    • Rick Tyrrell
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Really glad you enjoyed this, Dan. Thanks for the kind words and your reading time here. Long rock Mistachesta!

    • mista chesta
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Back at you Dan. Much respect!! Thank you 🙂

  • Giulietta
    2 weeks ago Reply

    Col… you rock. Finally an interview about you. You know ? Beck and I were trying to build up a secret interview back in the day, so Im extremely glad Rick’s done it at the end. She would have been very happy this was released. Never stop being you, Mistachesta. Much love, G

    • Rick Tyrrell
      2 weeks ago Reply

      He rocks indeed and thanks for that poignant comment, Giulietta. I’m glad I approached MC at the right moment with the interview request, in public on Bandlab no less, and that he didn’t outright refuse it.

    • mista chesta
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Thanks G. Yes, I know, and may she rest in peace. 🙁 Much love back G.

  • Miami73
    2 weeks ago Reply

    Great interview! Thanks Rick, what a great idea! You learn a lot there and I have noticed that I share many interests with “Col”. However, I don’t have a quarter of his many talents! This article only confirms that this “Mister C” is simply a modest, brilliant and talented person! Faced with the impressive success of IAMUR, I can only wish him the best.

    • Rick Tyrrell
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Such a great comment, thank you! With so much emphasis on negative news, negative people who use their popularity and power to further our feelings of negativity and despair, it’s pretty wonderful to celebrate someone who is a positive creative force. This gentleman makes fantastic music, visual art, and has the inner drive to create new tangible expressions of his ideas. It’s very easy to sing his praises.

    • mista chesta
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Choking up here man… sheesh!! Thanks dude, and best wishes to you and the family!

  • Ste McKenna
    2 weeks ago Reply

    Excellent article, Rick & Mistachesta – great to hear and see something behind the enigma, the man behind IAMUR. Great influences, Col. Similar to myself but you’ve evolved – I’m still stuck in the 90s, I’m afraid 🙂

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