Introducing…Simon Hinkler

By on 11 July 2011

When did you first decide you wanted to form a band?

I loved playing guitar from age fifteen, but didn’t think I would ever be virtuoso enough. Then along came The Sex Pistols and co. and made me rethink what it was to play music. I was around eighteen and I put together a band with my neighbour Tony Perrin, later to be manager of The Mission. I walked into my flat one day and saw this guy sitting playing my bass. “Hey I’m Tony from downstairs.” Everything changed with that meeting.

What attracted you to the genre?

Genre? I’ve done a lot of genres, but it might be fair to say most of it has been on the dark side. I guess that’s just the way I am. I’ve never been mad keen on jolly pop. Life’s fucking whacked, and I think music should reflect that.

What release are you most proud of?

Always the latest one. I thought my 1985 ‘Flight Commander’ album was quite an achievement; completely unique and with depth – if rather too obscure for most people. But doing my most recent ‘Lose The Faith’ album was such a huge step for me, to dig deep and write the lyrics, and sing them, and mean every word, is quite something else after being consigned to just the music all these years.

What are you working on now?

Slowly adding new songs. I have half a dozen finished, and several on the way. I’m trying to keep ‘the song’ paramount, meaning that although I am working on instrumental arrangements as I go, I make sure it still hangs together as just vocal and acoustic.

What has been the defining moment of your career thus far?

Wow, I dunno. Obviously the sheer scale of The Mission brought with it some amazing experiences. It was quite a whirlwind rise to fame. After about the first year I started being able to take things in my stride a lot better, so I was unreasonably nonchalant about playing to thousands upon thousands of people or being on the Joan Rivers show or whatever.

Who do you admire in the music world?

I like people who are genuine and have kept it real for a long time, such as Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waites.

Why should people listen to your music?

That’s a very searching question! Well nobody’s forcing anyone to do anything, but I would hope they would listen because it’s good. In the end that’s the criteria isn’t it? Two kinds of music – good and bad. I strive to do the good kind, and to reject any ideas I have that fall into the other category.

What can fans expect to see at a Simon Hinkler live show?

My recent solo outings are a collection of new songs and some from ‘Lose The Faith’. I’m aware that my material is dark, but I like to keep ’em smiling in-between…gotta keep yer chin up, eh?

How important is the aesthetic image when performing?

More than it ought to be. It’s always been a factor, but I believe it’s blown out of all proportion these days. As musicians (the serious ones anyway) I think we’d all like to be appreciated for content rather than packaging. But hey, when you’re young you want to dress up a bit don’t you? …or down in my case.

What does the future hold for Simon Hinkler?

More writing. The Mission tour in October. Probably a few solo gigs here and there. I’d like to get over to Europe next year with my solo set. Possibly put a band together and make some noise about it.

Simon Hinkler Website

 

 

For your convenience, please find live reviews for Simon’s Birmingham and London shows, taken from our full review of his tour with The Eden House.

24 JUNE 2011, BIRMINGHAM

The Mission, Artery and Pulp are just three of the bands that have been fortunate enough to include Simon Hinkler. With an exciting career that spans twenty-plus years, anniversary shows with The Mission in October and a handful of acoustic gigs, he is an extremely busy and hot in demand man. It takes somebody special to slot seamlessly in between industrial electro-metal and ethereal dreamscape goth rock, but Simon Hinkler is more than up to the task. His lyrics, stage presence and delivery are a feat to behold. Simon has always kept his music fresh and innovative, this extends to his acoustic performance. The audience are respectfully quiet, hanging onto each line and lapping up his poetry. An excellent set from a well-established musician.

MICHAEL WILSON

25 JUNE 2011, LONDON

Simon Hinkler delivered a tidy acoustic set full of good humour, glad tidings and a few tracks from the ‘Lose The Faith’ album. However, every acoustic set runs the risk of people not actually hearing it and taking it as read that they can talk over it, loudly. If the small handful of drunk yackers at the back had shut up they would have heard thought-provoking renditions of ‘It Isn’t You’, ‘Here In This Place’, ‘Effigy’, ‘Don’t You Know’, ‘One Man Show’, ‘Drop In The Ocean’, ‘Still Waiting’, and ‘Diceman’. I would love to hear this set again, possibly in a situation whereby one has the chance to sit down and absorb the content with like-minded people. However, if Simon Hinkler heard the banter at the back he, forever the artist, cracked on and delivered this fine and thoughtful set, gaining more friends and fans as he did so.

CASSANDRA MUNRO

PHOTOS: JY. MARQUIS

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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