Neil Cake


Time for an update to this I think. I started playing guitar when I was 13 (I think), shortly after hearing Guns N' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction" album. Soon after I got heavily into grunge and started my first band. i got into hip-hop in 1996, and this encouraged me to start exploring wider genres of music than just those that feature a guitar. i never really got anywhere, and somewhere around 2010 I quit bands and decided I wanted to play football more before I got too old. I immediately damaged a knee, and then the other one. Time passed and I just focused on playing covers for fun. I was tired of trying to stick ideas together. In 2015 my first daughter was born and I started coming up with loads of new guitar parts and chord progressions. I recorded them into my phone, wrote them down, and set them aside for some future time when I would have time to work on them properly. Towards the end of 2017 I realised I'd been depressed for more than a decade, and while coming out of that I decided to start writing and recording music again. I started the brand "Half-Arsed Music", because I thought that's all it would ever be - half-arsed - but before long I fully immersed in it. Since then I've released: - "Not Completely Useless" and "Can YOU Play With Me?", two mini albums inspired by my daughters, and featuring the ideas I started writing when my eldest was born. I've almost finished the 3rd instalment of these songs. - "Lust Songs", a tongue-in-cheek collection of rock love songs that was also inspired by coming out of my depression, under the name Snake Skin Trou. - a number of collaborations with The Space Metal Guru, Zelestial Phyre. These are collected in my "Psychotic Episodes" album. - Four collaborations with Iwan from The Rapid Cycling, under the name The Madonna and The Whore, with more to come. - Several hip-hop tracks and an EP under the name Dig Xaz. - Various other standalone tracks and collaborations. My latest collaboration is with Jules of Cuthbert/Grooveworks, under the name VIBE. I'm currently working on somewhere around 7 or 8 songs. I don't play live because I'm so focused on writing and recording that I don't get time to rehearse to a sufficient standard. Nor do I want to hang around in bars for hours in order to play to no one. Other ways you can interface with my music: - this is where I post everything I do, including old recordings. - this is where you can make me rich by streaming my songs Facebook - @halfarsedmusic - just another way to follow what I'm up to. Sometime I share links or give information about my projects. - I probably wouldn't bother going here. There's nothing here that you can't find on Drooble.





What is music to you? What does it give you?

An outlet. An occupation - for my mind.

What is your music dream?

I always said I would be happy being as successful as Therapy? Now I'd just like to leave a body of work that might be discovered one day and appreciated for what it was by a few people.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Inequality and injustice. They would be right out.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Only one? I guess then I'm going to say The Beatles' Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. I remember sitting in front of my dad's speakers, marvelling at how sound could be all around me, and thinking the music was so weird. It made me want to... experiment. When I got older.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Neil Young, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Laura Marling, James Brown, Lightning Bolt, Stephen Malkmus, Johnny Cash, The Lemonheads, Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Therapy?, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Minutemen...

What inspires you to make music?

It's self-perpetuating. Every idea leads to another idea. The more ideas I have, the more I think about them, which in turn leads to solutions and further ideas. What inspired me in the first place was hearing Guns N'Roses as an 11 year old, deciding I wanted to be a great guitar player, deciding to do something about it. Then realising I was never going to be that good, but trying anyway and finding other musicians who were great, but not in a technical sense - people like Syd Barrett or Daniel Johnston... even Neil Young, who is something of an acquired taste...

What is the message you want to send with your music?

You don't have to be perfect to be able to express yourself, to make others feel, even to be great.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Time speeds up. Nothing feels real. If it goes badly I feel awful until the next chance I get to prove myself. If it goes well I feel like I own the place.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I feel I'm a bit detached from all this, having been away from music for a while. In all honesty I probably have too many impressions and opinions of this to talk about here. I'll just say that it is good that there are so many platforms for people to share their music, but it just makes it apparent how much music there is to share, and people only have so much time to listen to it. Getting heard is probably the most difficult thing. For me though, the most important thing is to make the music regardless.

What do you think of Drooble?

Love it; so many talented and passionate musicians from so many different genres, with different skills levels. It's a great place to hear music, to be heard and to talk about music.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

I suppose its things like decent musicians not getting the recognition they deserve (though that, of course is subjective), how difficult it is to get paying gigs - though obviously this is driven by just how many people want to be rock/pop stars. The exploitation of talent. The way corporate giants decide what music gets heard...

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

As a tired father living a few miles out of town, I don't really get out to gigs at all just now. I try to support friends who are in bands, but I'm not playing any gigs myself at the moment, so I'm not really in the scene. I have joined the local music groups on Facebook though, and I listen to anything the members post and give them a like and a follow if I like it.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

The cynic in me says money and influential friends/relatives. The romantic would say talent, belief, dedication and persistence. Also probably no job and someone willing to support them. Sorry, that was the cynic again.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

I have no idea who you've never heard of. Sorry.