Workspace and Environment: Mark Spybey

I was born and raised about sixty miles south of where I live. North-east England. Getting here was a roundabout journey. Being here is the best move we made. I’ve moved house maybe 8 times in 20 years.
Since I was a teenager, I was motivated by a desire to be creative and to acknowledge my right to make music, despite not being a musician. I am not a musician. I find myself curiously attracted to making music, despite my limitations. I happen to believe that technical ability can badly affect creativity, unless you are very, very lucky. So I motivate myself by trying to unlearn anything I learn! I loathe going into music shops. Most of the people who work in them feel somewhat inhuman to me. Or rather they make me feel like an alien! I’m involved with Dead Voices on Air, Reformed Faction, Gnome and Spybey, MzMz LaLala, Pata Particles, Download, Beehatch, Propeller etc. Try, I find that terribly helpful nowadays when buying music! I don’t release any of my own music, it’s all through record companies.

Favorite Hardware
Roland Handsonic. It contains all of the drum sounds I want in one convenient gadget. I don’t program drums, I play them. I love my iPhone too. Some amazing apps exist. I use them a lot. I have a Yamaha digital trumpet I am quite fond of too.

Favorite Software
No surprises, I use Protools because it doesn’t bite me and Ableton Live. I think Live can be used creatively. Depends how you load the samples and play them I guess! I Cut things up real small, so I can play with them and it gives me something to do on stage! I like to concentrate. I gave up on sweating years ago.

Workspace and Environment
It’s only over the past 5 years that I have had a ‘studio.” That’s a fancy title for a room I keep my set-up in. I need peace and quiet, a place where I feel comfortable to work but music making is not work for me, it’s an enjoyable activity. Of more importance is where I live. A quiet village. That has had a huge impact on my sense of comfort and of detachment.
I have found most commercial studios to be creatively stagnant spaces. Places to be avoided.

Ideal Workspace
I love Michael Rothers studio in Germany. I visited there once. It’s a medieval building, there are pictures of it on the first Harmonia record. It’s lovely, mainly because of the location. But I think I am happy where I am. I also liked the Subconscious studio location in Downtown Vancouver. Mainly because of the views of the mountains and harbour. Niels who was in the Pink Dots also has a lovely studio in a barn. I spent several happy months there recording once and cooking, and riding my bike on country paths.

First and Last Gear Ever Purchased
First: Tascam Porta One.
Last: Korg Monotron.

Wish List
Don’t have one. To desire is to be unsatisfied with what you have. I see infinite possibility in finite resources.

Mobile Setup
I record on a macbook, so yeah, it’s rather mobile!

Live Setup
Depends on who I am playing with. Macbook, Live, gadgets and gizmo’s. Microphones. FX.

Ever Hear Your Music Played in Public?
Yes. It made me feel odd, as though what I was hearing wasn’t part of me. How could it be? Someone else was playing it! After I have released something, I rarely listen to it. I don’t really feel attached to it. I would like to think that I care more about making new music. If people like it, fine. If not, fine. I care more about music I have made with friends because I feel an obligation to them and usually the process reinforces all of the best elements of what friendship and comradeship is about.

Latest Release with Gnome:
At Willie’s Place

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