Its Not All About The Music - Alex Smoke


Written by Sandy Hagenbach
03 Wednesday 03rd June 2015

We caught up with Alex Smoke to pick his brains on everything from youth boxing to orange juice ahead of his appearance at Room 237 next month.

1.Which Simpsons character do you relate with the most?

Monty Burns. I used to own a nuclear power plant in the mid 90s but it burnt down in a chip-pan fire. No, seriously I am very very rich and unpleasant.

2. Can you tell us a good movie you have watched recently?

Not Mad Max....that was total guff, despite everyone lauding it as 'genius'. Aye fucking right. I really enjoyed 'It Follows', an American horror that plays on suspense rather than graphic depictions of models dying slowly. Nice slow camera shots and decent dialogue too. I also recently watched an old Gene Hackmann film 'Night Moves' that was excellent.

3. What was your favourite thing about growing up in Scotland?

The greatest thing about Scotland is the scenery and the wildness. I used to go out on my BMX at 4am and cycle up to Loch Lomond in the Summer, go walking about and smoke cigarettes, after watching the learning zone and films all night. My first trip to Skye when I was about 15 was the most memorable experience of Sotland....again, I stayed up all night and went up the hills at 3am and listened to the Nightjars calling. A spooky and ethereal island and my favourite place on Earth.

4. Do you Smoke?

I used to smoke heavily from about 15, but I've had multiple collapsed lungs over the years so have had to stop. It's a shite habit of course but there is a place for a fag after dinner on a rooftop in Spain as the sun goes down. I can't even do that now which is a wee shame for me. Everyone thinks my name means that I must be a heavy weed smoker too, but I am chronically (nae pun) allergic to it and I whitey after the slightest hint of the stuff. Just as well probably, otherwise I would've made hee-haw music and look like a sickly albino troll by now.

5. What was your favourite childhood toy?

I was allowed a small wooden spoon to play with once a year on my birthday. Then I was beaten with it. Very sad. Actually I loved collecting things like rocks, stamps, shells etc.....I was a bit of a geek. I remember I had a small electric car that you turned on with a key in the back of it called 'Bigfoot' that I totally loved. It just went in a straight line but your imagination in those years just fills in the blanks and before you know it, it can fly and shoot fire from it's wheels.

6. What is your biggest passion outside of Music?

Just nature in general. Our entire lives are seemingly about distractions to give us pleasure but if you can simply slow down then the true pleasure of living is just being outside somewhere beautiful. I love music of course, but at the end of the day it is just another thing to do to try and capture the inherent beauty of the world that already exists. It is still a special thing though.

7.What is your signature dish?

I love cooking. I'm not a showy cook but I'm into a wide range of flavours. I'd probably say something simple like kedgeree or tabbouleh. I'm a lazy bastard and only really cook things that you can eat with just a fork. I've now lost the use of my left hand while's like a vestigal lump.

8. Finally what can we expect from you in the second half of 2015?

Actually, loads. I've got another BBC score coming out on Kathexis, a Wraetlic EP / mini-LP on Huntleys & Palmers, a possible Alex Smoke album (depending on schedules etc) and a psycho-acoustic installaion project with Florence To designed to trigger spiritual sensations. I'm in a good place just now, working on lots of different fronts but playing out less. It gives me time to read and think, the two greatest pleasures there are.

Catch Alex Smoke alongside Helena Hauff at Room 237 this weekend at the Island Bristol.

Get tickets here -

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