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Meet Johnny Lynch, AKA Te Pictish Trail.

Hailing from the tiny, nature-powered Isle of Eigg, not only did he run the Fence Collective

for years and now Lost Map Records but he’s got a successful recording career of his own.

His latest album, Future Echoes is just about to come out, so I spoke to this lovely man about his DIY ethic, monikers and working with Adem and Sweet Baboo.

what have you learnt along the way that has helped you in your own career as a musician? Te power of numbers - of doing your own thing but having people help you along with it..being involved with other people’s music and them being involved in yours. For me, my career as a musician isn’t just limited to me making my own music, I can feel as much of a musician by helping

Y 14 / October 2016/

ou ran Fence Collective for 10 years, now you run Lost Map Records -

someone else release their music. You had a side project, Silver Columns, with Adem who’s a great solo artist and also in Fridge –and you didn’t reveal your identities. And obviously Te Pictish Trail isn’t your real name! Do you like to keep yourself separate from your music? Yes. Tere are a lot of singer songwriters who use their own name to be earnest and honest, but for me there’s something a little bit fake about that, a bit over earnest

or artificial. If you use a silly name, though, there’s a persona there, and you can kind of separate the music you make and the person you are in everyday life. If you go with your own name, that’s it – if you choose to change musical direction and do a different project if you’re stuck with your name then which part of you is the true you, the true artist? You live on the Isle of Eigg, a really a tiny island powered only by renewable energy. What’s it like there, and how do your isolated surroundings and the island’s rich and ancient heritage have an effect on your music do you think? It’s an incredible island. When I moved there about six years ago the community made me feel so welcome immediately. It’s one of the most serene and tranquil environments I’ve ever lived in. I was living in a fishing village before I moved there and it seemed metropolitan compared to the island! It’s so quiet, still and dark at night, its amazing in terms of living with your thoughts and it’s a very conducive environment in which to create as there are no distractions. Your album Secret Soundz Vol 2 was produced by the rather excellent Sweet Baboo – how did that collaboration come about? I’ve known Sweet Baboo for a long time; I asked him play at a festival I used to put on in Fife. He produced a record for Euros Child who was in Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, and it’s a really odd, surreal album recorded on a four-track, really DIY and it sounds really beautiful. So when I heard that record and realised who had recorded it I got in touch with him and asked if he’d come over and help me produce it. So he came over and we spent two weeks together recording it together. Your album Future Echoes is out really soon! How does it sound compared to Secret Soundz Vol 2?

My time with Fence Collective came to an end and it was a bit of a tricky period. I started a new label so there was a lot of work to do and I was increasingly finding it hard to find time to put into making my own music. I was having ideas for songs but hadn’t written one for ages. When I spoke to Adem, who produced most of the album, he said bring your ideas to me and we’ll record them and it’ll be a start. We recorded some of the start of songs together over three days in London and that really kick started the whole thing. Te whole writing and recording was based on those specific 10 songs for the album whereas the previous record was a case of having 30 songs and whittling them down. I started off thinking maybe I didn’t have any more songs, but instead I’ve created the record that I’m the most proud of because I feel like I’ve spent time with and poured my heart into every single one of those songs. Are there any themes or particular subjects that you have considered through the music and lyrics on the new album? Becoming a father fed into the making of these songs. My mother passed away during the making of the previous record and so this new one looks at mortality; the arrival of my son has meant I’ve been looking at it in a slightly different way. So it’s an album about death and the end of things but also about new beginnings and life, and for me it’s been cathartic.


> INFORMATION Folk Tat presents Te Pictish Trail at Norwich Arts Centre on 8th October. Tickets available from Read this interview in full at outline

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