A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Emét

with: Emét

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Emét: I’m more of a lyrical stickler than a “reader”, so I would have to credit Bob Dylan or Damien Rice for my first steps into writing. Before I taught myself guitar I would scribble down what I considered to be poetry, and once I looked at it from a musical lens everything began to make more sense. I’m a creative writing graduate who never reads. Whoops.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Emét: Leonard Cohen comes to mind. He was a poet until the very end, a million fags smoked and a life lived to its fullest. I’ve got a soft spot for musical poets – Joni Mitchell, Kendrick Lamar, Keaton Henson and Alex Turner are probably the best examples, not forgetting Mr John Cooper Clarke who I had the pleasure of chatting with earlier this year.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/musician?

Emét: I remember watching a documentary about My Chemical Romance when I was about 15, and before that point I had never considered the arts as a viable career path. In the documentary guitarist Frank Iero explained that he got a tattoo of a scorpion on his neck to effectively ruin his chances of getting a “normal” job if the whole band thing didn’t work out – and that commitment is what I consider to be the recipe for success as an artist. There’s no room for scepticism (what with the arts on its deathbed and all), so don’t hold back.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Emét: The proud brewers at the Bushmills Distillery, I would imagine. The “write drunk, edit sober” mentality has been romanticised for all the wrong reasons, but it helped me to get out of my own head in the early days and embrace the notion that no idea is a bad idea.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from Influence your work?

Emét: I grew up in a wee town called Limavady in the north of Ireland, and like most punk-influenced teens I was keen to move elsewhere. In my defence I stuck out like a sore thumb, with a big head of box-dyed black curls and the posture of a floor lamp, but I owe a lot to the musicians I grew up with in Limavady. When I moved to London I immediately missed the sense of community that comes with a small town and penned the line “I’m tired of Oxford Street”, and on the same page I wrote “home’s just pubs to me”. Both were sad notions because I felt like I had turned away from all avenues, but now I realise that the best pubs feel like home.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Emét: I’ve recorded my debut album, which I am holding very close to my chest so as not to spoil all the fun of releasing an album. If anyone wants to help me to share it with the world that would be class, but until then you’ll just have to listen to my EP over and over and over.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Emét: The pandemic has taught me that I thrive on the energy of others, so I’ll happily take any opportunity to sit with my friends and just talk about nothing for a few hours. “Of all the money that e’er I had, I spent it in good company.”

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others? Or name or show a favorite piece of artwork if you are an artist.

Emét: There’s a great self portrait by Leonard Cohen which reads “one of those days when the hat doesn’t help”, and it captures the little things that people do to perk themselves up to get out of a rut. The best art captures a feeling you never realised was a shared experience, and that one hit me out of nowhere.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Emét: My debut EP ‘Cheers & All the Best’ came out in March, and the response has been incredible. I’m a very lucky fella to have such incredible people around me. There are some other exciting things in the pipeline, so give me a follow on socials and drop me a line if you ever fancy a wee chat. Thanks for your time, now back to your scheduled programming.

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