The Joyzine ’20 YEARS OF JOY’ birthday weekender at The Old Library, New Cross, London is only a week away (Sat. 19th / Sun. 20th August) and we are talking to some of the bands who we have been lucky enough to get on the bill.
Singer-songwriter and all round top man MJ Hibbett is playing on Saturday 19th. His mission statement is to “deal with everyday cultural and social phenomenas in a sensible but entertaining way“.
MJ answered 10 questions from Joyzine editor Paul Maps about his influences, early memories and how he’d love for you to buy him a pint if you like the gig.
1) Who’s in the band and what do they play?
This is me solo, so it’s me, and I play the guitar and Magical MIDI keyboard.
2) How would you describe your sound to someone who’s not heard you before?
“On first hearing it sounds like Billy Bragg covering Half Man Half Biscuit songs. On second hearing it does too.”
3) Who are some of your biggest influences and how have they affected your approach to making music?
My great hero, apart from the above, is John Otway. I’ve seen him about 80 times over the years and his constant excitement, enthusiasm, and also willingness to tell the same jokes at every gig, has been a constant inspiration.
4) Who are your favourite current artists and what do you like about them?
I’ve recently been listening to a band called The Beths from New Zealand, who sound very much like all the indiepop bands I have always loved, but as if they actually did some practicing.
5) What do you like most about playing live?
I’d like to say it’s the excitement of creating something new every time in collaboration with a unique collection of people, but actually it’s the bit afterwards when someone says “That was good, would you like a drink?”
6) What makes the perfect gig?
Someone saying “That was good, would you like a drink?”
7) Tell us an interesting fact/anecdote about your band
Here’s two! Firstly, the front man (me) is the world’s leading academic authority on the Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom. Secondly, the front man (also me) is the world’s ONLY academic authority on the Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom. I’ve got a book out next year! It’s very exciting!
8) When did you first come across Joyzine & what connection do you have to the site?
I have a feeling it would have been nearly twenty years ago, most likely at or around a gig in Lewisham, or possibly Croydon. I’m not sure because at that point everything was hazy and smelt of beer for some reason. My connection to Joyzine is that I’ve spent nearly twenty years asking them to mention my stuff and they have yet to fully or firmly ask me to stop.
9) The shows are raising money for HOPE not hate, why is this an important cause for you to support?
I have taken all my major learning points from the documentary “The Blues Brothers” and so I hate Nazis. If Hope Not Hate could do something about angry Nuns that would be great too.
10) What were you doing 20 years ago?
I’ve had a look in my Database Of ROCK and it looks like back in August I was making my debut on Steve Lamacq’s 6music show. According to my detailed records I had to stop whatever I was singing and ask if he could remember the words, as I’d forgotten. My levels of professionalism have not improved in the two decades since!