Ross Godfrey of Morcheeba discusses Hendrix, collaboration, and, of course, joints
Before packing his suitcase for D.C., Ross Godfrey took the time to talk with me about the trio that is Morcheeba, a British electronica powerhouse of creativity that doesn’t mind a hit of cheeba every now and again. After 10-plus years together, they are still busy touring after the release of their July 2010 album, Blood Like Lemonade, which features their reunited singer, Skye Edwards, and her hauntingly velvet-like voice. This weekend they trail blaze the East Coast, hitting up D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. After touring the Americas and Europe, who knows what 2012 will bring these charmingly laid back trip-hop talents.
When and how did your passion for music begin?
I was six or seven when I knew I wanted to be a musician. I never wanted to be anything else. My mom recently found a picture of me with a guitar when I was three years old. I learned guitar at seven or eight and really loved music– mostly Jimi Hendrix and blues music. My brother was into music as well, but he didn’t want to play guitar, so he played drums and was into hip hop and got turn tables at a young age and went down that path. Between the two of us, we could do everything except sing.
Speaking of singing, what was it like having Skye Edwards back on your last album, Blood Like Lemonade?
We were very happy to take a break and its great having her back again. She is just magic and has a great voice and stage presence. We have a lot of fun and giggles. We write very well together and have similar music styles.
Who is your musical hero?
Jimi Hendrix. He is a brilliant guitar player and makes really interesting records. A more modern musician is Aphex Twin.
What’s it like working with your brother Paul? How do your creative processes work together?
We get drunk, then stoned and just start jamming. Making music is a series of happy accidents and you claim later on that you meant to do it. I might go to his place and if I have a guitar riff, I might match it to any lyrical ideas he has, then we might try a beat and do a rough recording. Then we send to it to Skye with proposed lyrics and see if she can make it sound like a song that’s suitable to sing. When she sends it back to us, we know whether it will work or not and if we should spend more time on a proper recording. Skye recorded all the lyrics on the last album at her home in front of the fire place after drinking whiskey. Once she recorded, we just spent a few months mixing.
Where do you get your unique, occasionally-morbid lyrics?
My brother has a very unique view of the world. This album was a slight departure from how we normally write. It was set around a group of fictional characters because it was an emotional reunion and we preferred to make up a load of fictional things. Skye sounds so good when she sings about murder and violence because she has such a sweet voice. It’s as if we are kind of making a film and we cast different characters and have different scenes. Fictional things can be a lot more interesting than real life.
If you could collaborate with someone who would it be?
This is a tough question because I wouldn’t want to collaborate with someone who does the same thing I do. It would be good to collaborate with someone completely different so it would become a more interesting project. Maybe Aphex Twin or Flying Lotus.
Which of your songs means the most to you?
“Blindfold.” I was with my mom on a Greek island and they played it in a little cafe and it sounded nice.
Where does the title of your 2010 album, Blood Like Lemonade, come from?
My brother came up with the title and I thought it was good. I could imagine a 1960’s poster with it written in big psychedelic letters. It’s confusing and weird and I’m not sure exactly where it came from.
What’s next for Morcheeba?
We are touring North America, South America, then Europe. Hopefully we are making another album next year, but we are always kind of writing as we go.
What words do you live by?
I like to take it easy. Always make music like you always want to go to bed but you just want to roll one last joint.