Friday, 21 November 2014

paz vs youtube - part one - morgan gleave

i mentioned a couple of posts back i wanted to start an interview series with youtubers. i tweeted the same thing earlier this week and the first response came from morgan gleave, a musician and animator with an interest in thrash ukulele and paranormal investigating cats. 

morgan's channel perfectly sums up what i find so exciting about youtube. there's an intimacy in his performance videos that you would never find in traditional media, and at the same time there's this unfettered creativity in the animation and music videos that's really inspiring. it's the kind of channel where you're never quite sure what's coming next, in the best possible way. here's what morgan had to say about it - 

what made you decide to start your own youtube channel?

I did video, animation and set design on my Graphic Design degree in the 90s.  I've been filming and animating ever since.  YouTube seemed like a logical progression, and a great way to share my work.

how would you describe your videos? 

Ummm... A bit of a mix really. I make stuff as the mood takes me.  I started off with straight performance videos, then moved onto making more elaborate videos and simple animation.  I'm really enjoying pushing what I can do with basic software and cameras!

what type of camera do you use and what do you edit on?

I'm lucky that I used to be a media technician at a local college, and as I still study there, I can borrow really nice solid state cameras.  I prefer Canon video and SLR cameras.  I've also got an old Fuji I sometimes use, and a mini Muvi camera.  I like to mix it up!  I tend to edit with Movie Maker on PC or iMovie on Macintosh.  I love working with Adobe Premiere Pro when I can!

how long have you been playing the ukulele, and was it always your instrument of choice? 

I bought a cheap ukulele 5 years ago, not being able to play a note!  A year later, I bought a lovely Ovation ukulele, and started making the kind of music I really like... Heavy! I like the idea of corrupting what is seen as a light instrument and make heavy music with it.  I started out as a harmonica player, which I'm focusing on now, making 'Harp Hop'… Harmonica hip hop.  I just love music of all kinds, and love making it too!

on one of your bandcamp pages you describe the album 'triad of despair' as 'songs about depression recorded in the woods on a dictaphone with the wind in trees'. how did this idea come about? 

Mental health and psychology are pet subjects of mine.  I'm training to be a Counsellor at college, and plan on working with children when I qualify.  Writing about depression and the feelings and thoughts associated with it was great therapy when I was in a dark place with mental health.  The woods where I filmed the video are a peaceful place, even being next to a small country lane.  I went there when I was in a bad way and just recorded the songs.  Even though I'd done clean recordings at home, I love the sound of the wind and cars going past in the background.  It just worked,  I spent half an hour recording there.  The songs just flowed out and I was so calm afterwards... Music therapy.  Filming the video there was just natural.

i liked the idea of occult feline investigator patches mcginley. can you talk about this character, and is there more to come?

Patches McGinley is one of my comic characters, named in honour of my lovely Irish Grandad who died last year.  It's a homage to Mignola, Hellboy and BPRD, which are some of my favourite comics.  There are three comics with Patches in so far, and at least four more plotted.  He's a great character, and I keep going back to him.  I have some plans for his development in the new year.  I like the idea of illustrated videos, so there may be more with Patches in...

the video for gravedigger has a very experimental quality to it. how did you go about filming this? was it all planned out or did it develop organically as you were filming?

I'm really proud of that video. I took time storyboarding, making the mask, filming, making graphics and editing.  It's probably the most complete video I've done so far.  As I mentioned, the songs were recorded in the woods there, so using them as a location was logical.  I love horror movies, so I knew I wanted a creepy feel to the video, which I think I got.

your performance videos are a real contrast to most videos I've seen on youtube in that you don't look directly at or address the camera, which makes the viewer concentrate on the music. was this the intention from the beginning or was it something you developed? 

Mostly stage fright!  I'm gaining confidence as a performer, but I tend to concentrate on what I'm playing... I think the music is more important.  Stage presence is really important live, but video is different, it's an opportunity to tell a story.

do you have any advice for you-tubers just starting out? 

Have fun!  Make lots of different kinds of videos and watch lots of different kinds too.  Don't get stuck in a rut!

can you recommend an unsung piece of art (book, film, video game - whatever) you love that people may not have heard of? 

She Makes War, Matt Stevens and The Fierce and the Dead.  Two fantastic UK bands that make stunning music, and are so inspirational.  They've been supportive of me whilst I've been finding my voice, and I love what they do.

what can we expect from your channel in 2015?

Lots more!  I'm working on some hand-drawn animations for my next EP, and I like the idea of making a short film too.  I love being creative.

can you nominate a fellow you tuber for my next interview? 

Fonzi of Bout Dat TV.  He's an amazing dude from Birmingham who is a one man powerhouse of music, video and words.  He has so much positive energy, and a great brain to go with it!  He's a forward thinking man!

subscribe to morgan's channel, check out his music on bandcamp and visit his website


thanks to morgan gleave for being my first interviewee!

if you have your own youtube channel and would like to be interviewed you can e-mail me at pazvsstuff[at] or find me on twitter @pazvsstuff

1 comment: