Alasdair Malloy - Interview

Interview with Alasdair Malloy on Scott Walker's 'Bish Bosch'

December 3rd 2012 sees a landmark release unleashed; the fourteenth studio album by the incomparable Scott Walker. His fourth of the last thirty years, it sees a further separation from the balladry of The Walker Brothers into areas much more challenging, both for himself and his audience. The result is a nine-track, seventy-minute plus epic that explores the themes of long-dead dictators, brown dwarfs and bodily emissions on a landscape of thick silences, sheer noise and almost all points in between; a work that is tied to its precedents The Drift and Tilt but also an entirely different beast in its' own right.

Indeed it is all but impossible to summarise Bish Bosch in a word count that doesn't hit the thousands; do you focus on the shrieks and screams that push Scott's vocals further than they have ever been pushed before? The meticulously layered orchestration than combines traditional instruments with the Tubax, Hawaiian war drums and household objects? Or simply the caverns of vast nothingness that are just as important in establishing the atmosphere throughout? How does one comment on something so unique, so inherently foreign, that it seems our existing language seems insufficient to even breach it?

To give an insight of the process of creating what is surely one of the most adventurous and free-thinking albums of the year, was lucky enough to put questions to Alasdair Malloy, a well-travelled percussionist and arranger with a wealth of experience in contemporary and classical fields who has been a trusted collaborator on Scott's last three opuses. Like Scott's music, Alasdair's answers are well thought-out, in-depth and without concern of brevity. Here they are, unedited:

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