Exposure - Connan Mockasin
Erol Alkan's psychedelic protegé talks motivation and ideal album lengths
Originally from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand, Connan Mockasin has lived in London for the last five years, during which time he’s covered Michael Jackson, worked with Charlotte Gainsbourg, played with Crowded House (find him below alongside them and Johnny Marr covering Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’) and been championed by Erol Alkan. His most recent album Forever Dolphin Love, a tide of oddball psychedelic symphonies, was released on Alkan’s Phantasy label.
How did you get here?
‘I had a band in Wellington called Connan and the Mockasins, which was a whole other project. I first came to London with them, but we didn’t know anyone and had no money, so we ended up sleeping in parks. That band eventually finished and I went back home, where my mum actually insisted I make a record (Please Turn Me Into the Snat). It felt good, doing it on my own with no pressure from anyone else. Then Erol Alkan heard it and got in touch. I toured with Late of the Pier – I think they must have played it to him.’
Forever Dolphin Love sounds like nothing else. Can you tell us about it?
‘I don’t really know a heck of a lot of music, I don’t have a record collection. When I was first getting into guitar I was a big fan of Jimi Hendrix and before that my big primary school influence was Michael Jackson, I haven’t had any influences since. All I wanted to do with this record was write and record as I went, rather than writing heaps of songs and choosing what to record after. And I didn’t want it to be longer than thirty-six minutes, so I finished when I got there.’
Why thirty-six minutes?
‘Thirty-six minutes is a good length for an album’.
King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sun 25 Sep.