Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

From the paper: Underworld

An interview with Karl Hyde about creativity and comfort zones

Underworld's Karl Hyde points the way

Wed, Sep 16, 2015, 14:03


There are some interviews which stick in your mind for a while after you do them. Ahead of his band’s performance at the recent Electric Picnic, I talked to Underworld’s Karl Hyde for the paper. I’d interviewed him before, but had forgotten just what a wise geezer he is. You can read his thoughts on nostalgia, outsider culture, the strange way Underworld became “Underworld”, his long-running relationship with fellow band member Rick Smith, other musical projects, Tomato and creativity here.

One of the things which didn’t make the main piece was Hyde talking about the process behind his daily online journal. Every day since 2000, he has written a diary post for this journal as part of a daily creative routine. “My discipline involves me going to a café where I get a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea and I write for half-an-hour every day. That writing becomes the beginnings of lyrics and things when I got to the studio and improvise with Rick.

“Then I give myself 20 minutes to write and redraft a piece with a random photograph for the diary. It’s a state of mind. Today, I could be writing poetry, tomorrow it’s something else. It’s to exercise a muscle. I love to write and writing is the thing I love to do the most.

“I also love the freedom to communicate with people and publish every day and to know that there is at least one other person who reads it. That’s enough. It’s that underground, outsider culture again, to be part of something that can be picked up globally, but is probably only read by a handful of people. It’s the antithesis of being part of a network which is there to distribute your art to millions. It’s really important to me to be making something in a garden shed as well as in a stadium.”