Introducing: A Short Dark Stranger

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Pumping synth-pop eccentricity from Leeds…

YOUR NAME:Christian Hyde, aka A Short Dark Stranger.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING MUSIC? Far too long (since I was about 15).
ANY PAST BANDS OR COLLABORATIONS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT? In 2016 I collaborated (providing lyrics, vocals & various instrumentation) on a track with renowned Yorkshire techno-punks, Petrol B*stard. Once the vocal recording had finished, we ventured to Sainsbury’s in Headingley, purchased an unholy amount of sherry (I’m still not sure why we decided on sherry) and drank the lot whilst layering the track with different musical parts and sound effects. Whenever anyone hears the song and I tell them this, they’re never surprised. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever had as painful a hangover in my entire life.

GIVE US 3 REASONS WHY WE SHOULD TRACK DOWN, LISTEN AND DISCOVER YOUR MUSIC?
1) I combine aspects of the finest Eighties electro &and Nineties indie with cathartic, heartfelt, sometimes sarcastic, cynically scathing, but always quintessentially Britishly witty ‘laughing at life’ lyrics to create a whole new variety of ‘poetic pumping power pop’. At least I like to think I do.
2) I may well very be the only musician to have recorded a solo using the ‘B blues scale’ in a synthpop song. A ‘B blues scale’ solo that’s played on the stylophone. And it’s a synthpop song that somehow sounds like Elvis Presley.
3) I’m possibly the only artist that actually incorporates where to insert the explosion noises when writing the song.

WHERE DO YOU SOUND BEST – FESTIVAL, CLUB, BEDROOM – OR SOMEWHERE ELSE?
Either a cheesy, sticky floored dive bar where the vodka shots are cheap and free flowing, or an equally cheesy Eighties style nightclub/bar where the cocktail menu is the size of the New York telephone directory.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST…
RECORD? Hmm. I think it was ‘Pass The Dutchie’ by Musical Youth!
CD? I think it was Erasure by, erm, Erasure
DOWNLOAD? ‘Rolling In The Deep’ by Adele.

SO, WHEN IT ALL GOES RIGHT AND YOU’VE GOT A BOTTOMLESS PIT OF MONEY AND LONG QUEUE OF HANGERS-ON, WHAT WILL BE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INDULGENCE?
A custom made Keytar stylophone. Preferably one with neon blue and red lights all the way around it, a pitch range to rival Mariah Carey’s and a minibar in the top of it. A minibar that never runs out of Campari.

SO, WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG AND YOU’RE LEFT BITTER AND TWISTED AND CURSING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, WHAT DO YOU FALL BACK ON?
The floor. Or a nice comfy sofa. It depends how drunk I am.

a short dark stranger interview synth

image: Lina Burnley

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL GUILTY PLEASURES…
Tricky, as what I consider to be perfectly acceptable, credible music many others think is really cheesy. I’d say Rammstein.

WHO ARE YORKSHIRE’S FINEST IN CULTURE, SPORT AND MUSIC?
Culture: Alan Bennett, Lesley Garrett and Jodie Whittaker (after all, she’s The Doctor!).
Music: Jarvis Cocker / Pulp (of course), Human League, Kaiser Chiefs.
Sport: Nicola Adams. I know virtually nothing about sport!

NAME YOUR SUPERGROUP – WHO’S PLAYING WHAT, WHO’S ON VOCALS AND WHO’S YOUR BEZ?
Vocals: David McAlmont.
Keyboards: Benny from Abba.
Guitar: Johnny Marr.
Bass: John Taylor from Duran Duran.
Drums: Ringo Starr.
Bez: Nick Cave.

GO SEE THIS FILM: Withnail & I.
GO READ THIS BOOK: Charlie Brooker – Dawn of the Dumb.
GREAT LOST BAND/ARTIST: The London Boys.
WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT DEAD SUPPORTING: Anyone who’s been on The X-Factor.
LONDON, L.A OR LEEDS?: Leeds.

AND FINALLY… AS YOU LEAVE THE STAGE, WHAT ARE YOUR PARTING WORDS?
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – I have been, am and (all being well) will continue to be the one and only A Short Dark Stranger! Thank you and goodnight – I’m now off to the bar…

‘The new single ‘Popaganda’ by A Short Dark Stranger is out now
For more info visit about.me/ashortdarkstranger
Top image: Ben Smith Photography

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