Angry words, cathartic poetry

pic Morgan Tedd

Here at iBardbooks we’re continuing  a series of conversations with young artists working across a wide swath of media. We’re interested in how the expression of creative impulses continues to provide a social barometer for these modern times. Up next: Morgan Tedd. He’s the lyricist and lead vocalist for U.K band “The Catharsis”. We don’t  know exactly how to describe Morgan’s music – and he refuses to slot his band into any one category. Take a listen here and decide for yourself.  ( Then remind yourself that Morgan was born and raised in Shakespeare’s Stratford Upon Avon)

iBard: How do you describe your medium of expression? Why is this the best forum for your ideas?

Morgan Tedd: I express myself mostly through my writing, whether it’s lyrics for The Catharsis or other written work such as my poetry, i find that the written word for me is the way that best allows me to articulate my emotions, It’s a constant flow that way. The way i act on stage is also a big part of how i express myself artistically and emotionally, but i’m always writing in between shows. I like to think of my writing as the fuse that leads up to the firework of being on stage, when i come off stage and i’ve aired a lot of the things that words can’t describe, it’s back to the pen and paper until next time.

iBard: What do your artistic choices say about the times in which you are living?

Morgan Tedd: I try to keep my artistic endeavours as real and as raw as possible, everything i write comes straight from me to the page, i dislike sugar coating things. I think it’s this kind of honesty and authenticity that is lacking in the popular strain of not just writing, but music to. We live in a time where mediocrity is highly celebrated, where people choose to settle for the shiny, fake puppets of media, instead of delving deeper. There’s no honesty, and there’s no art to it, to me Art is something that is emotive, awakening and cathartic, so when i hear a piece of music or read something, which i feel has been made just to make money and not to emote, then i don’t class it as art, i see it as just music, or just a few words put together. Listening to Nina Simone pull those lyrics straight out of her heart is ART, it is beautiful, emotional, cathartic, and HONEST. Hearing Nicki Minaj prattle on about a “Stupid Hoe” however, isn’t art, it’s the rantings of an over paid egocentric joke, and about as far away from what i would class as art, as it is humanly possible to be.

iBard: Music is obviously your passion. Is it possible to make a living at it ?

MT: In this day and age i fear not, big labels are going belly up and bands are finding it harder and harder to get the funding they need to put out records. My aim isn’t to make a living from music, and it never has been, my goal is to do it for as long as possible whilst maintaining a comfortable home life. That means working a job alongside the band, but it is worth every hour of every day that i do it, music enriches my life more than money ever will.


iB:There seems to be a great deal of raw pain and anger in your work. What feeds that?  MT: I’m no saint, i have a lot of flaws, and most of my anger is aimed at myself. I have a lot of ambition, which leads to a lot of jealousy and apathy, never towards others, but towards myself for having those feelings, and for not being the person i wish i was. The lyrics from my bands debut album “Romance” have dual meanings, one of which documents the frustration i was feeling during a particularly difficult relationship, i ended up writing the album that i knew i’d need when things got tough, so when the relationship eventually fell apart, i was constantly listening to that record, and i still listen to it now. I’ve suffered from depression, which has led to myself having to take Citalopram and also attend CBT sessions to help make things easier to deal with. I’ve wrote a lot about this particular area of my life, sometimes i make it easy to translate, other times i wrap the message up inside of another story, more to protect myself than anything else.

iBard:What elements of your chosen medium are the least understood ( outside of your fan base)?  

MT: I think the most misunderstood part of what i do is my vocal style, many reviewers who wrote about our debut album described my vocals as being angry, filled with rage etc, when actually most of the songs on that record aren’t angry, not one bit, they’re actually incredibly sad, telling stories of loss, depression, and death. I think most people hear me screaming and associate it straight away with anger, a wail of sadness is just as, if not more bone shattering than a scream of anger.

 iBard:Which wordsmiths (in any medium ) inspire you?  

MT:Charles Bukowski is a big inspiration to me, his writing style is incredibly raw, blunt, and to the point, he says it exactly how it is, which is how i like to convey emotions in my written work. Other writers such as the late Ian Curtis, show a deeper reach, whilst still holding that grasp on reality, the truth, and real emotions.

iBard:You once told iBardBooks that you have a great deal of respect for Shakespeare- a guy who has been dead for over 400 years! Could you explain that?  

MT: I went to Stratford upon Avon college for three happy years, so of course Shakespeare’s works were everywhere! Although i could sit here all night selecting scenes, passages and quotes from his work that i adore, it’s Shakespeare’s mastery of the the english language which i connect with the most. I respect the work of those, whose work stands the test of time, Beethoven, Mozart, Pythagoras, Confucius, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Aristotle, all men who have been dead for hundreds of years, and yet their work still rings true to this day. We still listen to Beethoven, we still quote Aristotle, we even make movies out of the great bards plays! I respect greatness, and to me greatness is a body of work that you can look back on and be proud of, as well as having generations looking back at your work, long after the man who created them has gone.