He’s creative, controversial, and wonderfully candid - and he’s in Halifax this weekend for two shows at The Carleton. Fiddler extraordinnaire Ashley MacIsaac speaks with Arts East.
AE: What’s on your creative agenda these days?
AM: I continue to look for more ways to represent music of a traditional nature to a modern audience. I’m also working on a play, and I am in the starting stages of working on my coolest project to date - with a Halifax performer (which I’m keeping a secret for now).
AE: Is the creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational' for you?
AM: I create for two reasons: one because I can’t help it sometimes, and other times for necessity - but both are part of my life as a musician.
AE: What makes a good song?
AM: A good hook and good quality performances.
AE: What are you listening to these days?
AM: Skrillex and Old Angus Chisholm tapes.
AE: What are you watching and-or reading?
AM: I don’t watch a lot of foreign videos of world issues like stoning and other barbaric Sharia law atrocities to remind me why we are better than those against human rights.
AE: What are your thoughts on the current state of music in Canada?
AM: Same as I’ve always seen it...A few stars and lots trying really hard… So, healthy I think.
AE: What are your thoughts on the arts in Canada in general?
AM: That is what exemplifies your country and I think Canada is so diverse that it is in good hands from cultural groups right on up to professionals in the government. I can’t say they find it that important but that too is typical of conservative days.
AE: Any idea why so much great music and art comes out of Atlantic Canada?
AM: It pays as well as most minimum wage jobs and we live by the water so our imaginations are fluid.
At The Carleton in Halifax, Saturday March 17 & Sunday March 18.