Here is an article about Young Sim’s Feel Good Music in the Deseret News. I was interviewed for this one and my contribution is on the last page. Enjoy!
Hi everyone, it’s Arthur Hatton here. It has been around three and a half years since I created Linescratchers, and as many of you may have noticed, our productive output has decreased over the last year or so. This is directly attributable to the fact that I’ve had my first kid (he’s one year old now), and started graduate school. Those two things have really taken away my energy to micro-manage things and make time in my schedule to talk with artists, listen to new music, and go to concerts. Our fundraiser was an attempt at providing the incentive necessary to take Linescratchers to the next level, but it was not successful enough to really meet our minimum goals to do so (though we will have plenty of money for web hosting bills for the indefinite future). I have given this decision a lot of thought and have decided that, in order to make room in my life for graduate school and research, being a father, and new blogging interests, I’m regretfully going to have to step down as the in-charge person at Linescratchers.
This was not an easy decision to make. In a lot of ways I feel like I’m giving up a baby for adoption. However, I also know that I’m a perfectionist, and I get very dissatisfied with myself if I do things half-way. Either I do them right or I don’t do them at all.
However, I also did not want to just shut Linescratchers down. So we have worked out a new system whereby contributors will still post articles, interviews, and reviews, without me telling them what to do. On our Staff page I will compile a list of active contributors along with the styles of music they specialize in. If there are any new artists who wish to be featured on Linescratchers, you can contact the contributors directly. Expect lots of great new content over the next months (and hopefully years). Don’t go away! It’s just that I won’t be directly involved anymore.
One thing I just want to say here is that, in my mind, I consider Linescratchers an unqualified, total success. When I created Linescratchers, I had reasons for doing it, and goals that I wanted to achieve. Some of them were more abstract, like that I wanted to create a safe place for LDS artists to be able to really express themselves. Some were more concrete – I wanted to interview Alan Sparhawk. Along the way I’ve met some amazing artists, writers, fans, and people, and seen some amazing musicians live. I was even able to create a couple dozen podcasts, some of which were great interviews of some amazing musicians. I love Linescratchers and I really hope that it continues long years into the future.
If you are interested in what I’m doing nowadays, you might have noticed that I was recently interviewed about an album I just released, Odes. I have also started a personal blog that I have been using to record my thoughts about my personal musical journey and other random things, and if you’re interested in following me there, I promise to try and entertain you as best as I can. If you want to follow me in my music, you can find me at my Facebook fan page or on Reverbnation. I am also involved with a psychology of religion blog called The Value of Saintliness, related to my graduate studies.
The thing I want to express most here is my gratitude. I am so thankful to each of you – each contributor, each artist that really believed in us, each fan who follows us, each listener of the podcast, every family member that offered support, and every person that donated to the fundraiser. You’ve all made this wonderful site possible and I wish I could just shake your hands individually.
You’ll still see me lurking around Linescratchers, and hopefully posting every now and then, and I will still be happy to answer questions or press inquiries about the site, I just won’t be pulling the puppet strings anymore. To get in touch with me personally, please email me at email@example.com.
Arthur is also the founder and honcho here at Linescratchers. He sat down to talk with us about the desperation that bore his new album, why anyone should care that he’s Mormon, and how Eastern Orthodox Christianity has influenced his work.
Odes has a unique creation story. Can you describe the contributions from all the people involved and how it came together?
Well, there are a couple creation stories for Odes. The first is that the project was initially created to help me repair my car. Long story short, my wife and I were driving down to Charlotte, NC, with our very small baby, for a grad school interview, when our car broke down in the middle of Tennessee. We were then completely taken advantage of by an unscrupulous tow/mechanic guy and depleted our savings completely. We didn’t know how we were going to pay bills that month. So I decided that maybe I should just get a bunch of my recorded demos into some kind of presentable form on a Bandcamp account and sell them to raise money for our bills. I had been particularly inspired by a collection of ancient Christian hymns called the Odes of Solomon and a few of my songs were strongly influenced by those hymns. However, due to my pathetic need to pay the bills, a bunch of family and friends pre-ordered the album, enough that our immediate need was fulfilled. Since the matter wasn’t urgent anymore, I decided to create an album out of the material that was truly worthy of being called an album. Around 10 months later, Odes was finished.
A few of my musical contacts I’ve made through Linescratchers helped along the way. Ian Fowles (from The Aquabats!) volunteered to play lead guitar on some songs, and he can be heard in “Don’t Wake Me Now” and “Last Song.” Davey Morrison Dillard asked me to write a song to be featured in his upcoming film adaptation of the play WWJD? and that was “Don’t Wake Me Now.” Adam Kaiser of the Neighbors almost played drums but moved out of his city last-minute and couldn’t do it. I got a friend of a friend, Jared Palick, who plays drums in Portland, to play drums on “Last Song.” My sister sang harmonies on “Gabriel,” and my brother sang harmonies on everything and played drums on all the other songs, so it was really a collective effort from a lot of friends.
Lastly, Young Sim has invited me to list my album under his Feel Good Music Coalition label which I happily did. I love that guy and take every opportunity to work with him that I can.
Arthur Hatton has recorded a version of his song “You’re Better Than That” to promote Linescratchers as a non-competing entry at A Motley Vision’s Spring Poetry Runoff Contest. Check it out!