Background Noise, Episode 77: Michael Hsiung / by Matt Valerio

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 77, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MICHAEL HSIUNG.

THE BACKGROUND NOISE PODCAST SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN EPISODE 77, THE FOCUS IS ON ARTIST MICHAEL HSIUNG.

Bio direct from the artist:

Born in Chinatown, Los Angeles, Michael C. Hsiung is a self taught artist known for his black-and-white pen and ink drawings. His work features a range of strangely rotund characters from fantastical creatures, such as centaurs and mermen to somewhat contemporary and/or old fashion bearded males often celebrating, imbibing, and rebel-rousing.  He has exhibited his works in various galleries and shows, such as the East of Eden (2008), Helsinki Biennial (2008), Murray State University (2009), Slingluff Gallery, PA (Solo show: 2010), THIS gallery (2012), LA HEAT at CAM (2014) and most recently had an exhibition “Who Cares Wins” at the Vincent Price Art Museum (2014).  He also has done freelance and commercial work for various companies including, Dr. Martens, Enjoi Skateboards, Momentum Wheels, Matix, VICE, Ambig, James Iha, VANS and most recently awarded gold in New Zealand’s Best Graphic Design for three of his designs with Y&R for Blunt Umbrellas (2014).  Michael currently lives with his wife, Rachel, in LA where he continues to make art, zines, and show works.

First album you bought?
A Beatles tape in Taiwan but all sung by Taiwanese musicians so not really the Beatles hahah.

Last album you bought?
Sleep, The Clarity Ep

First concert?
Michael Jackson, Dodger Stadium, 1984.  I remember everyone wearing the glitter glove, and I was thinking weird no one got the pair.

Last concert?
Black Sabbath Reunion tour, Greek theater, 2015?

Was there one album that made a significant impression on you?
Probably Metallica’s Master of Puppets

Who is your musical hero?
Geezer, Cliff Burton, Danzig!

How important is music to your creative process?
Music is very much a subliminal aspect of my creative process. I often listen to the same songs and playlists over and over to sort of zone myself out.  In order to sort of get myself going artistically I will play music from a playlist I titled Wake and Bake, much of that I’ve included in my playlist for Background noise. ENJOY!

1. Forever My Queen, Pentagram
2. Dragonaut, Sleep
3. Gypsy, Mercyful Fate
4. Death Is The Answer, Early Man
5.  Wizard King, Inside
6. Run To Your Mama, Goat
7. I Am The Skull, Danava
8. The Four Horseman, Metallica
9. Don’t Take Me Alive, Steely Dan
10. Lord Of This World, Black Sabbath
11. Only Death Decides, Exodus
12. Obolus, Thrones
13. In The Air Tonight, Godheadsilo
14. Moans, Tweak Bird
15. Skweetis, Melvins

Check out Michael's mix below, download it directly here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes here.  Check out Michael's website here.