Music Editor Hannah Brierley speaks to the mega-mind of Fuck Buttons and the talent behind the soundtrack of The Greasy Strangler, Andrew Hung, who’s just released his own solo album
Andrew Hung, a man of many achievements; from having not one, but two of his songs played at the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, to working with Fuck Buttons, producing the soundtrack for the cult classic comedy The Greasy Strangler, to just releasing his new solo album Realisationship. Safe to say there was a lot to discuss when I was lucky enough to interview him.
Let me first of all start by saying that there are only a handful of films that will make you re-consider your whole life. Not in a way that is fulfilling or enlightening, but in a way that will stun you into a shocked silence and question everything you’ve ever known; I won’t give it away, but you really have to watch The Greasy Strangler. And if you do, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Amidst the bizarre-ness there is one thing that stands out consistently, which is the underlying music of the film. It has the power in moments of uncertainty, when you don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or be scared, to guide you through the emotions. When I quizzed Andrew about the process of making a soundtrack for such a film, he said there were a lot of questions.
“When I first watched it, my girlfriend and I sat in complete silence, not really sure what to say or think about the film. I had to keep going back and asking questions, as I wasn’t really sure what had just happened.” The process was an intense, three-week period of getting the music together, but it felt so good to run away with ideas for someone else. I was like an actor.”
The film garnered incredible praise, winning multiple awards. This period saw a new-found love of collaboration, and Andrew Hung found himself freshly invigorated.
It was off the back of working on The Greasy Strangler that he felt there was still lots of ideas that were yet to be explored. Which is how Hung’s new album Realisationship was born. “It would look like a bright and colourful bouncy castle” Andrew explained, just very “pop-y and weird.”
There is also a more serious side to the album too; Andrew believes that music is a document or a diary entry and that the lyrics are a “direct link” to what was happening in his life at that exact time. Realisationship is music as a pure expression of colour and fun; a party for tomorrow’s people. These songs transport the heart into an infinite feedback loop of positivity and strength. Like humanity, a force that appears to be singular, we scratch the surface of Realisationship and begin to reveal an extraordinary energy; nuance manifesting as power.
But this time, Andrew is going touring solo. As previously being a part of Fuck Buttons, an electronic/noise duo he formed with Benjamin John Power. The electro-pop musician expresses that despite touring for years previously, this time feels different. “It’s familiar, but there’s a frightening sense that there’s a lot to learn.”
Another stand out achievement for Mr. Hung, was that not one, but two of his songs were played at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. “It still feels surreal,” he says. “My phone was going mental, I had like 30 messages.” But for him, it was this exact moment when “his mum and dad finally took her career seriously.” He went on and laughed to say that “my parents fit that stereotypical Asian stereotype, I feel like they would have been disappointed with me unless I was a doctor or a lawyer.”
Andrew Hung is performing at Soup Kitchen on the 12th November