Checking In: Michael C. Sharp Lives Lean

Sungod percussionist and hardcore punk forges dreamlike ambience

“A kosmische drone to soundtrack the ease and relaxation we should have in place of pinging off the walls with stress and anxiety,” opines Club Listings editor Greg Stitt this week on our PL-ATX List about Michael C. Sharp’s new EP, Live Not a Low Life. Affiliate of local electro brand Holodeck Records, the multifaceted sound sage emits a stark signal here.

Photo by Essentials Creative

Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?

Michael C. Sharp: I’m sheltering at the house I rent with my wife, 9-month-old child, and a roommate. The only one somewhat working at all is my wife who’s teaching remotely. We generally try to give each other alone time everyday and trade off taking care of the little one. It could be a lot worse.

AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?

MCS: I, like so many in the town, work in the service industry including at some venues. So SXSW being canceled was the first blow and then the restaurant closures have only added to it. Anxiety about being in public or taking a new job at a high-volume spot (like a grocery store) has set in, so we’re just trying to live lean and stay inside.

“The only one somewhat working at all is my wife who’s teaching remotely.”

AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person – at a show, at Central Market, at SXSW?

MCS: I think a city largely defined by the accessibility to music has some bigger questions to answer for itself about support, infrastructure, and identity. I personally don’t play nearly as much as some of my friends, but for some people (especially those younger than me), this is their entire life and the whole reason they’re living here.

AC: Everyone is having to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?

MCS: I no longer work.

AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?

MCS: My soundtrack for end times would be something peaceful, minimal, something like Ariel Kalma or Pelt. I’ve made a point in my life to make sure music leaves the smallest dent on my time, personal life, and bank account. I can make music here at home for my own personal therapy, meditation, or even just to demo new ideas.

My family is very supportive of me having this as a staple in my life, and being able to finish the newest record was a part of that. I finally had more time to sink in and jumped at it.

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