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Antifolk-punk pioneer Hank Osasuna aka Spinmaster Plantpot tells Julie Cruickshank about his influences and his TV work.
Hank Osasuna is the pioneer of punk rock poetry performance, combining rap with comedy and a cappella singing in the guise of Spinmaster Plantpot. He has also been instrumental in performing in and promoting the British and American antifolk circuits. In recent years he has appeared in many of comedian Keith Lemon’s TV shows and films. Pennyblackmusic caught up with Hank to discuss his formative influences, musical heroes and plans for future live performances.
PB: Hello Hank! How did the antifolk movement come about?
HO: Hi there! The antifolk scene happened when certain American artists appeared who were folkish in flavour but a bit more punky in attitude, and in the late 1980s antifolk nights sprang up in the Lower East Side of New York City, followed by a scene springing up in London.
PB: How did the persona of Spinmaster Plantpot come into being?
HO: I started doing improv tapes in my living room. Just singing into a mic and letting the songs seep out. I did my first gig back in the early noughties at the Blang! antifolk night at the Twelve Bar in London (RIP) with a very economical 10-minute set, half-improvised and half-planned.
PB: What are your musical influences?
HO: My musical influences pretty much change from day to day but some of my current faves would include Felt, Gram Parsons, FSK, Bhundu Brothers, Charlie Louvin, Lemonheads, Smudge, Hank Williams, Benee, and post-classical avant grade flavours too. Music is a never-ending world of discovery – in my SO very humble opinion!
PB: Have you discovered any new bands during lockdown?
HO: Yes. Especially the noise artist Aaron Dilloway who records his chickens eating feed off his equipment – genius.
PB: Tell us how you came to be discovered by Keith Lemon.
HO: I was doing a gig at Monkey Chews in Camden and and he was in the audience at the back of the room. He dug my performance and we chatted, and he invited me onto his show Keith Lemon’s Very Brilliant World Tour. From then on, I made appearances in quite a few of his shows.
PB: What have you gained artistically from the TV experience?
HO: Just that its worth putting hard work into your preparation and being mindful that inspiration can come at any time.
PB: Which authors do you like to read?
HO: Ooh, I’ve discovered Elizabeth Strout. Amazing direct pure prose. Total genius. And Anne Tyler’s quirky American stories.
PB: What are your plans for future Spinmaster Plantpot appearances?
HO: Just to do more gigs and hope that some crazy SHIZZ happens!
PB: Thank you.
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