Karl Hyde: 2017
Karl Hyde (Photo by Perou, courtesy of Smith Hyde Productions)
Since releasing their groundbreaking 1994 album, dubnobasswithmyheadman, Underworld has been one of the most influential and innovative bands in the realm of dance and electronica. In 2017, the duo of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith received their first Grammy nomination in that very category for their luminous 2016 album, Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future.
In December, Hyde published a new book, a compelling, candid autobiography called I Am Dogboy, released via Faber & Faber. It’s a beautifully crafted collage of one man’s life as an artist and includes Hyde's autobiographical essays, his photography, and the poetic daily diary entries he’s published for the past 16 years on Underworld’s website.
Hyde writes about his life in I Am Dogboy—spanning from his Midlands boyhood in Bewdley until the start of the second chapter of Underworld. His words also serve as encouragement for anyone who has come close to giving up on a career in the arts. The search for a creative voice is often a long one and can be accompanied by failure, self-doubt, and missed opportunities; Hyde's perspective on what it means to collaborate and set ego aside is invaluable.
In our conversation, Hyde reads passages from I Am Dogboy and discusses the challenges he’s faced and the discoveries he's made as a writer, visual artist, and musician. He also reflects on his 37-year-long friendship with Smith, his creative soulmate in Underworld.
Not discussed (due to time constraints), but something to note: Hyde has collaborated with playwright Simon Stephens and Frantic Assembly director Scott Graham on a new play with music, Fatherland, which premieres at the Manchester International Festival in July.