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Momus

AKA: Nicholas John Currie

About Momus

Nicholas “Nick” Currie (born 11 February 1960), more popularly known under the artist name Momus (after the Greek god of mockery), is a Scottish songwriter, author, blogger and former journalist for Wired.
For over thirty years he has been releasing, to marginal commercial and critical success, albums on labels in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan.
Momus began by recording post-punk material with ex-members of Josef K in a group called The Happy Family in the early 1980s and was associated with the musicians around Postcard Records (although he never recorded for that label). His debut solo album Circus Maximus (1986, él records) explored biblical themes in dark, almost Gothic acoustic style. His debt to the influence of Gallic pop was clear from a subsequent, sardonically self-referencing cover of Jacques Brel’s “Jacky”.
In 1987, when he lived in London, he signed to Creation Records and began to record the hyper-literate, quirky pop songs for which he is best known. A trio of albums, The Poison Boyfriend, Tender Pervert and Don’t Stop The Night, blended accessible dance-pop with such heavy lyrical themes as paedophilia, necrophilia and adultery. The latter album almost yielded a hit in the UK with “The Hairstyle of the Devil” which peaked at No. 94 in the UK Singles Charts in May 1989, and was a local hit in San Francisco, reaching #32 on a year-end list from SF’s KITS Live 105 radio station. Subsequent albums on Creation included Hippopotamomus, a scatological tribute to Gainsbourg, as Momus continued to push boundaries of acceptability within accessible pop structures.
By 1994, however, when Creation signed Oasis, his music began to seem wildly out of place compared to the newer, more ‘laddish’ and commercial sounds Creation started to produce. He moved to Paris and signed to Cherry Red Records. Since then he has lived in other countries and, while less popular in Britain, has had a reasonable level of commercial success, especially in Japan, where he wrote and produced records for successful singer Kahimi Karie, including the hit single “Good Morning World”, which was originally written as for a cosmetics advert.
He has been sued twice. The first time was from Michelin UK, for the song “Michelin Man”, which compared the mascot to a blow-up doll, on Hippopotamomus (1991).
He was sued by Wendy Carlos for the song “Walter Carlos” (which postulated that the post-sexual reassignment surgery Wendy could travel back in time to marry her pre-surgery self, Walter) on The Little Red Songbook (1998). The case was settled out of court for a fee of $30,000, withdrawal of the song, agreement not to use Carlos' name for any purpose, and payment of damages and attorney’s fees to Carlos. To pay off the debt, Momus wrote 30 songs, one about each person or group who commissioned a song for $1,000, compiling Stars Forever (1999). Patrons included artist Jeff Koons and Japanese musician Cornelius. Stars Forever also features the winners of a karaoke contest started on The Little Red Songbook (1998).
He has continued to regularly release Momus albums.
In the last two decades, Momus has lived in London, Paris, Tokyo, New York and Berlin. He has made Osaka his home since 2010.
In December 1997, he contracted acanthamoeba keratitis in his right eye due to a contact lens mishap sustained whilst on holiday in Greece, causing loss of vision on that side. Although his sight subsequently improved following surgery he has suffered lingering effects from the infection since, causing him to often be photographed in an eyepatch, very dark glasses, or squinting.,

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