Renes Redekiste

Interviews & Polaroid-Photography

Opheliah (or the many faces of Tim Malkin)

Our first encounter dates back several years and many memories with the Chesney Hawkes of Leeds music scene later (for example being on tour together, enjoying many pints and having lunch after a fantastic weekend in Leeds together) I’m sitting down with Tim Malkin also known as Opheliah in Berlin for a (really) quick chat about his many faces in the turbulent world of music.

Two years earlier: Another day, another balcony. Also in Berlin. When I showed the video below to a friend of mine as we were taking a break on his balcony that summer he said to me: ‘This boy wants to know it!’ And maybe that’s just true…

Ladies and gentlemen, grab yourself a chair and meet Tim Malkin!

Source: YouTube, Learn Fear Records

Before you released your first song as Opheliah, Japanese Peru, people have known you through Fizzy Blood and Talkboy.
When did the idea of your very own project occur?
Tim: Shit! Everybody says this… it was just in lockdown and I realized that I just wanted to do something. And I couldn’t speak to anybody or couldn’t meet with anybody else, so it was just down to me. So I just did it. I had these songs lying around and they don’t really fit with like Talkboy or Fizzy Blood. So I was like: ‘Let’s start something!’

Speaking about Talkboy, it’s got a bit silent, what’s going on there?
Tim: Aah, good question! I don’t know. We went into lockdown, we were on the edge of a big tour, we had some songs. Oh I think we brought out that Empty Days Club (project of members from several groups) as well in lockdown and I really don’t know. It’s just been really hard to get going again. It felt like we had a lot of momentum when going into lockdown. Then that happened and it just stopped everything.

And then on the other side everybody is two years older and have different jobs and the entire situation changed. So we still are really good friends and hopefully, hopefully, will get it going again. But it’s just like I said, the situation changed and it’s so hard to pin people down now.

I recently watched the music videos for Guardians and Do You Really Want It and I was really happy to see some familiar faces there.
So is Leeds music community still so vibrant and full of camaraderie?
Tim: Yeah, for sure! That’s one of the things that I love the most about it. I went to a gig for this band called Green Gardens that you might have heard of – they’re from Leeds – and I went on it like a Wednesday night on my own. I think Sonia was ill or working or something like that – I went on my own – and I was like, oh there’s gonna be nobody there and I just gonna be stand in the corner on my own. And it was like a wedding – I knew like fifty people there – everybody just went to it, ’cause it was a free gig at the Brudenell. So like I said, it changed, for sure, but it’s still very vibrant. Yeah, 100 percent. And the camaraderie is a big thing as well. Everybody kind of knows each other.
All the people are like kind of a family?
Tim: Yeah, yeah! We kind of look after each other.

Opheliah in motion, Sound and Colour

Source: YouTube, Opheliah

Source: YouTube, Opheliah

Am I right when I say that these two videos were shot at The Green Room Studio in Leeds where you are working as a music producer as well?
Tim: Yeah!
Who is the most interesting act you worked with?
Tim: Wow, I can’t say that! I’ll tell you what: We had this thing in called Blind P
elican. The most amazing was it was a free jazz composition and none of the musicians heard what the other ones play. So they came in, recorded for like half an hour and then somebody else came in and they recorded the first time they’d heard it. It was fascinating. There was this guy, he was the percussion player and he came in and he brought all these instruments that he made out of stuff that he found. It was amazing! But I honestly can’t pick favourites as everyone has something different and unique and awesome!

To ask you as a music producer – what’s your opinion about the work and the eventual release of The Beatles Now & Then?
Tim: Wow! I mean it’s cool! I think if I was John Lennon… or if I had a friend who died that long ago again to make music – kind of – with him again is a really interesting thing. I’ve heard a few people say it’s mainly just AI and that they get threw it together and stuff, but you know, it’s just a sound and do you like what it sounds like? It’s all you have to ask.
It’s a good track. It’s a John Lennon track! That’s why it’s good maybe.
Tim: Exactly! And I think that should be like the start and the end of it.
Everything else would be made up. It’s enough!
Tim (laughs): Yeah, it’s enough!

Let’s revisit a certain moment in the past when I took a picture of you after the tour with Fizzy Blood in 2018.


Tim: Beautiful! Look at that!
I was flipping through my photobox, when this question came into my mind:
What does art in general means to you?
It’s the same as music, it’s like – do you like what you see? And if it does move you, does it make you feel something?
The same for music?
The same for music! The bottom line is does it make you feel something. Like yesterday we went around a few galleries and stuff like that. Not every exhibition I liked. And that’s fine tho, that’s the point. And it’s like: Okay, I really like that. And I don’t know why. That’s what I like about art.
I guess I’m trained in music. But with art, I don’t know! Was it supposedly good or bad? But I know what I like.

Opheliah – what’s next?
Tim: Well, we were in France over the summer. We did a full album! So we got eight tracks which was way more than we intended and we’re just figuring out how to release it and who with and what to do in terms of like videos and campaign and stuff. Yeah we have a full record finished and I’m really proud of it. So that’s exciting!

Last words about the passing of Matthew Perry?
Tim: Oooh… I grew up with Friends and I used to watch it everyday after school. So it feels weird. You know when someone really famous dies? It’s kind of like you obviously don’t know them you just know them through their work. So yeah, just weird. Somebody that was just a staple in my life isn’t around anymore.

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