One of the things that makes Mountain Goats really work is their ability to tell a story that celebrates life’s sorrows, using a talent if wit and songwriting. It is this same joyfully optimistic pessimism that shines in the songwriting of London-boy LA Salami.

I was first introduced to the music of LA Salami at small gig in a London basement, his live show delivering his charming songs with a subtle insistence totally befitting of the music. Given that he performs with an acoustic guitar and harmonica and writes in a style that he has learned from listening to Dylan records his music has often been put in the ‘folk’ bracket and indeed compared to the iconic musician. This is not a wholly accurate description however, sometimes his music is reminiscent of a recluse arctic monkey, holed up in icy London for a winter, and sometimes it recalls Dev Icicles in his former Lightspeed Champion guise. This is Dylan-esque, but in its ability to soundtrack the lives of the recession generation, optimistic and exhausted. Fearless in his subject matter, LA deals with subjects from the angst of short-lived loves to mental illness. Standout tracks doing the rounds are; Day to Day (for 6 Days a week), a narrative of an over-worked week, and Derrick Bird vs The World, a discussion surrounding the paranoia of the infamous taxi driver.

So your music is great! It feels like it very much reflects the city, did you grow up in London?

Thanks. Yes I did.

Having been around the city over the past few years how would you describe the scene and the musicians doing the open mic circuits at the moment?

I genuinely believe once you really get into the scene - I mean past the roll-in-roll-out open mic characters and in amongst the guys who mean business - I believe we're sitting at the edge of a new wave of music, and of art in general. You know, the stuff that could really mean a lot to a lot of people. The type of stuff that's accessible, and yet completely reliant on it's integrity.

You are getting a lot of comparisons to the folk storytellers and poets, particularly of the beat generation, do you draw inspiration for your style from any particular musicians, authors and/or poets?

Bob Dylan effected profoundly, as can be heard I imagine; he made me listen to music in a totally different way - as he did with many people I guess. I realised a lot of things about myself through him. Apart from that; Leonard Cohen, Joanna Newsom, Allen Ginsberg, D.H. Lawrence, John Keats, Bukowski, John Fante, Dylan Thomas, William Shakespeare, to name a few that come to mind at this moment.

Depression and mental illness is a recurring theme of your lyrics, do you find it easy writing about such subjects?

Are they?! I hadn't realised. I guess it's because there's always something for a man to get depressed about, always something that could quite easily drive a man into some crazy hell.

You have performed live as a solo act although you are accompanied by other instruments on some of your recorded tracks, are there plans to expand your live line-up beyond a one man band?

Oh yeah, I've got many many songs that I needs many musicians for. Once things start kicking off I'll need to find some musicians to help me realise them. I always find playing on stage with a band can be quite a lot of fun...even when everything's going to shit up there.

Finally, can you name one other musician you have played with that we should check out?

Can I mention more than one? Lianne La Havas (If you hear her sing you'll fall in love with her, I speak from experience) Chris Lane (A profoundly good guitarist - used to be in a band with Florence and the machine, but he's doing his own thing now), The Black Sparrows (the lead singer's a close friend), and Moon Visionaries (lead singer's a good friend as well).

You can find out more about L.A Salami here.