Eventim Spotlights chatted to the wonderful Hawk ahead of their gig at AAA London on Thursday 31 July. Hawk are Julie, Matt, Sam and Chris, here is what they had to say…
Julie, what got you into making music, were you a musician from a young age?
J: I definitely started young. I played and sang for years growing up, but I didn’t start writing songs until I was 22. We were surrounded by instruments growing up. One Christmas, my brother and I asked for a drum kit and we were given bongos. It was that kind of house! I think I’m still harbouring a mild grudge.
How long were you a solo artist?
I feel like I was only a solo artist for about one week because Matt and I collaborated on everything almost from day one! We worked on the ‘Julie Hawk’ EP and played on some amazing acoustic line-ups. For me personally, it was the perfect setting to start lyric writing. But we both had bigger sounds in mind. About year later, we were already a band in everything but name.
How did you and Matt meet?
J: Matt was working on the desk at my first ever open mic. I was a total bag of nerves! Nonetheless, when I got off stage he said he heard something interesting up there, between the stops and starts and curse words. I’ll never forget that conversation. He encouraged me to come back and play again the next week. And I did.
Can you tell us more about your musical background Matt?
M: I’ve been involved in a number of projects in London over the last few years from bands, writing for other artists and more instrumental music and producing material for other artists. I’ve never really been able to figure out what I enjoy the most so HAWK is perfect as it gives me the chance to do all of that at the same time.
Sam and Chris how did you end up meeting Matt and Julie and forming HAWK?
C: Matt and I have been playing music for years, so it felt natural to join a project that he and Julie had started. Initially Sam and I joined to help realise a live version of Julie’s solo EP. Most of 2013 was spent rehearsing, writing and gigging, both in London and on many fun trips to Ireland. The development of the band has been quite a natural one over the last couple of years and I certainly think we are now ready to show everyone what we’re about.
S: I met Matt when I was in my first year of University auditioning for a band he was involved in. I also caught Julie’s set at Hop Farm when I was playing there with another act a couple of years ago. Then I started drumming with a Swedish artist for a gig and Matt and Chris were both in the line up. We had a pretty good time and Matt asked me if I’d be interested in drumming for Julie’s live set up and I haven’t looked back since.
What is the best thing about being in a band?
M: Sam’s car.
J: It’s tiny. But assuming we don’t enlist a cellist any time soon, I reckon it will be touring with us for a while yet.
How would you describe your music?
J: We’ve found this a really tough question over the last year because the sound has changed so much. You can certainly still hear the quirky folk elements, but it’s heading in a heavier, more expansive direction all the time. We’ve had lots of “it’s a cross between”s in our reviews. The latest was “noir-rock”. We quite like that!
Can you give us an insight into your writing process?
M: It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Some songs are specific ideas from one person, others are more collaborative and then there are random parts we stumble across in rehearsals that develop into more serious ideas.
What is coming up for HAWK this year?
M: We’ve already released our debut EP in February and a Double A-Side this month. Our plan is to release another EP in the Autumn. So we will be working on the tracks, videos and everything that comes with it. We are also going to tour Ireland in September and will be continuing to play London shows.
If you could collaborate with any other musician/band/producer who would it be and why?
M: We’ve rather enjoyed all the things that Aaron Desner has been up to. Particularly Alligator and Boxer with The National, and his production on Tramp by Sharon Van Etten and the recent Local Natives album. So being in a room with him would be very interesting…
J: As long as I don’t confuse him with Trent Reznor. But that only happened once..
What is the best venue you’ve played so far/what is your dream venue to play?
J: We played Whelans in Dublin during our last Irish tour, and it was awesome. The sound and the space is fantastic. Plus we had this amazing moment when the room went from having two like people in it to being jam packed, all while we got through our opening song. Pure joy.
If you could have one superpower what would it be any why?
M: I would love it if when I got really cross I could shatter all the windows around me with my mind.
You can see Hawk this Thursday at AAA, Kensington. Get your Hawk tickets here.
Find out more on their website