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Interview with HAWK EYES at Damnation Festival

We caught up with Paul from Hawk Eyes as he was enjoying a post gig Victory V. Just moments before the band had opened up the main stage at Damnation Festival with a blistering set.


You’ve just opened up the main stage at Damnation. How was it for you?

Brilliant! When we were asked to play it, especially opening up the main stage, we were like wow it’s a pretty big deal…really happy that we did and people seemed to enjoy it and give us really good feedback.

You’ve been playing the festivals all summer, Lyric Lounge Review last saw you at Y-Not Festival so it’s a pretty wide spectrum of festivals that you play. Is that advantageous to you to play all the different types of festival?

I think we are the type of band that slips through the cracks. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse really; you can’t pigeon-hole us to any one genre. I think we appeal to people across genres. The four of us don’t just like metal and I don’t really consider us to be a metal band; there’s maybe metal elements in there but I like to do different things with our music and to play all these festivals is great, It’s important to be not just one thing and to get as many people to see you as possible.

So is there a downside to being spread across all these festivals?

Yeah…we created our music for people who didn’t really want to follow a trend, and if you are a person who follows the trends, then you’re probably not going to like us. There’s not enough of a ‘club’ to be in, we’re our own club and that’s the point. We listen to lots of pop, indie, classical and it just so happens that when we play music it comes out the way it does.

So if you were to put Hawk Eyes on one festival bill that you think suits you best, what would it be?

Ah! I have no idea…I think Leeds and Reading is a good one because it does cater to all areas of the rock world. Again…it’s just convincing people that they should come and watch us. We do write different styles of songs so we can make sets to fit different festivals. We’re going to keep doing that to keep growing our repertoire…I’m a big fan of bands like The Melvins and everything Mike Patton has ever done…bands that change their personalities quite a lot.

You’re about to hit the road with Therapy?, are you big fans of the band?

When I was about thirteen I got a compilation tape. There was ‘Black Hole Sun’ on there, Smashing Pumkpins, Therapy? ‘Going Nowhere’ and a Faith no More song on there as well.  It literally changed my life, it was like Wow! This is what I want to do…I’d never been exposed to that before and the great thing about compilation tapes was that you’d buy it for those four/five songs and think the rest must be good if they are connected to these bands. Then you couldn’t skip songs on tapes so you’d listen to stuff and learn. So that was when I started listening to bands like Therapy?

So when they contacted us and asked us to go out on tour, I was like…this is ridiculous…insane. For me as a kid they were untouchable/unreachable/unobtainable, they were the rock band. Then they tell you that they like your band and they want you to go on tour with them…wow! A real privilege.

So after the Therapy? Tour…is that it for touring ‘Ideas’?

That will be it. We’re burning ourselves out. We’ve got a couple of weeks off then we’re gonna get a new set for the Therapy? tour and put in some stuff that we really want to play in that arena. The set we played today has been the ‘Ideas’ set so we’re going to try and do something else for the Therapy? shows.  A lot of people have (already) seen us so it’s important to keep things fresh.

So the natural question to follow that is the new album question. Where are you with that?

The amount of touring we’ve been doing…it’s been every week and they’ve been all over Europe and the UK. We get back at six in the morning and we’re like…let’s not do any writing. We are just gonna try and blast some stuff out now, we should be in a good place after Christmas so we’re looking to record early next year. It won’t be ‘Ideas 2’.

Pledge Music has really taken off this year, will you be going down that route again?

I don’t know really. The music industry is on its arse and that’s not really a secret. We’ll just have to see what happens, we’ll have more of a clue when we have the record under our belts. It’s worked really well for Ginger and for Kleine Schweine who are friends of ours, and it’s a really good vehicle because the fans can help you out and get you there but I don’t know.

Speaking of Ginger. You are on the Mutation Project. How did that come about?

It was insane. He was in Leeds, he’d heard ‘Modern Bodies’ and he asked us and Pulled Apart By Horses to go down and do some gang-vocals. Ginger stayed in touch and we ended up going to Japan with him and we did the tour last December. The next thing was to go and play on the Mutation record and me and Rob were like err Yeah! He’s like well “we’ve got Mark E Smith, Shane from Napalm (Death) and Jon from the Cardiacs doing it” and it’s like…and us? Why are we there? He likes the way we play the guitar, he likes the sound that we get and again it’s a privilege to be asked.

‘Headstrung’ was on Radio 1 last week a few times during their Rock Week. Do you think there’s some growing appreciation again for rock music?

I really do. Everything goes in trends and we’ve been waiting for 8 years for this trend to return so hopefully it will. I mean where else can we really go with Dubstep? You know it goes away and becomes uncool, then the uncool becomes cool again. It’s nice that Radio 1 have given us that support…we very much felt like outsiders for a long time.


Hawk Eyes hit the road with Therapy? this month and their ‘Ideas’ album is out now!


Rob W

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