Joe Hawkes – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
JH: I’m a solo artist who makes pop songs with an indie, DIY kind of aesthetic.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
JH: A long-time music obsessive, I had no intention of being a singer. But I ended up writing so many songs and realised the best way to get them out there was to sing them!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
JH: I love Radiohead and people like Damon Albarn for their ability to shape-shift musically, while remaining hugely popular. Outside music I like comedians like Stewart Lee and Daniel Kitson who have dedicated followings without losing their integrity.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
JH: I always want the next thing I write to be the best thing I’ve made. As the new single ‘Sun Goes Down’ is coming out at the moment, my goals are for as many people to hear it as possible and hopefully connect with them.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
JH: Me – I have written a lot about “the state of things” but more recently I’ve written from a more personal angle, which is harder as you have to embrace vulnerability. I try and include some dark humour where I can. One of my favourites is about the anguish of having a crush on a historical figure.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
JH: Playing on the local scene where I can and plugging my stuff on social media.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
JH: I think it’s inevitable. Between that and streaming sites, people are so used to getting music for next to nothing it’s really hard to get people to pay for it. I think the live experience is something you can’t pirate though.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
JH: Plenty! Most recently I was listening to Reflektor by Arcade Fire. I love how it takes you on a journey through different phases of the song and how it’s quite a strange track but somehow totally danceable. Otherwise, I’d like to write a World Cup song one day so let’s go with ‘World In Motion’.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
JH: In terms of music, I find it it easy not to hate. If you don’t like something, there’s plenty of other stuff you could be listening to! In the real world, people not folding down their cardboard boxes so the recycling bin’s too full. Come on lads, we’re all in this together.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
JH: My new single ‘Sun Goes Down’ is out this Friday (29th May) and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. It’s pretty different to a lot of my other work and I’m excited for people to hear it.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
JH: I have just finished my new album Gratitude With Attitude which is due for release on 26th June, so now I’m working on getting as many people as possible to listen to it because I think it’s a real step forward for me, musically. I’m also trying to find a way of doing a live-streamed gig that I would actually want to watch myself!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
JH: All of my music is available on the usual streaming platforms as well as on https://joehawkes.bandcamp.com/.
Joe Hawkes links:
Band/Artist location – Kingston Upon Thames England
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Google Play
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