by Helen Earnshaw |
Hannah Scott has been whipping up a storm of the live circuit of late touring with Ed Sheeran and Seth Lakeman but now she is back with her debut EP Still Static.
We caught up with Hannah to talk about the new collection of tracks, being on the road with the likes of Ed and Seth and what lies ahead.
- Well that does lead me into my next question the EP sees you mix pop with hints of folk as well as an acoustic influence so how would you describe your sound? And how did you find yourself going down this path?
I suppose I would describe it as acoustic pop but it does have a little bit of pop in there. I do cross over to folk as I have done some folk supports but I wouldn’t describe my music as folk but it does cross over into that genre.
Really it is the music that I have always listened to as I grew up listening to bands that are of that ilk; melodic, pop but pop that wasn’t the out there commercial stuff.
- How have you found the response to the EP so far - it does seem to be going down really well?
Really good, we have had some really good feedback and we have had some play on BBC 6 music. There was also a piece on The Guardian website and we had people approach us after that. Good so far.
- The EP is produced by Stefano Della Casa so how did that collaboration come about?
I am going back a few years now and I was on MySpace, when people still used MySpace, and I met an Italian guy and he liked my material and he set up a few shows for me in Italy.
He knew Stefano and when Stefano was moving to London he was like ‘a good friend of mine is moving to London he is a great bass player and musician, you should hook up with him’.
And so when he came to London we met up and the rest is history. He started playing bass, he is also a cellist, on stage with me and then it emerged that he was quite a gifted producer as well.
So when we took the tracks to the studio it made sense, because he knew them already, for him to produce. I feel quite lucky to have come across him in that way (laughs).
- How do you find working with him and would do his input bring to this record - bearing in mind that he is a musician himself?
I think that without him it definitely wouldn’t exist… obviously it would exist in its current format. I have written these tracks but he has clothed them and made them sound the way that they do. I am really happy with this sound and I am really pleased with the outcome.
In the studio we just work alongside each other and being a musician as well… for example when we were laying the drum tracks down he just knew exactly what the track needs - he has got his part but he knows exactly what the drums need to be doing. It was all positive really.
- David Clayton is just one of the incredibly experienced musicians that plays on the record so how did you find being able to work with someone like him?
It was amazing. He is the nicest guy and completely down to earth, when you consider the people that he has played with and the stages that he has played on.
After we had finished in the studio we would go down to the pub and have a couple of beers and it was just like going down the pub with your mates.
But in terms of work he is an incredible musician - he wouldn’t have played and recorded with the artists that he has if he wasn’t - and I feel really lucky that I have got his touch on there was well.
Still Static in particular he started with this piano riff and I was like ’that is amazing; just keep going with that please.’
- As you have said you have been in the music industry for a few years now so what has taken so long in getting a debut EP out there? Or has it been more of a deliberate plan?
I have done recordings in the past but this is really the first one that we are pushing. With anything creative it has taken me time to find my sound and it has taken me time to create a collection of songs that are ready for market.
In terms of pushing any of my previous material it may not have got anywhere because I have grown into this, if that makes sense?
In terms of performance I have spent a long time on the London circuit and now I feel that I am ready to present to market - I don’t use that phrase - but I am ready to be on that stage, I am ready to in front of these people and I am ready to say ‘this is me’. With every week and every month that goes by we build and we grow. So that is why really.
- In that time you have toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Seth Lakeman in recent years so what were those shows like? And where were you able to take from your experiences with those artists?
Absolutely. Ed is obviously incredible, he is from Suffolk as well and so we met locally. Watching him on stage and seeing the way an audience reacts to him is just incredible - his audiences aren’t quite my audiences - he has a gift.
Watching someone like, even from the early stages, I knew that he was going to be hugely successful. Seth Lakeman is at the opposite end because his audiences are a little bit older and he is an incredibly seasoned musician.
Watching him is very different but he has the audience in the palm of hand - Ed does as well but in a very different way.
I feel lucky to be sharing a stage with them and grateful that I have had that opportunity. I can see why they are successful and hopefully take that into my own show.
- Are we going to be seeing you head out onto the road as the release of the EP draws closer?
The plan is definitely to do a mini tour in April/May time - we are definitely going to be over in Italy in the summer.
I guess we will see what the reaction is and then build on that. I love performing live and I want to do as much of it as possible.
- You have mentioned already the type of music that you listen to when you were growing up and I was wondering which artists you would say have had the most influence on you so far as both a musician and a songwriter?
When I was really small my parents listened to classical music and so I grew up listening to that and then I took piano lessons. But when you get to high school you can’t really get away with listening to Chopin so you follow the crowd a bit and I was listening to Radio 1 pop music - I have got a very dodgy collection of cassettes at home that I wouldn’t show anyone.
Then you find your own path and by my mid teens I was listening to artists that I still listening to today. I started off with American folk/rock bands such as Counting Crows, Vertical Horizon, Matchbox Twenty and in my teens they were my favourite bands.
Then I grew into singer/songwriters such as Alanis Morissette - I almost know all of her back catalogue by heart.
Then I went on to people like Tom Baxter, his first album Feather and Stone had a huge influence on me, then there were artists like Ryan Adams.
So it was all about incredible music and lyrics - being a songwriter I want to listen to a well written song musically but I like someone with something interesting to say.
- You are a singer/songwriter, you play guitar and piano so where did your love of music start?
When I was tiny really. My parents recognised when I was a toddler that music might be something that I might enjoy. The story goes that my dad found someone with an old piano that he bought for £70 and put it in our living room.
I cam home from school, I would have been about four, and I picked up Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and within an hour I could play it. So I had lessons that I just loved as I was growing up.
When I got to my teens I thought that it would be quite cool to play guitar as well as it would be something a little bit different. I got a super old guitar off a friend who had one in her loft and I gradually taught myself.
I initially started writing on guitar but I do write on both instruments now but I do perform predominately on guitar. I have always loved it and as soon as I started writing I thought ‘this is interesting’ and just carried on with it. We are here now (laughs).
- Finally what is next for you in the rest of 2013?
We are hoping to take the EP on a small tour, we are hoping to play some festival this summer and we are looking to play some gigs over in Italy.
I think we will get back into the studio while things are hopefully hot and not let it die really. I have got a lot of material that I would like to be heard and get out there and so come the autumn I imagine we will get back into the studio - but it all depends on the react that we have and finances I suppose.
We will either do another do another EP or, if we can, do a full album - that would be ideal really. So that is the plan for the year and then we will take it from there. I just want to gig and write and record for as many years as I can.
Hannah Scott - Still Static EP is released 25th February.