With the release of their new self-titled EP earlier this month, HAWK are more excited about their future than ever before, developing and evolving their sound and finding themselves on the path they've always wanted to get to.
We got the chance to speak to Julie Hawk from the band, to find out all about their future music plans, where she draws inspiration from, challenges the group have faced and much more.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
We are noisy, post-rock with some prog and folk tendencies.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
We've been really lucky to be honest. We've managed to do a lot of the things to get ourselves off the ground that other bands struggle with, like recording and producing our early stuff at Matt's place, and meeting some really great people who have become the band's 'circle of trust'.
One thing we did struggle with was the band's identity. We started as a project based around my acoustic material, and had a great year of working on that. When it was clear to us that we wanted to properly form a band and go for a much heavier sound, we kind of struggled against that first impression we'd made. But I think people are getting their heads around our sound now, and certainly we feel that the new EP represents the direction we're going in, and we're really happy with it.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
It's kind of baffling really to think of yourselves as one of thousands of bands that are trying to do this full-time, especially as there is such easy access to so much music these days. It can be distracting, because as an artist you're expected to be so present, not just on stage but online too, and it can almost take your mind off the music sometimes which I think is a bad thing. People can see right through you if you're not passionate about what you're producing.
So yeah, it's difficult at times, but it's so rewarding in that moment when you're writing something you're happy with, or playing a really strong show.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
Hugely important. We have built a bit of a team over the years, but we've always been the main drivers in our sound, and other things like image and how we present ourselves online.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
Musically, I can hear a lot of the bands that we all grew up listening to in our sound, but it's difficult to know how your own stuff sounds to other people.
In terms of subject matter, I am generally influenced by things that have pissed me off. But we make a point to focus a lot of our songs on choice and empowerment, so even if the subject is grim, I try to write from a position that I can draw strength from.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
Personally, I would love to collaborate with TuneYards. She is so energetic and talented, and I can imagine it would just be the most fun.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that not many people know.
I can lick my own nose better than anyone I've seen. I challenge anyone to do it better!
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
Short term, we are looking forward to making our first album someday and getting on the road to new countries.
In the long-run, I hope we're building something that we can develop in terms of sound and the stories we tell. I went to see Sleater Kinney play last year, about 20 years after they first formed, and they still seem to have the same passion and angst and creativity as ever. In a nutshell, that's what I want.
Where do you hope to be at this point next year?
It's hard to know, but I'd love to think we'd be working on our first album by then.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
We're playing Innocent Unplugged and Finding The Female Headliner All-Dayer on May 29 in Dalston, which we're really excited about. And we've just announced our summer tour which is kicking off in Brighton on June 7, then in London on June 8, then it's off to Ireland for the rest of June. We've been in the studio a lot lately too, so keep an eye out for new material in autumn!