THE video for U has been around for a couple…
of months now - but it is a great time to speak with Hamish Anderson! The Melbourne-based artist has created a fantastic song. It is from his acclaimed album, Trouble (2016) - a record that has been getting into the ears and hearts of critics and fans. I ask Anderson about the song and the people he worked with on it; whether there is going to be any more material next year; what his gig schedule is looking like – and whether there are any albums that have made a big impression.
I ask whether Anderson grew up in a musical household; the differences between Melbourne and the U.S. (where he divides his time); what he has planned for next year; some new artists to watch out for; whether we will see him in the U.K. – how he got into music in the first place.
Hi, Hamish. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! It’s been good so far, thank you. I’m currently at home in Melbourne Australia for the holiday-season.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Hamish Anderson. I’m a twenty-six-year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Melbourne, Australia.
U is your new single. What is the tale behind the song?
I wrote U whilst on tour in the U.S. in 2015.
The song was written very quickly, pretty much all at once - and I knew I wanted it to have a dreamy-Soul feel to it. I wanted to put two songs together with the B-section of the song - and having a different groove and feel to the first half of the song (I was definitely influenced by a lot of Paul McCartney’s songs with Wings (from the 1970s) when I did that).
The video looks kind of dreamy and interesting! Did you enjoy the shoot?
I had a great time making the video.
The video was directed by Nicolas Wendl and produced by my team at Juel Concepts. We’d worked with Nic before on the music video for my single, Little Lies. I knew I wanted the video to have a Laurel Canyon, 1970s-type of feel and for it to be a simple concept. The typewriter in it is mine and it’s really how I write music when I am not in transit. I basically (just) wrote out a bunch of keywords that I wanted to pull from for look, feel and tone - and then gave it to my manager and her team and they ran with it.
The song features Chris Bruce (Doyle Bramhall II) on bass, Aaron Sterling (John Mayer) on drums and Jerry Borge (Jonathan Wilson) on keys. How did you come to work with the guys? Was the song recorded, essentially, as a live recording?
I got very lucky to work with some really amazing musicians on my album. The producer, Jim Scott, brought in Chris Bruce - who I was a fan of as a bass player and guitarist. Jerry and I had been playing live together for a while; so, I knew I wanted him on the album. I was a fan of Aaron’s and was introduced to him through a mutual friend.
We recorded the song and (pretty much) the whole album live with everyone in the same room playing together - and then would do a few overdubs after; depending on if and what the song needed.
U is the current release from your debut album. What are the themes and subjects that go into the record, would you say?
The album is, basically, a snapshot of what’s been happening in my life over the past three years: relationships, friendships; being away from home and starting again; relocating to a new country.
Do you have a favourite song from the album? Is there a cut that stands aside from the rest?
It’s always hard to pick but, at the moment, it’s definitely U. I’m really proud of how it turned out and I don’t get tired of listening to it (which is rare).
Can you tell me how you got into music? Was there a particular artist or album that sparked that passion?
The album that made me want to play the guitar, and be a musician, was ‘The White Album’ (The Beatles) by The Beatles. I remember hearing the song Back in the U.S.S.R. I’d never thought about guitars or music before that - but I’ve thought about them every single day since hearing that song.
‘The White Album’ is still one of my favourite albums of all time.
Were you raised in a musical household? What sort of music did you grow up listening to?
My dad and mum were always playing music around the house when me and my sister were growing up - and my dad’s vinyl collection was particularly inspiring to me. He introduced me to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones; Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton; John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan etc. - all my favourite artists still to this day.
Melbourne is your hometown. What is the music scene like there? Are nations like the U.S. tempting in regards opportunities – or do you prefer the vibe in Australia?
Melbourne has a great music scene but I’ve just found more success and a place to fit in in the U.S.
I’ll always love Melbourne and Australia but, at the moment, the U.S. has been a really great place to be, musically. I love being in L.A.; being surrounded by so much creativity - and to be able to go out even on a Monday night and see great bands playing Rock and Roll.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Teskey Brothers/PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Mckk
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
I would say, don’t follow trends...
I think, because we live in the age of social media, it can be really tempting for certain musicians to change their music and style to fit in with what is going on and what’s popular. I think it's always better to make the music that you love and that is true to you - and just be who you are.
What tour dates do you have approaching? Where can we see you play? Will you be playing in the U.K.?
The first half of the year, I’ll be playing shows in the U.S. and then, in May, I’ll be heading across to Europe to play for the first time. No shows currently booked for the U.K. but, once it gets closer to the European dates; I hope to try and work out some U.K. shows.
Christmas is nearly here. Do you all have plans already - or will you be busy working?
Over Christmas; I’ll be back home in Australia - so I’m looking forward to having a little break before getting back to work early in 2018.
What ambitions and aims do you have for 2018?
More gigs, more festivals; more recording and releasing new music!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Here Comes My Girl by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers (what a chorus!)
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