IT is a bit of a brief chat but Hawksley Workman...
has been telling me about his single, Stoners Never Dream, and its music video; what we can expect from the album, Medium Age Wasteland (out 1st March), and whether he has a favourite cut from the record - I ask whether he has any particular favourite albums and sounds.
The songwriter reveals a few approaching artists worth a look and whether he prefers life in the studio or stage; what he does away from music and the advice he would give to songwriters emerging right now - he selects a cool song to end the interview with.
Hi, Hawksley. How are you? How has your week been?
Great. Excited for new music to come out on March 1st, though it’s always a strange time…
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Hawksley Workman: writes songs; does the shows; wrote a play; started a Rock band; wrote some more songs.
The video for Stoners Never Dream is out. How did the concept come together? What is the song about?
I thought it might be funny to portray babies. So full of life and promise... as stay-at-home stoner burn-outs.
Tell me about the album, Median Age Wasteland, and its themes? How did the music come together?
There's a lot of nostalgia on Median Age Wasteland. Lots of looking back at the late twentieth-century. Some humorous stuff, some awfully sad stuff. As usual, too, there's all the standard anthropomorphizing of birds and wolves and foxes. I wrote this record in the mornings on coffee. It was mostly winter and I was hunkering down. It was my first winter in Montréal.
Do you have a personal favourite song from the album?
Definitely Battlefords. It feels like a real beautiful surprise.
Which artists were important to you growing up? Who do you rank as idols?
The Beatles, Michael Jackson; Led Zeppelin, Chick Corea; The Smiths, Bruce Cockburn and Laurie Anderson.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
I played with David Bowie in a Roman coliseum in the South of France one time. That was a definite standout.
What is the music scene like in Canada right now and how do you think it differs from the rest of the world?
The scene is changing - like it is everywhere I imagine. But maybe I’m not really part of a scene and maybe I don't really know. But my sense is the new music models like streaming are having a drastic affect.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
It's really hard to say. That list might change every day but at this moment: Joni Mitchell - The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Bruce Cockburn - Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws and Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Well, goodness. I'd say that music is a calling, which is to say it is the life that chooses YOU, you don't choose IT.
Do you think there are going to any tour dates coming up?
There's lots of tour dates posted and still being announced at hawksleyworkman.com.
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
I love both. I really, honestly, don't have a favourite.
IN THIS PHOTO: Andy Shauf/PHOTO CREDIT: Zach Caddy
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Music kinda just lives in my skin - at least that's how it feels. I like riding my bike and lifting weights too.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I'd love to hear Laurie Anderson - Gravity's Angel. Thanks for this!
Follow Hawksley Workman