IntheMiddle with H. Hawkline

IntheMiddle with H. Hawkline

Following the release of his fourth full length album, weird, wonderful and Welsh musician H.
Hawkline, aka Huw Evans, is now on tour in support of Aldous Harding. I managed to speak to Huw
just before the sell-out gig at Brudenell Social Club.

After recording I Romanticise in both LA and Wales, Huw explains how the process “was a weird
experience. I wanted to make a record in LA, I thought while I’m here if I book the studio I will have
to write the album. I only had about two or three songs finished so the recording was frenzied. We
rehearsed the songs in the studio and we got everything done apart from the singing in 7 or 8 days.”

The main recording was done in Samur Khouja’s Seahorse Sound studio in LA before Huw came back
to Wales to write and record the vocals. “I forgot about it for three or four months. In that time the
engineer’s slowly starting mixing songs for me. I moved into a flat in Cardiff and wrote the lyrics in a
week and booked a studio in Narberth, west Wales with Cate le Bon and the producer Iwan Morgan.
We did all the singing in two days and it was nice being in the middle of nowhere having a mini
holiday.”

“I wanted to make a record in LA, I thought while I’m here if I book the studio I will have
to write the album. I only had about two or three songs finished so the recording was frenzied. We
rehearsed the songs in the studio and we got everything done apart from the singing in 7 or 8 days.”

The stark contrast between LA and Wales is encapsulated in the unique sound of I Romanticise. “The
musicians I use are based in LA and musically it sounds like it was recorded there and the lyrics are
quite depressing so maybe that has something to do with Wales. I love Wales and I love Cardiff but I
look out of my flat in the morning and I see a seagull attacking a baby whereas in LA its palm trees.”

H. Hawkline often collaborates with fellow welsh musicians and close friends Cate le Bon and Sweet
Baboo. After first telling me that working with them is an “absolute nightmare” Huw continues that
it’s actually “wonderful because the three of us are so close. Cate and I were together for about 10
years and I’ve been best friends with Steve for the same period of time. We are close but in the way
brothers and sisters are close, we are horrible to each other and brutally honest. We all play on each
other’s records and I don’t like working with anyone else when it comes to my own music.”

Art and authenticity go hand in hand with H. Hawkline’s music. Huw explains how he has “always
done bits and bobs with art” even selling limited edition lino prints at the merch stand so fans can
take home “something special”. This creativity extends to his music videos. I asked Huw how he
came up with the idea for his recent video for ‘Means that Much’. “The music videos I do are with
my friend Casey Raymond, I wanted a video to promote the tour but both casey and I were busy .I
thought what’s the easiest way to make a music video that looks good, with no money and
potentially six hous to make it. I had this idea of filming something in slow motion so the shot itself
would only take 45 seconds. We had one take, one bucket of tar and one bucket of feathers and it
just came together.”

At his recent gigs H. Hawkline has covered ‘Seabird’ by 70s pop band the Alessi Brothers. On
whether there will be any future covers at his gigs Huw tells me “I’ve got a long list. However there’s
a song by Bobb Trimble called ‘One Mile from Heaven’ I’d like to cover that Aldous Harding played to
me. ‘Helpless’ by the Cleaners from Venus would be good to do aswell. It’s always fun to do a cover
but it’s bad when it gets the biggest cheer of the set.”

Following the success of I Romanticise and sold out shows with Aldous Harding, Huw explains that
after this tour he’s “going back to Cardiff and using the money made this year to set up a studio.
Before the albums have been last minute, with the next one I’m going to record a load of demos and
sit down properly and hopefully by the end of the year try to have the makings of the next album.
But this is what I say every year and I just sit in my flat smoke cigarettes and drink coffee.”

After touring, playing a string of festivals, releasing a new album and supporting Aldous Harding, it’s
certainly been a busy year for H. Hawkline. However it’s exciting to hear of plans for new releases in
the near future.

 

Phoebe Berman