Welcome to a brand new feature where we talk to musicians about some of their favourite things about the industry. Today we speak to musician Hootin who has recently released the single The New Queen. Time to play a little game to find out more.
What Is Your Favourite:
I think my favorite song is the first off my recent album Exit Conditions titled Wisdom. It is about the exchange that we all make: the time we have left on earth, for the experience we gain. It’s a sort of transaction we all make throughout our lives, but affects each of us differently. I want each listener to reflect on their own transactions: how it shaped them. The instrumentation underneath is driving yet jagged, much like the ups and downs of life; I think it really did what I set out to do, get an idea across.
“These days people put their middle finger up to see which way the wind is blowing, but forget to open the f*cking window first.” – Babs from my recent album Exit Conditions
Currently I am obsessing over a young artist who goes by “Still Woozy”. His chill, funky, melodic music just grabs my attention and doesn’t let go. Highly recommend it.
Film or TV Show:
Hard to pick just one but I am a massive fan of HBO’s Rome. I love history so it already had an advantage, but it is just a great series that goes through the rise of Julius Cesar and Augustus. The actors and the sets are incredible. The guy playing Cesar (Ciarán Hinds) is phenomenal. When Cesar is killed on the senate floor the death scene is amazing. It is the best death ever portrayed by an actor. You can see all the thoughts going through his head as he’s losing blood, how his arms slowly go weak and he gasps for air…. It’s just so real.
Generally my favorite venues are music festivals, especially the small ones. There is nothing better than camping in the artist area with all of the other bands, jamming around a fire waiting for your set, going out to watch your new friends perform. It’s always a magical experience.
Thing to take on tour:
Allergy meds. I have terrible hay fever and I’ve performed at hundreds of music festivals. Festival planners love to put hay down on areas they think are going to get saturated with rain. I’m allergic to hay so it can make for a miserable weekend if I don’t have a solid supply of antihistamines. Even thinking about hay makes me sneeze.
My Gretsch synchromatic hollow body guitar.
Song to play live:
One of the songs I get asked to play a lot is a cover I do of Chris Stapleton’s You Should Probably Leave. He recently came out with a studio version that is unfortunately a little over produced and emotionless but somewhere on youtube is a video of him performing it years ago on a small outdoor stage. The emotion and raw power of that performance was haunting and I try to emulate that with my own cover.
Album by another musician:
Dark Eyes by Half Moon Run
Memory of Tour:
We once got put up in a fancy hotel in Banff Alberta. There was an amazing Japanese funk group we were friendly with from the festival circuit staying in the same place. The second morning we swung by their rooms and they had totally trashed it. The kind of trashing that you see in movies and think “that’s over the top, no one does that in real life”…. The toilet had been un-bolted from the floor and moved near the TV; they had no explanation. It was incredible.
Era for music:
The 90s. No contest.
Part of making a record:
The best part of making any music is the mixing phase. Especially towards the end when you’re just fine tuning things. The pressure to be creative is over, the stress of studio time and capturing a good performance are over. You’re close to getting it out to the world and are just putting on those final touches. Love it.
Thing about performing at festivals:
Socializing with other acts in the artist area. Trading CD’s (when that was a thing), camp fire jams, seeing the inside of other tour vans and how others live on the road.
“Everything in moderation, including moderation”
Thing about the music industry:
Home recording has become so accessible to so many. It allows people who wouldn’t normally be able to make a recording put something together they are passionate about. I love the extremely wide range of music you can find out there these days. It feels like we’ve sort of side-stepped the large money control of the industry.
Thing about this year so far:
I’m releasing a single every 3-4 months right now. This is the first time I’ve ever followed this pattern and I really love it. It gives you time to really focus on a single track, the time to make it what you want. I really love it. Working on albums is really fun too but it can be daunting. The context switching of going back and forth between tracks can leave you feeling stretched.