Monday, October 24, 2011

The Hawk In Paris Interview with Dan Haseltine

Poking around, I came across a band that I hadn't heard of before. After a quick listen, I was immediatley a fan of the electronica project. Following a little bit of digging I quickly discovered that the project is made up of Dan Haseltine, Jeremy Bose and Matt Bronleewe, which practicly makes this project a super-group. For the latest on The Hawk In Paris or to hear  their debut EP His + Hers, check out their facebook page...
How did this project form?
It was not a pre-meditated or planned idea really.  Matt Bronlewee and I had been attempting to get in a room together and write a song or two.  We had not worked on a project together in quite a while.  When we finally wrote together, it worked.  We wrote a song called, “Curse the Love Song.”   Matt thought Jeremy would hear it and have a greater ear for developing the idea.  And that was the beginning.  We were not really planning on being a band, but every time we got together to write the magic just seemed to show up and something good would come of it.  We wrote five or six songs and decided we should be more intentional about the project. 
Leading up to the writing/recording of “His + Hers” was there a discussion about the musical direction that you wanted to take the album?
 We are all children of the 80’s.  And we have all been inspired by the resurgence of so many synth textures and effects that were common in 80’s recordings.  There are a lot of bands that are mimicking or drawing from the nostalgia in a way that under serves the era by simply re-creating or making a parody.  We knew we wanted to use the sounds and textures in our music, but we wanted something that was futuristic.   There was a developing schematic for what we wanted to create musically.  We were sure that the melancholy side of love was going to be the epicenter for the tone of the lyrics.  The first song had set a good precedent and we wanted to follow it up. 
 Did the writing process pan out differently than what you are accustomed to?
 The think I love about being a songwriter is that inspiration comes in so many different forms.  I don’t write songs any particular way.  The Hawk writing process was inspiring because it was a surprise every time I would walk in to the studio and listen to the groove or sonic landscape that Jeremy and Matt were creating. 
It felt a bit like James Bond walking around the lab with Q.   I always knew they were going to present me with something cool to start writing melodies and lyrics based upon.
Would you consider this project to be completely collaborative, or are there defined roles within the group?
It was definitely collaborative.  But we have all been making music long enough, and we are all aware of the musical and creative strengths that we each have.  We have such high levels of respect for each other, and it allows us to give each other space to do what we do best.  At the same time, we can speak into any part of the creative process and have an influence at any point.
Listening back to “His + Hers” do you hear specific influences that may have had an effect on the sound of the project?
We definitely drew from a wide range of influences on the project.  What was interesting is that we never listened to a song and tried to match the drum sound, or re-create the synth pad from a particular record.  Most of the things we referenced were sounds the way remembered hearing them on the radio.  So there was more of a desire to create an esthetic or feeling that reminded us of something we loved.  That said, the bands that we talked about in the studio included, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, Yaz, New Order,  The Eurythmics, and Genesis. 
What do you want listeners to take away from the project?
I don’t think we have much of an agenda with the project.  We hope people will love the music, and unashamedly play it excessively loud in their cars.   I did get a note from a friend who described his reaction to the music of “The Hawk In Paris,” by saying, “This brought back feelings and memories I forgot I even had.”  It is music that elicits a response.  We hope it’s a passionate response. 
How did you hook up with NoiseTrade? Decide to release the EP for free/donations?
Derek Webb is a good friend of mine, and I have been looking for a way to be a part of the NoiseTrade idea for some time.  I believe in the model he helped create, and feel like the NoiseTrade team is finding a way to offer music without cheapening its value.  Unfortunately people are still fairly uneducated when it comes to connecting the dots about what it costs to make music.  So we have a lot of people who interpret the ‘FREE MUSIC” idea as just a right of theirs to have access to whatever they want.  Giving music away can cheapen the value of what you create, especially if it comes from the artist.  The language can communicate that an artist may not even value their own artistic expressions.  NoiseTrade asks people to pay what music is “worth.”  I like this because it doesn’t really cheapen the value of what we create.  I rarely spend much time with music I have not invested something to get.  There is no ownership in it, so there is no commitment to listen and fully immerse myself in it.  I like paying what a record is worth.  Unfortunately some records are worth far more than the $100 tip cap that they establish. J
Do you plan on releasing a full-length in the near future?
Yes, we are working on a full-length project that we hope to release in mid-Spring 2012.   We are also planning on releasing some remixes and doing a few cover songs to be released very soon. 
 Any plans for live performance in the future, or will this project simply be studio based?
We had not intended to tour this project.  It was just a creative outlet.  But the response to the music has been so overwhelming that we have begun to discuss how to present this music in the live setting.  Our standards are exceptionally high, and our ideas represent a desire to be at the cutting edge of visual technologies and immersive experiences… not unlike the live performances of Jonsi or Amon Tobin. 
 Perfect day, driving in your car with the windows down, what are you listening to?
 Currently, I have been in love with Gotye’s new project…. And definitely the

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