Hi HAWK, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Julie: Ah we’re super good thanks! Finally settling into Berlin. We moved here in August but we were touring a lot so it’s felt like a strange holiday up until now. Filling out lots of German forms, and drinking German beer and speaking to lots of Germans who speak better English than we do.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Mirror Maze”?
Julie: It’s about double standards attached to the idea of being feminine. Through media and in everyday life, we receive so many conflicting messages about our image and decorum that it can become suffocating. The track is about being conflicted and caught up in those ideas.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Julie: This song is more about the daily grinding-down I’ve experienced, rather than one major event. But the details are true, and not just for myself. Little comments here and there that can seem totally harmless but that can be really damaging to your self-esteem and identity.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Matt: Yes, we have put worked with James Byrne again and we are planning to share this soon!
Julie: Expect mirrors.
The single comes off your new album She Knows – what’s the story behind the title?
Julie: She Knows is a lyric taken from Ghosts. In the track, it’s about the pressure to grin and bear it, in the face of being sexualised, in order to avoid further conflict. In the context of the EP, I think it represents the fact there is usually more going on than meets the eye; more than we allow ourselves to show; the layers beneath.
Matt: A lot of the themes on the album felt like things we were passionate and felt strongly about and the music and production reflects that. Loads of layers and atmospheres that would hopefully get a listener caught up in our world a little bit.
How was the recording and writing process?
Matt: As per usual it was great fun. Putting down the parts with Dimitri was easy enough and the mixes with Catherine went smoothly. But it was actually in mastering when we saw all the interconnected sections come together that we really started to feel that we’d achieved what we were hoping for.
What aspect of exclusion did you get to explore on this record?
Julie: I’d say a lot of the tracks talk about exclusion on the basis of gender, specifically from a female perspective. Ghosts and Mirror Maze both explore how enforced standards of body image can exclude people and hold people back form their potential. And Take it Away talks about how we police women’s bodies and behavior, under the guise of protecting them, excluding them from things that are seen as ‘dangerous’, like walking alone at night.
Any plans to hit the road?
Julie: Yes! We’ve just booked in the first German date of our tour next spring, and we are looking at dates in France, Ireland and the UK. We are also making exciting plans to team up with some of our favourite bands and hit the road together. But I’ve already said too much…
What else is happening next in HAWK’s world?
Matt: We’ve just landed in Berlin and we are looking to start getting involved in what looks like a really vibrant music scene out here. But our main goal is to try and put together an album before the end of the next year and as a result we’ve been in our rehearsal room a lot over the last couple of months trying out new ideas.