Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Made Up My Mind”?
This song started out as quite a different sounding demo, I had it kicking around on my guitar for a long time after a Curtis Mayfield period.. kinda fun playing some soul guitar.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
It’s about thinking you’ve lost the love for something but realising later you were always gonna do it anyway. I was also a bit scared of the song for a while, almost axed it from the album but when we finished recording it just popped too much..
The single comes off your new debut album – why naming the record after yourself?
The album is called ‘Star Chamber’, the painting on the front (thanks to wonderful Fiona Millais) is based on the ceiling of the original medieval design in Westminster. There are metaphorical reasons for using this title but I also just like the way it sounds.
How was the recording and writing process?
Wonderful and also hugely difficult. I wrote & demo’d all the songs and then showed them to the guys Atlas Shrugs & Pan Andrs who did an amazing job working on them before mixing everything in house. When you spend so many months in a tiny room with a couple of your best friends you kinda go through some stuff together which you wouldn’t find elsewhere. I have some great memories, pictures but also that place could get pretty tense. The recording does a great job of distilling that whole period of my life.
Would you call this a departure from your previous materials or rather a continuation?
I think on the previous stuff I was feeling pretty esoteric with references and the attitude I had.. I really didn’t care what anyone thought, it was all only for me. Introducing 2 other people’s opinions and tastes meant that there was scope for diversity and I think the new album benefits from that in a big way. Also it meant I couldn’t get the crumhorn solo I wanted, arguably no-one would want to work with me if I managed to sneak in the crumhorn.
How Syd Barrett and Grateful Dead has influence your writing?
Syd is the psychedelic prince, a big discovery for me growing up. I think of him often, his approach and fantasy.. like.. “what would Syd do now?”. Grateful Dead is a bit different, I just don’t have the infrastructure to be playing live every night of the week, cooking the band up so nice but I’m fond of the Garcia philosophy.. try to have fun. Also I guess we get more expansive when we play live.. but it would be a dream for me to take new songs out on the road, let them evolve and travel to play shows constantly.
What is it about the 60s and 70s that you find so fascinating?
The late 60s is just a burst of technicolour, experimentation & excitement, when I started delving into that folk/psych/whatever world of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, The Byrds, Fairport Convention, Grateful Dead, Neil Young- well I found something really powerful. The 70s is beautifully decadent.. there’s coke on the faders.
What aspect of hope and beauty did you get to explore on this record?
I just want to make good music, I feel we found something but I always strive to be honest, true, whatever that means. Most of the time I’m just trying to find a reason..
Any plans to hit the road?
We’re touring the UK in October to support Star Chamber (dates below).
What else is happening next in Hollow Hand’s world?
Well I’m writing you this from Nashville, Tennessee where I’m playing some shows around the states with Holly Macve. I have a new studio space to get working, a few cool collaborations in mind. When I get back to Brighton we’ll hit the road with Hollow Hand & then I wanna start working on the next album. It’s mostly written. Time to explore again.