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EXCLUSIVE: HISTORY OF THE HAWK interview, feat. track-by-track feature

HISTORY OF THE HAWK‘s vocalist Nathan took some time with us to answer a couple of questions on September 14th, 2012. This exclusive, lengthy interview includes a track-by-track feature for the Stourbridge, UK’s band upcoming album “Future Ruins”, due out November 12th, 2012 via In At The Deep End Records.

Midlands experimental hardcore quintet have an EP called “Ocean” that was released  digitally and 2 tracks from a split with Italian band MINUS TREE. Their new album will blow your mind. It’s a must hear.

Sadly, they have just parted ways with their drummer. Go here to read the official statement from the band.

Hey Nathan. Good to have you here. So you’re releasing your brand new stuff as a collection of compositions entitled “Future Ruins” on November 12th, 2012. What’s the promotion plan for the outing? Are there some check points on your path the release date? Videos, release parties, song premieres, full streams, a CNN coverage?

Hi!! Well we are very lucky to have James Sherry at Divisions doing our PR for the record so we will just leave it all to him! We do actively try to seek out the odd bits ourselves though, nobody should just be sitting around on their arse!

Alright. There’s a lot of awesome press about your work. What do expect from the audience, having the “Ocean” EP success in mind? Do you enjoy reading reviews of your releases?

Yeah it’s great, we are all really shocked to how well OCEAN was received, we recorded half of that EP in Pete’s (our old guitarist) bedroom and he mixed it himself, he did a great job! It was mental seeing a DIY release climb in the Amazon charts at number 5 and let’s hope we will see much more!

Tell us about your cooperation with In At The Deep End Records. How were you tapped by the label to represent their roster? What other labels did you have direct “business” contacts with?

Well I grew up with In At The Deep End, it was my favorite UK label as I’m a huge BEECHER fan so to now be a IATDE band is pretty bat shit crazy! We sent Mark a demo of a song called X is the new Y and he liked it then asked to hear more, so we went from there. Initially the release was already coming out on Speedowax on vinyl, we was very blessed to work with such two respected labels on our first release! Mark and Rich have done so much for this band, and we will never forget that!!

Chris at Witch Hunter Records released OCEAN on limited cassette, WHR is such a cool label who mostly release sludge, blackened hardcore and etc so I guess we was something a bit different for him but worked, he’s also put a lot of hard work behind the scenes, especially with the DIY zines, it’s quite funny reading those reviews as you can see they are a touch wary but I think they get what we are trying to do so always came out well.

Dale at Enjoyment Records released a tape split with MINUS TREE, Dale is super young and has already released so much, his roster is looking amazing (he released the new TRENCHER 12″ for gods sake) and he has so much ambition, he literary works in to release records and he is skint because of it. I think Enjoyment is a label to look at, I really think they will be up there with the big boys on the independent scene in the next 2 or 3 years.

Nice. Getting back to the album itself, are you happy with the technical side, the mastering and the final product? Did you fly to West West Side in New York to survey the process?

We wish, no but Allan Douches did such an amazing job, this guy has master ALL my favorite records, just google him and check his credits out, unreal!

But we really got our man working with Jason Sanderson, Jase is probably one of the best engineers around at the moment and worked with the cream of bands on the UK scene. But more importantly I knew Jase before from just playing in bands so I knew he would get us and catch what we wanted! We needed our record to sound real and not super polised but at the same time professional, he got it down to a tee!

We recorded the album in 5 days and choose the vocal takes on the 6th, I think even Jase was shocked out well it turned out, we was all pretty fucked from the process, even him! It was an intense few days thats for sure!

Why do you stock vinyl version of your releases? How is the format important to you?

Absolutely, I’m a massive vinyl collector, it’s why I never have any money!

Ok, so let’s go track-by-track trip through the album. Please tell us what each track means to you, what stories link to these tracks and what are you proud the most about each and single one of them?

Descending Light: Ever heard of this brocore shit? Going to a gig and kicking somebody in the face? I hate it! This song probably comes across a little aggressive but it’s just a commentary on some of the shitty factors of the UK hardcore scene! We are not that kind of band, and we don’t want to be associated with it, don’t get me wrong, we want people to have a good time and pushing, shoving, moshing and shit is all good. I just don’t want some 15 year old kid coming up to me after a gig with a broken nose then get put off from going to future gigs.

Arab Spring: A lot of the media attention in the UK is spotlighted on what is going on America, I remember when the 99% stuff was going on somebody came up to me and said I should write about this stuff, I was like “why the fuck do I want to write about something that has nothing to do with me?”, i know there a lot of problems there, but there are a lot of problems everywhere! What also pissed me off is some of these people were holding up place cards saying they cant pay back their loans, oh boo fucking boo, theres people over there that cant even get welfare and cant afford to sit in their nice warm house with their 3 year old Mac holding up a piece of paper, I know that is generalised, a lot of those people have real issues, it’s just looking at some of it pissed me off, then celebraties got involved……

Anyway moving on, Arab Spring is me looking out at the world, looking at what the media talks about and not actually recognising some of the shit thats actually going. I work in some of the most impoverished areas of Birmingham, that’s real life, but it’s not attractive news because the average person would just rather read the Sun and look at Kate Middleton’s tits!

Ex Wives: We have all had people in our lives that hold you back (not necessarily girlfriends and shit), the only advice you can take is your own, even though a lot of people have people in their life that love them, the only real person you can trust is yourself.

Taken by Tides: It’s all about facing up to stuff and not blaming your misgivings on other people, your state of mind, your past choices or your upbringing. I used to work in forensic mental health, some of those people were amazing with their ambitions and drive, and these people really did have it shit! Theres some people out there who’s worst enemy is themselves.

Hey Ghost, the Myth About Science is: Growing up is all about broken promises and false incentives, if it’s too good to be true then 9 times out of 10 you are in the shit, always be level headed and do not idolise people that don’t deserve it!

Sky Scene: People who think with their fists annoy me, you can never better yourself with that mentality, you will never be satisfied in life going on like that!! Go learn, better your life, pull yourself out of the shit because nobody else is going to do that for you (unless you’re rich).

Codex on Math Beach: Differentiation of class is a factor of life I guess, it’s how countries are run, but how can a public school boy tell somebody from a place like Dudley how to live their lives? I see a lot of condescending comments come out of Downing Street and no action, but theres always going to stuff like this in democracy.

Hospitals: This is probably the only (kind of) positive song on the album, we toured Europe last year and we was all pretty broken (but it was amazing). It was a changing point in my live, a real kick up there arse, I wanted to get back and try to be a better person, for whatever that is!

Process Colour: I find it really hard to concentrate on how fast life is sometimes, I’d say I am quite politically minded and I don’t get a lot of what is being said in parliament, the stuff I do understand never comes to fruition and that fucks me off. People don’t know what they are voting for these days, I guess that is why we are left with a Tory government.

Terraforming: This reflects what was going through my head at time of writing, I wasn’t really in the best of places, it’s not like I was going off the rails or anything but I was in a pretty dark place in my head. I sort of felt like sometimes I was talking but nothing was coming out, a little hollow and nothing really mattered to me! Girls, career or generally being a decent guy, I just wanted to raise everything to the ground and get some satisfaction in destroying something. It sounds ever so emo, but it’s just an expression of what I was thinking, everything was cold, bleak and unwinding.

Archetype: I do a lot of work in Alum Rock, it’s primarily a Muslim area and considered the roughest and poorest area of Birmingham, sociality judges a community like that of what they hear or see on TV without bothering to meet these people, wake up and form your own opinions.

Creeping Swans: I hate the mainstream media, it disgusts that people eat this shit as gospel but they do. Bad news is always good news, it’s like people actually enjoy being scared.

Old Wounds: The foundation of the human race is violence, it’s all we seem to know, if your not getting yourself into trouble somebody will make you, as a collective. People in power of countries act like they are gods, it makes me so sad to see kids of 18 coming back in body bags from wars that are not theirs, but they are conditioned to be fighters through the system. I understand the need for military, we need to protect ourselves of course and I’m proud of them, but people have real blood on their hands and I don’t know how they sleep at night!

Pony Club: Take a walk around The Black Country, especially places like Brierley Hill and you will see real Britain. These people are angry, there’s no money, jobs or joy. There is not even an incentive to get a job because the government has changed the benefits system. A lot of these people want to work but all they could likely find is part time work and then they can’t even afford to do that because of loss of benefits, having the money to travel to get there and shit.

People turn to crime, selling drugs etc and a lot of the older generations are influencing the younger people in their way of life, this to them is their education and they don’t know any better because people have been telling them they are shit since they have been born. I was a little shit at school, I once turned all the taps on in one of the mobiles and flooded it, I remember a teacher grabbing me and saying to me that I’m “the kind of scum that puts bombs under cars”, that has always stayed with me.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the people who live around us are lowlives and all criminals, you will find some of the kindest people you will ever meet in these parts but things are not going to change for the poorer people and eventually when you keep pushing and pushing something is going to break….

Dialect is Dead: The final track on the record. One person cant make a different, but a lot of people can it’s just if people care enough, it is so much easier these days to express your views and opinions, look at the NHS reforms, the nation wasn’t happy so they went all out to stop it. To the government you are a number, a vote, if enough people rise up we can influence real change! I’m not talk revolutions just being more vocal about what you care about, just tell anybody with a degree of power how you feel. Just don’t bang on about it with your mates in the bar, that can really piss people off……

Amazing. Can’t wait to take a listen to the entire album.

As always, we’re very interested in bands we don’t know. Tell us about your past/current projects you’re in.

Me and Harper played in a dance powerviolence band called DIAMONDS. Luke and Beckley used to be in a punk band called THE RESIGNED and ORGONES. Harper used to the bassist in a alt indie band called SCIENCE VS ROMANCE. Jack (our new drummer) used to be in THE FIGHT. And me, Beckley and Luke have a sludge doom side project called OPIUM LORD.

What other local bands would you recommend to Idioteq readers?

Just local? there are loads! STINKY WIZZLETEAT, BLACK VEINS, THE CATHARSIS, THEM WOLVES, GOD DAMN, CONSTANT WAVES, MOTHERSTRUCKER, THE SHOGUNS DECAPITATOR, GRIEF.

Nice, thanks. What local activities, venues, zines and other undertakings are worth checking out?

The Temple of Boom Studios (where half our EP was recorded) is a really cool place, they throw awesome parties sometimes, add them on Facebook to find out more. Distorted Tapes is a cool local printed DIY zine.

What does touring mean to you as a band? How do you remember your last European tour?

Getting to travel to places like Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria was amazing, the joy touring aboard is you get embroiled in their culture as you are actually living with local people, eating what they eat, doing what they do and etc. It was such a great experience and we have to thank Emptiness Booking for making it happen and hauling our sorry asses across a continent. Theres a food called Lángos over there, we really need to bring it to the UK!

Touring is part of parcel of what we do, we are very privileged to be able to do it!

So what are your touring plans for the rest of the year? Any plans to hit the American soil?

UK tour and we head back to Europe early next year! You never know, we have some good friends over in the States!

How do you book your shows? What’s your opinion on booking agencies? Does it stand against DIY ethics, so important in hardcore?

Keeping it DIY is important to us but things do get very busy so sometimes we do need help and people like that do come in use for us. It’s just important to keep your feet on the ground and remember who you are and why you do what you do.

What about 2013? Any other steps you see for HISTORY OF THE HAWK?

We try not to look to far in the future and make massive plans, as I just said we head over to Western Europe on tour in March, I can’t wait for that and we are looking forward to making some new friends!

Huge thanks! Feel free to shout out and add anything you want.

Thanks guys, keep doing what you are doing and stay awesome!

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