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Hawks Do Not Share – Photo Credit: Hawks Do Not Share
Hawks Do Not Share (a group which features members of Last Ice, who Big Takeover has covered before) have just released “Interiors,” the lead single from their upcoming album entitled A Dream to Hold on To.
“Interiors” is an electronic and post-punk wash of lushed-out synths and snares, harking back to ’80s revival and chillwave influences of the ’00s. “Interiors” deals with the dread of modern life, and the anxiety that ensues when trying to navigate through our post-modern, digital ‘hall of mirrors’ landscape.
The band comment, “At their core, the lyrics are a meditation on the paradox of feeling disconnected from others despite being relentlessly connected to devices and online “communities” that allege to nurture connection but leave us more like Narcissus gazing into a pool of curated identities.”
Notable are the Depeche Mode-style guitar solo and the slight key-change every time it hits the pre-chorus, these touches of musicianship and style show why scene veterans GL3 and Jeremy Wilkins make such a great duo.
“Interiors” is as if chillwave received an even more modern update for less nostalgic and more immediate times, and it’s the desperate wailing vocals that will draw you in from the first chorus until the last beat.
Hawks Do Not Share’s second full-length album, A Dream to Hold on To, which will be released on limited vinyl and digitally through No Movement Records on October 1st.
We spoke with the group to get more info about their album and engaging sound:
What kind of production techniques and software do you use for the more synthetic elements in your sound?
Jeremy: “We actually have a pretty substantial collection of hardware synths that we rely on quite bit. GL3 collects and does a lot with these cool micro synths from the ’80s, maybe what some people would consider “toy” synths, like a Casio MT-68 and a Yamaha PSS-170. He also has a Novation K-Station. I use a Novation Bass Station II a lot as well as a Prophet 12 and some Roland synths from the ’80s/early ’90s. One of the Rolands is a JV-80 that was my first synth ever, it’s filled with custom sounds I made forever ago, and it still gets used on almost everything I do, including “Interiors”. So, we record parts, textural sounds, or even just weird little bits or noises from any of those synths and then usually process them pretty heavily within Reason.”
“GL3 introduced me to Reason almost two decades ago. We’ve always used it for synth sounds, as a sampler, and for live shows. But around the mid-point of producing this record I switched over to using Reason as my only DAW. I now produce, record, and mix everything in Reason. So, our electronics tend to be a combination of hardware synths and various sounds generated in Reason. Ironically, I think that since I’ve started working exclusively in Reason I’ve gotten much better at making our production sound less like Reason. Definitely on this record.”
The lyric phrase “black lagoon” stuck out in the first verse, almost like a commentary on our phones with the screen off, how we see ourselves gazing back. I’d like to hear more from your POV about the narcissism in modern digital social life that inspired you to write this song.
GL3: “Very sharp read on that line! I didn’t consciously set out to write a social commentary so much as take a critical look at my own participation in the social media reflecting pool. Scrolling through years of posts, it was shocking what a sanitized version of reality I had curated for myself. No mention of personal struggles or expressions of grief (outside the bounds of what is socially sanctioned), but rather a collection of happy moments with loved ones, personal achievements, humorous anecdotes, somewhat conspicuous leisure, and charitable giving (“like a coat you wear twice a year,” to quote the late, great George Michael). There’s this insidious social pressure to broadcast the cool stuff you’re up to, but an unwritten social code not to appear too vainglorious about any of it, and I ultimately find this to be a very conformist and hollow routine one can sleepwalk into.”
The bridge guitar solo is a track highlight, almost allowing the bleak landscape you’re creating to sound hopeful for a quick minute. What was that moment like in the studio?
Jason: “One of the things that I love about playing with HDNS is exactly that dichotomy between groovy electronics and sometimes aggressive electric guitar. “Interiors” is a perfect example of this; the modulated solo section comes out of nowhere and helps turn the song inside out.”
Jeremy: “This is one of our rare songs that developed quite a bit in the rehearsal room together, rather than each of us isolated in our own studios sending files around. I remember a feeling of excitement the first time Jason played that solo, or a variation of it, like we had arrived at some new place musically. Not just the way it lifts you out of the “bleak landscape”, as you so accurately describe it, but also the way it gently delivers you right back down into maybe the darkest section.”
“Now we’re sleeping in the car, pissing in a mason jar, so it goes..” Is this lyric describing this level of destitution something the band has personally experience?
GL3: “In a word: no. Houselessness is an urgent problem in our city (Portland, OR) much like many others up and down the I-5 corridor, and that specific imagery was reminiscent of a scene I witnessed at a nearby park. The lyric is a caution to what I perceive to be an often concealed notion that those of us who are not experiencing extreme poverty today are somehow immune to it. My partner worked in homeless services years ago, which was instructive in how situations like a sudden illness can unravel a household’s finances in a hurry (the combination of missing work with unexpected medical bills can be particularly devastating). This lyric follows a “roaring twenties” scene of excess, which our current era of booming markets and wealth inequality echoes to some degree. The Great Depression, where practically 1 in 4 people were out of work, and its resultant Hooverville shanty towns of course followed. In sum, I fear that many of us are too distracted to recognize history repeating itself. The line, “so it goes,” responds to this foreboding with a laconic shrug, which itself was a nod to Kurt Vonnegut, whose Slaughterhouse-Five I was re-reading at the time.”
Anything else you’d like to add, especially any info we should be on the lookout for concerning the upcoming album release in October?
Jeremy: “We just got the vinyl in and it’s gorgeous! It’s clear vinyl and there’s an insert with all the lyrics. The pre-order should go live on our Bandcamp site in about a week. We’ll also be releasing a music video for “Interiors” sometime in September. Keep an eye out for that. I wish I could say we would be playing shows or going on tour or something, but we aren’t. Not sure when we will. The four of us haven’t even been in the same room together since March of last year when we recorded “Nightfall ’20”.”