Compared to the likes of Warpaint and The Cranberries, Hawk are a trio based in Berlin; intent on creating a driving, expansive sound of grunge-filled indie. LOCK caught up with HAWK’s frontwoman Julie Hawk.
For those who are yet to know you, tell us about yourself.
JULIE: We’re HAWK. We’re an indie band from all over the place in Ireland and the UK, but we live in Berlin to keep things even more confusing.
Can you describe your sound in 3 words?
JULIE: Grungy. Shimmery. Loud.
You created your own label Veta Records in 2014, do you think you have more creative control on an independent label?
JULIE: I think we’re in an era where creative control is back in most artists’ possession. That, and a lot of the strategic control too. That much freedom can feel very overwhelming. Forming the label was initially our way of formulising the many aspects of putting our music out there. Once that was in motion, it became something empowering that we could use to help develop other artists too. I am massively of the belief that DIY is the way forward for new artists these days. Veta Records gives us a chance to roll out everything we’ve learned through DIY, but on a community level.
Your music is often politically-fuelled, do you think it’s important to make music about social and political issues?
JULIE: I don’t think music has to be political. It’s there to express all kinds of experiences and even then, we are free to attach our own feelings and memories to it. But it has definitely been important for us to write about issues like equality and mental health. I think music is a powerful way to connect your own frustrations and feelings beyond words. This is really empowering when you’re in a situation where you feel like you otherwise wouldn’t be heard.
Your 2016 track ‘Once Told’ is about Ireland’s abortion laws, something that continues to be debated today, is this something that you still feel strongly about?
JULIE: Absolutely! We’re about four weeks from the referendum to Repeal the 8 th and I feel like I’m about to reach breaking point on the subject. At the time, our bottom line was to create an outlet for discussion about Repeal, but at the moment it’s all anyone in a Ireland is talking about. On a personal level I had a feeling of betrayal that I felt I just had to get off my chest. I don’t feel that way anymore. Now I feel empowered and that I can be part of a huge change for Irish women.
How has your experience been in the music industry so far?
JULIE: Any new artist will probably tell you that the ‘industry’ has felt pretty untouchable in recent years. But the more we the label grows, the more of a positive experience it’s been. I hate the idea of sitting around waiting for something to happen. Now, we are busy all the time. Whether it’s with our own music, other bands on the label, or with my other project SelfMade that I started this year. It all comes from the place of taking things into our own hands and encouraging others to do the same. I’m really enjoying it!
Which female artists inspire you?
JULIE: I’m currently being inspired by tUnE-yArDs all over again! She’s unstoppable.
Who was your favourite artist growing up?
JULIE: Green Day!
What can we look forward to seeing from HAWK this year?
JULIE: Something a lot quieter actually! At the moment, we’re working on a stripped back version of an old HAWK track that will be out very soon!
You can view HAWK’s latest single below.
You can stay up-to-date with HAWK by clicking here.
Words by Paige Sims.
Featured Image by James Byrne.