Hawksley Workman has headlined prestigious venues like Massey Hall in Toronto and The Olympia in Paris, and opened for heroes Morrissey, David Bowie, and The Cure and now he is making his way back for another Australian tour.. As a producer, his fingerprints grace releases by JUNO and Polaris Prize nominees and winners like Tegan and Sara, Sarah Slean, Serena Ryder, Hey Rosetta!, and Great Big Sea. He’s also penned melodies with a myriad of artists, from Oscar award winning Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, Inception) to the late French rock icon Johnny Hallyday. Hawksley Workman shares a few quick words about his Australian tour which is just around the corner.
Great that you’re coming back to Australia this November for some shows, what can we expect on this tour?
Well, you get me and my 1971 Martin D35, some old songs some new songs. I’m in a good head space these days so you’re gonna get a fairly well adjusted bloke on stage.
No Adelaide or Perth this time round?
Ya, I’ve never played Perth actually. It’ll be a bummer not getting to Adelaide this time.
What is it about Australia that keeps you coming back?
Well, we got our first snowfall the night before i got on the plane to come here. So that’s a great start. I love seeing your big inflatable Santas blowing in the thirty degree breeze here but honestly Australians are great music fans and I’ve been coming for fifteen years now and have friends here, and really the flight isn’t ‘that’ bad. Great wine and great venues… and, and, and…
Congratulations on your new single Battlefords, what is the background behind this one?
Thanks! Well, the new record has some glances in the rear view mirror. I think coming of age in the 80s was really quite something particular. It felt like we were living in the future we were promised back then. The digital age we’re now acquainted with makes the astro turf years seem kind of hilarious but there was something genuine about the era. Anyways, the song is a lot about me growing up in rural Canada… strangely innocent.
Did this song come relatively easily?
It did, to be honest and continuing with this bout of honesty I’d say that most of my songs generally do. For me, if a song doesn’t show its promise in the first ten or twenty minutes I usually scrap it and start a new idea. I don’t labour over them. The song really needs to want to be born.
Do you enjoy the flexibility of being able to move between song writer, performer and producer?
I do, I produce a lot less than i used to. That job has changed a lot, I’m really in love with writing these days.
Is there a new album on the way and how is that shaping up?
There’s a new one completed and i’m working on a new new one right now.
When you look back over your career what moments stick out most for you?
There’s been some really lovely highlights. Big stuff like playing Roman amphitheatres and lots of fun small stuff too. Generally travelling to places I wouldn’t otherwise have gone to has been such a gift.
How was it touring with acts such Morrissey, David Bowie, and The Cure?
Well… they’re heroes… So you can imagine it’d be pretty great.
How is 2019 shaping up for you?
It’s going to be a great year!
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Hawksley Workman on the following dates…