Hamish James Hawk is an Edinburgh based artist who I wasn't supposed to meet or shoot. Funny how life is though sometimes, because his album has become one of my favorites from 2014 since he gave it to me three weeks ago. He's also simply a wonderful person and I'm so glad I was able to fit this session in with him.
How did your last album come to be?
The turning point was getting to know Kenny Anderson, who's also King Creosote. I've long been a fan of him, he's a very inspiring musicians and definitely one of the greatest songwriter that this country has produced in my opinion. I was part of a music society at [the University of] St Andrews, and he's local so we often got him to come play. A few I met him just in passing. Then he got to know my face, I suppose and it was so nice, one time he was like "Do you want to go out for a pint or something?". And I was like " I can't believe this is happening."
So we went for a pint, and I thought: you know what, I could take these songs that I'd recorded over the summer, and I'll take a long the demo and give it to him. He emailed me the next day asking," what do you want to do with it?" So we got the songs mastered, artwork sorted out.. then yeah, that was it.
[..] Now we're almost set to record the next album with him soon.
What's been your favorite show that you've played?
I recently played a gig at Mary King'sClose, which is an underground tourists attraction in Edinburgh hat is a set of medieval streets that have been preserved below a building. I played in a medieval cowshed and that was amazing. It sold out, and everyone was having a great time and that was epic. It was in conjunction with CloseFest, a week long series of events. Because that was one of the first times that my name has been used as the headline act, it was a bit of a moment for me.
But I've also played in Anstruther and Crail, in Fife, at various Fence Records (Kenny Anderson's old record label) and Alter Ego Trading Co (his current one) events. Their events are so brilliant to be a part of.They're wonderfully ramshackle and about to teeter over the edge of the precipice and everything is going to go wrong at any second... when they succeed it's amazing. Kenny Anderson lives in Crail and really believes in local music, and I'm totally behind him on that. I don't think you don't need to sell out arenas to make good music, or successful music. And successful in what?What are you defining success as?
I've also played next to Roslyn Chapel? That's in the DaVinci Code, that last bit where she finds out she's the descendent of Jesus? That's a Church right outside of Edinburgh. I played in the woods about a mile away in the middle of the night. My friend Steven, who recorded my album, has a friend who's an event organizer and we just got a generator, made a wee makeshift stage out of leaves and it was very cool.