SON OF HAWK interview
South Africa’s Son of Hawk are releasing their self-titled debut album in August and we had achat with the guys in the band to find out more about them, since the grooviness of the promo materialturned out to be very catchy and promising. Here’s the result of the dialogue with vocalist/guitarist Heine Van Der Walt. And do make sure you check out the album in August
Reading through the biography of the band, one notices that it is formed by 3 people from 3 different locations. How did that come to happen and how easy/difficult was it to decide to put together a band under such circumstances?
Hi, thanks for having us. We all met in a sleepy little surf town where we were all living at the time. It was pretty natural and easy to stick together and get the project rolling. These days we have to plan it a bit better but it’s not as tricky as it seems. Somehow we just end up being in the right place at the right time when it matters.
It seems like the beginning was focused on performing live, since the album is about to be released one year after the band’s debut. Where did the live materials come from then? And how easy was to immediatelly (more or less) go on a national tour?
We had two weeks to prepare some material and I think at that time we wrote around 7 or 8 originals and worked in the odd cover. The rest we wrote as we went on and our set grew longer and more refined until we had enough for a full length album.
How’s the touring situation in South Africa? Is it a tough competition or is there a lack of competition? How often do foreign bands get to visit and perform gigs there? And how easy would it be for a SA band to get to play Europe for example?
Touring in South Africa is actually a blast, there is enough competition but not so much that it’s impossible to break through. I guess it’s pretty much the same in most countries, in the beginning it’s just living and surviving from gig to gig. With a little planning and good execution, one can have a very successful tour, sometimes things can go belly up, but you live, you learn. We have tons of foreign bands from all levels touring here, although it is a bit out of the way. Touring overseas for us is very hard but mostly that is because of very expensive travel costs.
Is there a big rock/metal community that you’re reaching out to with your music?
Yeah I’d say South Africa is pretty healthy with rock and metal, although it is still a very tiny speck on the big radar of South African music when you look at the statistics, but there are dedicated venues and festivals for it so the support is huge.
Tell me something about each band member, what’s everyone’s musical background and what is the main factor that connected you guys when making this album
Our bassist Ashley comes from the jazz world, and Nathan played a lot of rock and metal drums. Myself I come from a pretty rock and roll family and have siblings who all play in bands as well. I guess what connected us is mainly the sole purpose of having a great time. Doing something fun.
What were the challenges of putting together the album? What’s your favorite song on it and why?
I guess the biggest challenge is the writing and preparation for recording, getting all the material together and rehearsing it to get it tight. The actual tracking and production is the fun part. I’d say my favorite song is probably ‘Closure’, it holds a personal touch and it travels around in the soundscape.
Have you gotten any reviews so far or any sort of feedback?
The feedback is mostly positive, we don’t really know what to expect. I’m sure there will be criticism but that’s obviously just all part of it.
How did you get various big names from the South African scene to appear on the album?
By asking them very nicely haha. Most of them are good friends, and we are incredibly grateful for everyones contribution.
Why Son of Hawk?
It used to be just Hawk, but that was a bad idea because there is already a 70s band from South Africa with the same name. We have a song called ‘Son of Hawk’ so it seemed a logical step to change it to that.
What are the near future plans for the band?
More tours, more festivals, more albums. Maybe we’ll marry each other if we never find love.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions