Hattie Murdoch – Interview

Posted: July 17, 2011 in Hattie Murdoch

Hattie Murdoch – Black Shadow

You began your involvement with music at an early age. Can you take us back to what first got you into music, and what inspired you to start writing your own songs.
I’d started playing instruments from an early age, but I was desperate to sing, and couldn’t! So I taught myself guitar and taught myself how to sing(mostly because I didnt want anyone else to have to suffer the incessant wrong notes) but it naturally led onto writing my own tracks. I guess I covered a lot of stuff, but realised that my voice didn’t quite match up, so at least this way I could tailor my own songs to how I sing.

You’ve had a lot of attention in the North East and London but for anyone who doesn’t know what to expect how would you describe your music.
The darker, left field side of pop probably.

It’s been quite a busy year for you so far, what have been the highlights so far and what are you looking forward to for later in the year?
So many to choose from! Coming second out of 150 bands in the NE Unsigned comp was a huge highlight, and totally unexpected – then playing Evolution was huge as was the Sage Gateshead. Gigging with the band has been a massive thing for me this year – we’ve really pushed ourselves hard as musicians and techies. Coming up we have Ignition festival and also the release of Ocean Floor, which im so excited to get out there. It’s a big development of our sound and hopefully not what people are expecting.

Tell us about your new EP Ocean Floor. Is there a story behind the title? Can you take us behind the scenes of the songs and tell us how it all came together.

It did stem from the track Submarine – I like the idea that the ocean floor is undiscovered and like time, the way that it has this force that drags you along and you can’t do anything to stop it. I’ve also always seen these three tracks as a concept of a night out…the excitement, the groove then the chill.

Hattie Murdoch – Won’t Back Down

How did you find working with John and Andrew from Trafik on the EP? Have you any plans to work together again?
I was lucky enough to hit it off with the guys straight away and they understood where I wanted to go with the songs. We talked at length about influences and where the production could take the tracks. Knowing the prowess that they have as producers made the whole process a dream – so much so we’re currently working on the debut single and a few other collaborations.

Music from the North East is attracting a lot of attention at the moment with the help of organizations like Generator and Amazing Radio based in Newcastle. How much do you feel a part of the North East music scene?
At the moment the North East Scene is so eclectic and diverse that there isn’t a genre scene, but there is a huge musical social scene that brings all of us different musicians together. Generator have been a big influence in that – through the seminars, networking events and gigs. With Amazing Radio, I believe it’s been a huge opportunity for us in the North East – a national radio station on the doorstep has made it possible for people to get the exposure that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It enabled me to get tracks out there to a huge audience and it’s getting recognised more and more as the essential exposure tool for unsigned acts.

What influences have helped shape your music?
Over the years, it’s changed so much. I’ve been in rock bands, jazz bands, orchestras, hiphop bands, cover bands…all sorts. I love music for how it makes me feel – but I also love music that’s just damn cool. I wanted my tracks to be turned into something I couldn’t do by myself – I wanted Ninja Tune, Chemical Brothers – I wanted them to be turned into something that I wanted to listen to.

With the growth of music sharing on the internet it’s much easier to discover new music through platforms such as Soundcloud. Have you made any new musical discoveries you can recommend?
I have to say that Amazing Tunes has been a great source of music for me – the two artists that I discovered through their charts was Kyla La Grange and also Daughter – two incredible female artists. I have to say, I also love the way that YouTube and LastFM can take you to some random places – once I started with Bon Iver and ended up with Nine Inch Nails – it’s like a tenuous link game.

Any more gigs in the pipeline?

Next gig coming up is Ignition Festival on the 6th August (Go! Team playing that one as well – huge fan!) and then the next big home-town gig is headlining the Riverside in November.

What’s next for Hattie Murdoch?

I’ll be heading back into the studio with John and Andrew to finish off the single and make a start on some other new stuff hopefully to be ready at the end of the year and in between that we’ve got a few gigs in mind around the country. As a band we have so much more we want to do to push ourselves, so a lot of work in the rehearsal rooms – we’re all really motivated to push this as far as we can.

You can follow Hattie on Twitter here

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