An Interview With The Australian Blues-Rock Musician, HAMISH ANDERSON!
Posted On 01 Oct 2018
Get to know the Australia-born, blues-rock artist Hamish Anderson! His newest song is called “No Good.” It’s a preview of the kind of music to be expected from him on his new album due out in 2019.
The track, which debuted on Relix Magazine, was selected for Spotify’s Official ‘Nu Blues’ playlist. Hamish’s new single “No Good” picks up where Trouble (2016) left off – featuring heavier rock sounds & produced by 7x Grammy winner Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Tedeschi Trucks) with drummer Johnny Radelat (Gary Clark Jr), bassist Chris Bruce (Meshell Ndegeocello) and organist Jerry Borge (Jonathan Wilson).
Hamish spoke with premiere partner, Billboard’s renowned writer, Gary Graff, about the new video, explaining:
“’My previous videos had been very story driven, so for this video I wanted to strip it all back to just what it feels like when we’re performing. I was influenced by imagery from the late 70s videos of The Rolling Stones (really from Some Girls/Emotional Rescue era) where it was them playing in NYC industrial warehouse-style environments. Super stark– and really all about the band performing. In general, we wanted to play more with lighting and movement overall. I got really lucky to work with a great team and we all felt that the energy and the vibe of the song was truly captured in the video.”
Already praised by NPR, Billboard, American Songwriter, KCRW, Relix Magazine, among other tastemakers, Glide Magazine raves about Hamish, “The young guitarist is a true talent …we can expect big things from him in the coming years.”
Receiving heavy rotation on numerous radio stations globally (including KCRW, WBJB, KCSN and WEXT), Anderson has appeared at acclaimed music festivals in US, Canada and Europe- including Firefly, Mountain Jam, Summerfest, High Sierra, Telluride Blues Fest, Ottawa Blues Fest, SXSW, Echo Park Rising, Grolsch Festival, Moulin Blues and BottleRock Napa.
Hamish wrapped 2017 by being featured as a Taco Bell “Feed the Beat” artist and after a month on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, his single, a ballad called “U”, was profiled on NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation along with his entire album, Trouble. “U” reached the Top 5 Tracks of the Week and was also debuted on ‘Best of Week’ playlist on Apple Music in Australia & Japan.
His debut album, ‘Trouble’ was released to stellar reviews, with Anderson being named a Top 10 Best New Artists in 2016 by Yahoo! Music. It’s first single, the title track ‘Trouble,’ is still on Spotify’s Blues & Roots Rock Official playlist two years after it’s release. Likewise, Songpickr, a premiere Spotify playlist curator, included the album ‘Trouble’ as one of the Top 50 Albums of 2016.
Hamish Anderson openly counts as his influences guitar players and songwriters from Robert Johnson and BB King (Anderson was the last artist to open for King before he passed) to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Anderson has also shared the stage with Drive By Truckers, The Rides (featuring Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg), Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Low Cut Connie and Vintage Trouble.
Learn more about Hamish Anderson in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background?
I’m currently in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Just waking up and seeing what the day brings! Paul McCartney’s new album is on right now to start my day.
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
I feel really great about 2018. I started the year by recording my new album which I’m really excited to be releasing next year! I played festivals in Europe this year which was my first time ever performing over there. That’s been a goal for a while so that was a real highlight!
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience? Can you see yourself ever doing anything else?
Music was a huge part of my life growing up. My parents aren’t musicians, but they are huge music lovers so there was always music playing in the house. The first concert I ever went to was The Who when I was 12 years old and that was a real life changing moment that made me want to be a musician. I definitely couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I seem to still write a lot in Melbourne. Sometimes like to catch the train and write; something about looking at the city and people watching can make me feel inspired to write. Los Angeles is also very inspiring and I find it a great thing that any night of the week you can go and see so many incredible musicians playing live. It really makes you want to work harder at your craft.
Let’s talk about your newest track “No Good.” What was the inspiration for this song? What was it like making the music video for it? How creatively involved with the overall process were you?
“’No Good’ is really a song about making the decision to leave behind things that are doing you more harm than good. The guitar riff I had for a long time and I kept coming back to it for about six months. Finally, one day all the words just came to me. We were in the studio soon after that to record it. From the first downbeat, we were all excited by it’s driving energy and groove. The music video was a lot of fun to make and I got really lucky to work on it with a great team. I wanted it to be a fairly simple video, with a nod to the stripped back rock n roll vibes of The Rolling Stones live shows from the 70s. Really just more about the band playing than anything else.
How do you think “No Good” prepares listeners for your forthcoming album to be released next year? What was it like putting this collection together? Did anything surprise you about the process?
I designed the new record to have a mixture of sounds. I think that the more rock and roll/bluesy songs on the album are harder, fuzzy and more energetic, whilst the other side of the album has songs that focus on arrangements more and the acoustic side of my music. It was a very natural process putting it together, I wrote a lot of the record over the Christmas break of 2017 and I just felt very inspired and was writing a lot of songs. I’m really proud of it and excited to release these songs.
How differently did you approach the making of this album compared to your 2016 collection “Trouble”?
We took a little more time with the arrangements this time and played more with things I hadn’t done on my debut album, Trouble, such as harmonies, double tracking etc. On this new album it’s also basically the same band for every song, on Trouble I had different musicians for different songs. This time I wanted a set crew. I also definitely wrote more songs for this album then I had before, I really wanted to overwrite and then choose the best material.
What was it like working with your producer Jim Scott who had worked with Tom Petty?!
This was the second time I got to work with Jim and it’s always very inspiring to me. I learn so much from being around him and we also work in a similar way that I think compliments each other. Jim is all about the song and I love that, you won’t have anything if the songs aren’t good enough.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period or is your music more of an escape from all that?
I think it’s both. There’s a song on this album that is very much about what is going on in the world around us — it was my first time writing about that so directly. In the past, I had hinted at things but it was less overt so really it could be interpreted as being about anything. Also, in the past, I would have been nervous to write such a song, but now it was all just very prominently on my mind. I tend to write about anything that affects me emotionally.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I like Instagram. I like that I can cater it a little more to things I want to see. I think social media is important for announcing shows, singles etc., but I don’t ever want to fall into the trap of thinking it is more important than the actual music. I think unfortunately people do fall into that often.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Unfortunately a lot of my heroes have passed like Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, JJ Cale, Tom Petty, George Harrison etc. my heroes that are still around who would be dream artists to work with are Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr, Alabama Shakes.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
My guitar. I could amuse myself for endless hours if I had a guitar.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I really like that show “I’m Dying Up Here” but I think they may only play music from the 70’s haha. I’m a huge Scorsese fan so that would be a dream, or in a Cameron Crowe movie or Judd Apatow movie would be pretty cool.
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about?
I’m playing in LA at the Teragram Ballroom on October 6th with The Main Squeeze! And then touring with The Main Squeeze on the East coast in November (dates on my website, hamishandersonmusic.com/tour)
What has been a favorite performance of yours?
Both BottleRock Napa in 2018 and The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in 2017. Both were great festivals, great crowds, great energy. I wish I could play them every year!
What do you think makes an ideal show for you?
When the sound is great, you have a great mix and the crowd is energetic and responsive that is the best. When I feel the most relaxed is when I play the best, when I can just tune all my worries out and just feel the music.
What’s next on your musical agenda?
Touring! and releasing more singles before the album!
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope they just relate to it. It’s music from an honest place and I just hope people connect with it. That’s the goal.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Check out my new single “No Good” and I hope to see you at a show! Thanks for the interview!
(Photography provided by Effective Immediately PR)