ThisIsNotAScene recently got the opportunity to put a few questions to Hawk Eyes guitarist, Rob Stephens. They talked about the new Hawk Eyes album “Ideas,” the change of band name, musical direction changes, being part of the thriving Leeds metal scene and much more…
You’ve just released a new album in a few weeks, can you tell us a bit about it?
Rob: It is called “IDEAS,” it is our second album, we pushed ourselves a lot and nearly killed each other making it.
The first single ‘Skyspinners’ is out now, we hope you enjoy it.
Do you see it as a ‘new debut’ since changing from Chickenhawk to Hawk Eyes?
Rob: No not really, we still play songs from the first album, I still see it as the same band, it is the same band, its just the name that has changed.
What was the reason for the name change?
Rob: A few different reasons, most importantly we didn’t like the other one, silly to be in a band with a name you don’t like.
Would you rather be a chickenhawk or have hawk eyes?
Rob: The second one.
Your new album has a slightly different sound to your earlier Chickenhawk work, was this intentional?
Rob: Yes, we didn’t see any point in doing the same thing twice, I personally wanted to use different guitar techniques. I still love the stuff on the first album but our heads are in a different place now.
‘Ideas’ is hard to pin down to a genre, how would you describe your music?
Rob: Primarily heavy music that takes in a wide variety of influences. I think our new album has pushed us closer to a sound of our own but I would say that!
Do you have a favourite track on the new record?
Rob: I like ‘Headstrung’ and ‘Hollywood Sweatshop’, good examples of us pushing ourselves and they came together really well, the vocals on ‘Hollywood Sweatshop’ in particular are brilliant.
Which songs do you think will destroy venues when you go on tour?
Rob: I’m not sure I have the correct insurance to answer this question, either way I’ll go with ‘Milk Hog’, bananas to play and heavy as hell.
You’re one of many harder bands from Leeds gaining a reputation around the UK, is the Leeds scene one of the best right now?
Rob: Hard to say really, going on tour a lot and speaking to bands from other places makes me realise how creative a city Leeds is. Not only in terms of music but artists, photographers and a supportive community, we are very lucky to be a part of it.
Is the North better than the South?
Rob: It is definitely closer to Sweden.
As a band you’re very active on Twitter, how important is it to interact with your fans online?
Rob: It’s a good way to tell people about gigs and releases, people only follow you if they are interested in what you have to say. It’s also an easy way to say thank you to anyone who has supported us.
What are your plans for 2012?
Rob: To tour a hell of a lot and start writing the next record.