Over the past year, Vancouver’s Alternative/Progressive outfit Hawking has been extremely active and working endlessly to make their dreams a reality. Between recording and extensive touring, the quartet continues to work on making an impact in the music industry, even leaving an imprint here in the United States. The band recently finished their latest tour in celebration of their newest album Diverge, which is now available on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp. Check out our interview with the band below:
First, we’d like to ask a few personal questions to try and get to know the band a little
better. Whether it’s good or bad, a lot of bands tend to set a leading example as their fanbase
grows. As Hawking’s fan-base rises, what do you feel is important that your
listeners take from experiencing your shows and music?
First, I’d like to say I’m stoked to be interviewed by you guys because your questions are
engaging and actually take thought to answer. I think the message we want to send is to
constantly challenge your own preferences and ideas, to take risks and to learn from yourself. I
think the medium is the message here, though. You won’t really find that in our lyrics but more in our ethos as a band.
You guys started a podcast while on tour and talked about how you work cohesively
together. It seems that each of your personalities complement each other well, which is
something that can be hard to find in a lot of bands. Can you tell us about how the four of
you came together when you first formed?
Finding the right people is such a huge part of making anything work, it’s nothing short of a
miracle that the 4 of us came together to do what we’re doing with Hawking. Our lineup shaped
up over time, but Chris (our bassist) and I are both from the same suburb of Vancouver and
went to nearby schools, Chartwell (our drummer) responded to an ad I had up, and we found
Saul (our lead guitarist) because I used to book tours for his old band and he turned out to be a
better fit for us than them. Funny how things work out.
You also talked about how you’re fairly organized as a group. What tricks do you guys
use to stay on top of things, especially when you’re on the road?
That’s flattering, actually. Organized by DIY musicians’ standards maybe, but I think we can
always do better. Stuff still slips between the cracks and we resent it, but it’s nearly impossible
to get to everything when it’s just the 4 of you and you’re on the road working from Starbucks or McDonalds wifi. But mostly we try to delegate tasks as efficiently as possible. Chris usually has a list of stuff we have to do, he’s our band dad. I handle the bulk of the communication, and the other guys take on whatever tasks they feel they’re best suited to.
In your latest podcast, you guys talked about the production you put into your shows.
Looking back at the very first time you played on stage as a band, what have you guys
changed/added to your performance? Is there anything that you’re hoping to add to
The main things we’ve added are lights and fog. We get a lot of compliments on our light show;
Chris programmed the whole thing and did a killer job. Besides that, we coordinate our look,
stage setup and performance a lot better now. Going forward we’d like to add more cinematic
track intros and transitions, bigger lights, haze cannons or geysers or whatever you call them,
and someday the dream would be to have pyrotechnics because that’s so hilariously obnoxious.
Why wouldn’t we if we had the chance?
What do you feel is the most important part about your stage presence/performance?
Not only does everyone seem to like different aspects of our show, but I think we’re too “in it” to
really know. I’m the front man so I’m always just focused on performing well and keeping the
show moving and the crowd hyped. Saul and Chart mostly focus on nailing their parts, which
are often pretty complex, while singing harmonies. Chris controls the laptop that runs our inears, lights and guitar patch changes while also playing equally complex bass parts and joining
in on gang vocals, so he’s got a full plate. We just try to kick ass and not fuck up.
You guys released your newest album Diverge in April. What’s the reception been like to
the album so far and did you accomplish what you set out to do with it, not just from a
thematic standpoint, but from a creative and exploratory one as well?
I’m not sure what to say, likely because we didn’t know what we wanted to accomplish with this
record in the first place. We just wanted to see what we could do with the 4 of us alone. So I
guess to answer the question better, we definitely succeeded from a creative and exploratory
standpoint. There are so many things we did on Diverge that to our knowledge have never been
done before, and we’re proud of that. Not like it’s the most innovative record in the world or
anything, but it definitely pushes some boundaries we’ve been wanting to push for a while.
Two of my personal favorites from Diverge are “Homesick”and “Outside”, both telling
dark stories and filled with raw emotion. Can you give us some insight of the inspiration
behind these tracks?
Really glad you dig those tracks! Homesick especially is a favourite of ours, mostly because of
the polyrhythmic shredding in the bridge though. We’re nerds, sorry. Anyway, those songs are
both fictional narratives meant to expose the listener to confronting subject matter in order to
make them question themselves, I guess. That’s a mouthful, but our goal is really just to make
music that engages listeners in a way they’re not used to.
You also just finished a tour in celebration of Diverge. Are there any weird moments or
funny tour stories you’d like to share?
We stopped at a Walmart in Greeley, Colorado one night and saw this big bearded dude in
overalls covered with blood and carrying an equally bloodied axe. So that was pretty terrifying,
but we later found out there’s several massive slaughterhouses there so I guess that explains it.
The smell in that town was putrid also, and we learned it’s not just manure, it’s the
slaughterhouses burning off the excess animal parts and blood at night. If that’s not the most
metal thing I’ve ever heard, I’m not sure what is. Gross though. Remember that next time you
eat a steak.
Touring can be kind of rough on both the mind and body, and it seems like you guys are
constantly on tour. What’s the best tip you can give to a band who is about to tour for the
Good luck and make good choices is all I can say. Everyone is different and it takes lots of
touring to figure out what your mind and body need to thrive in that environment. Just do
whatever it takes to keep yourself and your bandmates happy, healthy and sane.
Before we end the interview, I’d like to ask one last question. What do you guys love to
do on tour when off stage to keep yourselves entertained?
I had to try really hard not to just write “fidget spinners” and leave it at that. We all write and
demo new ideas as best we can while travelling, so that keeps us feeling creative and validated.
We all have our own hobbies, but to be honest it’s mostly listening to and creating music,
watching movies, and beating juvenile inside jokes to death. Such is the tour life and we
wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Listen to the band’s single, “Broken Glass” below:
From the new album ‘Diverge’ available now: Apple Music: http://apple.co/2mvbZtn Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2nnGySz Bandcamp: http://bit.ly/2oRVANt Stay connected!