Interview mit Colin Hendra

Die Engländer WYTCH HAZEL haben aktuell ein famoses Zweitwerk veröffentlicht (siehe hier). Ein Interview mit Sänger/Gitarrist Colin Hendra war uns daher ein Bedürfnis. Und da im Vorfeld bereits über seine Vaterschaft berichtet wurde („Since the release of ´Prelude´ Colin has become a father, a life-changing event that may explain the greater maturity and equilibrium to be found within the grooves of ´II:Sojourn´.“), blieben natürlich auch Fragen, die unser Schwestermagazin YELLOW WOMEN interessieren würden, keinesfalls außen vor. 😉 Hier unser Plausch im englischen Originalwortlaut:

Hey Colin. As a young father – how did you find the time to write new songs?

Hey Michael, I’m not sure quite how I found the time! Mainly I think, it´s when I’ve been staying away for work. I work two hours away from home – I’m a music teacher – and so I stay over one night a week in term time. It’s been good to have some peace and quiet in the hotel I stay at. It’s a pretty basic place – more like student accommodation than a hotel but it has a desk and a good chair so I can sit there and read the bible and write some things on guitar. I also teach private drum kit lessons in a church I hire out so when I have pupils absent I tend to record songs or parts if I have a 30 minute gap! The demos can be quite rushed but it gets the main idea down at least. We have band practices at the church too.

Is it your first child?

Yes, this is my first child, to be honest the biggest thing at the start was the difficult nights with the baby – it’s quite a test when you only get two hours sleep (and that’s not in one block!) and I can only imagine how hard it was for my wife with feeding too. But now it honestly feels very normal and really good, I love my kid to bits – plus we all get a full night’s sleep which I am extremely grateful for!

Do you write the songs as a band?

I tend to write full songs to be honest – I might sometimes write an incomplete song but it either gets finished within a week or I put it ‘on the back burner’ for a later time when I can re-visit it. We tend to use band practices to learn songs and there never seems to be much time left to write music at those times. What we did do though for this album was play through the ‘demo’ versions of the new songs and tried different things out in band practice in order to ‘polish’ the songs ready for recording.

It seems like you’ve been influenced by Wishbone Ash and old Judas Priest a lot this time…

Yes, I’ve been in the habit for about a year or so of listening to 4 or 5 full albums a week and I’ve found that classic albums like ‘Argus’ and ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’ I can listen to everyday and not get bored. I just discover new things all the time about the music or the recordings that interest me. Those two albums in particular have a certain ‘magic’ quality to them that is hard to describe – it’s what makes them special and I really do connect to the music.

Is the album artwork meant as a tribute to Wishbone’s ´Argus´?

Yes, he should I suppose! Branco Studio definitely followed our desire for an artwork that had the right ‘style’ – we were interested in the 70s photo manipulation style that you see on ´Argus´ and ´Led Zeppelin I´ (and many others).

Is ´II:Sojourn´ a concept album?

Well, it didn’t start as a concept album, but in the process of writing the new songs I found that the concept of light overcoming the darkness to be a perfect way of making the songs work as a cohesive album.

Has the title a connection to the bible?

Yes, Sojourn is a temporary stay – it’s the place you arrive at after a journey and the album is meant to be a temporary stay and a result of a journey or spiritual Pilgrimage involving a Plight (Side A) and a Victory (Side B). There’s definitely a struggle on Side A and it’s definitely a darker theme. Some subjects such as anger or frustration which I tackle in a small way on songs such as ‘Still We Fight’ I don’t tend to see as dark or negative. I think that sometimes you have to go through those things and actually if you’re angry it’s not intrinsically a negative emotion – it’s the correct and natural response.

Are you religious?

I would not describe myself as religious, but in a traditional sense people may describe me in that way. I personally see attending church as being part of a community of people and I see reading the bible as a spiritual connection to God. Religious activities do not intrinsically achieve anything at all – there is nothing to gain through works or trying to be a ‘good person’.

Some songs are really calm and others are warrior anthems – the two sides of your musical personality.

Yes, I tried to make sure that the album was varied in style – I like listening to varied albums – so I tried to emulate this approach myself, I’m glad you appreciate the differing styles too!

Will you bring them all on stage this year?

I’ve got great family and a fantastic wife so I will be available to play shows. We will try and make set lists that work with the time that we are given – sometimes it’s tricky as we would love to play over an hour at every show but this just isn’t possible!