Q&A: Ladyhawke

Image: Lula Cucchiara

Q&A: Ladyhawke

She’s got new singles on the airwaves and a new album on the shelves. Ladyhawke is back and she’s talking to What's Hot New Zealand about writing, recording, jamming and her upcoming gigs.

We’re looking forward to your new album, Time Flies. Can you tell us a bit about the music? It was written between LA and New Zealand, and is an upbeat record with heavy nostalgia vibes.

Your singles ‘Guilty Love’ and ‘Mixed Emotions’ paint a different kind of love story. Is that a running theme in the album? Yeah, I like to think the album covers the full spectrum of human relationships and emotions, from being in love, to being infatuated, being mad, and being just straight up confused!

You’re very open about your mental health journey – how has that played a part in Time Flies? I’ve always found that whatever I’m going though in my personal life at the time of writing a record, tends to come out in the record itself. It’s helpful for me, and I feel like it kinda releases something inside when I’m able to put it into music form.

There are a lot of collaborations on this album – how did that work logistically with the whole pandemic situation? I actually started writing the record pre-pandemic, in Los Angeles 2019. So the tracks I did with producer Tommy English I was mostly able to write with him in person. Even the track I did with BROODS, it was in person, Tommy, Georgia and myself in a room together in LA. The collaboration with Josh Fountain came about after realising I wasn’t going to be able to get back to LA to finish the record. He’s an Auckland based producer who’s worked with Benee for the last couple of years. We hit it off the minute we met so I was luckily able to finish the record with him right here in New Zealand. Then when it came time to finishing and producing the songs I did with Tommy, we managed to do it over Zoom and screen sharing.

Tell us about your songwriting process. I love coming up with all the music first. Jamming out an idea and really getting excited about the music before tackling the melody and lyrics. That’s always been the way I’ve worked since way back.

You’ve performed around the world – what was your favourite gig? Hands down has to be playing the John Peel stage at Glastonbury in 2009. I’ve had a lot of incredible shows since then, but that by far will be the one I will always remember.

What has been the most surreal moment in your career? The first time I was presented with a gold record, literally blew my mind!

Who’s your personal hero? I have heaps, and the favoured one changes daily! Right now it’s the Black Ferns sevens team.

You’re trapped on a desert island, what three things do you have? Queen Anne Dark Chocolate Raspberry Marshmallow Fish, antibiotics, my guitar.

What are you listening to at the moment? Designer, Aldous Harding.

What’s the best advice your mum ever gave you? Be kind.

How do you prepare for a gig? No eating! I can’t eat before a show. Listen to music backstage, drink peppermint tea, and hang with my band. Simple.

What can we expect to see and hear at your April show? A lot of songs from across all my records. Heaps off my first record including one I’ve never played live before. Full band! Sweet lighting, I hope, and nervous banter from me.

What are your plans for spring and summer? I would love to do a road trip in a campervan around New Zealand with my family. Also hoping there might be some festivals and shows on the cards.

Fri 8, Sat 9 & Fri 22 April
Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland



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