Hawksley Workman

DSC01948Hawksley discusses his prolific solo career, his band Mounties with Ryan Dahle (Limblifter) and Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) and his play The God That Comes.

by Joanna Orland

Hawksley Workman is interesting and interested.  In real life, Hawksley speaks as profoundly and poetically as his lyrics would suggest.  He was intrigued by my day job of sound design, and remarked how he’s always fascinated by the careers people end up in in the music industry.  This led us to chatting about vintage instruments and tech, the complexities of building sound textures, the fear that keeps us all driven, my life in London and his life on his many acres of land where when he’s not making music he uses gardening, woodworking and running as physical outlets.

Music for Hawksley Workman was never a choice.  At age 10 he decided that music was it for him and it saw him through the worst and best of times.  He was obsessed and practiced obsessively.  It comes so naturally to him now he refers to making music as his “muscle memory”.  For him it remains an outlet not just for creative output, but to deal with anger issues he has dealt with in the past and would perhaps continue to do so if it wasn’t for the music and a more quiet life that allows him the luxury of working on his land.

Hawksley lives through his music.  He fully immerses himself in performance, often writing his music in the moment, experimenting with layers of audio to create the unique sound this prolific artist has developed over the years.  His immersion is also present on stage as he fully engages with the material he’s performing whether it be songs from his albums, or his new theatrical production The God That Comes.  Hawksley is so fully immersed in his performance in The God That Comes that he remains so post-performance.  He claims things in his head are often too dark to share, and it may frighten people when it comes out as it has done in Talkback sessions for his play.

“A lot of stuff I feel and think are just not ready for public consumption.”

While on the surface it may not seem that Hawksley has that burning hunger for fame that many musicians strive for, but make no mistake – Hawksley has always wanted that hit single to propel him into the mainstream, but only on his own terms.  This is why Hawksley’s following is almost cultish rather than mainstream.  The hunger for that uncompromised hit may keep him going, the fear of it all going away will push him further.  This passion within him is what keeps him interesting performance after performance as he gives it his all.



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