Frank Hamilton

Frank Hamilton Interview

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Three years after the success of his mammoth ‘#OneSongaWeek’ project Frank returns this June with his brand new album ‘Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward’- A superb collection of eminently listenable upbeat indie-pop, bursting with potential chart topping singles, intricate melodies and the kind of honest, accessible song writing that’s already won him an army of loyal fans, since making his 2012 debut. Check out his new video here.

This is his music…

What is your favourite song of all time?

I’m going to cop out of answering this question properly and name a few (sorry):

– ‘Mrs. Potters Lullaby’ by Counting Crows because if I had to choose my favourite words ever these might be them:

“The moonlight reflections that colour my mind when I sleep,
And the lovesick rejections that accompany the company I keep.
All the razor perceptions that cut just a little too deep…
Hey I can bleed as well as anyone but I need something to help me sleep”.

– ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus because I don’t think there’s ever been a better song written for the 99% of us who weren’t cool enough to be prom king or queen.

Paul Simon’s ‘Duncan’, because it’s one of my earliest musical memories. I used to sing along in the car long before I had any idea what the words meant… and now i’ve grown up enough to appreciate just how amazing they are.

‘Baby Boom’ by the Crimea because it’s just beautiful – not sure what else to say.

There’s more but I’ll stop now.

Can you remember when you fell in love with it?

Which one and which time? I have trouble remembering what time I put dinner in the oven most days…

Has a song or album ever changed your life?

Definitely. Blink 182’s ‘Enema of the State’ album – it changed everything. Wonderfully written, perfectly produced and pretty much the reason I bought a guitar, started writing songs and am sat here right now answering these questions.

My taste hasn’t ever shifted away from relatable songs that speak to me about my life, but obviously as we grow up our lives change and the songs that speak to us change too. Blink will never not be a favourite, but these days albums like ‘Tragedy Rocks’ by the Crimea are full of lyrics that make me re-asses myself, who I am and what I’m up to.

Also, at the risk of ‘doing ‘a Kanye’, my new album’s already had a weirdly big effect on me – I guess you could say I was in a bit of a ‘self-help’ phase when I wrote it. Just recently I was listening to the masters on my way home when the loud bit at the end of Only Cloud (track 12) kicked in at exactly the same time as I left the tube station and the sun shone through the trees and into my eyes. It was odd – like a proper ‘moment’. I’ve never had one of those with one of my own songs before…

If you could only listen to five albums for the rest of time, what would they be?

  • Blink 182 – Enema of the State.
  • REM – Automatic for the People.
  • The Streets – Original Pirate Material.
  • The Crimea – Tragedy Rocks.
  • Weezer – The Green album (I might be the only person in the world who’s favourite Weezer record is the Green album but I’m pretty sure they’re all wrong and I’m right).

How much of your day do you spend listening to music?

It varies. Some days you’re doing music for 16 hours and the last thing you want when you’re finished is to listen to more music! Other days it’s a constant – the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do before bed.

What’s your ideal time and place for listening to music?

On headphones, in my own little world. Unless I’m drunk. Or in a car (but I’ve not driven in a while now)?

What’s the best gig/show you’ve ever been to?

Tough question. I’ll go for Morrissey in Brixton on the night of the London riots; partly for the show itself and partly because he encored with ‘Shoplifters of the World Unite’. The timing couldn’t have been better and after the show the crowd spilled out onto Brixton highstreet to find JD sports on fire, windows being smashed and people looting. Nuts.

Approximately how big is your music collection? And in what format?

Maybe 3 or 400 albums? Mostly on CD with a few on cassette. For some reason I’ve got a real soft spot for cassettes, so much so I insisted on doing a small run of them for the new album (in 2016, against everyone’s better judgement)!

What does music mean to you?

To me, personally? Music is my entire mood. Mostly in a good way but not always. I think when music is your bread and butter there’s always a degree of fear that it might all end tomorrow and that stops me from enjoying it as much as I’d like to, which is crap but also a small price to pay.

In terms of listening to music? It means a lot but maybe not as much as it did. Again when this is your job you tend to view it differently and it’s hard to just enjoy things without analysing them. Occasionally a song comes along that makes me forget who I am and what I do, though, and just forces me to listen to it… those are the true greats.

What song should we all go and listen to right now to make our day better?

Burndt Jamb by Weezer. It’s just an album track from Maladriot but the groove makes me smile for days.

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