Friday, April 7, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With Woodhawk

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

Turner: Black Sabbath. I was on a road trip across Canada and I only really heard the singles. So when a friend of mine put on some albums, it changed the way I thought about their band and music.

Kevin: Motley Crüe. Seeing them live when I was 17. They made me want to play music. They just made it look like so much fun.

Mike: Jimi Hendrix. I listened to Jimi Hendrix one summer and made my parents buy me a guitar right away.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Turner: It all starts with the riff. We base the music around that and the lyrics come last. The song wouldn't come to be what it is without everyone though.

Who has influenced you the most?

Kevin: The 70's are where it starts for sure. But we also dive into some 80's. No particular band, just decades of good music.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

Kevin: Same as above. But we also have a lot of great peers making amazing music around us. So we're constantly inspired by everyone around us.

We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

Mike: We're from Calgary and were happy to be a part of a growing music scene. We're very proud to be from Calgary, lots of cold winters in the jam space and spending summers outdoors camping.

Where'd the band name come from?
Turner: It’s from a brewery. Mike and I love this brewery out of England called Wychwood. So we were going to call the band Witchwood. But there are a lot of Witch bands. Going through more ideas, we came up with Woodhawk. So despite being a labelled a "stoner rock" band, we're very much a brewery band.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Woodhawk: Star Wars - A New Hope

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

Kevin: I played my best and worst show in Regina SK. There was a moose head mounted on the wall in the venue, and I was determined to hit it with my stick. So throughout the show I was trying to bounce sticks off it, and I finally did. AND I CAUGHT IT! Unfortunately this was at the fault of missing far too many sticks and hits throughout the set. But I hit the moose head!

Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

Mike: We always have fun on stage. We are always trying to make each other laugh during a show. My favourite thing during a show is rocking out with someone in the audience.

What makes a great song?

Mike: If it stays in your head. If it's something you want to hear again. And again.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

Turner: For us, that song never made the cut for the album. But it was built upon us jamming and seeing how everyone felt and played it out.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Woodhawk: The album. We are very proud of it and think it very much shows who we are right now.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

Woodhawk: Dead Quiet. They're such great friends of ours and they write some of the best music. We just love those dudes.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

Mike: Vinyl. It's 12" of album.

Kevin: Vinyl, as it's timeless.

Turner: digital. And only because I know how many frequencies were taken away from our album to compress for vinyl. We recorded to digital, as most modern music does. So it's kind of hard to replace that sound. But for most listening, I still sit down to listen to vinyl.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice

Kevin: whiskey. Liquor is quicker

Mike: beer. Turner and I brew a lot of beer. And it's where the band name derives from.

Turner: Beer. I've always enjoyed the craft beer scene. So I'm very much a beer supporter.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

Recordland. It's claustrophobic and they have everything. You can find the oldest of old and newest of new.

What's next for the band?

Tour in May. Tour in the fall. Touring forever. Maybe we'll make another record.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Thanks to all and to all a good night!

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