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Interview with THE HAWKINS

by Vpower

The Band: The Hawkins

Country: Sweden

Answers: Johannes Carlsson (guitar, vocals)



Drums, bass and guitars are just ready to explode. With a splendid mix of swing, energy and punk’n’roll THE HAWKINS delivers rock music at its finest. They take rock to the 21st century but being loyal to its long tradition and they deliver songs that will be stuck in your head without you being conscious of it. Be ready, the bomb is set to drop any moment! Moreover, Carlsson is a guy with a good sense of humour…

Hello Carlsson, you are presenting your sophomore album Silence is a Bomb, how do you feel about it after the good welcome of your debut album in 2017?

Well, I guess our first album had a semi-good welcome. And depending on the measurement I think the welcoming of this album has either been much better or slightly worse haha. But anyhow it feels good, I still love this album so I feel strong, proud and rich in my heart.

Usually nothing comes by magic, you have released eps and played many gigs, how much work is behind your new album and your success?

A whole fucking lot. Writing music and being creative in a plural of ways is what I think about or focus on 95% of my time awake. And we’ve been playing together for a long time and toured quite a bit. Of course it takes time to build something, but time on creating is the most valuable time for me.

The Hawkins can be described as a rock band, but not only that?

I guess not. To say that we aren’t in the rock genre would be pretty unworldly, but at the same time genres are very boring and stupid. I know it sounds pretentious, well so be it, but I have no goal in mind to fit in to something just because. That’s stupid. Yes, I am a pretentious fuck, haha.

Maybe just a way to communicate the message, what you do or you sell. If something shines in your music is the energy you put in every song and how it captivates the listener

Oh thank you! Glad you picked up on that. Production-wise I tend to pack it up with a lot of things to create layers that can be discovered over time, making listening a new experience(maybe) every time listening to the album.

They used to say the most important pieces in a rock band are the guitarist and the vocalist, agree?

Not at all. Just look at “Death From Above 1979” or “Forq”. For The Hawkins the most important thing is being happy in the band, otherwise we wouldn’t have kept on doing this.

You started working inside a huge park of local industries, what has changed since that time in your activity?

We are still there, haha! We have all moved around a bit, but we still rehearse at the same spot actually. But other than that, what has happened is we have been able to
play a lot more in both Europe and Sweden. And I guess the fanbase has grown. It’s kind of hard to see those changes that happen gradually over a long period of time, but it’s very fun when you do.

Sweden has a good tradition of rock and melodic bands, but you have grown listening to what?

I grew up listening to alot of “Hugo & Smatterbandet” and “Lasse & Morgan” on cassette. We all have very different backgrounds, Martin and I probably come from a punk rock background and Albin has more of a metal background. Mikael only listens to the ground to measure the distance from a moving train to his position in real time.

Hahaha. I would say The Hawkins are the proof that even rock can sound fresh after so many decades of existence…

Oh, that sounds good I think. Maybe so, at least I try to create something new, fun and interesting. Thank you!

When did you start composing the new songs and how was the recording process of Silence is a Bomb?

I think the first song that was written for this album was actually born prior to the release of our first album, in like 2016. But most of the album has been created during the years 2018-2019. And as often, the writing and recording/production process tend to intertwine, it is one big mess over a very long period of time but it is a lot of fun!

The name of the album is curious, Silence is a Bomb, what’s the meaning and what are the lyrics about?

Primarily it refers to the process of not letting out emotions. They get built up inside, you stack them on top and they swell, grow bigger until everything finally explodes. It might explode in a positive or a negative manner, but the point is that the explosion itself is inevitable.

Sure. Sometimes Johannes Carlsson sounds like the great and missed Freddy Mercury, I think it’s a compliment, but what do you think?

Thank you a lot! He sure was a great singer so I truly take it as a compliment.

Apart of pure rock we find also some other influences as groove, punk, etc. Who is the architect of The Hawkins’ sound inside the band?

I write most of the music in The Hawkins. I also produce and record the album, so I’d say I’ve had a big part in it. But the others also have influence on the sound.

We are near 2021, you are, as a band, where you imagined you would be when you started composing your very first songs?

Don’t know really. I guess not but at the same time I haven’t actually thought about it that much.

You have played in important fests as the Sweden Rock, also in Russia, Switzerland, Denmark… any especial place where you would like to perform?

I wanna play everywhere, to play in every country before death would be nice. Or at least every continent. In the near future I hope to be touring North America in 2021. I also wanna visit Tokyo so a Japan tour is something I strive for, hoping to be realized soon.

Rock with no live shows has no sense or in the 21st century and the Net all around everything is under a new light?

We are longing to be touring so much. 2020 has been pissing the world in the face concert-wise, and everyone knows it. We are bored but excited for change so that we can do shows again. And I hope change will come soon.

Has the pandemic affected your activity or plans regarding your debut, promotion, etc?

Yeah, we are pretty broke. We have had to cancel three european tours and a couple of domestic shows this year. That sucks badly. But with all this time away from touring I’ve been trying to stay creative, writing new music. So that’s good. And as a band we’ve been able to do more videos and stuff. So that’s the good that has come with the bad.

Thanks Carlsson for your attention and congratulations for the good job if you wish to add something…

Thank you for having us! And yeah, to everyone reading; check out our new album “Silence is a Bomb”. And while you’re at it, go follow @thehawkinsband on Instagram. Much love, pussochkram!

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