You may not have heard of Hawxx. I myself wasn’t familiar with them, until I saw them perform in support of Salvation Jayne at the ‘Lady Luck’ in Canterbury late last year. This female foursome of raucous rockers reside in London and they’re ready to grab the music world by the short and curlies, taking no prisoners along the way. They were happy to chat about their biggest influences, their clear love of all things foody and the fact that love really is a bitch. Read on for more insights …
Queen of Rock: Why the name ‘HAWXX’?
Hannah: We love a bird of prey but Eagles was taken and XX symbolises the female chromosome.
QoR: Summarise your journey so far; who are HAWXX and how did you get here?
Anna: The band is made up of myself on vocals and guitar, Hannah on guitar and backing vocals, Iman on bass and backing vocals and Jessica on drums. We come from all over; I’m from Greece, Hannah is from Wales, Iman is from Bahrain and Jessica is from Sussex.
The band started at the beginning of 2018. I met Hannah when she was working at Alaska Studios in Waterloo. I lured her in for a jam and that’s where the band was born. Shortly after, we met Iman and then Jess. We’re really lucky that we all work so well together; we have such good chemistry, both musically and in terms of how absolutely insane we all are. We started off gigging as much as we could while writing songs along the way and in November, we ended up working with the amazing producer Larry Hibbit (Hundred Reasons, Marmozets, Nothing but Thieves) for our first single … and it’s about to drop!
QoR: What’s your creative process? Do you all write together? How do you find inspiration for new songs?
Anna: One of the things I love about the band is that there is a relaxed and open minded environment when it comes to writing songs – we all write together. Usually how it works is that one of us will bring an idea to rehearsal (whether that be a riff, bass line or even a fully formed song) and then we will take it on and carry it through to the end all together! In terms of inspiration, I think all our songs are very direct, [they are] about real life situations – whether personal or political. We have songs that span from giving the finger to institutionalised religion, the deterioration of the NHS, how love’s a bitch (COMING SOON!), when your mind gets trapped in dark places and not existing for anybody’s pleasure.
QoR: Tell us about the debut single, ‘Love’s A Bitch’
Anna: ‘Love’s A Bitch’ drops on February 14th as an anti-Valentines Day anthem. The track is about an all-or-nothing attitude to love and the fight to connect with those we love. I wrote the lyrics to this song when I was in Mexico in 2017 and I was fighting with my boyfriend. I felt such a pull between wanting to get up and leave but also such strong love that I would do anything to fight for it and make it work, hence the chorus, “The dogs of love fight to the death.” By complete coincidence, a couple of days later I watched the movie ‘Amores Perros’, which means ‘Love’s a bitch’ – a film about love AND dog fighting! I knew that we had to call the track ‘Love’s A Bitch’.
QoR: Who are your musical idols and how did they influence you to write music?
Jess: My influences are endless! I’m really into the blues/rock and psychedelic bands from the 60’s and 70’s. Mitch Mitchell and Ginger Baker are two of my drumming heroes. I also love Lightning Bolt and anything super creative and a bit mental!
Iman: Deftones for the overall sound, Bjork for her innovation, Ani DiFranco for her direct brashness.
Anna: Currently Anna Calvi – I’ve always resonated with her being a female guitarist and been in love with her music, but then I went to see her live in June and it changed my life. I’d never seen anybody with such power on stage before. Also Kate Tempest and Patti Smith.
Hannah: Metallica are probably my biggest influence as they were my gateway ‘drug’ into heavy music – I like the way they have different sounds, from thrash tracks to ballads, to the collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony … there’s more than one way to do ‘heavy’.
QoR: What’s been your biggest highlight so far?
Anna: Recording our debut single with Larry Hibbit was a great achievement. We couldn’t be happier with the choice of producer for our first single and we are so happy with how it’s sounding. We can’t wait to share it!!
Hannah: Also playing KOKO in Camden! Didn’t think we’d be able to do that in the first year of our career. It felt amazing to have that much space on stage and feel Jess’ double kicks in your chest! Also the absolutely massive stack of Domino’s Pizza waiting for us in the green room after.
QoR: Being an all female band, have you encountered issues with discrimination and prejudice?
Iman: I’ve been told, “I play bass with the skill and conviction of a man” (apparently female bassists lack conviction and skill).
Jess: I have also been told that I play like a man as a compliment!
Anna: I remember talking to a professional male musician about HAWXX right at the beginning and he said, “You’re an all female band? You’ve got to be careful with that though because it could come across as gimmicky.” When I pointed out that you wouldn’t say that about an all male band, there was a long pause and some head scratching, but we’ve been pretty pleased with how these moments have then turned into respect after we perform.
QoR: Whats the most important thing a band can do to kickstart their career?
Hannah: When you find out, can you tell us please?
QoR: If you had to pick one festival to perform at, which one would you choose?
QoR: If the world was ending one hour from now, how would you spend your last 60 minutes?
Hannah: Is it definitely ending? While hiding under a desk (as is the advice for earthquakes and nuclear threats), I’d try to remember all the survival knowledge I’ve gained from watching Bear Grylls and ‘Walking Dead’, in case I survived.
Iman: I would probably spend the last 60 minutes getting as high as possible whilst riding a Harley around the countryside at top speed … and I’d give my mum a hug.
Jess: I’d probably just eat lots of ice cream.
Anna: I’d quite like to jump on Iman’s Harley – it sounds fun, as long as we can stop at Spice Village in Tooting for a curry. We could pick up Jess on the way and bring a takeaway to your desk, Hannah.
QoR: Couple of ‘quick fire’ questions …
Download or Bloodstock?
Hannah: Download, baby … wouldn’t kick Bloodstock out of bed though.
QoR: PowerPlay or Metal Hammer?
Hannah: I’m directly quoting from my neck tattoo … ‘PowerPlay all the way’.
QoR: Greta van Fleet or Rival Sons?
Iman: They can fight to the death for my vote.
QoR: Jager or Fireball?
Hannah: Fireball actually; I haven’t ruined it as a drink by being horrifically hungover after [drinking] it.
Jess: HAWXX tend to enjoy red wine and olives.
QoR: Cheese or chocolate?
Hannah: If I can’t have both then I won’t bother hiding under the desk and trying to survive five questions ago …
You can catch Hawxx at: –
Fighting Cocks, Kingston – 16 February
New Cross Inn, London – 17 February
Esquires, Bedford – 22 February
Lot 7 , Ashford – 28 February
Watch ‘The Death of Silence (Live)’ from Hawxx’ gig at The Monarch in Camden, 17 January 2019 © Dan Maguire, via YouTube
Thank you for reading!
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