Behind the Interview: An exclusive with Hawksley Workman

By Tara Chislett


He won’t be in Fredericton until September 25, but the Aquinian caught up with Hawksley Workman to talk about work ethic, making music and how touring is actually a lot like being dipped in chocolate.

On epiphanies and work ethic:

“I just realized, I was in Australia and it seems like I always have these sort of eurekas in Australia, maybe it’s because, to get to Australia is so hard and then to get home is so hard but once you’re there, you’re upside down from what you’re used to, and it’s like you have an opportunity to really balance and measure things appropriately. So, I was balancing and measuring some stuff and I thought, if I have a day off, I just won’t…have a day off anymore. I’ll make sure that I’m working that day.”

On success:

“I think that if you’re like me, I get very destructive if I’m not busying myself with something, so I find that my ability to feel great about coming to the end of the day and having a glass of wine or something comes largely from if I’m feeling really productive and excited about things. I used to think that you had more fun not working, but then I realized that’s just not true.”

On songwriting:

“The process…it’s changed a lot over the years. In terms of songwriting, in the early days, with my first record in the 90s, they were these kinds of lusty affairs. You know, when you’re falling in love with somebody everything is wonderful and the sky is purple and flowers bloom out of the carpet. When you’re first starting to write and first starting to make records, everything is magic and everything is a mystery, it’s like a marriage really. You get into a relationship with the work and after a while, you kind of have to renegotiate your excitement with it, do new things. So I work a lot with other people. “

His favourite thing about touring:

“All the deli trays. No, I’m joking. We clocked our 600 show in the early part of this year, and what was scary about that was not that we played 600 shows, but that there had probably been 600 deli trays in my life which I think that’s excessive. ”

His REAL favourite thing about touring:

“I think that it’s fun to come to a place and you’re…not responsible. somehow. Like you have to be a human, but you play there one day then you’re gone the next. You’re just like being dipped in chocolate, you know.”

On favourite tour stories:

“There’s lots but most of them are R rated because it’s silly when you put a bunch of boys onto a bus and then give them a limitless supply of booze.”

On Fredericton:

“Fredericton is amazing. I had to cancel the last gig I had there because I lost my voice. So it’s been a while, like maybe four years. The last time we toured out east it was just brilliant because we could eat apples from the side of the highway and it was amazing because they were just, like growing on trees.”