Hozier Talks New Music, Activism, Features On The Record + More



Sunday nights at 9:00 on cue 143 welcome back he is a grammy-nominated worldwide star with multiple awards for his music I'll call him Andrew but the world knows him as hozier welcome my friend how are you thank you very much or I should say welcome back actually yeah hey you know it's great to be back yeah the new EP we got to tell everyone to go and buy this cuz it's amazing Nina cried power he's on tour now in America and then Europe all the tour dates at hozier calm Krunk congratulations on these four amazing songs man these are really really good appreciate it thank you very much so this would indicate obviously that there will be more more work to coming late or not this year but maybe 2019 or early 2019 will be you know the album proper I would think put em we should have a song I think one more song before Christmas okay goes well oh yeah but this yeah it's it's it's a nice kind of reintroduction it's kind of like a little taster place I suppose yeah well clearly you've spent some time on it because they sound amazing I'm sounding really really good thank you I apologize I'm sure you've been asked us two million times but I've never interviewed you before but I'm fascinated first with your father okay your father was in a blues band you act he would have been able to been yeah I was in a lot of blues bands back and like in the same way in the UK and Ireland would have had a huge blues live scene in there in the kind of 60s and 70s and I suppose he would have them he was a he was a he was a drummer yeah do you know what songs they played yeah in fact yeah loads so like like it would have covered like mannish boy they did some of them oh yeah like shake a lot of Chicago blues yeah so yeah and and less or so less or so Texas blues but mostly kind of kind of a Chicago Blues catalog yeah I think and then like a few soul tracks here in the airport yeah so obvious you know assumption would be I guess I know where the Blues and the soul and the gospel comes from it's nice family tradition it would yeah his record collection was nothing boss and like Chess Records and Stax Records and stuff so that to me that just was that was the first the first stuff I would have been listening to it as a baby you know right as a child yeah they're programming you from an early age yeah do you remember what was the song that really sort of you could have been five or six years old or seven years old was there one song that really oh my god dad who is this like it it probably wasn't until I was a little bit you know when you're kind of aware of of yourself and you kind of it's not until you're maybe 10 11 12 you start you started actually cultivating a taste for a taste sake as a kid I remember hearing kind of things like like John Lee Hooker and just like the rhythm of it and the kind of some of his early kind of one chord boobie stuff but I remember definitely a switch being flipped when I heard and Sam and Dave if the first time when I heard so much for the first time that way now it definitely was a kind of a big moment yeah big great horns on that one too oh yeah I want to talk about guitars for a second I saw you at the Beacon Theater the other night it's actually the first time I saw you it was a couple nights ago I'm not sure what song it was but all of a sudden you strapped on this square guitar right okay and you know what I thought of immediately Bo Diddley right okay sadly it's not it well I wants it sadly it's not quite as slick as as Bo Diddley's am oh it's an oil can what you believe so it's its little oil can it's just an oil can yeah so it's it's it filled in inside or is it we had to weigh it down with some stuff and kind of patted eyes so we I think we put some like some towels enough towels and put some some there you can actually open it and yeah it is a hollow hollow instrument m and it's made by a company that that based their designs after a South African tradition of street musicians who used to just make make guitars out of out of oil cans they're called bad boho guitars and yeah it's an it's a very interesting character to it but I kind of kind of kind of fell in love with will in a way and they you know they they do it with vintage ones as well too right Ross there's interesting guys really really I yeah I immediately thought of Bo Diddley and I immediately thought he's got to put something inside there otherwise it's gonna be Jimi Hendrix would son exactly it was right singing yeah yeah no they're pretty they're they they're made well but yeah it's a it definitely has a back character – yeah yeah I want to talk about the the track Nina cried power the title track powerful powerful video for that title track for the EP which involves and features a lot of activists yeah all of them are from Ireland correct yes well speak about that a little bit I mean all of them are based in Ireland now I believe some of them are from further further afield and so I mean the song the song is kind of a thank-you note to two people who kind of imbued their work with with some spirit of protest and and kind of spoke honestly and sang honestly about about yeah about their times and and and in a similar way the video it was it was nice to kind of want it to be an extension of that thank-you note and so we've we've everybody from we've just have a we've a lot of with with like a lot of activists obviously you know Mavis Mavis is in it and she's so ii mean she's so central to the spirit of that song and to the intention of that song and and then you have people like Bernadette Devlin who was a civil rights activist in Northern Ireland and in the Irish civil right Northern Irish civil rights movement in the late 60s and Eamonn McCann and similarly also involved which at the time they would have been fighting for a one-man one-vote for for people in the north of Ireland what's what's important I suppose for me about that is the Irish the Northern Irish civil rights movement kind of took its lead from and the example said in the American Civil Rights Movement and and you have people who are fighting against direct provision which is the way the Irish state is treating refugees at the moment which is there they can't gain access to third level education etc they can't gain legal employment etc so and so it's it's kind of so that people people who you know recently we voted fire popular referendum the equal right – marriage for the gay community and you know decriminalizing abortion and there was a pro-choice big changes in the last ten ten fifteen years and I suppose in the kind of in the context of history it's easy to take a lot of a lot of things that we enjoy as as a as in as a as a democratic society for for granted whether whether it's anything we're talking about whether that's you know our right to to vote or workers rights or whatever but they aren't they are something you know progress is slow and it's and it's and it's achieved by the work of people like that and and it's it's it's nice to just take stock of that sometimes well good for you for for bringing the world you know the attention that attention that it needs and warrants I mean and I think on your website you say there's been a lot of changes in Ireland and then you sort of list the people that are in this video and what they've done totally so everyone should go and check that out at Hoosier calm let's get back to Mavis you had her in mind when you were writing the title track EAP right yeah this kind of as the song took form I mean it would took for maybe last year at some point and we recorded it this year but as it developed and as I started talking about it particularly with Marcus drives that producer and you know it I really wanted that song to be a duet and I think because especially because she was she's one of the names mentioned in the song is such an important artist someone um and you know one of the names that that kind of thank you note his pen too and yeah haven't haven't her involved was super important to me did you see the last wall she must have seen the last wall to run yeah oh yeah yeah ever since I saw that a bit of fan of this Oh baby singers in Mavis yeah yeah no I just found this out Booker T yes well yeah so is he playing the Hammond b3 Lana p3 yeah yeah and so yeah he came out to London and joined us for a week there so we when I was on the road last time around he had reached out and it was basically with this video and his message okay if any opportunity arrives to work together that'd be awesome that's a nice message I was oh my god like I was blown and also because like you know Sam and Dave etc and he was the Stax house bandleader so like him so many songs yeah and like you know Booker T and the MGS Apsley he would have arranged a great deal of Oda threadings kind of catalogs music that to me is is the reason I I I want to be wanted to be a singer wanted one of write music and so being able to like work with him and tell him that as well was ya who's just a dream you know you just gotta get Steve cropper there please I want to talk about another track on the EP speaking of the Blues it's not a blues song per se but it's got the blues roots in it it's moment's silence I want to talk about that one moment silence yeah it's it's it it's a tricky one it's kind of it's a definitely it's kind of just you know tough tough on the heart to a kind of a bluesy tradition and it is sort of a kind of a gospel he filled two to the chorus and I wanted to write something that was fun and that was kind of enjoyable that one AM is is sort of if I can be fairly bold about it it's kind of for me it's it's a kind of a tongue-in-cheek yeah inquiry into the relationship between like power and oral sex I suppose I want the cover photo on the EP Nina cried power was that taken underwater you want so tell me what happened there yeah we we did a few it was okay so you know my my mother is an artist and so she designed and at the first the first album's cover okay and I thought it would be you know be lovely to kind of continue that aesthetic and then follow on from it so we kind of discussed it talked about and talked the page what you know what what that composition could be but her you know her idea was what if it was me underwater basically push yeah so we set up we set up a room and submerged it in water with the detect Ireland America in in a in a pool that was not heated actually at that time so it was it was a lot of shoot for em yeah we did we got some great stuff and this actually is the campaign rolls I have to be similar Vemma just well we look forward to that I'm always struck when an artist plays a show when you know it gets to the point where you've become a sort of a household name people know your songs and when you perform a concert the audience sings your lyrics back to you almost of the point where you could almost not sing you could save your voice until the next gig because you could they could do all the singing do you remember where the first time that happened was that you that sort of hit you yeah yeah I think I think so I think um I think the first time experiencing that and that's why I love coming to New York and why it kind of it triggers a lot of very very good memories and early memories of of gigging the very ballroom show that we that we did and it was a particularly difficult day but we were met with the crowd that I had never I had never felt that kind of that warmth and that kind of welcome before and and it was one of the first times as well to of hearing hearing hearing words saying back to me like that that's gotta be an amazing feeling it was the songwriter in Ireland and all the you know the EPS come out in America and then you come to New York City and a thousand people know your lyrics yeah it was it was yeah it was totally it was a big big game-changer for me was there a moment in your sort of brief career at this point really because you're just getting started a particular moment that you met or even played with someone on stage where you had that sort of oh wow I can't believe I'm doing this with this person yeah totally I mean I mean that the most recent memory would definitely be maybe staples so right like um being in studio with her gonna just speak to her getting to talk to her as we were talking about the lyrics for that song and talking about the different artists and she would just stop and go oh yeah like oh they I remember this one time or like I was there at the show where Nina Simone did XYZ or like stuff that stood like she's so central or even just talking about it was one time we were sitting down and having a having a chat about and it was she was talking about her experience singing and after the speeches of like of Martin Luther King and like just to be just to be just to be near her and just to hear her speak about that is so outrageously yeah inspiring and so getting you know and joining her I joined her on stage recently in an Irish festival called the electric picnic which was really really fun and and then of course like a couple of years ago another example and Atlantic's and almost somebody a huge respect for and like is a hero and she can sing a little bit amazing we are with hozier the new EP Deanna cried power eyes on tour now hozier calm for all the tour dates do you I know some some artists do this do you have do you ever keep a list of like one day if I could just meet that person and do something with that yeah it's so low it's give me a couple days okay so one I think I say a lot but like when I was a teenager when I was a young teenager I discovered Tom Waits and Tom Waits was a was a big hero of mine as a teen and I kind of fell in love with it this kind of perfect crookedness to his work and it's kind of perfect dog Eunice – it's a great way to describe it crooked yeah totally yeah and you know when you're a teenager and you're kind of miserable and and you're kind of drawn to to to to something that just that just sets the world right for you so like is his work to me as a as a teen was everything and I'd love to work with Tom Waits right in a big big way yeah you would okay I have some some questions here where you have to pick one okay you can't pick both you have to take one or the other Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters that's very very hard um it's very hard I think I learned more Robert Johnson songs and I listen to him more while learning how to play open tune tuning stuff so I'd have to say even though Morty his songs yes but like yeah that's a hard one I remember Johnson it may be harder maybe easier Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan um very hard very hard you can't believe you're putting me on I I think for me it like it's it's an and also because I was in town and I I saw I saw that Columbia Records on Columbia Records that's a tricky one yeah it was I just saw Bruce Springsteen on Broadway last night I am very jealous I need to see that I I wept I I wept so and also and yeah it's it's a gorgeous show and his his work is just I think there's something very beautiful about there about agent Reed born to run the book I haven't got a chance I have it I have it at home I fantastic I started got to read that bit or happened I'm sure you've been asked this before Beatles or Stones Beatles the stones for me personally the Beatles yeah yeah I'm sorry okay yeah yeah I mean that's not to say I don't love I don't love the stones and the Beatles were like in Rock and Roll Heaven they're like way up here and the stones are like a couple notches below I don't know I it's so above me because they're so perfect yeah it's gel I think that I think that what they did for pop mean for popular music and kind of outside of their you know they started with with blues and rock and roll and they kind of mastered their craft there and then they they just some of the some of the different avenues that the Beatles explored is just so it is so amazing oasis or blur and although I love I love Oasis and as a kid I used to rock out a bit more I was more of a blur kid which is super controversial yeah yeah I love no Gallaher as well to it yeah Freebird or stairway to heaven and stairway stairway yeah just yeah sorry just cuz yeah yeah yeah his name is Jose Ernie decried power the new EP everyone go out and buy it he's on tour now zere dot-com for all the tour dates and a full album coming uh 29 times yeah Thank You Man pleasure thank you Sunday nights at 9:00 on G 1 for 3