Interview: FOE (Hannah Clark)

By on Friday, 23rd December 2011 at 11:00 am

FOE’s Hannah Clark comes across over the phone as shy. Definitively shy. Not what I expected after listening to the guitar wails of ‘Bad Dream Hotline’. Shyness over the phone, however, cannot detract from the fact that Hannah Clark is extremely talented and can produce music which gets your legs stomping. Most sites cite her as sounding like a PJ Harvey/Nirvana mix, which makes sense seeing as she cites her two major influences as the two-time Mercury prize winner and the grunge giants.

The new album ‘Bad Dream Hotline’ done now, and Hannah had this to say about it: “Some of the songs on it are actually a couple of years old, but it’s my debut album so most of the songs were recorded in the past year. My producer has a little bedroom studio and he did half the recording there, while we did the other half of the recording in a studio called the Doghouse in Henley. The good thing about the Doghouse was that we could just move the entire, identical set up from one studio to somewhere where we could make a hell of a lot more noise late at night.”

Now noise is what FOE specialises in, a kind of huge noise reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. This band, know what they like and that’s big grungy guitars skidding through a torrent of bass and when they get it right, it makes for brilliant listening. “Most of the songs are quite personal in a way; they’re inspired by how I am feeling and what’s happening at the time. I have sort of, bad dreams or night terrors and I’ve kind of combined that, so it’s a bit of a mismatch between reality and well, not reality.”

In her videos, it’s not difficult to tell that the music is inspired by a sense of the unreal, with trippy images and patterns throughout. The night terrors though, while at first being distressing, are something Hannah has turned to her advantage. “They are kind of scary, but I’ve kind of got used to them I sort of had to so I could get on with my life.”

When listening to FOE then, try and keep an ear out for that insight into her psyche. The night terrors may have been combatted and turned to her songwriting advantage now. She’s beaten herself; now the public waits, with her new record ‘Bad Dream Hotline’ out on the 16th of January on Vertigo Records.

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