Emerging Artists #29 – FOE
January 10, 2012 by Tshepo Mokoena
Sounding like some sort of cross between a young PJ Harvey and more sullen version of The Howling Bells, new scuzz songstress FOE muddles punk with pop in her experimental snippets of song. She’s known to her mother as Hannah Louise Clark, to those who stumble upon her gigs as that girl in the brightly coloured wig, and shakes the room with a maturity beyond her years.
We catch up with Hannah in the build-up to her LP release and find out more about her charity shop organ, 4-track player and working relationship with Adam M Crisp of Entrepreneurs.
Standard first question; how did you start up the band, where are you and Adam both from and what compelled you to make music together?
I had been in a couple of bands but decided I wanted to do a project where I would write everything. Adam’s production is a huge part of FOE. I have lived in Fleet for the last 7 years, and Adam in Yateley which is close by. We met at a gig 5 years ago, and have been involved in each other’s music ever since. We just seem to have a good understanding of each other creatively.
How did decide on your sound/direction, and what was behind the decision?
I never really planned anything out, it just kind of evolved over about 6 months. I started writing more produced stuff using Cubase, programming drums and stuff; it was all mainly guitar-based. Then I had a bit of a Doors binge which compelled me to buy an organ. Literally the day after that thought I found one in a charity shop for £40, and that kind of tied everything together.
What equipment are you using for recording, and is there any particular reason behind those choices?
I was using Cubase because we learned how to use it at college. It’s dead simple which is all I really needed. Before that I did everything on 4 track tape. Nowadays I’m starting to use Ableton Live, which is what Adam uses. I’d like to be able to produce my own albums one day, so I’m trying to teach myself on a more creative programme.
Where was your first show and what was was it like?
My first FOE show was in my friend’s old workshop. We borrowed a PA, covered the room in fairy lights and had some other cool local bands playing. At that point we were a 3 piece playing to backing track drums. It was really fun.
What’s the most high profile show you’ve done and how did it compare?
We played a couple of shows opening for Metronomy. Obviously people weren’t there to see us but they were the biggest crowds yet. Good in a different way, being able to look out to a huge crowd, quite breathtaking really, but then you can’t beat small intimate shows where everyone is singing along, and there for you.
How do you get around on tour?
Our lovely friend Alex Peterson (Love Among The Mannequins) was driving us in his van called Leroy, an old red LDV. Unfortunately Leroy recently passed away, and now Al drives us in a new white van called Reroy.
What bands/artists are you into at the moment, old or new?
I’ve been recently listening to Beck, The Kills, Beth Gibbons.
If you could change one thing about the music industry what would it be?
The amount of bullshit.
What can people expect when they come to your live shows?
Wigs sometimes, sometimes not, various other fancy dress, ringing in your ears.
Final question: what’s coming up next for FOE?
My album is out on the 16/01/12 which I am very excited about, and I shall be touring through January.