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Interview with Richard Hawley, from the L2SB website.
L2SB posed some questions to the man who played guitar for Pulp and the Longpigs, and forged a rather fine solo career for himself.
L2SB: You’re a man who obviously has a strong attachment to Sheffield. What is it about the city that keeps you here?
Hawley: I was born here all my family are here, I’ve had my children here we’ve been here a long time (160 yearsish). I know most people can’t wait to get away from the sometimes-stifling nature of their home, but whenever I’ve been away for long periods (the longest was 2 and a half years) I’m always struck by the un-pretentiousness of local folk and their self-effacing humour. I remember getting in a taxi in Sheffield station and hearing the woman on the radio, in the broadest Sheffield accent, saying, “anybody Manor Top, Gleadless, Firth Park”? I could have wept with joy, and in fact I think I did.
L2SB: Ever tempted to move down to London?
Hawley: No not really, I mean when I do stay, which is very often, I always stay at Jarvis’s house which is a bit like a Sheffield outpost anyway. London can be a very lonely town and who likes being lonely?
L2SB: Do you think of the current Sheffield music scene?
Hawley: To my shame I really don’t know much about what’s happening any more – I spend too much time on motorway’s or at home. If I get invited out I always make the effort to get to see a band, but yes I’m afraid I’m pretty much out of touch.
L2SB: Which Sheffield acts would you recommend at the moment?
Hawley: Refer to the above, however I like the Fat Truckers, Hoggboy (I produced them so I suppose that’s not fair), I Monster.
L2SB: What do you think they should do with the National Centre for Pop Music?
Hawley: Blow the f*cker up but not before they nail the guilty conceivers of that dreadful idea to the f*cking ceiling of the building and walk out laughing manically to where I’m stood with the dynamite plunger.
L2SB: Is it ever tricky keeping down to Earth when you spend so much time in the company of the musical great and good?
Hawley: I’ve never found it that hard really, I’ve been round the world a few time’s and worked with some great people but at the end of the day I’m still the same spotty four eyed Herbert I always was, if I’ve ever got too big for my boots my family and friends have let me know pretty sharpish and as a human being I’m eternally grateful for that.
L2SB: How was the Auto Festival?
Hawley: Well it was boss wasn’t it? I thought Mackey really pulled it off, if you’ll pardon the expression, very unique experience although I heard it was tough getting a drink, because the bloke who was doing the bars was a tool. I had to leave early that night, I didn’t even have a drink. I enjoyed the gig and what I saw of the event Baxter Dury was good and the Kills blew me away.
L2SB: What would you consider the high point of your career so far?
Hawley: Er…. good one that, I played the Albert Hall last week supporting Coldplay which was pretty good. 5,000 people all listening you could hear a pin drop. Headlining Glastonbury in 98 with Pulp was good too, we saw Bob Dylan in wellies. I played guitar with Nancy Sinatra the other week too that was good too, I’ve been a very lucky man most musicians don’t get to do half the things I’ve done and I don’t take it for granted for one minute.
L2SB: Got any other projects lined up?
Hawley: I’m helping Jarvis finish the Relaxed Muscle thing. I’ve been asked to write some songs for Nancy Sinatra, I’m meeting Ian McCulluoch tonight to talk about doing a film soundtrack, the comedian Chris Morris used a tune of mine on his new Warp film ‘My wrong’s’ which they won a BAFTA for. I’m supposed to be doing some stuff with Tom McRae and various other bits and bob’s as well as touring France and Germany and Britain soon.
L2SB: You come from a musical family. Do you ever meet up with your uncle Frank White for a bit of a jam?
Hawley: I went see him at the Pheasant at Sheffield lane top the other week and we had a little play after that, but I’ve not got the time at the moment my wife had our third child four months ago and as you can imagine that keep’s you fairly busy.
L2SB: Finally, Jarvis doing Rolf Harris. Were you proud?
Hawley: I f*cking pissed myself, only Jarv could get away with it. Candida was with him for that and she said it was very funny he called me when they’d finished filming so I knew he’d won some week’s before it was shown, what can I say? He’s top in my book.