tunesday - high hazels interview and giveaway

Before they bonded over jangly guitars and foot-tapping pop tunes, brothers Anthony and Paul Barlow and their bandmates James Leesley and Scott Howes were a bunch of primary school pals running amok in Sheffield, UK.

They’ve come an awfully long way since those formative days, and their boppy tunes have been whirling around our office a whole lot of late, so we got in touch with some questions for the jolly quartet.


What is the story behind your band name?
High Hazels is the name of a park close to where we all grew up in Sheffield. We thought it was a subtle geographical link to the band and we thought it rolled off the tongue nicely.

What do you sound like? The sound of our music is something that comes from many different corners. We tend to use vintage instruments as much as we can and try to keep things as uncluttered as possible, giving the music plenty of space. It's drenched with major seventh chords that add a certain dreaminess. We take comparisons quite lightly, but we've had mentions of Treebound Story, The Smiths, The Coral, Pale Fountains to name a few.

What kind of stuff inspires you? We have a huge amount of respect for bands like Elbow and Radiohead, who after over 20 years together, still manage to write interesting and innovative music.

What do you know about your bandmates that nobody else would know? Scott: James used to be pretty good at football, he was in the Rotherham United academy until he started playing guitar more than football, I think it worked out for the best.

What made you want to be a musician? Scott: I've always loved music and was drawn to guitars from being really young. I think I speak for all four of us when I say there's no other job I'd be happier in. I was an upholsterer and left my job last week, I prefer music.

What is your most annoying habit? Scott: I suppose I turn up late for things quite a lot. I should probably sort it, everyone's on their second pints by the time I get to the pub, most annoying.

What movie character defines you most? Paul: If Amelie had a love child with tong po. That character.

What is your favourite Sunday afternoon activity? Paul: A leisurely drive out to the peak district for lamb shank, ale and ancient landscapes.

What would you most like to be known for? James: Our music. If we can write songs that will resonate for years to come, then I don't think I could ask for much more.

What wise words do you want to leave frankie readers with? James: Never try to come across overly wise unless you really have to... in which case, look out for one another, work hard and do the things you honestly enjoy doing.

We have two copies of High Hazels' debut EP In the Half Light up for grabs on vinyl! To get your hands on one, just send us an email here with your name and address and High Hazels in the header. Happy listening!

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