Interview: Hector Gannet | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Tyneside coast seems to be producing a fair amount of musical talent these days. The latest rising star to emerge from these fertile lands (and sea) is indie-folk outfit Hector Gannet. The four-piece North Shields band, fronted by gifted songwriter Aaron Duff, started out in 2017 and have been going from strength to strength ever since. They were tipped by Louder Than War in their ’Top 25 new bands that might change your life’ list and are just about to support Sam Fender at the O2 Academy, Newcastle on Monday 17th February.

The band are starting the year off with Dead Nag (released 21st February), a politically charged folky delight, so we caught up with Aaron to find out the track and what they’re up to. 

Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?
The earliest memory I have of music having an impact on me was sitting in the back of my Dad’s car and listening to The Stones’ greatest hits, I was only about 9 or 10 if that. I was introduced to most music by my Dad and his mates really, so I became fairly obsessed with The Clash and a lot of other bands from that era.

What were some of your highlights of 2019?
Finally releasing music for the first time was massive for us, it feels like it’s been such a long time coming and I’m so happy to be finally getting stuff out there. We played quite a few dates around England and Scotland with Sam Fender last year, and that was class. The solo ones I did supporting him were great as well, and a valuable experience. It’s really good to get out there and play to new audiences in bigger venues. Sam and the lads, in fact, his whole team, were really supportive, I can’t thank them enough for that.

Tell us more about your new track, Dead Nag.
‘Dead Nag’ is about the exploitation of regular folk, the media and it’s propaganda, the way they play with the public’s emotions in order to sway their vote. It seems that those at the top really have no concept of how ordinary people live or what effects their actions have on ordinary lives, they just know how to manipulate them.

The track was recorded at Polestar Studios in Byker with Alex Blamire and mixed by Paul Gregory of Lanterns On The Lake. I feel like we’ve really got a great thing going at Polestar, every session has been a joy and we’ve got a lush bunch of people around us, helping to make it happen too. 

 Briefly describe your songwriting process.
It’s always kind of different really. Sometimes I’ll be messing around and come up with a tune, sometimes I’ll be out and about, at work maybe, something will trigger an idea and I’ll start forming lyrics in my head. When I sit down to work on stuff I have to be on my own, I’m pretty self-conscious of anyone, even the band hearing anything before I’m happy with it, so I like to have a finished piece of work before I show the lads.  

What does the future have in store for you?
For 2020 we’re planning more releases, we’ve got an album’s worth of material finished and waiting to go and I’m dying for people to hear what we’ve been working on, more news on that soon hopefully. We’ve also got a few dates lined up, some festivals around the region; Stockton Calling, Hit The North, Northern Kin, This Is Tomorrow, Lindisfarne Festival – as well other gigs to be announced. We’re really looking forward to the rest of 2020. Beyond that, well I’m writing a lot just now, so there’s definitely new music on the horizon as well.

Dead Nag is released on Friday 21st February. Pre-save it here.

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