Internet with Sparrowhawk

Where are you from?

We’re all from Manchester

Members and their instruments?

Michael – Vocals and Bass
Jordan – Rhythm guitar and backing vocals
Adam – Lead guitar
Derek – Drums

What does your band name mean?

We struggled to find a suitable band name for a long time after forming. Michael picked up an overdrive one day called Sparrowhawk Overdrive and it clicked.

What genre do you consider yourself? Why?

I think we probably fall in the bluesy hard rock category. We each have different influences that can be heard in the tracks we’ve made. Sometimes were a bit softer, a bit more bluesy and other times we’re heavier. It’s nice to have variation.

What brought you together?

An urge to want to write music in a fun environment. Michael and I have known each other for a long time and we had always planned to start a band. Michael knew Derek and we found Adam from Join My Band and it went from there.

What drew you to music?

That’s a very broad question with a lot of possible answers. I was personally drawn to music through my dad who is a big music lover and guitarist.

What are some of your most influential bands? Why?

I think there’s a lot of influences we can draw from. The lost would go on and on but I think the key bands for me are Queens of The Stone Age, Foo Fighters and Clutch. Then you have individual preferences that include everything from Iron Maiden, to RHCP, Howlin Wolf and everything inbetween .

What was your first song together?

The first song we wrote is called Hiding and it’s still currently in our set. It just seemed to click once we started playing it and it’s the first time we had that chemistry together.

What is your song writing process?

A lot of the time we bring individual parts into the room. One of us might write a riff, a section or even a full song and just really vibe on it. From there we work out the transitions. Mike tends to work on a lot of the vocals and I’ll chip in occasionally.

How has your music evolved since you began playing together?

Naturally, we now have a rapport with each other and we’re able to be honest with each other about what works and doesn’t. Playing live has taught us how to phrase certain sections in songs and I think we’re all better players since the start in general.

What songs do you perform the most often?

We have a pretty solid set currently. We’re still adding in new songs progressively. We have the songs we’ve released on Spotify like Don’t Sing, Home and Hiding. We also have mainstays like I Want You and Break The Mould.

Do you play any covers?

We were more concerned about finding our identity at first. We wanted to get to a point where we had a solid set first but covers are now being discussed. All the weird and wonderful songs we could cover!

Do you have a set play list?

Currently we play these songs in various ways:

Don’t Sing
I Want You
Secrets of the Dead
Break The Mould

Is there a secret meaning in any of your music?

I think there’s a lot of hidden messages in our songs. Mike is great at painting a picture with his lyrics and he deals with a lot of very real themes that people struggle with everyday. Although there are very straight forward sections in our songs, there’s always an undercurrent.

What is your favorite part of working in music?

I think the feeling of completing a new song is a real high. As is playing live to people who actually enjoy your music. I don’t think there are many better feelings than that.

What is your least favorite part of working in music?

As much as it is our baby, being in a band requires a lot of time and attention. It’s a labour of love and something you have to throw yourself into even when you don’t aim to be a full time musician. We all have commitments and sometimes it’s hard to psyche yourself up when you’ve had a particularly hard day. But on the flip side, music is a great medium to channel that frustration into.

Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety? If so how?

I don’t have performance anxiety, but I do always get a little nervous before a show. But once you get through the first song you’re flying and it feel a great.

How old were you when you started playing your instrument?

I think I was 15.

How do you describe your music to people?

A feathery rock and roll joy ride?

What image do you hope your music conveys?

Sincerity, something that is genuine and hard earned, but fun. We try to make people dance and have a good time.

Where have you performed?

We’ve played at a good few venues around Manchester now including Grand Central, Rebellion Bar, Lock 91, Zombie Shack and the wonderful Spinning Top in Stockport.

Do you have any up coming shows?

Yes! We’re playing at the Zombie Shack on the 17th od February as part of a brilliant all dayer and Pop Bar in Hyde on the 22nd of February. We’re still in the process of booking more in throughout the year.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

I think it’s a personal thing for each member. But two of mine are 1. Playing at Rebellion. I’ve seen some great bands and had some great nights there so it was a privilege to play. And 2. Our song Don’t Sing reaching over 1,000 listens on Spotify which I like to think means we’re doing something right.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band?

I think we have been very lucky not to encounter any real difficulties so far as as a band. I think the biggest problem is coordinating our daily lives around what we want to do with the band, but we always compromise well.

Are you happy with the current success of your band?

Definitely, we’re playing some excellent gigs, writing some very enjoyable songs and pushing ourselves to do more all of the time.

What is the ultimate direction for your band?

I don’t think we really have one. We started the band for fun and that’s ultimately what it’s about. We love music and we love playing. We’re enjoying the ride to see where it takes us.

What steps have you taken to get there?

Drink plenty of beer.

What steps do you still have to do?

Drink more beer.

How do you feel about the internet and the music business?

I think it’s a very DIY scene now and in some ways that’s great, but it saddens me that there are a lot of fantastic bands out there who can’t afford to continue what they love doing. It’s an all-encompassing issue that can’t be summed up easily but popular music now is so throw away that it’s almost not worth producing and so much talent goes to waste.

What is your favorite concert you’ve attended?

That’s a tough one. I’ve seen Clutch 5 times and I come away every time thinking I’ve just seen the best show ever.

What do you do besides music?

Play a ridiculous amount of video games.

What is something you would like to tell your younger self?

To throw yourself more into learning your instrument, learn when to let things go and fight what you believe in just a little bit more.

What is your favorite song? (not by your band)

It’s always changing! I’m currently on a comedy playlist binge so probably something by Lonely Island.

What do you wish you spent more time doing 5 years ago?

Enjoying new experiences rather than resting on my laurels.

What advice do you have others wanting to start their own bands?

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Experiment and throw yourself in at the deep end.

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