Watching Haiku Hands rise has been a sight to behold. The impressive three-piece have linked together being from both Melbourne and Sydney and have taken off since their debut single, ‘Not About You’. Now, they’re showing the USA what they have to offer, selling out crowds along the way. We chatted with Claire Nakazawa ahead of stints at Groovin the Moo this weekend.
BYO: How's touring America at the moment?
Claire: People’s responses and feedback has been so good. I think they’re extra expressive over here. People have been so nice and welcoming. It’s really fun to be able to play our music to a brand new audience and see how they respond, and it's been great.
BYO: Is there anywhere in particular you've really loved performing so far?
Claire: SXSW Austin Texas was really fun, we did seven shows there with awesome turn outs and vibes. It’s a really cool place. New York was special show, it was a cool, packed venue and the audience was so engaged and into it. Chicago was also a highlight, we played at a beautiful theatre called Thalia Hall supporting Cupcakke, her audience of around 1,500 were keen straight away and that was mad.
San Fran vibed hard as well. Doing our own headline show in LA at Zebulon was also a highlight, we were overwhelmed by the response, as well as [when we] supported Tame Impala at their Coachella warm up show, I felt so nervous before that one!
BYO: How do you find the touring experience as opposed to the creating process? What is the best part for you?
Claire: They’re so different, touring and performing is all about looking after myself [and] my energy, enjoying my time traveling, meeting people and enjoying giving everything I have when performing. I also enjoy the immediate feedback from the audience and seeing people getting into the music.
I love the satisfaction and stimulation of creating something. I also like how the collaborative creative process forces you to be open and vulnerable with others which often leads to nice personal connections.
BYO: Love your new song Dare you not to Dance. What inspired this track?
Claire: We were jamming in a studio and I said “Dare You Not to Dance Fkers”. Bea [Lewis] laughed and used the line in a session in Melbourne and we finished the track together. I was in a smart ass mood at the time and feeling confident because all of the beats we’re lucky enough to write to are so killer!
BYO: You really rose to the scene with the track Not About You. How did the big response to this track feel?
Claire: It felt great and also a bit overwhelming. I was so happy that so many people liked the song, especially my community. They were so supportive, sharing the track and all.
When all the international industry people started contacting us it felt really exciting and overwhelming because I wanted to make ‘the right decisions’ even though that’s not even a real thing. Mostly it was amazing and a little unbelievable.
BYO: When you’re creating music, do you all have individual roles or is it a very collaborative process?
Claire: It’s very collaborative, we all come up with hooks etc.. Sometimes we’ve done separate sessions and brought our ideas to the group, but most of the songs we play live so far were written and recorded as a group.
BYO: Your songs have a very dance/electronic/pop/hip-hop vibe; what inspires this eclectic genre mixing?
Claire: I think our sound has been inspired by all the music we’ve listened to over the years, we all like electronic, pop, hip-hop and dance music so all of that has influenced our sound. We don’t want to re make a sound that already exists and there’s so many awesome songs in different genres that it makes sense to be a little inspired by everything.
BYO: Could you share the story about how Haiku Hands all started?
Claire: Bea and I first met at a festival called Earth Frequency. Two year later Bea, Joelistics and I began writing together in Melbourne, I was flying down from Sydney so we'd do week long writing intensives. It was really fun and we liked the songs we were writing. When we started thinking about performing we asked Mie [Nakazawa] and Mataya [Young] to join us and we got our our first gig at Byron Bay Falls Festival.
BYO: You're a fierce gal trio in an often male-dominated music industry. What do you love most about working with each other?
Claire: That we all have different strengths that complement each other and make Haiku Hands better as a whole.
BYO: What's next for Haiku Hands?
Claire: Grooving the Moooooo! So excited to be playing this festival. A bunch of our friends are on the line-up, [and] we’re looking forward to touring and hanging out with [them]. I’m also excited to be playing for regional audience who might not have seen us play before.
We’re also working on finishing a bunch of songs and putting together an album.
Keep tabs on Haiku Hands here: http://haikuhands.com.au/