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Q&A: Hayden Calnin

Having just kicked off his east coast single launch tour in Brisbane over the weekend, we had a chat to Hayden Calnin about his new single 'White Night', the debut album and collaborations amongst other things. Check it out!

How are you and what have you been up to this year?

I'm great! I've had a very busy year this year writing and recording my debut album both up in Sydney and in my home studio over the last few months which is finally recorded, and almost ready to put out.

Your new single 'White Night' came out last month, how has the response to it been?

I'm pretty happy with the response to it so far. It's a pretty personal track for me, so I was very nervous about putting it out but I've had a lot of people, including fans, share their feelings with me about it, and I definitely can't complain about their feedback. All in all, I'm very proud of it and excited for people to hear more of the album soon!

There's a cover of Elvis' 'Hound Dog' on the single, what made you put that track in there?

It's just a bloody good tune! It's a track I love covering at live shows and I thought it was about time people got to hear it, especially for listeners who are overseas and haven't had the chance to see me play live yet.

How long have you been writing songs for? and what inspires you to write?

I'd say I've been writing since I was about 15 or so but never anything serious until I was probably closer to 17 when I had to write a few songs for a film I was making in high school. From there, I got pretty addicted to it. I guess i get my inspiration from day to day life. The people in it, love lost and found, family, getting f*cked up - all those things most people go through. There's a song in everything. Writing it is the hard part 'cause you want to tell a story the right way.

What has been your proudest moment as a musician in your career so far?

There's plenty I'm proud of. The list is huge and it constantly inspires me to keep doing what I do. I think that comes with the job. No point doing it, or anything for that matter, if you aren't proud of what you do. I'd say my proudest moment was touring with The Antlers around Australia because they are such a huge inspiration to my music. I didn't tell them I was a fan boy on tour though. That could've been a bit weird. I guess I'm also super proud of having had my music placed on so many international TV shows now as it's really opened up my fan base as well as overseas opportunities.

You've said that you re-visited your love of guitar on this release, how did that affect the sound?

I just missed giving the thing a good bash and coming up with some tricky riffs, so I explored it again and ended up with some really cool stuff. You can get caught up in playing a certain way on any instrument, so I thought it was time to really sit down and explore the instrument a little deeper than I had in the past.

You collaborated with Tim Carr on the single, what was working with him like?

He's the biggest legend in the world. I loved working with him. He's such a dude and we just got straight into it and trusted each other the whole time. He's a boss at his trade and a top bloke and I learnt so much about production from working with him. He has a solid set of ears and very similar music taste to myself so when I had to explain something to him he just got it straight away, which is something I think every partnership needs if it's gonna work.

For people who haven't seen you live before, what can they expect?

I'll be playing with my band for these shows and playing a lot of old favourites as well as a couple of newbies coming up on the album. I don't really know what it feels like to watch it, I only know what it feels like to play it. But from my perspective, my shows are a pretty special time. I have such respectful crowds that just come to listen, chill and soak it all in. The crowds are often so quiet I wonder if I've offended them or something!

What can we expect from the next release?

You'll just have to wait and hear it! No spoiler alerts here!

You can listen to Hayden's new single 'White Night' below...

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