It has been a very busy couple of years for singer-songwriter Frank Hamilton. He recorded one song every week last year, two EPs this year and has done his fair share of touring too. In the final stage of his headline tour, I caught up with Frank (while he was halfway through eating a sandwich) in his dressing room at the Komedia club in Brighton.
Earlier this year you supported Lucy Spraggan on her tour, how was that?
It was great! Just sort of doing my thing on the stage before her, just like playing a gig with her every night, it was cool. Lucy and the band let me travel around in their van, which was great, otherwise it would have cost me a lot of money to drive around to all the gigs on my own.
And what was Lucy like?
She’s the most down to earth person ever, so is her tour manager Ben, who is actually a big fan of mine; that’s how I ended up supporting her in the first place.
Last year you did ‘#OneSongAWeek’, how did you manage to find inspiration to write a song every week?
I don’t know, I just had to I guess. You say you’re going to do something, you kind of have to stick to it. I’m quite deadline driven. If I had just said ‘I’m going to write songs this year’ then I could have written anywhere from 10 to 30 or 40 songs, but because I said one per week I just had to bosh them out.
It was all recorded on your Mac in your living room, a.k.a. Franks HQ, is that right?
Yeah, that’s right that is my HQ. At one end of my living room with a little laptop and a little microphone, and a little three-foot-square of carpet, happy days.
You also recorded a whole, four-track EP on a single rotation on the London Eye, how did you manage that?
I don’t really know, we just kind of did it. I had this crazy idea and someone said yes to it. The guys at the London Eye agreed to let us use it, a microphone company said yes to lending us the microphones so it became feasible. There aren’t even any power sockets on the London Eye, it was just a silly idea that should never have happened really, but somehow it did happen and it was really good fun.
And the idea just came out of nowhere?
Just from my noggin really, just like #OneSongAWeek.
Following on from #OneSongAWeek, you are now planning to do one album per year, is that correct?
That was a bit more of a tongue in cheek thing, just to stop with the silly ideas and just do an album like everyone else. It’s not a project I will just record a studio album like everyone else.
Your single ‘Summer’ was released today, what has the reaction been like so far?
It actually came out yesterday, it was released on iTunes a day early without any warning. I had prepared yesterday to do some build up on twitter, leading up to the release to build up some hype. As we were driving away from Bristol on Saturday night I checked my Twitter feed at about 12.03am and it was just going nuts with people saying how the ‘Summer’ EP was out and they had got their copy. I was like ‘no, no, it’s out tomorrow’ but I checked and it had been released early. As ever the ‘kids’ were just incredible. I call them kids, they’re not all kids but I hate the word fans so I just call them ‘kids’. Within an hour, I think, it was number two in the singer/songwriter chart and number 27 in the main album chart. I’ve still not quite got my head around that bit yet.
On this tour which has been your favourite venue so far?
Stoke was really good, I wasn’t expecting a good gig there, but it was sold out. The sound in there was great too, I love the Sugarmill. Bristol was wicked, it was on a boat, I love Thekla and playing a gig on a boat is always fun. London was nuts, we played there on Thursday, which was the night before my birthday to about 500 people and they all sang happy birthday to me!
Finally, if you were stranded on a desert island and could choose only one album to be able to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Just one album? That is so hard, can I not have three? I’ll give you my Top three.
1) Original Pirate Material by The Street. I love that record, just the lyrics are awesome and I’m a massive Mike Skinner fan, he’s influenced me a lot lyrically.
2) Automatic for the People by R.E.M. It’s got some real classics on like ‘Night Swimming’ that is probably my favourite R.E.M tune.
3) Enema of the State by Blink 18. This album was the reason I started playing guitar.
Purchase ‘Summer – EP’ on itunes today!
Written by Connor Mackay