AE: You’ve been playing some shows this summer with more on the way—have you performed any of your new songs? Who’s been joining you on stage this time around?
HM: I’ve been playing mostly all new songs lately. Trying to work out some material that has only existed in the studio. Depending on what coast or country I’m in the players will change. For now—for my next few shows in California, Rob Akroyd (of Florence and the Machine) will be joining me. When I’m back east it’ll be the usual suspects, Tim Mislock, Maria Eisen, Dylan Fussilo.
AE: Is there a release date set yet for your upcoming album? Do you have a title yet?
HM: No solid date, but I would say early 2014. I have a bunch of titles I’m playing with in my head—too soon to say for sure.
AE: What feelings, messages, or stories are you bringing into the new record that you want to share?
Photo by Sterling Taylor
AE: How is this album different from The Magician’s Private Library? Do you feel like your music has changed or evolved over time?
HM: Yes, it’s always growing and changing. That is the goal. It would be incredibly boring for me to make the same record over and over. I’m probably too close to say the exact changes in this new album. However, I can say this album feels more organic to me. Less layers, more straight forward. I also feel like I’m just now really learning about the craft of writing songs. Bridges can be lovely things.
AE: I read somewhere that you weren’t allowed to listen to certain music growing up. I’m curious to know what stood out for you growing up, and how you connect those discoveries to your own music.
HM: I grew up on Motown and old country music mostly—they were safe and everything else was off limits. Then I found rock. Tool was a big influence on me, believe it or not. I was always drawn to honesty and the people who had the guts to be so. Hearing Ani Difranco‘s Dilate for the first time changed my whole outlook on songwriting. Then I found Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Taj Mahal, Sam Cooke, Dusty Springfield. I’m still discovering a lot of music that most people consider classics because I missed so much growing up. I’m stuck in the ‘70s now—maybe some day I’ll catch up and know about current music too—maybe.
Photo by Sterling Taylor
AE: What influences you in your work and in life?
HM: There are just too many to list here. Films, music, friends, strangers—I’m inspired by a lot of my female contemporaries: Ambrosia Parsley, Joan As Police Woman, Kendra Morris, Julia Haltigan…
AE: You go back and forth between NYC and LA, right? What feels like home?
HM: I’ve actually been spending a lot of time out in the high desert of California lately. I feel so at home in open spaces. I think I’m much more of a country girl than I am a city girl. I just ended up in cities ‘cause it’s where you have to be to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA and New York, but I think home is more of a feeling you have when you’re at peace and surrounded by people you love.
AE: Are you working on any other upcoming projects? What are you looking forward to the most right now?
HM: I have a few projects up my sleeve, some really exciting different things that I can’t really talk about yet. Check back with me soon though. Otherwise, I am just trying to stay focused on today and what I can make with my hands right this very second—which at this moment is a gift for my pledgers: A video of my best friend Megan Ghiroli and I in Coney Island on Memorial Day set to a song of my forthcoming album. The song is “Fuck In The Sun” and you can see the video here, if you’re a pledger!