When I think of Bradley Hathaway, I am immediately taken back in time to the days of his spoken word in the living room of someone’s house. Fast forward a few years and he is still making art, yet these days the spoken word has turned more melodic with beautiful music.
It’s been such a joy watching his progression over the past few years. I adore his newest record. ‘HOW LONG’ is such a joy. So pretty with such vivid lyrics. If you don’t own it, you probably should. It will make your life better. duh.
You can do that HERE!
Name: Bradley Hathaway
Hometown: Fort Smith, AR
Current Location: Part Arkansas, Part North Dakota
1. When did you first realize you had fallen in love with music?
I don’t know that I ever had a moment, still don’t know if I’m even in love with music, but junior high was the time when I got pretty serious about seeking out bands and spending all my money records. While music is still a very important part of my life, I prefer silence more often than not.
2. What was the very first album you remember purchasing with your OWN money?
I don’t remember which one with my own money, but I vividly remember getting MC Hammer “Too Legit To Quit” early on. It was a CD, back when CD’s had those huge plastic things all around them. Hammer don’t hurt ‘em!
3. Who was your first live show? Do you remember how it made you feel?
I remember seeing Carmen, I was like, 5 or 6. All I remember was a fat lady sitting in front of me and I couldn’t see anything. I was mad.
4. If you could pick one band/songwriter who has been a constant favorite of yours, who would you chose and why?
Well, there are records from artists that mean a lot to me, or even particular songs, but I might not like anything else they put out. Like there are Bruce Springsteen songs that have influenced my view of art and feel so close to me that I can convince myself that I wrote them, but I’m not looking to spin all of his records really. I’ll forever spin Johnny Cash’s American Recordings. I remember the first time I listened to American IV, lying on the floor behind a white couch on white carpet in a house I rented, mind blown. He has a song for just about every emotion we experience in life.
5. If you could put together a dream tour to go on, which bands would you pick to travel with?
If I’m going to watch a band live, I want it to be loud and heavy. So I’d want to see something loud and heavy every night, but only for about an hour because then it’s just too much. Wovenhand. I’d want to see Wovenhand every night. As for a dream tour that would help me gain exposure and all that stuff, I don’t know. I’d just ask around who is hot and who is not.
6. What would you say the biggest difference between the new album and your first album?
Many, many, many more people bought the first album.
7. How would you say your writing has changed over the years?
Naturally, I hope it has gotten much better, deeper. There are more levels to it now than before, bigger concepts, an open ended-ness to much of it these days. Moving from a first person narrative to a third person narrative was a big step too. I still don’t know how to play the guitar very well but what I do know how to play gets the job done.
8. What is your all time favorite lyric that you have written and why?
“My love is a raisin, and God’s is a pumpkin, or a cantaloupe, or a watermelon, or a really big something and I want to eat it.” It’s from “Samuel” on my record “A Mouth Full of Dust.” I’m not the best at metaphors, and if I’m only going to have them sporadically then I’d like for them to be as good as this one is. It’s just interesting, a weird thing to say, but the reader gets it. Gets it violently.
9. What is your personal favorite thing about the new record?
The vibe. I found vibe.
10. What would you like to see new fans and original fans take away from this new album?
The desire to be still.
11. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you choose to play the part as you? What genre of movie would it be?
Hillary Swank. A drama, of course.
12. If you were the headlining topic of a tabloid magazine, what would you like it to say about you?
I would like for it to say nothing about me as I would never want a tabloid to say anything about me. If it did, though, I would like for it to say “Bradley Hathaway…” honestly I have no idea about this. I can’t even pretend it sounds so terrible a thing to consider.
13. If you stumbled upon a time machine, what time would you travel to and what would you do there?
Hmmm…my first thought is I’d like to see dinosaurs, the big ones. I’d just sit and watch them. I would like to see Jesus’ giving the Sermon on the Mount too. Double awesome would be to sit on the back of a big dinosaur watching Jesus talk.
14. While on the road over the years, I am sure there were a few pranks played. Do you have a favorite prank story?
I’m not into pranks. They get to out of hand and next thing you know you are driving around in your van with someone’s shit in a plastic bag under your seat. Not into it.
15. If you could acquire one Superpower, which power would you choose and what would you do with that power?
Flying. Flying would be so awesome. I get excited thinking about it right now, looking out my window, seeing the trees and the prairie. I want to fly through these trees and land on the lake like a duck.
16, (fill in the blank) _____________ needs to reunite and have a reunion tour.
No one needs to reunite and have a reunion tour.Let their glory days grow to the stuff of whispered legends.
17. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Today, at this very moment? I’d like to meet with two of my best friends, and eat homemade Shepherd’s Pie.
18. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Aside from the dirty, nasty secrets I’m not too ashamed of things I like. What I could say that might come as a “shocker” is that I fancy modern, pop country music. Not the hip oldies like Hank, but straight up Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood. You watch Vince Gill sing “Jesus Take the Wheel” live and try to tell me it ain’t beautiful. Vince Gill has the swagger of Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt while looking like your Uncle. I cannot get into country rap, though…I’m not that far gone. They just need to stop trying to rap, it’s terrible.
19 What is your favorite food and drink combo?
This lovely morning, 7:30 AM, right now, I’m having a cup of coffee and some banana bread. Delicious.
20. What makes you come alive?
The sun and the blue sky above me. The green grass beneath me. I love the colors of the world, I love touching them.
[…] read in an interview with Bradley Hathaway that one of his favourite albums is Johnny Cash’s American IV: The Man […]