Daily Discovery: Hawker M. James, “Fast Friends”


Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Hawker M. James

SONG: “Fast Friends”

HOMETOWN: Rochester, New York

CURRENT LOCATION: Rochester, New York

AMBITIONS: To have created an appreciated and sizable catalog of records before leaving the Earth, in its humanic form.

TURN-OFFS: 97% of mainstream programming, side projects, hesitant record labels, oligarchies, pious blogs, newer animation, bombs of any sort, oblivious ecumenism for nihilism’s sake, and recently, fiction.

TURN-ONS: Historical account, coconut, Bowie & Iggy, the cardinal red Strat that George Harrison uses in that Tokyo ’91 live footage, Anguilla, Brian Eno’s full name, and lately, child position.

DREAM GIG: Producing a U2 song. Being the drummer if Oasis reunites. Being Johnny Marr’s guitar tech. Being Bob Dylan’s studio engineer’s intern.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “I’m torn between the light and dark/Where others see their targets, divine symmetry/Should I kiss the viper’s fang?/Or herald loud the death of Man/I’m sinking in the quicksand of my thought/And I ain’t got the power anymore.” – David Bowie

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Spirit On The Water” – Bob Dylan

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: For better or worse, and purely self interest; Scott Walker (not the politician), Jonathan Cahn, Dev Hynes, Li Keqiang, and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Oasis, Brotherly Love Tour. I’ve seen them four times, three stinkers and the best show I’ve ever seen. I smoked up right as the lights went down. Liam’s persona that night plus the sound was UNREAL. Or maybe it was the weed.

I WROTE THIS SONG BECAUSE… it was something that we merged together, Jason and Callan from The Demos, a group I play drums and have produced for, and I. I had two song ideas, one called “Disco Songwriter,” and one called “Calpyso.” “Calypso” was written after my two-year-old daughter discovered my Smithsonian Folkways compilation “The Real Calypso 1927-1946.” Played it for two months straight. So, when I played the two songs for the guys, Jason wished I could take the “Disco Songwriter” verse and “Calypso” chorus and merge them. I tried right then, and it worked okay. Then, we tracked it. Callan still thought the verse from “Calypso” was necessary, so I tacked it on as the ending. I thought it was a nice collaboration of all things.

Behind The Song: Elliott Smith, “Miss Misery”