Every year here in the UK, we await the announcement of the C2C artists with great anticipation – and there was little doubt that one of the announcements we were most excited about was ‘Runaway June’. The brilliant all-female trio lit up the festival this year, and Shannon Hynes was lucky enough to catch up Hannah, Jennifer and Naomi just before the start of the festival!
Shannon – Welcome to London, we’re Belles and Gals, an all female blog.
Jennifer Wayne – Yeah, we see all of your guys’ tweets, you’re so supportive.
Shannon – Yes, of course, you need the support over there for sure. Well it’s actually International Women’s Day tomorrow and we’ve been asking lots of artists who their female inspirations are?
Hannah Mulholland – My mom and Sheryl Crow.
Jennifer – Oh my gosh, I have so many. My Grandma is a huge inspiration for me, she’s awesome and I love Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood –
Shannon – Speaking of, you’re going on tour with her and Maddie and Tae, how are you feeling about that?
Jennifer – We still can’t even believe it’s happening.
Shannon – She’s just announced the UK leg and we’re gutted you’re not coming over.
Naomi Cooke – I know! I immediately texted our manager and was like ‘are we on that leg?’ and he was like ‘no she’s gonna have some openers over here.’ which I think is really cool that she’s bringing it over here and showcasing some great UK talent, which is really cool.
Shannon – And you’re here now, so we’re very lucky.
Naomi – That’s right, so we’ve got a little fix.
Shannon – You’re playing a lot over the weekend too. I’m going to try and get out and see you as many time as I can.
All – Thank you.
Shannon – I want to talk about your songwriting, I mean I could talk about your songwriting all day. But the first song you wrote together ‘Forget Her’, is the song that near enough got you signed, which is crazy! But one of my favourite lyrics of yours, perhaps of all time is, ‘if you’re gonna love somebody, you better love somebody, who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara.’ Can you tell me a bit about what it’s like being in a writer’s room with you and how you come up with these sassy lyrics?
Jennifer – Well, thank you, that’s such a huge compliment, you’ve made our day. All of us really, we kinda just write what we know. One of us will be going through y’know a break up, one of us will be falling in love and we kinda just feed off eachother, different things spark different songs. For lipstick, our co-writer actually came in with the idea, and it just felt so –
Shannon – so was that the first idea, that lyric?
Hannah – Yeah, she had that lyric!
Jennifer – it was just a song, were it was like y’know what?! Be with someone that makes you happy, life is too short and it’s ok, that guy that broke your heart, that’s ok because there’s going to be someone out there that’s so much better. I think all of us have kinda experienced that in life, so it was easy to pull from experiences.
Shannon – Yeah you always get a good song, so it’s worth it in the end. You all kind of have individual roles in the band, but it all comes together so seamlessly. Vocally you’re stunning, the harmonies are perfect! Can you tell me how it has all come together? Did it start off like this? Is it the kind of situation where you say ‘Hannah, you do this, Naomi, you try that.’?
Naomi – Actually no, we’ve never had that conversation. For us, when we started writing songs, we all started singing in our natural register and it’s funny because people even tell us we talk in harmony, because Jen has this high soft voice, i’m in this mid range and Hannah has this very rich, low voice. So, we just started singing like that, but we all remember being in the room and singing in those registers and being like ‘woah, our voices really blend in a cool way.’ I mean, you can have 3 good singers and their voices don’t always blend and it really did kind of like family vocals. It just kind of happened like that naturally.
Shannon – I think that’s true when you say you can all be good singers and not blend, but I dont necessarily think you have to be a good singer, you can have a nice tone and it can still blend, and you all have individually lovely tones to your voice.
Naomi – yeah, you’re so right, thank you!
Shannon – I just want to ask some fun questions if that’s OK?
Hannah – Oh yeah!
Shannon – Your new single ‘Buy My Own Drinks’, you introduce it by saying ‘we can buy our own drinks, we just don’t want to.’ Love it! So, what can you do, that you just don’t want to?!
Hannah – Drive ourselves! I have a car, but I like to be driven!
Naomi – That’s exactly what I was going to say, I love to be driven around.
Shannon – I hate driving!
Naomi – I hate driving –
Hannah – Especially here, I have to say, obviously everything is so different so it’s not really fair, but like, everyone drives so fast, and like honks at everyone –
Shannon – London is the worst, I will not drive here!
Hannah – Really? I’d be like cab all day.
Naomi – Even at home, I love to be driven around, if i’m with one of my sisters, like, I let them drive.
Shannon – it’s the best place to listen to music too –
Naomi – yeah, you can DJ, check your emails, y’know?
Jennifer – I can lift my own luggage and guitars, but I don’t want to do that, my boyfriend is always taking my guitar and loading it in the car and stuff and i’m like ‘I can do it, but it’s so nice…’
Shannon – just think you don’t have to go to the gym then.
Hannah – I would let someone else do that for me!!
Shannon – Lastly, any signs of new music? Album?
Jennifer – We’re finishing in 2 weeks, the rest of the album. Hoping to have it out by June –
Shannon – Perfect, just in time for CMA Fest.
Naomi – Oooo yeah! That’ll be… mmm!! June is our lucky month, so we’re going to be really close to that anyways, we’re gonna really try to make it happen in June, but the music will be done before then, but it just takes time getting everything out. We are very very excited!
Shannon – So are we! We all love you over here!
Jennifer – You guys post about ‘Blue Roses’ too!
Hannah – That song is so special to us.
Naomi – It’s going on, it’s going on the record.
Shannon – Oh really, amazing!
Hannah – That’s like the one, we’re like ‘no matter what happens, we know we have to have that song on the record’ we just love performing it so much.
Shannon – we’re so excited to hear it. Thank you so much girls, it was so lovely to talk to you.
RJ – Thank you, it’s lovely to meet you.
Interview conducted by Shannon Hynes (twitter.com/s_hynesmusic)