Genre-defying musical duo Hanging Freud have just released their sixth full length album, ‘Persona Normal’. Written between Sao Paulo and London, the duo wrote, produced and recorded the album themselves, with James Plotkin (Khanate) on mastering duties! We talked to the band about their journey so far and what the future holds!
Could you please introduce yourself as a band, when did you start making music and where are you based?
We are currently based in Glasgow. Jonathan is from London and I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. We started this project years ago, and our records were made in several different places, reflecting the lives we were living between the Europe and South America. We’ve made all sorts of different music, from guitar stuff and experimentation with native instruments to the synth approach we have today. I have always made music, as I started as a child and never stopped. Later on, I formed or joined several bands, mostly playing guitar and singing in alternative or post-punk genres, Jonathan started making music and producing as a teenager as well, though his approach was much more focused on electronic music. We started this project together because we felt like making something different, and I guess I can say we were successful in that sense.
What would you like to achieve with the music you write and release?
I guess it’s a cliche for a reason, but I kind of think it’s true that all art attempts to communicate something that people can share, emotions and stories, all of the stuff that makes human, as well as reflecting the time and context in which those emotions are emerging. For most of the stuff I write, I think the aim is for that to be something more introspective, especially because it reflects so many issues and feelings that we aren’t necessarily encouraged to share. Many people would say the themes are dark, but I believe they are part of human life and that we are not doing ourselves (or society) any favours by repressing them. I feel that it’s very important to make people feel uncomfortable sometimes, and to be in touch with negative emotions and all the stuff that makes us human. There is always beauty in that, especially when you succeed in making someone feel like they’re not alone.
Have you done any touring and if so, where did you tour and what did you like + dislike about it?
We were finally going on several dates around Europe and South America when the pandemic started. So they were obviously all cancelled, and we had not toured with this project before, so this was upsetting. We’ll be announcing some new dates soon, and we’re going as far as Uruguay, which should be exciting, and looking forward to booking some more, especially as there’s a new album coming in August. Personally, I like to prepare my sets especially for each performance, We like to tweak and rearrange things to make every performance unique, but that’s not always possible when you’re travelling and playing several dates, there’s no time for that. But, in the end, every gig is unique in its own way (whether this is good or terrible).
What are some dreams you hope will be coming true within the next two to three years?
Many that are not realistic at all. However, I hope we can live in a world without war where people are organising to make things better and fairer for everyone, I am hoping that the rise of fascism and authoritarianism is stopped, and that people realise they have no place in music scenes and fundamentally work against the arts. I hope that people understand that artists have an important role in society and that art becomes more diverse and less dominated by those who have privilege and see it as nothing more than a fancy hobby,
What message would you like to forward to us and our readers?
You cannot carry on if you keep calm.