Q&A: Hobart Curtis Opens Up About 'Run'
The happy-sad pop wizard fresh from the streets of Brisbane is back, this time with his latest single 'Run.' Hobart Curtis has carved a niche for himself with gooey bubblegum pop seeped in melancholia, with 'Run' the spiritual successor from his highly-anticipated debut album Fever Dreams, hitting the shelves earlier this year. 'Run' was mixed & mastered with the help of John Castle (Megan Washington, Vance Joy, Josh Pyke) and perfectly encapsulates the pastel synth wall of sound supporting Hobart's tender vocals. We were lucky enough to hear from Mr Curtis and have a sticky beak into his life & the man behind the music.
You’ve been doing this professionally for about 5 years now. What have you learned over the years? Has the way you write songs or produce music changed over time?
I think the thing I’ve learnt the most is about writing songs for me and no one else. It’s kind of weird cause I can write a million different genres I feel, and get caught up in a current trend, but I’ve got to stay true to my formula at the end of the day.
What was it like to work with John Castle? The mix is so incredible and sounds so full yet raw.
John is such a chill guy. It was a little strange because of the pandemic, we didn’t get to meet up but I think he got what I was trying to do and just made it the best it could be without a doubt. I’d work with him in a heartbeat again in the future.
You stated: “'Run' is about the constant spectre of past relationships, that can creep in at times when things are rough. But you always come to your senses that it's not real, and it's not something you'd actually want.”
I was wondering if you write your songs from personal experience? What does your songwriting process look like, could you run through a typical song from start to finish for us?
So it’ll be me playing my acoustic guitar and figuring out chords and then maybe humming a melody.
Then I write a demo on ableton with fake sounding bad instruments (on purpose), to hear the melodies by themselves without any sort of textures or tones to make it sound good when it’s not.
Then I play with the melodies until I get a moment where I feel like I’ve had a breakthrough after banging my head against the wall, like in my mind I’m like “omg I knew I could write music”
Then I write lyrics and it’ll be from a vibe. Like with “run” it was “people changing”, a note I wrote on my iPhone while I was shopping once.
Then I record a bad demo and then I start working on tones, drum parts, harmonies, riffs, synths etc.
Earlier this year you released the incredible Fever Dream album. How has life been since then?
Pretty dope. Nothing too major happening but I feel like I’m moving in the right direction with “run” and my album out there.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any upcoming releases, or tour / gig plans going into the end of the year and 2022?
I’ll write an album in the next month or two. Then I want to get that recorded in 2022 and touring when the world is less crazy.
Thanks again to Hobart Curtis for spilling the beans. I really like the idea of using Ableton with fake bad-sounding instruments to iron out the kinks, that's hilarious and genius. Can't wait for that next album, and all the best to Brisbane's sweetest heart, Hobart Curtis. Be sure to check out all his shizzle on the social medias so you can keep up to date when you need to cry & dance at the same time.
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