Haley Bowery & the Manimals
Haley Bowery is an amazing singer songwriter writing amazing rock tunes, that deliver the goods and with her band the Manimals, they sound amazing. Her up coming debut album Born Strange is one of the must have’s of the year so far. Read and discover why I think this girl rocks.
1. How did you get into music?
started playing guitar and writing my own songs when I was thirteen. I
never became a very good guitarist though, because my teacher was so
supportive of my writing that he’d forget that he gave me homework. All
we did was play stuff I wrote- I think he smoked too much pot. I started
singing even earlier… in fact, as early as I can remember, I’ve
always sung. It started with an unhealthy obsession with The Wizard of Oz,
and then I discovered the rest of my dad’s amazing record collection.
I’ve been classically trained and studied musical theatre, but my
favorite thing to perform has always been rock & roll.
I had been playing open
mics and a few tiny shows, but I was still just strumming my acoustic
guitar by myself and sounding very folky. My boyfriend produced an EP
for me, and he was the first person to really arrange my music and make
it sound like rock, which was my goal all along. It was so exciting to
get to be loud, finally! I met the Manimals- Pat, Joe and Attis- through
placing ads on
Craigslist for musicians. (Is there Craigslist in Australia? It’s like
an online classified ad page.) I got really lucky, because they’re not
only super talented, they’re also awesome guys that have become good
friends. The band took it to the next level. Now I get to jump around
onstage in sparkly panties and say "fuck" a lot- every mother’s dream.
3. What has been your favorite gig to date?
This is going
to sound funny, but it was a show at a really crappy venue in a really
lame neighborhood, and only a few friends came. But exactly the right
friends came, it was the perfect little group of people. By the end of
our set, the whole bar had moved towards the stage and everyone had a
great time. We hung out after and drank lots of whiskey with the old
Irish bartender. We’ve had much better shows since then- better attended
ones, too- but that night was a great memory from the beginning of us
being a band.
4. What inspires the band when writing music?
alone, then bring it to the guys, who always come up with great ideas.
Musically and lyrically, I take a lot of inspiration from ’90s rock
girls (No Doubt, Alanis Morissette, Liz Phair), and ’70s-era CBGBs
(Blondie, Patti Smith, New York Dolls). I’m in a relationship right now;
when I was younger, that meant the death of songwriting, I had to be
miserable to write. But now I’ve gotten better at channeling past
experiences and digging deep for other emotions. Love songs can be good
sometimes too, though!
5. What was the inspiration for the upcoming debut album?
This album is a collection of songs I wrote between Spring 2010 and this past Fall. Born Strange
is sort of a story about the tumultuous time in my life that happened
after I graduated from college- I drank a lot (and not in the fun way), I
dumped all of my friends for shitty guys, I had no idea what I wanted
to do with my life. But I think the ultimate message is that the
mistakes we make, particularly when we’re somewhere in between being a
child and an adult, are kind of necessary and also kind of beautiful. So
I’m singing about being reckless, doing stupid things with your heart,
and getting into all kinds of good and bad trouble. Even the music
reflects our youth- it’s very ’90s.
6. What do you hope for the album to do?
I hope people
relate to it. Whether your teenage and young adulthood years were awful
or awesome, looking back at yourself is always a little nostalgic and
magical. So hopefully those universal feelings I’m singing about
translate into people buying the record (or stealing it, I don’t care)!
I’d like to tour and play bigger venues, have more people know our
music. I’d love for people on the other side of the globe to hear this
album- talking to you is a good start!
Cover of up coming album Born Strange
7. How has social networking helped the band?
I’m a social
media junkie- I’m always on facebook and twitter. By having a presence
on every website (really, every website) I think we’ve gained some
interest from people who wouldn’t have heard of us otherwise. I did an
acoustic tour last year, and met so many cool people that I’ve gotten to
stay in touch with. I think it’s always a good idea to plant seeds all
over the place, for different audiences to discover.
8. What advice could you give to some one wanting to give a career in a music a shot?
a long time, I had no confidence, and you really need to be brave to go
into music. You have to be brave enough to realize that money comes and
goes, but you’ll always be able to look back at a time in your life
when you rocked out and you put your whole heart in. I’ve found it’s a
waste of time to be tentative- I just try to imagine what I imagined a
rockstar was when I was a kid, and then do that.
9. How has touring helped the band?
I’m dying to tour with
the Manimals. Hopefully we will in the fall. It’s more expensive and
complicated with a band. For one, I don’t drive. So I’ll be the jerk
napping in the backseat while the guys drive all night. That acoustic
tour I did last year, I went with my boyfriend Matthew Pop, who’s also a
singer-songwriter. We played in cities all over the Eastern United
States and Canada, and we did it all on buses and trains. It was crazy.
But that’s really how I gained my confidence, just doing it every night.
10. How has kickstarter help you as an artist?
over $5000 to make our album this winter! That was 150% of our original
goal. It was cool to see everyone come out in support. Even one of my
exes donated a dollar. I love Kickstarter.
11. What is next for you and the band?
We’re going to be promoting Born Strange!
We don’t release until June, but we may do a few shows before then.
We’re releasing a split 7" vinyl with our friends, Hannah vs. The Many,
in September. Ideally we’ll go on a small US tour together.
12. What is it like being an independent artist?
indie right now means way more work than you ever thought music could
entail. You have to be your own manager, booker, promoter, publicist…
and still find time to be, you know, artistic. But it’s also incredibly
freeing- we got to make the album exactly like we wanted to. Plus, it’s
extra satisfying when you get good feedback, because you worked your
butt off for it.