You’re back in the North East in March, almost 12 months to the day since your last visit. After 25 years of touring what keeps you motivated to pack up and leave home?
It pays the bills. Without tee shirt sales we’d be in the hole. Honestly, it still is a great pleasure to travel across the world and play songs for friends. We are grateful.
Congratulations on reaching the 20th anniversary of ‘Through the Trees’. 20 years on, how do you feel looking back on that album?
Amazed to still be alive and playing music. We are fortunate. I thought Through the Trees would be my suicide note, but it turns out all I needed was the right medication to survive. Through the Trees is a good reminder to me why I need to take pills everyday.
You’ve described the core theme of Trees being about profound sadness, has it been emotionally challenging to revisit the album?
No, because I’m on the right medication. If anything it is therapeutic to feel compassion for your your younger self.
Can we expect something in your live show at the Sage to mark the anniversary?
Yes, we’re going to be playing Through the Thees through in entirety or at least most of the songs with a few other HF songs here and there as well.
Looking at your back catalogue, you tend to release new albums every 3/4 years. It’s been about 18 months since ‘Unseen’ so do we have 18 more months to wait or might you surprise us?
Probably will be another 18 months. We are not fast nor do we get faster as we go. Songwriting is hard and so is recording! Still it feels like a great gift when we manage to finish something.
As fans of history and gothic fiction, of which the North East has plenty of both, will you be sight-seeing when you’re in the area?
Always, My idea of a perfect morning in the UK is wandering through a graveyard, admiring all the birds and wild flowers then buying a book in a charity shop about the history of the welsh sewer systems.