Australian sensations Haiku Hands cross the ditch to make their New Zealand festival debut at Splore this year. Known for delivering a brilliant fusion of dance party and performance art and with their track ‘Not About You’ being named one of the best Australian debuts of the year, it’s safe to say we can’t wait to see what these ladies bring to the Splore stage. We sat down with ringleader Beatrice Lewis to talk about influences, festivals, and to find out who’s on her Spotify playlist.
You’re doing your NZ Debut Festival at Splore this year, what are you looking forward to the most?
Well I love NZ so much, so for me just being in NZ is the first thing then secondly my bandmates have been to Splore before and they have said it’s one of the most beautiful festivals. I love nature, so I am looking forward to exploring the venue and the music line-up looks incredible. Just being able to come to NZ and play makes me feel very lucky.
How did it all begin for you all? How did you form?
I think we formed in 2015. I met my bandmate Claire at a few festivals, we were both playing different sets and I saw her on stage and thought she was awesome, so we hung out afterwards and sort of ended up being friends and wanting to do more music together. Then there was a third person called Joel, he’s a rapper and I started djing for him and he was a good friend of Claire’s. We all started writing together and trying out a new sounds. Then we got together in Melbourne, Claire is from Sydney so she flew down and we did our first writing session and in that first session I think we ended up writing Jupiter and another song called Work On It that we haven’t released yet. I guess straight away there was a strong chemistry and a mutual musical vision between us all.
Who are your influences?
For me I really love more ambient beautiful electronic music, like John Hopkins and I love techno music too. I also really love dance music, hip-hop and bands like Radiohead - I feel like there is so many different influences in there and I know it’s the same for Claire, Mia, Joel and Angus, who are people we write with. We have unique interesting and different musical interests and were we all meet in the middle sort of feels like an interesting unique place.
You bring together colour, art, music, and dance - why do you think it’s important in this day and age for all of this to be brought together?
I think for me it’s the same when you asked about influences. I know I love interior design, painting, poetry, photography, plants and nature and I think that just as people we have lots of different passions, I know me and claire are visual artists and we all have different things we are passionate about, so all of those things we get to explore in Haiku Hands. It’s an exciting platform to explore your passions.
What’s the story behind the name of the band, Haiku Hands?
Well, we tried so many different names, and sometimes it’s hard to capture the right energy with a name. So, Haiku is a japanese form of poetry, it has a distilled meaning in 5-7 syllables and then hands is sort of many people coming together to make something.
Who’s on your spotify playlist at the moment?
A lady called Rosalia from Spain, she is awesome! She was just on the latest James Blake album. Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; I just got into her because a friend of ours who we write with really likes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so she sent me all her stuff to listen to, to get inspired. I also have been loving Karibu, I discovered him recently when I had friends over for new years day and they shown me some of his music - he is amazing!
As a band you have played a variety of festivals, what’s been your favourite and why?
That’s a really hard question. I really loved Splendor In The Grass this year, we had a really great show and we played early, but it was packed and everyone was there. My dad was there and he’s never seen the show before. It was a great feeling playing in Byron Bay. We also recently played at one in Melbourne called the Pleasure Gardens and that was so much fun.
How do you feel female representation has grown in festival line-ups?
I feel its improving, but it’s not even quite yet, but I feel that’s not just festivals fault. I feel there are problems with access to music for females and that’s something that should be looked at. It would be great if there was more government initiatives in music, like more funding, more of a focus in the earlier stages and more opportunities coming up for women. There is also amazing stuff happening at festivals like Groovin the Moo, there was more women than men on the line-up. It’s a really big shift in what’s happening.
If you could collaborate with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be?
The first thing that comes to mind is Jimi Hendrix - which is really weird. He’s amazing! I feel very lucky because I get to collaborate with people who would be in my top choice anyway, so I’m getting to live the dream a little bit anyway.
What can we expect from you guys at Splore?
We are starting our headline tour next week, so we will be a well oiled machine by the time Splore comes about. Expect a big house party with all your mates, including us and we are all going to have an amazing time. Think amazing costumes, new beats, a whole new show, definitely expect some healthy mayhem.