Heather Nova (2005)

Im Rahmen der Promotion zu “Redbird” haben wir mit Heather Nova ein Interview gemacht. Ihre Fans haben uns ihre Fragen geschickt und wir haben sie an Heather Nova weitergeleitet. Und sie war so freundlich, diese zu beantworten. Heather: “I am happy to answer some questions for the fans. Here they are.”

Bernd “We know you write your songs, you sing them, you write poems, you paint (CD artwork and sorrowjoy artwork), and you studied film. Do you also photograph a lot? On a gig in Germany in 1996 (Loreley Rockpalast) you suddenly started photographing the audience during the gig. Did you take those photos as kind of a tour documentation, or were they just for fun? Do you have a (tour) diary?”
Heather:”I took those photos as a memento. I realised I didn’t have any photos of my audience! Maybe I will do that again. Thanks for reminding me. These days I mostly take snapshots of my little boy.”

Bernd “What did it feel like the first time you heard yourself singing on the radio? Also, for when you were first invited into a radio show, or did your first interview for a magazine? Were you nervous? Are you (still?) a bit surprised about your career success or is this in your eyes simply the consequential result of hard work and touring? Are you proud of your career?”
Heather: “I am surprised and grateful. Never forget to be grateful. Yes I have put in a lot of hard work, but hard work is not always enough. I am proud of my career yes. Mostly because I have been able to stay true to myself in my work. I used to get very nervous doing interviews because to me it felt like going in for an exam. I felt like I was being judged or asked to justify myself. I still get upset when my words are used out of context or when I am misquoted, but I realise that is part of being in the public eye. I remember the first time I heard myself on the radio. I was shaking! Almost embarrassed. But definitely excited. Its still kind of exciting.”

Bernd: “Have you ever been in Germany as tourist (no touring and no promotion)?”
Heather “hmmm. No. I go there so often anyway. We often have days off there which feel like little holidays. I remember riding my bike around lake constance or hiking in the black forest.”

Klaus: “Would you be willing to sing a song that a fan had written for you to sing, for them?”
Heather: “I don’t do covers very often. So It would have to be a very good song!”

Jasmin: “I´m very, very curious and anxious to see how your motherhood (or baby boy Sebastian) has influenced your music, lyrics and of course also yourself as person. Do you feel like “new born” a little bit? Do you see some things in life with different eyes – some with a certain kind of “coolness”, some with more worry?”
Heather: “Well it sounds like you have experienced it too! I have used those words myself in describing the experience – like I was born too in a way when he was. Yes, you see everything differently. Its so amazing. So beautiful but also scary in that life becomes so fragile. I spend a lot of time trying to catch him before he falls. It has affected my music deeply. A new passion for life. A big big love.”

Jasmin:”Will you return to London someday with your family or stay in Bermuda? And what is special for you about German fans, what makes the difference?”
Heather: “The german fans have stuck by me all these years. I appreciate that. But I appreciate all my fans from everywhere. The other day I got a letter from mexico.i have never been there but my music has! Wish I had time to tour everywhere but there is so much to do and not enough days in the year.”

Verena: How has your son Sebastian changed your way of writing songs? Are you stronger than before to do this?
Heather: I have had to become a much more disciplined writer – I have certain hours free for writing whereas before I had all day and all night. I find my focus faster and with more clarity.

Verena: “How do you write songs? What’s first – the lyrics or the melody? Do you write your songs all the same way? Or does it differ from song to song? Is it sometimes like an intuition?”
Heather:”Sometimes songs just come out of nowhere. A few lines and a melody and I have to find my way through to the end. Other times I have an idea or a strong feeling I know I want to write about. Usually I write lyrics and music together. They are so inextricably tied. But occasionally I will have a melody and then write a lyric to it. There is no formula -that is what I like about it . still a mystery.”

Bernd: “How much time do you usually need to write a song? Are there songs what were written within only 15 minutes maybe? On the other side, are there songs what needed months, maybe even years, after the first idea, till they are finished? Which songs? Is good songwriting simply talent, inspiration, or do you think this can be trained and taught too?”
Heather: “Absolutely – some songs I write in one sitting. Some take a few months to really nail. I am a real perfectionist with my lyrics. I will not just let a line go because it has the meaning and the rhyme. It has to sound beautiful. It has to resonate. It has to make you feel. I love the power that words can have. I work them til they have the power.”

Darren: “Is Redbird going to be released in vinyl format?”
Heather: “Good question – I will have to find out!”

: “Did you record more than the 12 songs which will be on the Redbird album, probably for inclusion on a single?”
: “Yes we recorded one more that didn’t make the record. But not more than that. It was an intense recording time as I had my son in the studio with me. I was careful to choose the songs out of the 25 or so that I had written.”

: “Are there any plans to maybe record one of the forthcoming Redbird concerts to make a DVD or a live album?
Heather: “That’s a good idea. I have thought about it. We’ll see.”

: “The French release information for Glow Stars mentioned 14 recorded songs. There are only 12 songs on the album. Was this an error in printing? Or are there two songs that never made Glow Stars? If so, have they any names?”
Heather: “I didn’t know about that. Must have been lost in translation. No, there were no other songs destined for glow stars as far as I can remember.”

Gerd: “You have been creative besides music with poems and paintings like in “the Sorrowjoy” book. Do you still do those activities ? Are there maybe new areas you would like to work on, like doing a movie ?”
Heather: “Would love to write a soundtrack for a feature film. I liked what amy mann did for magnolia. Would love to paint a body of work I am really proud of and have a show. These are all projects for the future. I am hoping to make a spoken word/music cd of the sorrowjoy at some point too.”

Heinz: “On the internet there are many Heather Nova fansites and forums? Do you sometimes visit any of them? If so what do you think about them generally or even specifically?”
Heather: “I have visited a few of them. It’s interesting to find out things like what peoples favourite songs are. I have to say that sometimes the “fans” on these sites seem more critical than the critics though! Ready to crucify me if I don’t live up to who heather nova is in their minds. It can be disturbing so I tend to stay off.”

Heinz: “I know, that you are sometimes very close by your fans after the shows. What are your feelings in these moments? Did you ever faced problems with stalkers or virtual stalkers?”
Heather: “I am generally a trusting person and like to have interaction with people who love my music but unfortunately I have to keep a certain distance to be safe. The majority of people who want to talk to me are warm and genuine but there have been a few nutters who have really scared me.”

Heinz: “You are very engaged in social and nature protection related affairs. So you protested the possible dredging of Sinky Bay, Southampton to accommodate a new dolphin park. You also donated a song to the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, called “Bermuda Sloop Song”. Have you plans to release this song?”
Heather: “Yes the sloop foundation will release the song before Christmas to hopefully raise some money for the project.”

Heinz: “Your new album is called Redbird. Is there any connection to your nature protection? And how can you describe the music? What’s the main difference to “Storm”?
Heather: “I wanted to make a bigger fuller sounding record this time, but not to make it just a “rock” record. So we used things like gospel choirs and strings to give it a big sound. There are also songs like “overturned” though which are real rock songs. it was time to get the distortion pedals out again! I have a deep connection to nature and my music reflects that and comes from that in a way, so each of my records have titles referring to the natural world.”

Heinz: “You will be on tour in August and later in autumn. I assume, that you will do some rehearsals next time. Who will be part of your band this year?”
Heather: “the band line up will be:
berit fridahl on guitar
matt round on bass
laurie Jenkins on drums
simon Stafford on keyboards

Chris:”I’ve always been interested in your collaboration with Dido on “Welcome”, which will also be a part of the next record. Can you tell us more about this contact between the two of you. Where did you meet and who came up with the idea of a common song?”
Heather: “Actually we never met! A third party recommended we collaborate but I was on tour in the states and she was on tour somewhere else so we did it over email. A sign of the times for sure.”

Heather, vielen Dank, dass du unsere Fragen beantwortet hast!

An dieser Stelle möchte ich mich bei allen Fans der www.heathernova.de und www.heathernova.net bedanken, die ihre Fragen für dieses Interview beigesteuert haben. Darüberhinaus gilt mein Dank Gerd Will, der bei der sprachlichen Überarbeitung der Fragen seine Hilfe eingebracht hat.