Originally from New Zealand but now an inhabitant of the UK, the story of Pip Brown and the birth of Ladyhawke veers off on numerous tangents but her passion for music and her dogged pursuit of this are apparent throughout.
With her self titled debut album set for release in September through Modular/Island Records this story looks set to evolve at a pace from here on in. Loaded with evocative 80's sounds and pop gems right the way through the album features numerous outstanding tracks, such as 'Back of the Van' and 'My Delirium'. Both of which are sure to follow in the footsteps of first single 'Paris is Burning' which has received rapturous from critics and fans alike.
At an early age Pip was only concerned with playing at a substantial volume 'The louder, the better as far was I was concerned' however she soon became interested in the guitar, bass and synth after a stint behind a drum kit. At 16 she had the urge to start her own band and at 18 she moved to Wellington to begin this journey.
Now I will hand over to Pip to finish the story.......
Herein begins a tale of rockdom, brokedom, dingy bars, and stinky boys.
Me and my buddy started a band called Two Lane Blacktop, (it was like Iggy and The Stooges meets The Clash).
I played lead guitar and was the only girl.
We did lots of touring and stuff; subsequently we got ourselves quite a following in New Zealand.
I spent a lot of time in the back of a clapped out old van called cherry with 4 smelly boys.
Sleeping on couches and floors.
Driving through the night.
We played in Australia lots. That also required hours and hours of driving in a shit van - only swap the cool New Zealand bush-land with 40 degree dusty Australian desert.
Those days were fun.
We even managed to make it over to the states for some shows.
I can actually say I have played CBGB's.
I stood and played on the same stage that Deborah Harry, Joey Ramone, and many other idols of mine have played.
On our return to NZ, we started having personal differences in the band.
We were booked to tour Australia as a support band and we were due to fly on to South by Southwest in Texas thereafter.
Literally two days before our flight to Australia, our singer decided to quit the band & our drummer soon followed suit.
I was left, devastated, bitter and angry.
So in a fit of impulsive spontaneity I thought 'fuck it, I'm getting on that damn plane with or without my band' and I did.
No money, only my suitcase, a guitar, and three empty seats beside me.
I arrived in Melbourne.
I was homeless, penniless and band-less.
A guy in Sydney called Nick Littlemore had just started a band called Teenager.
He caught wind of my move to Melbourne and asked if I wanted to join the band as the guitarist.
I liked the music so started playing with him.
We played together for a couple of years. I relocated to Sydney so as to be closer to all the people I write music with.
Ladyhawke slowly started to take over my life and my head, all my time became consumed by it.
Nick continued Teenager (it's an on-going personal project for him) but I started Ladyhawke out of a desire to do my own project where I could completely express myself in any way I wanted without having to answer to bandmates!
I wanted to make music that could put a smile on people's faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time.
I love how music evokes memories of a certain time, I wanted to see if I could find a method of songwriting that would evoke those feelings from me on writing the song and then from the individual when listening to it for the first time.
I draw massively from many many influences. You could definitely say I wear them on my sleeve, but what I have tried to do is really recreate the same vibe that so many amazing records of the 70's and 80's produced.
Vintage Synths have been used, I've wanted to keep simple hooky guitar riffs throughout the tracks, but at times let loose with a solo every now and then (my self indulgent moments ha!).
I wanted to capture the "happy sad" vibe that so many eighties classics had.
Music that came out of the eighties had such a unique and definitive sound. Big production, big synths, and big guitar riffs. The songwriters were incredibly significant, and the whole musical era left an
everlasting impression on me.
I feel though, that the vast amount of influences I draw from mesh nicely with my "modern" upbringing.
I am not only influenced by music of a bygone era, I also draw hugely from pop-culture, not just musical pop culture, but in art, media, television, movies, everything that bombarded my senses growing up
and too this day. That includes modern music makers, bands and producers of now who inspire me.
I'd like to think that my obsession with musical heroes of the seventies and eighties has blended with my exposure to music of a more recent date, to create quite a new, interesting, and relevant sound.
Me and Ladyhawke are two sides of one coin.
She is an incredibly important part of my personality.
As primarily, above all else, a songwriter, I only ever wanted to create something that evoked feelings.
I hope that Ladyhawke does.
We were all once teenagers, listening to music at full volume, jumping on the bed with the door shut.