I am stoked to be sitting down sending a few questions Hannah Edgerton’s way, a lot to catch up on, as it’s been 5 years since my last 2014 review of her talented all girl trio The Third Eye at The Spill in her hometown of Peterborough.
Hey, Hannah. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hannah is an acclaimed multi instrumentalist, an award winning song-writer and widely considered to be one of the most diverse figures in today’s music business. You are constantly performing whether on bass with The Effens,
or on drums for Koza.
Q-1. Share with your fans how your multi-instrumental musical journey began oh so many moons ago.
HANNAH: I started playing drums around 10 years of age and played for 5 – 6 years off and on. Sometime in high school I picked up guitar and started to write songs that were very raw & personal 1. because I had no clue what I was doing and 2. I needed to get out how I was feeling some how and lyrics just seemed to make sense to me. I started by playing some acoustic cover sets at pubs with Jessica Ross for a while but, I was very nervous to play any of my original songs live, I eventually ended up playing strictly lead guitar in one of my earlier bands for sometime after that. After shifting members and band names, I eventually was the lead vocalist and guitarist of another project for a few years but, unforunately had a falling out with those bandmates due to different creative perspectives and personal issues outside of the band. At some point ‘Nops’ from The Effens, saw a video of me playing bass for a cover set of rage against the machine from one of said earlier projects, and asked if I would play bass full time and do back up vocals for The Effens and I said yes. I then learned how to play bass very quickly because I needed to play those songs live in about a month or so and it’s been two years since that set on Oct.12th 2017.
Q-2. Who motivates or influences you musically then and now?
HANNAH: My influences are constantly changing so it’s difficult to answer this. When I was younger Nirvana, Billy Talent, Linkin Park and System of A Down were basically all I listened to. At the moment I’ve been really intrigued by artists such as Janitor Joe, PJ Harvey, Brody Dalle, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Slint, Cross Record, Tamino, Warpaint, and Jeff Buckley
Q-3. Keeping super busy, how do you find time to be Hannah these days?
HANNAH: I honestly don’t really have time to myself which is both a blessing and a curse.
Q-4. If you could change anything in this music industry what would it be?
HANNAH: I’d bring back Much Music, and when I say that, I mean like the version of it I would watch when I was growing up. I don’t even know what it is now, a streaming platform or website by the looks of it? But, I miss the days of waking up extremely early to watch music videos from foreign counties and discovering random Canadian bands because of shows like disBAND. It was honestly how I discovered a lot of music as a kid. I have very vivid memories of watching music videos from Billy Talent, Green Day, Evanescence, Foo Fighters and Fall Out Boy.
Q-5. Have you felt a change or major shift in music since your careers began?
HANNAH: I mean in terms of personal growth I’m much happier working with the musicians I am now more than ever. I’m finally working on and writing songs that I’m genuinely proud of and enjoy which was difficult because I hadn’t felt that way in previous projects. Working with not only supportive friends, but people you’re on the same page as you musically is an incredibly refreshing breathe of fresh air and I’m very grateful to be where I am right now. In terms of the Toronto music scene there has been a lot of change both positive and negative. Unforunately we’ve lost a lot of DIY venues such as Soybomb and Faith/Void but, new spaces are appearing and bands are now frequently playing at bars such as the Baby G, The Monarch Tavern, Burdock and The Handlebar. As for the positive I feel a lot safer as a female musician in the Toronto music scene as in recent years, there has been a lot more push from promoters for safe spaces and inclusive bill line ups which has helped me to feel much more comfortable.
Q-6. Tell us all about touring band highlights?
HANNAH: This year I haven’t done much touring as both of my bands have been focused on releasing music and playing in Toronto+GTA but, I did play a few out of town shows in Guelph, Mississauga, Hamilton and Peterborough. For me personally, playing Guelph is always a highlight we go to this lovely little vegan cafe called Cornerstones before we play and the scene there is so supportive, it reminds me of how Peterborough was a few years ago when The Spill was still around. Not to mention their are some lovely and very talents folks out there such as Eddyevvy and I Feel Sorry ♡. Visiting Peterborough is always a treat too as I get to spend time with family and show my bandmates all the places I frequented growing up in the area.
Q-7. How do you define success?
HANNAH: I try not to think about it much honestly. Success doesn’t really mean much to me. I just want to create music that not only I’m happy with but my bandmates are as well. I just try to take things a day at a time and keep pushing the bands that I’m in to outdo our own personal goals as much as possible.
Q-8. What do you feel are the imperative elements an artist needs to have, as part of their product, to go out there and pitch it?
HANNAH: I’ve always felt that artists should just be as authentic and genuine as possible. It’s almost pointless to create a false image just to please other people 1. It’ll just make you feel hollow after a while and 2. you won’t be able to keep it up over the long haul. Just be yourself, embrace change when it occurs and whatever flows out of you will have some sort of impact. Business wise just be creative with your merchandising make interesting band shirts, have good artwork on posters/stickers , put out tapes or vinyl of limited supply as people love having things that not everyone is going to have.
Q-9. What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you least like?’
HANNAH: I mean the most important thing by far for me is having a healthy outlet to express myself. But secondly following that, is being apart of bands with such down to earth and supportive individuals which I can continue to grow and create art with. I also enjoy being able to meet and share experiences with people I’d probably never have met or spoken to otherwise. I think my least favourite thing is when I’m in an off mood while being at a show I don’t feel like being very social and I don’t ever want anyone to get the impression that I don’t like them or that I’m rude it’s just sometimes I’m very in my head.
Q-10. I was about to ask what is next for Hannah? Then I heard you are still engaging your fantastic solo career, with a project in the works previously called ‘sad child’ but, upon working on your upcoming EP, you changed the project’s name to ‘Sullen’.
HANNAH: I just felt like I outgrew ‘sad child’ I just didn’t really connect with it the same way anymore. ‘Sullen’ has the same heaviness too it but just feels more mature and makes more sense in terms of the lyrical content of the songs I’ve been working on. But the solo EP is a long ways off still as I’m just in the midst of working on demos.
The Effens performed to a full house I heard during your prestigious hometown show with Niall and Tijuana Jesus on Oct. 4th, in your old stomping grounds of Peterborough, at a new venue, The Twisted Wheel. As well, THIS Saturday, Oct 19th, you are on bill at your band’s home away from home here in Toronto, at the Legendary Horseshoe, performing for Starcrawler. I am thrilled to finally make it out to capture your essence here in Toronto as an adult musician; as the last time I reviewed your live act, you were a teen.
Q-12. Where can fans purchase tickets for your upcoming October 19th show? https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/starcrawler-tickets-71689815167
HANNAH: Tickets are still available on eventbrite and selling at local shops in Toronto: Rotate This, Soundscapes and The Horseshoe front bar.
Q-13. Where can fans stay in tune with you on social media?