Interview with Scott Hinkson
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My mom blasting Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” when I very young, likely 6-7 years old. I was immediately attracted to the harmonies and the intensity of the ending with the orchestra. In my growing mind, it was likely the heaviest thing I had heard and my brother and I would jump off our basement couches trying to time our jumps with moves that matched the timpani shots. That was a rare moment of singular clarity in my life, I know I loved the feeling of what music did to me and felt I understood it’s structures and invocative nature from a young age.
I do have a day job that does exercise similar pieces of my mind: I’ve always viewed music one part art and subjectivity and one part science, given that rhythms are often just exceling at math at times.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I have a passion for running and working out regularly. While, I would not consider myself having the beach body, what these activities do is take an emotional and physical edge off me…providing neutrality. This is foundational to ensure that I’m not bringing too much of the outside inside the songs, although it’s normal for the subjects to be formed by our experiences and perspectives
How long have you been making music?
First band was in high-school, but seriously making music (albums and performing live), I’m coming up on 30 years next year. I’m at 12 albums and 2 EPs and a couple hundred of shows since then
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. I think there’s a vibrant music scene here. It’s got its camps, to which I’ve been a bit of an in-betweener. A solid roots, folk scene, great punk scene, strong metal scene, and many more. Many of us are influenced by the weather…it’s cold and our options are limited for outdoor activities in winter, which can you keep you inside for around 6 months. I think that environment is a catalyst for many of us to create. A winter palette; unlimited painting
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I’ve been lucky to be the “opener” for many great live Canadian bands over the years: The Watchmen, Gandharvas, 13 Engines, Treble Charger, and many more. But I think my favorite show was my cd release for my 3rd record in Sept of 2011 at the Park Theatre. Many musicians have walked off stage and heard how great their show was, how awesome the sound was, but many of us in that moment are thinking “really? The monitors were terrible, I couldn’t hear myself”, “we screwed up that song”, etc. For this show, the sound, performances, crowd, and energy were perfect. It was exhilarating. Magic even. It felt so intimate and real. It’s a show that’s impregnated in my mind as my best.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I loved playing at New Music West in Vancouver in 2007. However, there many I would love to take a stab at. Horseshow Tavern in Toronto to start. Always wanted to play there.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Assuming this is a live or dead type of hypothetical question, Soundgarden, Failure, Tool, Daniel Lanois, Massive Attack, The Tragically Hip, and Fleet Foxes….makes no sense right? But I’d be in heaven.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Always start with what feels and is authentic to you. Don’t write something (music or lyrics) to seem smart, cool, etc. Practice and build strong relationships by networking. I think all of which I could have focused on more in my early years.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Not Me Maniac. It’s kind of a life mantra for me. Despite what I go through, I’m resilient and positive. You can’t take that from me
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I used to play a song in drop-D tuning with a bow, called “The Bow Song”. It was my set closer for many, many years. It was always a fun one to hear loud on the mains, the symphonic rock element of it was a bit of a visual spectacle for some to see. The audience reaction was always strong, and I always got into the bi-directional energy
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I would say there’s no one way a song starts, but often it’s like this. I save up song titles and concepts. I don’t have the music written yet. When I head into the studio, I may already have an idea if the song is a high, medium, or low tempo tune based on the topic. I would usually write on my electric, acoustic guitar, or keyboard. Depends on if I’m going for a rockier feel, soulful, low tempo, ethereal, etc. If the parts are interesting and feel something like I’ve never done before, I would keep going. I may stop after two or three parts and start arranging, testing if I can hum a melody overtop that’s hooky. If so, I’ll record it quickly before getting too invested in writing the rest. I’ll listen for a day or so, moving parts around, and trying my hand at lyrics. This is the critical moment if it hangs together – do the words and melody work in concert and are they something I REMEMBER. Am I humming it, remembering it after I step away for a few hours? If the answer is yes, I proceed to record the beds and layer on other instruments as it calls for.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music, if so please tell me about them?
This is something I feel I’ve turned the corner on. I used to write more about the feelings I had of not belonging or fitting into the relationships I had around me. I think with this last record, I started after about 6 months after the pandemic started and 6 years since I recorded and released my last solo album, it was more about observations about that time combined with how I’ve changed as a person.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I want to shop my album around to music supervisors, continue to gain more downloads and streams by releasing a couple more singles.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Band Website: https://scotthinksonmusic.com/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ScottHinkson