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Insider Scoop: Talking 'The Hell in The Hallway' Tour and 'The Prize' with Hannah Wicklund

Edited by Metztli Mengani

Hannah posed sitting in a forest with her baby pink electric guitar in her lap.
Photo credit: Jamie Goodsell

I got to speak with Hannah Wicklund briefly about her life touring and her music. Here's a snippet from our conversation -


Mav: [Speaking of shows], so this tour, I know, it's coming right off the opening for Greta [Van Fleet]. [What] was that like versus touring now by yourself?

HW: Well, the difference is really having a twenty-five-minute set versus having a whole set. Opening slots are fantastic for a lot of reasons. And it's [really] helpful to get out in front of new crowds and stuff, but having the chance to [actually] sink in and relax on stage and put on exactly the show that I want to be putting on each night is a level of freedom that I am very happy to have back. I love both versions of touring. But, if I had to choose musically and just spiritually speaking, having my full breadth on stage makes a big difference.

 

Mav: You inspire me because one, you're a woman in the rock industry. Two, you've been doing this since you were a kid. Where did you get the inspiration to be like, "This is what I want to do.”?

HW: Well, I had a very supportive father, and I started playing piano pretty young and picked up a guitar and pretty much immediately wanted to start my band. Because I had an older brother who had been having band practice at the house since I was [around] five years old. So, it was really the natural progression in my mind. My dad had played in a local band in Hilton Head in the 80s, and then my brother had his [band]. So, it was just the natural kind of flow of things to me for whatever reason. [It] felt pretty natural [to me go] after it, and it's been fun.


Mav: Yeah, I was reading up on some other stuff you've done [interview-wise], and I'd already written an article about the release of 'Witness.'

HW: I think I may know which one you're talking about. Yeah. Very beautiful. Thank you so much.


Mav: [And] then the music video for 'Witness' is immaculate. The music video itself is so beautifully done. Where did you film it? How did you pick the location? How did that all happen?

HW: Yeah, the dude who engineered my record, Lance, engineered most of it but not the whole thing. But he is the studio manager at a recording studio. The location where we filmed [at] was called Castle Recording [Studios]. It's right outside of Nashville, and it was just the perfect location. He had shown us the studio while we were working on The Prize. We didn't record anything there. But when it came time to imagine a music video, it was the perfect place because there aren't too many castles in Tennessee. So, it really captured it. [The] outside space was just magical [and] organic. [It's] just a very beautiful outer landscape. So, it really was the perfect spot. It was so much fun.

 

Mav: You said 'Witness' is one of your [favorites on the album]. [Are] there any other [songs] you have favoritism towards?

HW: I think the title track, 'The Prize', was a really important song for me as a songwriter. It fully encapsulated for me that transition from girlhood to womanhood and kind of helped me piece together my own story in a way and forgive myself. [It] helped me shift my perspective as a human being. So, I think that song was the cherry on top [of] writing this record. [It was] the last song that I wrote [for the album]. I think once I wrote that song, I was like, "Okay, no, I have the record."


Mav: You named the tour Hell in the Hallway. Why is that?

HW: Well, I really loved the painting that I did for Hell in the Hallway and I imagined it being the backdrop or the tour once it was finished. It just [has] a very dramatic look to it, and I have the checkerboard [design]. It's very much fashioned after growing up [in] my childhood home, which my parents still live in. [It] has [a] checkerboard hallway. That was [where] my room was at [at] the very end of the little hall [in my] ranch-style house. So, I would have to walk up and down this checkerboard hallway every day. [And] my mom always had crimson roses hung upside down in the kitchen growing up. All of my bouquets from my first ballet recital and my piano recitals. My mom still has my bouquets from [my] childhood around the house. Red roses were the ones I got most often. So, I love that Hell in the Hallway captured a little bit [of the feeling of] home. It made me feel a little bit more excited about getting on the [road]. I think the painting was ultimately what dictated the name of the tour.


Mav: I love that so much. What [do you pull] inspiration [from] when you [make your] paintings? I know you sell some of your art at shows and on your website.

HW: Well, I've yet to [sell] any of my oil paintings, and I don't think I would ever sell any of the originals of any of my pieces that are attached to my music. But as for the stuff that I'm selling at the merch table, that's my purest expression. That's where I just get to release and create art. That kind of flow. Those [are] as opposed to being too meticulous. Doing a bunch of The Prize style paintings takes a lot of brain work and planning and getting little details perfect. That's a totally different style. So, the stuff that I offer to fans and such is more of my playful, youthful [style]. The kind of art that I feel like making when I'm watching Harry Potter. That's pretty much my favorite pastime just sitting in the living room with my family, or by myself with my dogs, and just drawing or painting. That's why I do a lot with markers and watercolor paper, things that [aren't] too messy so that I can do it wherever and not be a nuisance.


Mav: The last question I have is: What can we expect [from] you for the rest of the year besides touring?

HW: Actually, I do think there's going to be some fun stuff coming out. I can't say too much yet, but there's going to be more music to come, [but] probably not the next studio album. The next studio album, I think will be slated for next year. But in the meantime, we'll definitely have a few goodies coming out.


If you have never listened to Hannah or seen her live, you can catch her on tour now on her headliner, Hell in the Hallway. Check out the Tour dates here!


 

Hannah Wicklund X | Instagram | Spotify | Youtube

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