Interview: Withered Hand on his Queen’s Hall shows during 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This article is from 2013

Interview: Withered Hand on his Queen’s Hall shows during 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Photo: Pam Berry

Father / label boss / alt-rock-pop-folk ‘cult’ songwriter Dan Willson fields a few questions from The List

Who/what is Withered Hand?
I am. And if I play with friends, we are.

As a musician, do you have an ‘ethos’?
Somewhere between 'be as truthful as you can’ and 'cut your coat according to your cloth'. I like to see an underdog bare it's teeth.

What’s the plan for your Queen’s Hall show?
I revamped the band early this summer. It meant saying farewell to two good, old friends and hello to a couple more. This is my third festival show at the Queen's Hall and each has been quite special – I try to invite guests I’d like to see or pay respect to. This year I invited Eugene Kelly and The Second Hand Marching Band, and there will be a few other surprises, including some new WH songs.

You have two kids – what do they make of their dad’s music?
Haha, they know my songs better than I do sometimes. We’ve had some interesting discussions about the more colourful lyrics. I can rely on them to give the most honest reviews.

You also run your own label, Brother & Dad – how important is it to be independent and have creative control over your work?
Although I didn't set out to run my own label, I found it made sense quite quickly. I can say what I want and dance to my own tune, even if sometimes it’s like nobody is listening. The trade-off is you stay 'cult' and resign yourself to a very modest level of what most people would call success.

You’ve been busy recording this summer. When can we expect to hear the fruits of your labour?
Yes I finally recorded my second album with producer Tony Doogan in Glasgow earlier this year. Unless anything changes, I’ll release it on my own label in early 2014. This sequence of songs is about love I suppose. It's a defiant, joyful record. This time it's not all about the sadness.

Queen's Hall, 668 2019, Sat 10 Aug, 8pm, £12,

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