It was on 8 November 2012 at the Esplanade before their <Remember November> recital. We were rather apprehensive at first - their promotional shots taken at a cemetery were a little eccentric and we wondered if we were going to get answers out of the indie-folk duo. (Thank god they’re friendly!)
Claire and Les, a married couple who have been living in Singapore for more than 10 years, shares about the start of <One Hat Town>, musical influences, songs and thoughts about each other.
One Hat Town started when “I fell in love with Les rather scandalously when he was my guitar teacher. Seven years later we got married." Claire says.
And <One Hat Town> started off as just a Twitter name that Claire used. It was a phrase from one of the couple’s favourite movies The Brothers Bloom, and when they realised that the domain name was still available, <One Hat Town> was born!
“It turns out naming a band is harder than naming a kid,” Claire says. “It took a long time to come up with something we both liked that wasn’t already taken.”
The Civil Wars, The Fleet Foxes and The National are great musical influences to <One Hat Town>.
“A lot of people at our performances tell us we remind them of The Civil Wars, except that we’re actually together in real life,” Claire says, “They are certainly an influence, their tight harmonies and chemistry make their music great.”
In terms of lyric writing, Claire adds that she loves the abstract tangle of imagery in songs by The Fleet Foxes and The National, but in her own words “crazy to say our lyrics come anywhere close”.
Songs by One Hat Town have been very personal. All of them tell part of their story, on events that One Hat Town has gone through.
“My favourite is probably Burning Away,” Claire says, We wrote it from a line in a Lovecraft story but became something else entirely.”
Asked about their unique sense of style, Claire explains that both of them love antiques and things that are classic and timeless. They borrow a lot from Claire’s parents’ wardrobes.
“Credit also goes to our friend Mary-Jane Leo who is a brilliant art director and talked over our look with us.”
“Les is a total goofball, and I love him for it. When we first met he used to embarrass me by tap dancing in the train, without a care in the world for what anyone else thought of him. He's very disciplined when it comes to his music though, and can easily practice for hours every day without any encouragement, which is something I find quite admirable as I have a short attention span in contrast. He's also the most honest, loyal and upright person I know, the kind of guy you'd want on your team because he has your back no matter what. “
“Claire is someone who appreciates the simple things in life. She also sleeps a lot and sadly, seems to enjoy video games more than practicing our music! As a collaborator, she's a perfectionist and wants the best, which I appreciate because it keeps me on my toes. But it does mean that we write songs very slowly.”
“Ten years ago I saw myself being in a full band playing more pop/rock type music,” Les says, “though I secretly longed to be in a jazz trio in the style of Chick Core, Stanley Clarke and Mike Stern.”
“I'm happy with One Hat Town and what it's become. I feel our materials come from a very honest and real place.” He adds.
More information at @
Their official website: http://onehattown.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/onehattown
Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/OneHatTown?feature=watch