Hayward Williams

Posted by: on Oct 27, 2014 | No Comments

Upon returning home from his last tour to Australia, Hayward Williams thought he was going to die. Tired and feeling gaunt he battled through the terminal to reach his connecting flight and then something started to feel very wrong. “I got to the airport and I was having a panic attack but I didn’t know that at the time. I went to the emergency room and they said I was exhausted which on many levels was true. I was getting married in a month and combined with everything else going on at that point in time, my body just decided to shut down for a bit.”

A few years later, Williams is happily married to his best friend and is gearing up for the release of his Fourth studio effort The Reef. The songs are inspired by the events following the panic attack and Williams progression to get back out onto stage and performing again. “At that time, I had so much stage fright and so much anxiety that I couldn’t perform. I was on medication and frightened that I would never be able to perform again.  Some of the tracks on this record are quite old but most of them were written when I was struggling to come to terms with these dark shadows on my career. They come from a very curious and afraid point of view. But you can only write so many songs like that though.”

Haymaker, the 2012 release from Williams was recorded and ready for release to the world, however there were no more funds remaining for production and marketing of the disc. The decision to crowd fund the last part of the process wasn’t an easy one to make however, within 24 hours of the campaign going live, the funds were reached. “It’s a very humbling experience, because you never know what’s going to happen when you start the campaign. My goal was $4000 and I ended up with $7000 at the end and that was a lot of money for me.”

One of the main differences between Haymaker and The Reef is the process that Williams took to recording. “Haymaker was a record that was really tedious and overanalysed to create a perfect album and because I wanted a different spirit for The Reef and to put the music through a prism of hope, we aimed for a different feel. We recorded in two days and everything was done within a couple of takes. It’s fear based literature and is a really natural sounding record that I think everybody is going to enjoy and find an element that they really like.”

Having seen Hayward Williams perform at the Apollo Bay Music Festival a few years back, he is definitely a solid performer and has many tales from the road to tell. Luckily, for all the Forte readers out there, he is just one of the international acts announced for the Queenscliff Music Festival 2014. Backed by The Yearlings from South Australia, this is set to be a very special performance from the upcoming tour. “We were on the same bill together at the Vanguard in Sydney one night and I saw them play and we decided then and there to play together the next time I came down. They are a great band and I love them so much. Playing at Queenscliff is going to be awesome. I hear it’s a festival with a great coastal vibe, I can’t wait to get down there.”

Check out this cracking cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Thunder Road’

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