10 Questions with ... Hawk Nelson
November 28, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Jason Dunn (vocals)
- Daniel Biro (bass)
- Jonathan Steingard (guitar)
- Justin Benner (drums)
- Tooth & Nail Records/BEC Recordings
- Hawk Nelson Christmas
- Crazy Love
- Life Life Loud
- Hawk Nelson...Is My Friend
- Smile, It's the End of the World
- Letters to the President
1) Talk a little about the process of recording Hawk Nelson Christmas. How do you create holiday spirit in the studio when it's not actually the holidays?
Creating Christmas "Spirit" is not exactly something you can emulate easily. It's a time of year many of us love and cherish, for a variety of reasons: the family, festive food and winter outdoor activities to name a few. When recording this Christmas EP none of that was present. We didn't drink hot cocoa or put up a Christmas tree in the studio. But we sang our hearts out and it felt great!
2) How did you narrow down which songs to include on the new EP?
We found classic songs that we felt we could do justice. Some more common ones like "Silent Night" and "Up On The Housetop," but also a goodie by the name "The Wassail Song."
3) Do you have a favorite song on the collection?
I personally like "Silent Night," but I'm a bit of a softie. Jonathan (our guitarist and also the producer of this EP) did a phenomenal job crafting this classic. He pulled out the best in Jason's vocal range and added the gifted and talented works of Travis Terryll who played the string parts beautifully.
4) What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
"Silent Night" is definitely up there. I remember singing it many years as Christmas Eve rolls into Christmas Day. Great lyrics that stand the test of time.
5) What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Ha! Honestly one Christmas morning the kids (four in our family) had gotten all our presents when our dad said he had one more for us. He proceeded to grab the rod, which he had made to discipline us with spankings as we needed them. He told us how he felt this method was not right and that he was sorry. He placed it into the roaring fireplace and there was no more rod. We literally danced around in joy and I don't remember a better Christmas morning. For the record my dad is a very loving father and always has been!
6) Do have any specific family Christmas traditions?
I get a thrill out of the small things associated with the season. Tobogganing, ice skating outdoors, hot drinks by the fire, candlelight services. To me, these are the traditions that will last.
7) Do you have any Christmastime tour plans? Any shows where you'll be playing the Christmas tunes?
We have the privilege of touring alongside Family Force 5 and Manafest for a Christmas Pageant Tour in December. We plan on playing a few Christmas tunes acoustically in the pre-show, as well as some up/rock versions for the main set. Looking forward to it. It's long overdue. Plus, the benefit is that even if the audience doesn't know Hawk Nelson material, chances are they'll be singing along with the Christmas stuff!
8) What is one thing you hope that Santa brings you this year?
For toys I go to Santa, and that can pretty much be any gadget from an espresso maker to a new set of running shoes. But for continued peace in my life I go to God. I find Christmastime especially good for renewing my closeness with him through his son, Jesus.
9) What are some of your favorite Christmas albums?
For old school Christmas, I think Mr. Bing Crosby does it best. For new school, I appreciate the vocals of Sarah McLachlan and Michael Buble.
10) If you could travel anywhere in the world to spend Christmas, where would you go?
Home. And home is where the heart is. With family and friends. Right now that happens to be in Canada. But if everybody packed up and moved to California, I'd be there in a heartbeat.