Hanna's Marines is a London based alternative-pop rock, female-fronted platoon. Think KT Tunstall inspired by Paramore.
We caught up with Hanna at a Bananarama gig in Rhyl (North Wales), we'd just decamped to the bar after 911 (support band) had finished their set, Hannah was feeling fruity so had the cocktail menu in her hand, whilst she was deciding whether to have a 'Between the Sheets' or a 'Slippery Nipple', we asked her some questions....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
I’m Hanna from Hanna’s Marines; an alternative folk-rock, female-fronted platoon.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be in a band/performer?
I think it was when I started writing songs and wanted to show them to the family, just wanting people to hear what I had written. I started performing at school concerts, and then formed a band with my friends. We joined a local music project based in a youth centre, and when we started recording and performing at local venues, that’s when I got a taste for performing and knew that I wanted to take it further.
You began writing at the age of 8. can you tell us what the sort of things you would write about?
Well, firstly...they weren’t very good. And oddly dark for an 8 year old. My first song was called ‘I’m Lonely’ and was about getting lost in a forest – despite me being a very happy and sociable child! There was the motivational pop song “Can’t Knock Me Down”, and I also wrote a self-titled rap song – I can assure you, none of these are seeing the light of day!
‘I See You’ is a peaceful tune, is there a story behind this?
I was inspired by ‘Every Breath You Take’ by the Police. It’s a favourite song of mine, and I wanted to try create the same vibe but with a different aesthetic.
First song you learnt to play on guitar?
Venus by Bananarama.
Being an unsigned band how hard is it to get noticed and has social media aided your music?
It’s very difficult, but I think it’s very important for every artist to start out this way. I’ve learnt so much about the all the different aspects of the music business by having to do it myself. But the main difficulty is getting people to hear your music, and getting noticed by people in the industry. Social media is a great way to share music to new audiences. It’s helped me gain fans, both local and abroad, and it’s great that I can stay in touch with them online. There is more pressure on unsigned artists to prove their worth, through the number of likes on their Facebook page and how many followers they have on Twitter. But I do genuinely feel that if you believe in what you’re doing, and you do what you love, eventually you’ll be heard by the right people.
Are there any musicians/bands you would ask musicmuso readers to check out?
You have to check out a fellow Hanna – Hana Piranha. She plays violin and writes powerpunk, it’s an awesome mix.
Favourite venue you have played at?
Got to be the Hard Rock Cafe, played there as a solo artist in back in May 2012.
What is it about open mic nights you like?
I like that the people that attend are either musicians or fans of music generally, and people tend to be respectful and supportive. It’s a nice environment to play in, and you can network a little bit too.
Best way to make a cup of tea?
Strong! Used to be a fan of the builder’s tea but am weaning myself down to one sugar.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
It would have to be KT Tunstall – Eye to the Telescope, purely because it was THE album that inspired and affected me the most. I was 14 when I heard it, and I just thought the songs were so honest, and her sound was completely her own. It made me look at my songs and want to up my game, in the hope that I could achieve the same raw honesty in my music.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
Luther Vandross – Never Too Much. I love that song so much, and if I’m not already on the dancefloor this will get me up. I think it would just be so fun to record!
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like to party with?
Hayley Williams (Paramore) cos’ she would be the life of the party. Marilyn Monroe would bring all the glitz and glamour, and we’d get into all the VIP areas. And my fictional person would have to be Phoebe from Friends – she’d guarantee your night out was anything but ordinary!
How do you feel about the treatment of David Moyes?
How can you sack him before the end of the season?! I felt like he needed to get into a rhythm there. But I’m secretly hoping that Giggs does a good job and they consider giving him the role.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having it’s motives questioned?
The question is, would we want to??
What are your plans for 2014?
It’s going to be centred around the recording and release of my debut EP. I’ve already recorded one song (which I’m currently offering as a free download to anyone who joins my mailing list!), and I’m going to finish recording the EP in July. I’ll be releasing it later this year and I’ll hold an EP launch gig to celebrate the release. Anyone who’s interested should follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more details! I’ll also be gigging around London throughout the summer, and hopefully I’ll be playing in Bristol and Brighton as well.
Hannah was having real problems choosing her cocktail, in the end she opted for a bit of both and ended up with a 'Between the Nipples', which looked disgusting but tasted 'okay' in her opinion. Whilst she was grimacing after the first mouthful, we slid in with some quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Tea.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
Drum machine or the real deal? Nothing compares to the real deal
Mac or PC? PC, still haven’t been converted.
Fry up or Sunday roast? It’s a toughie, but I think it has to be the fry-up.
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy!
CD or Vinyl? CD.
Car or Motorbike? Car.
Acoustic or electric? Has to be acoustic.
Shower or Bath? Bath every time.
Tattoos or Piercings? On me: piercings. Other people? Tattoos.
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? Robert De Niro.
God or Google? Controversial! Purely because I’m an agnostic, and I pretty much rely on it for everything: Google.