Talking music with Liam Hunter
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Liam Hunter, a freelance musician, producer and artist. I'm 1/3 of Sheffield hardcore punk band Lawman, 1/2 of Sheffield avant-garde partnership FURS and 1/1 of $PECIAL POCKETS as a hip-hop producer. I create music in many different genre's and styles from hardcore punk to hip-hop and beyond so I'm currently invested in many different projects across the country.
What are you working on currently?
Currently I have lots of projects in the pipeline, but finding the time to invest properly into them and make them fit my vision is the tricky part. People can expect a new FURS album from myself and Dan Bell (@instabell07) entitled, iDENTITY sometime this year, as well as more Volumes in the $pecial Pockets series sprinkled throughout the year. I'll also be investing time into getting the first Lawman EP out with more gigs around the country. I have big plans for 2019 and am eager to share them with the world.
What do you think makes a great musician?
I think what separates people who pretend to be artists from true practitioners is the development and implementation of new ideas whilst always being on the look for the next way to push themselves further and improve what currently exists. I have a great deal of respect for people who aren't satisfied with how things are and set about trying to change the culture around them. I also believe that a willingness to experiment and be bold is very important to any musician rather than coasting along.
What equipment/knowhow do people need to get started?
Starting out I really didn't have much to record on so I improvised until I saved up enough to get a DAW and a decent mic. I did a whole math rock album with the drummer of my old band in his shed in a day (I'm Jim MORRISON, I'm Dead). It wasn't the greatest of quality but often I prefer it when bands are honest and use what materials they have to hand - often it crafts a unique sound. I'm still learning everyday as I've only picked up producing at the start of 2017, but I have definitely come on in leaps and bounds through my willingness to keep creating. It's also important to learn the methods of people who's work you admire, for me Steve Albini is a huge influence with his DIY work ethic and has produced some of my favourite albums.
Any things to avoid?
I'd avoid working when it doesn't feel right or if you're suffering writer's block as trying to force ideas seldom produces anything of worth in my opinion. Also don't be too critical of yourself as there is only one way to move after mistakes or not getting things right the first time - forward. Having the resiliency to bounce back if things aren't working out is crucial.
How should an absolute novice get started in your field?
Surround yourself with reliable, like-minded people and experiment. If you keep trying at anything you will get better at it. Also never restrict yourself into one thing as everything is always worth a try to better yourself and learn more. When I first started learning guitar at 13 I was trying on my own fine but then as soon as I got guitar lessons with Jim McGrother & Calvin Rhodes (Body Hound) I saw my skill and eagerness spike up - alway do and learn more. Much like today when I bounce my ideas off my current bandmates or friends. It's always good to have that narrative open and have people that you can better yourself with.
What are your favourite examples of good musicianship?
I enjoy a wide range of music and taking in different influences but one thing that especially stands out for me is when a musician crafts their own identity/signature sound that brings you into their world. Cities Aviv, whose album 'raise for a better view' was my favourite album this year, they full take you in with their unique nature and out of the box style.
Tell us about your own work/favourite projects
I'm proud of every project I've been a part of but some standout projects are definitely my work as a member of FURS, our albums occur as a sort of challenge. Putting ourselves under different conditions such as making an album in the day with no restrictions and being in the same room with each other over the course of writing the other one without being able to leave. I also enjoy working in Lawman as the energy and catharsis of preforming is second to none.
Where should people look to learn more? The main place to find out more about me and everything I do is my instagram @special_pockets. If you have anything you want to ask or just talk about music please message me and I will get around to you. Big Love.