Halflives are a magnificent alternative rock band who openly combine elements of melodic alt-rock, cutting-edge pop and textured elements from the trap and electronica to make a truly unique sounds.
Their first two EPs "Empty Rooms" (2017) and "Resilience" (2020) took them to 14 different countries to play over 100 shows, supporting the likes of PVRIS, Against The Current, The Faim and Icon For Hire. I recently caught up with vocalist Linda Battilani to discuss 'Resilience', Paramore, being a scene kid growing up and advice from the future!?...
"when I heard Paramore for the first time in 2007, I knew that I wanted that for myself. From that moment on my only focus was to start my own band, write my own music and make it my career"
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lock-down, what kind of things have you been up to since the lock-down came into effect.
I’m not one of those who miss doing sport on the outside or going to the gym so I was fine in my flat doing music and playing video games/watching TV shows! It’s been quite a productive period for me as I could focus just on that.
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow THIS is what I want to do with my life?
I guess when I heard Paramore for the first time in 2007, I knew that I wanted that for myself. From that moment on my only focus was to start my own band, write my own music and make it my career (even if at the beginning everybody was in a cover band haha).
Your latest EP, ‘Resilience’ was released on March 13th to an amazing reception. How did the recording process go for the EP compared to your original EP ‘Empty Rooms’?
I have been working with the same producer on both records so we kinda had our routine and methods already. Over the years we both grew professionally as artists so what was originally a week of songwriting all together at the place of one of us with a laptop became the real deal in a studio with expensive equipment. I’m happy that the magic still happens anywhere we are.
"The first two songs I wrote for the EP were "Snake" and "Hard to Break" and seeing how different they were and how the two messages they were conveying were far from each other it lit a spark in my brain"
‘Resilience’ explores quite in-depth themes of “getting lost and finding yourself again and the journey in-between”. How did the idea for this theme come about when creating the EP?
The first two songs I wrote for the EP were "Snake" and "Hard to Break" and seeing how different they were and how the two messages they were conveying were far from each other it lit a spark in my brain and I saw the whole picture of how I could connect all the dots.
Your UK headline tour was unfortunately pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak. How is that looking at the moment? Is everything still okay to go ahead in November?
I don’t have a crystal ball haha but I wish I had one and I could say yes. As far as we’re concerned, it’s still happening. Of course, things are still very uncertain at the moment and it all depends on how the outbreak evolves. We’re staying positive!
‘Resilience’ shows new unheard depths in your sound and just how far your sound and musicianship has come since the release of ‘Empty Rooms’ in 2017, was this a conscious choice or a natural evolution of your sound?
Thank you! In the course of the years I grew up and inevitably had new tastes compared to what I was listening to at the time. It was quite natural for me to unplug doing the same thing on repeat and explore new possibilities. I believe this is what makes me grow up as an artist as well (and not only as a person).
"we saw that Kellin Quinn was looking for artists to do guest vocals for so we sent him the song with no expectations at all. Turns out he loved it and in about a week it was all done!"
‘Time Bomb’, is an absolute belter of a track and features Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn as a guest vocalist, how did the collaboration come along?
Thank you I’m glad you like it! It’s the song I struggled wrapping up the most so I’m happy it resonates with people. Once it was all written and recorded we saw that Kellin Quinn was looking for artists to do guest vocals for so we sent him the song with no expectations at all. Turns out he loved it and in about a week it was all done!
If you could choose any one person to do guest vocals on one of your tracks who would you choose and why?
I would love a song with Halsey, I love her voice. But I would probably shit my pants.
If you had to choose one song from the Halflives catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound, which song would you choose and why?
I don’t think picking one song is something I could do because we’ve been on a constant evolution. So probably the next one..! Stay tuned to find out!
"What I want to do in the studio really is to have no limits and if a song sounds good in a certain way I won’t force it into another genre or sound just because I have to stick to certain codes."
Earlier in the year, in an interview with popsins, you stated that “It’s going to be a super busy year, provided global warming does not kill us all by then.” Are you a time traveller actually sent from the future to warn us of upcoming events? If so, what more does 2020 hold in store for us?
As I told you I don’t have a crystal ball, actually I come from the future, you caught me. Don’t say it to anyone! I’m teasing you that actually this year was not global warming but, hold my beer...
‘Resilience’ shows a lot of maturity for Halflives and it is truly impressive how much variety is packed into the 5 track EP. Is it a goal for you when creating new music to push the boundaries of what the definitive Halflives sound can be?
Thank you! I never believed that I would stick to the same sound forever, and it’s shown with this EP. What I want to do in the studio really is to have no limits and if a song sounds good in a certain way I won’t force it into another genre or sound just because I have to stick to certain codes. Creativity, in my opinion, doesn’t have rules.
Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you a scene kid when you were growing up? What kind of music were you rocking out back in your scene days?
Of course I was, who wasn’t! As I mentioned before I was a big Paramore fan. I was also very much into Silverstein, The All-American Rejects, 30 Seconds to Mars. In other genres I was also listening to Nightwish, Evanescence.
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