Seattle Sound Live Interview: Singer/Songwriter Amanda Hardy

Seattle Sound Live Interview: Singer/Songwriter Amanda Hardy

I recently had the privilege to cover one of Seattle’s youngest, most dynamic and talented musicians. Singer/Songwriter Amanda Hardy at only 17 years of age has burst on to the Seattle music scene. Fresh off of her performance in England, Amanda Hardy has returned to Seattle ready to rock and has shared the stage with the likes of Jars of Flies, Mom’s Rocket and The Hardcount. She even headlined a show at the Liberty Theater since coming back to the Pacific Northwest.

The emerging rocker that dreams of playing a sold out Wembley Stadium one day took the time to answer a few questions about her music, her inspirations and her challenges as a young performer. This is what she had to say.

 

Photo by Christian Hamilton: Seattle Sound Live

Do you write out your lyrics? Do you ever change a song’s lyrics in live sets?
I do write out my lyrics, I generally start by writing a poem of sorts, then picking out pieces and creating a more song oriented flow of words. And no I never change a song’s lyrics in a live set because that causes confusion for me.

When did you first decide that you wanted to make music? What was your inspiration for making that decisions?
I never really decided that I wanted to make music, it was more of just something I always remember doing. Like I said previously, I write a lot of poetry and the songs spring from them. My inspiration is life. I take elements of how I feel and what life brings me and put it into words.

Photo by Christian Hamilton: Seattle Sound Live

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
My songwriting inspiration is whatever may be eating at me, or something I am thinking about. My songwriting process differs, but generally I’ll get some lyrical ideas and then expand on the idea, then continuing to write out a guitar part to it.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences and why?
I consider my work to be in the genre of rock. What actually tends to happen is I will write something and it will be very jazzy or bluesy, and I have to change it a bit to be more current and rock n’ roll. My major influences are Alice in Chains, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Halestorm and some others.

 

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?
When I first started playing, I would write a guitar riff, very basic, and only slightly differ the verses and choruses, if they even differed at all. I’ve always thought my lyrical ideas were interesting however, writing is something I’ve always done and have practiced to better myself. But my music now is more practiced. I think it’s tighter and more appealing to the general public, with still staying true to myself.

Could you briefly describe your music-making process?
My music making process is very different by myself as opposed to with other people. With people, generally someone comes up with a cool idea and we expand on it as a group. Alone has the same idea, but of course I’d be by myself doing it.

Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
I’ve performed at many places including the Showbox market, the D n’ R Theater, The Crocodile, El Corazon, The Moore, Louie G’s, The Puyallup Fair, and many small local places. I would have to say as far as family goes, my favorite place to play is Louie G’s, because he is family. That place is like a home to me, and not to mention the stage, lighting, and sound is some of the best I’ve ever played with. As far as looks and history, the Showbox Market is my favorite. So many bands have played there and I felt very honored to share the same stage that many of my idols have played on. I don’t have a least favorite venue, simply because being given the opportunity to play is something I cherish. A show is a show no matter where it is. I don’t currently have any shows in the books, I’m more focused on a record at the moment.

Photo by Christian Hamilton: Seattle Sound Live

You recently performed with Jars of Flies. Can you describe the relationship you have with them and are they really the ultimate AIC experience?
My relationship with the guys in Jar of Flies is one of a kind. I love the members and we’ve always had a blast singing and playing together for the past three years. I’ve received guitar lessons from J.T. which has been very helpful. And also Kevin made me my favorite guitar strap for my birthday last year. It’s a beautiful leather strap with lots of detailing and my initials painted on. It’s one of the most thoughtful things I’ve ever received. They are the ultimate AIC experience, next to Alice in Chains of course. I haven’t heard a better tribute band, and I hope they continue to make people smile in the future years to come.

What has been your biggest challenge as a young performer? How did you overcome that challenge?
The biggest challenge for me as a young performer is not being able to play in bars. I’ve always had my shows cancelled because of the law and the fact that you have to be 18 or older to play in a bar. But I’ve overcome that by focusing on other things and writing music in the meantime. I only have a year to go before I can play anywhere I want.

Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to see myself selling out a show at Wembley Stadium in 10 years. That’s my dream, and hopefully I can make it happen.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Fans-to-be can access my music on youtube, reverbnation , and my website www.amandahardymusician.com. The demos have free downloads and are available.

 

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge?
I’d like to acknowledge my parents for helping me through everything I’ve done musically. We’ve gone through a lot of rough times and hard situations because of the musical choices I’ve made, but nevertheless they have stuck by me and supported me 100%. I don’t thank them nearly enough, and it’s something I generally overlook because they are my parents. But I appreciate everything they do and I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. We all started not knowing anything about the business, but slowly we are learning together.

Anything you would like share, from new merch to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
I am currently writing new material to hopefully start up a record and I hope to release that sooner than later. Some exciting things are going to happen soon.

Any last words or advice for someone wanting to get into the music industry?
If you want to get into the music industry, my advice would be to use any connections you have to the people who have made it. Connections are a huge part in moving forward. Also, don’t be fooled by people who want to use you. People are cruel, and if you aren’t careful you can be knocked down by users. Have that inner circle of people you trust, and don’t let anyone in too quickly.

 

Amanda Hardy last performed at Louie G’s, Seattle’s premier all age music venue. Her performance helped raise money and awareness for Operation Ward 57, a not for profit organization that supports the most severely injured Service Members. The 3 hour event featuring The Hardcount, Mom’s Rocket, Garret Whitney and Amanda Hardy raised over $1,600 for the wounded Service Members supported by Operation Ward 57. Amanda Hardy’s performance in combination with all the artists impacted the lives of so many injured troops and took major steps towards helping heal our heroes through music.

You can also follow Amanda Hardy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandahardymusician
 
You can find out more about Operation Ward 57 here:                                                            http://www.operationward57.org

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Christian Hamilton

Christian Hamilton

Christian is the founder and Editor of Rock Paper Rock as well as a freelance concert and event photographer serving the Pacific Northwest and Beyond. He is a certified member of the PPA and Gold Level member of the CPS. He has recently began working with Mental Itch Records and has launched his own Photography website.


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