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Jen discusses a new band Nighthawk with Patrick Robertson and Damian Costin (from Motor Ace)


The musical bond was always strong between Patrick Robertson and Damian Costin, and the founding members and driving forces behind one of Australia’s most successful alternative rock bands of the 2000s Motor Ace, are back with Nighthawk.

After all but completely disappearing from the musical landscape for 10 years, Patrick, Damian and new musical kinsmen Flynn Wheeler and Rhys Thompson emerge in 2016 with Nighthawk, a different beast altogether. If perspective has taught Patrick and Damian anything, it’s that they’re going to enjoy it!

As Patrick explains, “The fire that compelled me to make music in the first place was extinguished by the end of Motor Ace. I was young and took every kink in the road harder than I should have. I do have some regrets about not enjoying the great music we made and our success a little more.”

“Nighthawk comes from a very different place. It was a party before it was a band. There’s a simplicity about the music and the attitude. I haven’t felt as excited about a group of musicians and making music for a very long time. I think you can hear it.”

The first single from Nighthawk’s upcoming album is ‘Surely Gettin On’. It’s a good indication of what’s to come: timeless, classic, and anthemic rock’n’roll. Nighthawk’s debut album will be worth the wait, in the meantime ‘Surely Gettin On’ will surely whet your appetite.

Hey, thanks for the chat. You have had some serious time off from music, do you feel that you are dusting off the cobwebs and picking it up where you left off?

 More like applying a high pressure hose to the cobwebs…particularly after this long. But it doesn’t really feel like Nighthawk is picking up from where Motor Ace left off – there’s a simplicity to the music that wasn’t really there by the last album from Motor Ace. It’s probably closer to Motor Ace’s first record if anything – certainly in terms of energy. It’s also unashamedly rock’n’roll.

 Do you have any regrets that you moved on from music 10 years ago?

 Not really. I’ve had a pretty productive life in the last 10 years – a lot of which wouldn’t have been possible while still being a part of the Australian music industry unfortunately. I do have regrets about my attitude at the time, but then I suppose that’s part of being a 22 year old. It’s also taken a long time for a genuine desire and excitement to return – music can be really great when it’s coming from that place. 

 Adding two new members and forming a new band, how are all the relationships within the band? From your sound it seems like you are all in sync?

 The relationships in the band are great! We’re all good mates and pulling in the same direction. I think there is a great musical connection as well so I couldn’t be happier. 

 Your press release states that Nighthawk was a party before a band, can you elaborate on that for us?

 Well it kind of follows on from the last question in a lot of ways. When Flynn and I worked on the initial songs, we spent vastly more time in bars than in the studio. It’s the underlying attitude of the band to focus on having a good time first and let that feed into the music we make. I’d rather down tools and have a beer if the music’s not flowing.

 How are you finding the music industry now as opposed to ten years ago?

 Almost unrecognisable to be honest. I think there’s a lot of positives despite all the negative talk about it. Sure record sales are dead, but record deals have always been unfairly weighted against artists anyway. Not saying it’s easy now, but at least there is a realpotential to reach a global audience while remaining independent and funding your own records. There was simply no chance to do that 10-15 years ago.

 Can you tell us a special memory that you have from Motor Ace?

 The Livid Festival was very special for us – and we had some great shows there. Also, playing with Oasis around that same time on a few club shows. 

 You have released one single from your new album, ‘Surely Getting On’ was this always going to be the lead single?

 Yeah I think it was. It captures the essence of Nighthawk well. I think there are probably some better ‘songs’ on the record but it’s a good intro. 

 ‘Surely Getting On’ music video is very red! Is this a video that the band worked on yourselves?

 A filmmaker friend of ours, Rhys Graham, did an amazing job on that. We wanted to keep a bit of mystery about the first clip. All of the ‘effects’ are in camera i.e. created with panes of glass and mirrors – no fancy editing overlays there.

 Do you read the comments that people are making on youtube? If you do, and you see something negative do you have a strategy to deal with that?

 Yeah I check out comments sometimes and it always buoys you up to hear when people are digging your music. When it comes to negative stuff I’m relatively thick skinned after all these years!! From my experience most people who put the effort in to getting ‘trolly’ on a music thread, are usually frustrated musicians or have some other agenda. I understand those feelings of frustration and envy at others peoples success, but success is relative anyway so there’s no escape from that spiral even when you are successful – best to chill on it. 

 What can we expect from your album that you are going to release next year?

 The first single is a good indication. The album’s definitely got a classic early 80s rock’n’roll thing going on. The vision between songs seems clearer than it was with Motor Ace – less eclectic and more focussed. 

 What is next for Nighthawk?

 Finishing the album and getting ready to do some shows from about Feb 2017… and probably a few more parties. 

 Thanks, I really like your single. Looking forward to your album!

 Thanks so much! And for the support too! 


2 Comments on Jen discusses a new band Nighthawk with Patrick Robertson and Damian Costin (from Motor Ace)

  1. Awesome read, thanks 🙂


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