Claude Hay
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Claude Hay

Claude Hay is heralded for his talents of making instruments (usually from common household items), making even greater music and for getting everyone off their feet. We spoke with Claude ahead of his new album out later this year, a performance at Echuca-Moama Winter Blues and being home for the winter.

Hi Claude, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?

Fantastic, couldn’t be better, I just finished a new album which is always exciting. I’ve recorded this album as a band this time and used some pretty awesome players on it. For me it’s like a breath of fresh air I’ve been wanting for a long time – I can’t wait to tour it.

You recently performed the Winter Magic festival at the Blue Mountains, how was it?

It was such a blast, we closed it off after the fireworks so you could imagine everyone was pretty pumped by then. It’s pretty much a fancy dress festival and some people went to town with their costumes. It was also the first time I have done the band thing as a 5-piece so it was so good to hear my songs as a band with five people singing the chorus’. Couldn’t be better

And you’ll soon be performing at the Echuca Moama Winter Blues Festival, what have your past experiences been like at the festival?

The festival is a ripper; lots of energy and good vibes floating around and the town itself is such a beautiful place – doesn’t matter where or when you play it always goes off.

Those are both two popular winter festivals, what do you love about the season? Is there anything in particular we can catch you doing on a rainy winters day?

Actually I am normally in Europe through the winter months but we decided to cancel this year to finish the album – so it’s my first full winter here in a long time. I’m at home at the moment and it’s borderline snowing here in Katoomba. I love it. A change is as good as a holiday.

You’ve got a new album coming up, how is it coming along?

It was actually finished a few months ago but won’t be released ’till the end of the year for timing reasons. I just can’t wait to do most of the songs off it but you have to introduce it slowly for it to work

Has there been anything in particular that has influenced this new release?

All my past albums are pretty much limited by my looping pedal so generally there would be no chord progression or key changes in a song which can really limit you. So for this new one I went to town and had nothing holding me back which was so refreshing.

You’ve also got a new band member, Marcus, on board, how did you first meet and what has the new dynamic been like?

I’ve known him for a long time and we have done projects in the past and its always just worked so seamlessly. It adds a lot more freedom to my songs. Its great to have a different groove my feet just can’t do. So for Echuca we will be doing it as a solo in the first set and duo in the second. may be we will sell a few of the new CDs pre-release.

When & Where: Echuca-Moama Winter Blues Festival – July 28-31

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