Singled Out: Hawker M. James' I Need Your Love

Hawker M. James tells us about "I Need Your Love", co-written with former Longwave bandmate Steve Schiltz. Hawker is releasing a new song on the full moon each month this year, culminating in an album release at the end of the year. Here is the story:

"I Need Your Love" is a song that originated back in February of 1997. Steve Schiltz (Longwave, Hurricane Bells) would come over, back in our early days ('94-98) and would help me finish song ideas I would have. We were in a few bands together (pre-Longwave) as well, but being a drummer, I've always had this inherent need to write songs, and play guitar as well. And he would help me get songs done so I could demo them. I didn't want to be stuck behind the drums forever, which is ironic, because after all these years, the drums is where, as Hawker M. James, I'm "fronting".

I was in my foundational glam era, I owned every Bowie record to that point (I think Earthling had just came out too, so Steve and I would play "Dead Man Walking" on repeat), T.Rex/Bolan, New York Dolls, anything Iggy, Mott the Hoople, Kiss, and of course, rekindling my freakish childhood obsession with Ace Frehley. All these images/songs/things were on my mind, and song was a direct reflection of that.

Steve moved to NYC in '98 and one night I received a phone call from him. He was like "You bastard! I just a heard a Stooges song called "No Fun" and that IS "I Want You" (it's original title), you can't use that!" And in fact after he exposed it, I never planned on it. But after me being a journeyman of so many years, and hearing so many DIRECT lifts from other artists, of other artists; I'm not so worried about it anymore. If it comes from a pure place (that one did), and you aren't purposely seeking to be someone else, and have some other changes, or melody to add to the "variation", then I'm cool with it. And hell, if some kid who hears this, and sees this and finds out about Iggy Pop or The Stooges, well then, I did my damn job.

I have about 200 cassettes of old song ideas that I've never had to dip into. But at 37 years now, I've been feeling nostalgic about just listening to them and going back into my old adolescent mind, hearing the song development, and the background happenings: conversations; if friends were around, my old landline phone ringing, or my long passed dogs barking, etc. So, one night recently while going through a cassette, I came upon the "I Want You" idea. And, it's Steve and I on the tape, hashing out the tune, and you can just hear the fun we were having, giddy almost. It made me really forget how jaded and careerist this whole thing has become for me. So I called him, and told him I was going to use the song for "Phases". He still said I shouldn't, but I did anyway. I tracked it in two nights, and had The Demos help me on the gang vocals.

The "I Need Your Love" backing hook developed as I recorded it, and stems perhaps from another song I was into around then (ironically): U2's "Hawkmoon 269".

In the end, I decided that on my new record, (which will be released via singles each month on the Full Moon, called "Phases"), that I am going to use a few older ideas from different eras. It was fun to resurrect an old idea with my old pal.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself right here!

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