I first heard Hank and Cupcakes 2 years ago while looking for some cover songs for a show. I stumbled upon their version of Joy Division’s “She’s Lost Control” and I was mesmerized. I still think it’s one of the most brilliant covers I’ve ever heard. To me what sets Hank and Cupcakes apart is their live show. H&C features Sagit aka Cupcakes on drums and vocals with her husband Ariel (aka Hank) playing bass and looping everything else. What you get is two people creating an enormous sound. Words fail me on how fantastic their live shows are (check out a video below).
Their new album “Naked” will be dropping in June and I can’t wait. The new songs I have heard have all had a fantastic energy to them and in a word are amazing. Be sure to check out the new album and do not miss them when they go on tour.
I had the chance to ask Sagit Shir aka Cupcakes, a few questions.
Where did the name Hank and Cupcakes come from?
The name H&C is a consequence of the fact that we are both big Charles Bukowski fans. If you’ve read a Bukowski book, you know who Hank is. Cupcakes is actually one of Bukowski’s real life lovers. The idea for the name came up while we were watching a documentary about him called ‘Born Into This’ which we highly recommended
How do you approach your songwriting and where does your inspiration come from?
Songwriting for me is a daily routine, something that needs a lot of discipline and consistency. I try to start every morning with song writing – While my mind is still relatively uncluttered- The best songs come to me when I’m not being judgmental at the moment of writing and I just let the ideas flow out without putting any pressure on myself to deliver. When I manage to be in that open place, inspiration can come from absolutely anything.
You are a classically trained pianist. What prompted you to pick up the drumsticks?
My mother used to play rhythm games with me when I was very young so I might have had an early taste! But I truly fell in love with drums at a beach in Tel Aviv which I discovered when I was 18. It was a kind of hippie beach and every Friday they would have a huge african drums jam, playing into the sunset. I stumbled upon one of these jams and was immediately hooked. I came back to the beach every night that summer and learned to play with people who were always hanging out there jamming.
Recently in the comments for Liquid Mercury on YouTube, there were a bunch of people on there saying that you were copying Lady Gaga. How do you deal with critiques and criticism like that?
Truthfully, it makes us smile and even a little happy because it means that our music is expanding and reaching new people beyond our circle of fans and that is always a good thing. We encouraged our fans to respond to the comments but it was all in good humor. We’re very confident in our music and don’t feel threatened by this kind of criticism. On the contrary, if ‘Liquid Mercury’ reminds people of Madonna or Lady Gaga we take it as a compliment.
What can we look forward to in 2012 from H&C?
We’re hustling & bustling at the moment getting our new album -’Naked’ – ready for print and will be releasing it in June followed by a U.S and later European tour. We’re already hard at work on our next music video for the song ‘See Through’ and have started writing new material for our next album!
I have recently been listening to a lot of Scandinavian/Nordic musicians. No, really. Besides Adele and I Blame Coco (who are British) and Hank and Cupcakes who are Israelis living in Brooklyn, it’s all I’ve been listening to that isn’t related to the show.
Out of Iceland I’ve been listening to Mammut, Rökkurró and Of Monsters and Men. From Norway, I’ve been digging The School and Ida Maria. Sweden brings Lykke Li and Robyn. I am becoming increasingly enamored of Agnes Obel from Denmark. See? It’s a real problem. Or is it? And why is the music coming from all these countries so appealing to me? I have no idea but it is. So now, for your viewing enjoyment, I’ve posted a couple of videos because really, what would the world be without YouTube?
Lykke Li “Get Some” From Later With Jools Holland
Rökkurró “Sólin mun skína”
Agnes Obel “Riverside”
Annie Fitzgerald- Another Sad Love Song
Rökkurró- Sólin mun skína
Headlights- You and Eye
Lights- Drive My Soul
Pearl Harbor- Luv Goon
La Sera- Never Come Around
Hand & Cupcakes- She’s Lost Control
Tinderbox Music festival is an awesome event taking place in Brooklyn on 9/26. Listen to an interview with the founder Alyson Greenfield followed by 9 tracks from some of the artists who will be involved!
Interview with Alyson Greenfield, founder of Tinderbox Music Festival
Jenny Owen Youngs- What Beats Within
Lisa Jaeggi- Oh Lady You Shot Me
Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers- Filthy and Free
Larkin Grimm- Ride That Cyclone
Lachi- Emo Children
Charlene Kaye- Magnolia Wine
Hank and Cupcakes- Pleasure Town
Kalae All Day- O.G.LyricalBookBagger
What is Rubyfruit Radio?
Rubyfruit Radio is a podcast devoted to playing the best in female artists and female fronted bands.