Woman You Stole - Interview

If you've not heard of Woman You Stole they describe themselves as three piece British alt lo-fi band formed in Manchester England.

Thursday 11th July they're playing a sell out show supporting The Lathams and with support from Hartley at Jimmy's in Manchester. I was lucky enough to catch up with Hayley, Woman You Stole's enigmatic guitar playing front woman a few days before their hometown gig.

Debbie: So Woman You Stole, where does the band name come from?

Hayley: Ahh....can I leave that a mystery?

Debbie: You can if you want

Hayley: I'll give you a clue... it's in a lyric.

Debbie: Frustration your last single, when did you write that one?

Hayley: Frustration I wrote it when I was in another band called Hannah. It came from an unrequited love situation which most of us have experienced. It was really awful, but you know that's life and thankfully the music expresses that. That's why people can relate to our music, it gives people a powerful feeling.

Debbie: The track itself is so visceral, when you listen to the sounds that come from the instruments and you can feel the emotions.

Hayley: Well that's really cool and thanks for saying that. You know a few people have said that to us. When I first started playing it I liked the melody but I thought the lyrics are a bit cheesy. But when I introduced it to this band, I was actually going through the same thing again, so it made sense to revisit the song with a bit more maturity in my playing and singing. Getting older you do still feel those frustrations.... "Tell me how you feel"? I mean fucking hell..... Its all about the games of love! I feel that that's part of how some people love - it's like a game playing we do with each other. Lets be more direct. I'm not always that direct myself, but I'll let the song do the talking.

Debbie: Whats your favourite song to play on your set list?

Hayley: It does change, but at the moment I really like playing Excuse my French. It has a great hook in it, and I think it's instantly catchy. I quite like Sweet Cherry Wine too.

Debbie: I like Shake and Public Pervert

Hayley: Yeah a lot of people say that about Shake. I think its a bit of a grower, its just got that rhythm, its a very raw and that's the beauty of that song.

Debbie: There is a lot of emotion in your songs. They're quite punky, they're very in your face but not in an aggressive way.

Hayley: (Laughs) I love it... just gently punching...

Debbie: Perhaps a dead arm?

Hayley: (Laughs) Yeah or maybe a Chinese burn.

Debbie: Or a camel bite?

Hayley: (laughs) A mixture of those..... a bit of a repertoire, yeah.

Debbie: I've read somewhere you have a song list of about 29 songs in your repertoire? is that right?

Hayley: Yeah it's almost like the Beatles (Laughs).... No. We have about another 200 songs to write before we're anywhere near as great as them. 29 songs...... I'm like yeah ok I'm happy with them. Actually we're trying to write more. We're getting together more as a band to get more music produced and created. We had a really good jam session the other day where I went on the drums and Steve the drummer went on the bass. He used to play bass in other bands. He's a really good bass player and Jack on the guitar. They're both all around very good musicians.

Debbie: Are you a good at the drums then?

Hayley: I'm a really frustrated drummer, that's the first instrument I learned play.

Debbie: No pun?!

Hayley: (laughs)..I love it!! Yeah I wanted to be a drummer in a band when I was little. My dad offered me a snare and a symbol and I was like no that's rubbish and I want a full kit, so I knew I was going to have to be in a band and that was the end of that. My mum tried to get me to learn the violin, it all sounds middle class and we really weren't a middle class family. I think she saw it as a way for me to reach the pinnacle of what it is to be a musician. Really the reason the guitar came about was I used to go my aunties house, she had an abandoned guitar in her back room and as kid I used to always stop and look at it and I used to think there's something cool about that. I used to play on out of tune strings and then I learned melodies from famous songs, I finally got it. I'm self taught.

Debbie: Who is your favourite three piece?

Hayley: A couple that spring to mind. I love Placebo. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.. obviously.

Debbie: What about Biffy Clyro?

Hayley: I really like some of their early stuff... some of their stuff I just don't connect with it.

Debbie: How about Nirvana?

Hayley: Ah yes Nirvana!! Yes!! My very first bass player was obssessed with Nirvana. When I was 16 I hadn't really heard of them. He played loads of Nirvana bass lines you know Come As You and songs like that? His bass lines were very Nirvana influenced. You know he's an incredible bass player and writer and whilst we were only 16, a lot of the stuff we produced then was really very very cool. The influence of liking Nirvana comes from him and without really overthinking it Nirvana do influence me in my song writing.

Debbie: The Blinders are another 3 piece who I love. I've seen them 2 times this year and they've blown me away both times.

Hayley: You know we share the same rehearsal space as them, and I really like them. They've gone so big in the last year it's amazing. We haven't played with them yet but we'd love to.

Debbie: Who is on your playlist at the moment?

Hayley: Oh I should be his promoter........ I absolutely love his music his name is Gregory Alan Isakov. He is the most beautiful song writer. Most nights I get home and I put his music on and I'm like away. I would love to work with him, he's amazing. I absolutely love his music. He reminds me of my mate Kesta. Tiny Ruins also I love her, I think and she's a great song writer.

Debbie: So what's your passions outside of music?

Hayley: Art. Art is probably almost on par with music. I love painting and drawing and I share a lot of my art work though my instagram. I'm also lucky enough to have an art gallery in Didsbury, take on some of my art work.

Debbie: I read an article last year from Fender last year that said 50% of new guitars players and buyers are females. With that in mind as someone who's in an female fronted guitar playing band do you think it's important for females to have female fronted bands?

Hayley: Of course! I think being a teacher I work with a lot of young girls and I'm constantly rather than getting them to focus on beauty, I try to get them to focus on their passions and the things they love. The Woman World Cup has been fantastic for young girls to have so many positive female role models. You know men in the past haven't really taken female footballers seriously and even my dad never used to put on a female football match. Yet now my dad he's so excited by this World Cup. I go to their house and he says have you seen this player and that player? It's amazing!!! My Dad is such a beautiful man, he's so supportive of me and who I am. Going back to the music thing it's absolutely important that we should express ourselves, but also I like the fact that we're in such a small number. I think it's quite a beautiful thing.

Debbie: So who's you're favourite front woman and why?

Hayley: Karen O (high fives). You know the thing about Karen O is she's humble.... she has that mixture of vulnerability, but she's also like I'm here and she owns it. It makes for a great front woman. You know unfortunately, if I said Karen O in the real world people wouldn't know who you were talking about.

Debbie: So what next for Woman You Stole?

Hayley: Erm. My hope for what we do next is I would love for us to have an opportunity to play in America, I would love to go somewhere like New York. Babysleepmode was written over there; I basically fell in love with an American. I've got a connection with New York so it would be great to have a gig there, The Knitting Factory or somewhere like that. But you know coming back down to earth it would be great to get some funding, or a record contract of some form to help us out financially to record would be amazing. We're all working people and it's a struggle to afford these things we'd love to get a new single going and more great gigs and get more of a following.

Debbie: Jimmy's is sold out are you excited?

Hayley: Jimmy's is sold out!! Steve told me yesterday. That's sic. We can't wait!

If you haven't managed to grab a ticket for Jimmy's at Manchester, then I'll be reviewing the gig with photos and videos later this week.

Their Facebook page says they're announcing more gigs soon.... I'd definitely recommend you subscribe to their updates so you don't miss out.

You can also listen to Woman You Stole on Spotify and you can keep up to date with them via Facebook, Twitter , Instagram or YouTube.

If you'd like to see some of Hayley's artwork then you can follow her Instagram account here.

Thanks to Woman You Stole and Hayley for taking time out to do this interview.


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