Interview: Hartway on their return to Adelaide’s Rocket Bar for this month’s Scouted event!

Adelaide duo Hartway are Jack Degenhart and Conor Barkway; the described ‘acid jazz, nu disco’ group have been impressing with the release of their Motions EP last year, taking inspirations from the likes of Flight Facilities and FKJ and creating some funky music of their own.

They’re one of the talented artists set to perform at Rocket Bar on July 27th as part of this year’s Scouted event, so ahead of the madness, we check in with Jack and Conor to find out some more about how they’re anticipating it all!

What do you think an event like Scouted means for a music community like Adelaide’s?

Jack: Adelaide’s music community is strong, supportive, and constantly growing! Having an important event like Scouted means that we have a fantastic opportunity to showcase the breathtaking talent in our city. It’s a chance to show the broader Australian music community what’s happening here in Adelaide – which is a LOT.

You’re playing up at Rocket Bar; have you played the venue before and if so, what is one significant gig memory of the venue (as a performer or punter) that you can tell us about?

Conor: We have a few actually! Rocket is home to some of our fondest memories as artists, and has to be one of our favourite venues. Last year we were lucky enough to headline the band room twice when we launched our debut single and EP, and we’ve had the opportunity to support the likes of Touch Sensitive and Fortunes there as well. After the gig, the rooftop bar is the perfect place for post-gig drinks, and you’ll definitely find us there on the night of Scouted!

Do you find the idea of ‘performing for industry’ daunting at all?

Jack: The nerves will be slightly higher than usual, that’s for sure!

How crucial do you think these types of showcases are for the smaller music communities in Australia (i.e. the ones that aren’t Melbourne/Sydney)?

Jack: They’re super important. So much of Australia’s nationally recognised music scene stems from the eastern states. You just need to look at the majority of big act national tour announcements to see that South Australia is often overlooked on a national scale, yet we offer such a wide variety of talent.

In terms of your show – how would you say it has developed over the last year, and what are you looking forward to the most about performing on the Friday night?

Conor: Our live show is constantly evolving, and we like to keep it fresh with guest vocalists and instrumentalists joining us on stage. We try to make each of our performances as live as possible, and always leave room for improvisation.

As we’ve become more confident on stage, we often find ourselves chopping and changing our set list on the fly, according to the vibe of the room on the night. We’re really looking forward to the opportunity of performing in front of industry, and catching the other amazing acts on the night!

Have you been working on any new music you can tell us about?

Conor: We’ve been working hard in the studio for months now, and we’re really close to releasing our first piece of new music for 2018. We’ve collaborated with an incredibly talented feature vocalist for a stand alone single we’re super excited about, and can’t wait to finally share it with everyone soon.

What has been a highlight for you creatively, so far this year?

Jack: Performing at WOMADelaide was a huge highlight for us this year, and for our overall careers as artists to date. We were so inspired by all of the incredible artists from around the world, and it really spurred our creative juices to get back in the studio and write some new music.

Where are you hoping to take your music by year’s end?

Conor: Our favourite part about music is performing it live, and we’d absolutely love to be rostered onto some bills for the upcoming Summer festival season. That would be the perfect way to finish 2018!

Hartway will perform on the AU review Stage at Scouted this year, July 27th at Rocket Bar! For tickets and more information, click here.

Photo: Josh Geelen