interview | hollie cook

West London singer-songwriter Hollie Cook recently released her tropical, lovers rock-tinged third album Vessel of Love and now she’s touring the record in Europe before heading over to the States. We caught her for a chat to find out about her time in The Slits, the development of her sound and which track from the record she likes best…

Where are you and what have you been up to today?

I’m in Cheadle near Manchester having a day off on the tour. We’ve driven down from Leeds. Our tour manager booked us a fab hotel with a gym, pool and sauna/steam so I shall be heading down there to revive my body and mind and order some room service.

What was your journey like from punk in The Slits to the lovers rock sound you have now?

I think it was a pretty seamless journey. Being in The Slits was the first time I started writing and performing more reggae influenced/inspired music, and also being on tour with The Slits we’d listen to a load of music old and new coming out of Jamaica as that’s where Ari lived. I’d also been a big lovers rock fan since my mid-teens and Ari asked me to write a song for the album we recorded, so that’s kind of where it started. And I started to work with Prince Fatty while I was still playing in The Slits so that overlapped quite naturally.

You worked with Martin ‘Youth’ Glover on Vessel of Love, how did that collaboration come about?

Through my dad. He’d recently worked with Youth on a couple of live projects. I wasn’t really sure who I wanted to work with next and my dad just made the gentle suggestion to meet Youth. Me and my dad are quite similar so I think he knew I’d enjoy working with him.

What’s your favourite track on the record and why?

It’s hard to choose cuz all your songs are your babies. ‘Lunar Addiction’ is so spacey and dreamy. It came out of having been really frustrated the day before with what I’d written. ‘Turn It Around’ is also a fave mostly because it took me so damn long to write. I’ve never stuck with a song for so long. Normally if an idea isn’t sticking I’m willing to surrender and move on, but I couldn’t let this one go and I’m pleased with the outcome. Last song to make it into the album!

You’re touring the UK and France this month before heading over to the States, what do you love most about being on the road?

Just the whole thing. Different cities and people every night. Never knowing what you’re going to get. Pushing your physical and emotional endurance to the limits. Becoming a better musician for it. The bonds you make with your band.

What are you listening to at the moment?