RedHook are quickly becoming one of the hottest acts on the Australian music scene, and if you aren’t in love with their work already, take this as your sign to dig right in! Frontwoman Emmy Mack, guitarist Craig Wilkinson, bassist Ned Jankovic, and drummer Alex Powys truly have fiery musical chemistry and we can’t get enough. Lucky for us, they’re keeping us fed lately with ‘Imposter’ and the upcoming Postcard From A Living Hell!
‘Imposter’ is everything we could’ve wanted from this new RedHook era, enlisting Mikaila Delgado of Yours Truly for an irresistible, angsty track about realizing someone you love has been hiding their true intentions and energy. It captures all that frustration with a bit of sass, awe-inspiring guitar riffs, and plenty of clever lyrics that you won’t be able to stop thinking about for days.
We got to ask Emmy Mack all about ‘Imposter,’ the band’s debut Postcard From A Living Hell album, and more! Check out the ‘Imposter’ music video below, then keep reading for our interview!
‘Imposter’ talks about one of the hardest things anyone can deal with in love, when the one they care about has been hiding their true energy. What has it been like for you to turn such a difficult situation into an anthem for anyone facing something similar?
Ah, honestly the whole process has been so therapeutic and empowering, especially because I got to do it with Mikaila. It makes such a difference in any sucky situation to have a friend by your side who understands what you’re going through – and I had a friend who did that AND helped me write a song about it! That’s so fucking special. And I think it also helped keep us both sane throughout the confusion and heartbreak. Over the past few months, every time I felt myself slipping back into grief or sadness mode I would listen to ‘Imposter’ to fire myself up again with that big “f*ck you” energy and Mik said she did the exact same thing! This song really helped us both heal through all the bullshit we both went through, so hopefully it also has that same positive impact on other people who hear it 🙂
‘Imposter’ has so many fantastic lyrics, with one of our favorites being “can’t change your heart if you never had one from the start.” Is there a certain line you’re particularly proud of?
Awww I love that line so much too, that one was all Mikaila! The first time I heard her sing it during that second pre-chorus I seriously got head-to-toe goosebumps!
Thanks so much for the kind words, I’m super proud of a lot of the lyrics on this one. I always really liked the sci-fi imagery of the opening line “never believed in lizard people ’til I discovered your scales.” It’s basically just saying “hey, you’re a f*cking snake, mate!” I also really love “hearts change like the weather… and now it’s raining on you” and the sassy chorus line “we used to freak, but now you freak me out.”
You got to work with Yours Truly for this song and we’re absolutely obsessed with the results! There’s so much amazing musical chemistry here – how did the collaboration come about?
Awww thank you! ‘Imposter’ was already one of my favourite songs off the LP but once Mikaila added her magic to it, I loved it even more! Yours Truly have been good mates of ours for a long time, there’s a lot of history there. We did our first-ever tour of Australia with them back in 2019, then we ended up recording our Bad Decisions EP at the same time as they were recording their Self Care album and there were lots of band vs. band handball tournaments in the studio car park. Craig assistant-engineered their album and both Mik and Lachie did some gang vox on our song ‘Bad Decisions,’ so a proper collab was really long overdue! This just felt like the right song, but it made it all the more special because of how much it resonated with what Mik and I were both going through at the time.
‘Imposter’ also came with a mind-blowing, sci-fi music video where Emmy and Mikaila are monsters like the person being described in the song, and we loved seeing that twist! How did you come up with the concept, and what was it like on set?
The song uses a lot of sci-fi imagery so we really wanted to channel that for the music video, but we thought it’d be cool if we flipped the script and made us the bad guys! Our amazing director, Colin Jeffs, helped us shape the concept, which draws inspo from movies like Species and Jennifer’s Body. It was chaotic fun on set, but we had a bit of stress with that final scene! We were supposed to shoot it at this Airbnb cottage we’d rented for the weekend… but when we arrived, we realised it wasn’t actually a house, just part of a house split into four different residences – which meant someone was pretty much guaranteed to call the cops because of the noise if we tried to film there! So we ended up relocating to my bass player Ned’s mum’s house at the last minute (shoutout Mrs. Jankovic!)
Emmy, you said in a recent TikTok about ‘Imposter’ that you prefer to write using metaphors rather than being super literal with your lyrics. Are there any metaphors you’ve used throughout your catalog that you especially love?
I do really really love the whole ‘Jabberwocky’ concept, it just felt like such an apt metaphor for my trauma and how it stalked me. It’s like, I’d be feeling totally fine one minute, just going about my day as normal, and then all of a sudden something small would just randomly trigger this extreme physical terror reaction, just like the Jabberwocky in the live-action film adaptation of Alice In Wonderland that I used to rent on DVD when I was a little kid! The Jabberwocky is this horrifying monster that just comes out of nowhere at random points in the movie to terrify the f*ck out of Alice. That’s exactly what it felt like.
You also said that you took inspiration from films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the ‘Imposter’ metaphor! If you could turn the storyline of one RedHook song into a movie, which song would you choose and what would the plot be?
Ooooh, I love this question!! Hmmm, I think ‘Bad Decisions’ would make a pretty good dark comedy. Maybe it could be a superhero movie where the protagonist is a depressed alcoholic who keeps going off the rails, but is forced to get her shit together so she can save the world from her evil sociopathic ex? LOL.
On April 21st, you’ll be dropping your debut album, Postcard From A Living Hell! Is there a certain song from the record that you’re most excited for fans to get to hear?
Ooooh, I think our fans who love the heavy stuff most will really get around ‘Psych Vs Psych.’ It’s the heaviest song on the whole LP and just totally batsh*t bonkers. Our collab with The Faim, ‘Inarticulate’ is also super special to me, that’s a really heartfelt song about feeling powerless to help a loved one who’s locked in the jaws of life-threatening depression and Josh’s vocals give me shivers every time. But I think the one I’m MOST excited about is ‘Postcard Xo,’ the title track. That song is just such a random concoction of influences that just somehow make sense together, it’s probably the wackiest RedHook song to date. Think The Used meets System Of A Down meets Metallica meets Nirvana with a little splash of Guns N’ Roses, plus a big pop hook and a random banjo section. It’s totally cooked but I love it. Also the lyrics are really dark and raw, it’s like a postcard I wrote from the depths of rock bottom. Plus I get to wail some mean blues melodies which I’ve never really gotten to do before in a RedHook song!
How did you know that now was the right time to officially release your debut album?
Honestly we didn’t! We still don’t haha, doing an album 100% independently is a big roll of the dice. But it’s something our fans have been really wanting us to do for a while now, so we wanted to do it for them. In the end, if they dig it, then we’ve done it right.
Another exciting thing you have coming up in April is a slot at Smashing Pumpkins’ The World Is A Vampire fest, which is incredible! What was it like when you found out you’d be playing alongside such a legendary band?
OMG, I literally died! And then came back to life and re-read the email again and then died again! It’s crazy, we’re so excited and kind of sh*tting ourselves, but also very, very, very grateful. Playing with a band that iconic, it’s one of those things I never thought I’d be doing in my wildest dreams.
In May, you’ll be going on an Australian tour to celebrate Postcard From A Living Hell, and we’re so jealous of your Aussie fans who are attending! How do you usually prepare for a live show, and how do you choose the perfect setlist?
Oh man, honestly, the words “figure out headline tour setlist” are still sitting on my to-do list as we speak! But I guess it’s just about striking the right balance between old stuff and new stuff so that nobody walks away disappointed because we didn’t play their favourite song. We also constantly try to think of ways to surprise people and create these really memorable moments in the set, like surprise collabs or saxophone circle pits or pillow fights, so it’s all about thinking of new ways to up the ante each time!
Do you have any other fun surprises for your fans for the rest of 2023?
What if I told you we left the best song off the album? Haha honestly – my favourite song isn’t on there! And we’re gonna drop that one later this year – I can’t wait! We also have a big collab coming out in May with one of our favourite producers, PhaseOne, who’s this amazing Australian heavy dubstep artist who’s now based in LA. Apart from that, we’ve got a UK/EU tour with our mates Stand Atlantic in June where we’ll also be playing a bunch of big festival dates, and we’ll hopefully be heading back over there for some more fun and games later in the year 🙂 We wanna come to the US sooooo bad but it’s just super tricky because of the working visa costs. That likely won’t happen this year, but we really do wanna get over there ASAP!
Is there anything else you’d like to mention or say to your fans that the questions didn’t touch on?
Just that we hope you enjoy the album, we made it for you. And please remember, even when your life feels like a living hell, it always gets better, so please never give up.
Thank you so much to Emmy for answering our questions, we can’t wait to hear the rest of Postcard From A Living Hell! Now we wanna hear from you – what do you think of ‘Imposter?’ What’s your favorite RedHook song so far? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
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