American singer Haley AKA Haley McCallum FKA Haley Bonar is in Glasgow to play the BBC Radio 6music Festival. She and her band were here last October touring her recent album, Impossible Dream. If you’re wondering about the change of name, there’s a blog about it here. TL:DR? A bunch of people were being dicks about her surname. Those people are obviously not Irish or Scottish. Packie Bonner is an Irish hero and he's a hero here in Glasgow where he played with Celtic FC. There are biographies of him downstairs in the Barras market. It definitely wouldn’t happen if she were a man. It's a shame.
“I don’t think it’s a shame” counters Haley, “I’m not changing my name because I’m ashamed of it. I’m changing my name because I want to take my mother’s name. It doesn't change anything about my heritage. I’m honouring the matriarchy over the patriarchy for the second half of my life. It's absolutely not a shame.”
She has worn an individual path, releasing records herself and through indie labels, “I like to keep things moving. I don’t want to stay on anything too long. I’ve released a record every other year for the last ten years but I don't usually tour for an entire year. This time it has been almost a year. So I find time to do other things and keep myself busy.”
“This tour is a little over two weeks. Not quite as long as the last time. But after this I’m going to continue working on a book of short stories. That's where my next project is.” She’s a keen writer but the book is new territory for her. “I’ve read at shows. I’ve put a couple of stories out on my Facebook page or my blog in the last few years but I’ve never published anything. I’m getting less terrified of it as it becomes a reality. I’m a writer and I’m familiar with it but I’m not a novelist, and I’m not about to be one, but it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’m working towards getting some kind of publishing entity involved, and an editor and all these things. It’s really exciting. I just need to find time to work on some of the stories. I try to get some done when I’m on the road but it’s not easy.”
Not content with her solo work, the book, and her band, Gramma’s Boyfriend (“We've made two albums and we're just beginning the third record now.”) Haley is eyeing a new direction for her music to complement the new moniker, “I’ve also been working on some pop music. I’m going to release my first ‘Haley’ record this year. It’s a goal, a loose goal. I’ve a lot of other irons in the fire and goals to accomplish. I’ve been working with this producer. His name is Lazerbeak. He’s with Doomtree, a big hip-hop label in Minneapolis. I’ve been sending him the stems for different songs that I’ve worked on with other people and my own demos. He’s been adding things. We're collaborating back and forth. I want to release something that’s completely different than the last few records. I’m not really sure if it will be a full-length or an EP, but I’m working on it.”
Haley is on tour now:-
Apr 03 The Cluny, Newcastle,
Apr 04 Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich,
Apr 05 Thekla, Bristol,
Apr 06 The Dome, London.