24-year-old Wicklow singer Hozier has given an interview to The Evening Standard in which he has spoke about his incredibly inspirational and amazing song Take Me To Church, religion, the situation in Russia and his family.
The Bray singer said,
“The damage done by the Church to the people of Ireland is completely irreparable, and the reparations are all too few. There’s still a lack of will to turn around and say, ‘This is not OK’. There are still things like regular news segments where they ask the local priest what he thinks. Why is it an organisation that is considered to have any moral standing at all? The track record is just appalling.”
The singer/songwriter has soared to fame with his track Take Me To Church. He says that the song is about people who undermine what it is to love someone. The video which shows a sweet couple in love and then a homophobic attack. The video, which was filmed in Cork, shows a gay man been dragged across a field where he is violently kicked by masked me. A clip of a Cyrillic script banner places the action in Russia. It was retweeted by Stephen Fry and also made the front page of Reddit and at one stage had 10,000 YouTube views increasing each hour.
“The song is about loving somebody. I’d been following what was going on in Russia, where far Right groups were doing these organised attacks, filming them and putting them on social media. The song is about loving somebody, and the video is about people who would undermine what it is to love somebody.”
He hasn’t visited Russia, and says that he thinks he won’t be rushing over soon either and stated,
“It’s important to remember that it can happen anywhere. It’s very easy for a society to fall into hatefulness, to scapegoat people, especially when times get tough.”
He says that he isn’t gay “but that’s not the f***ing point”.
“If you can do a song like that right, you won’t sound like a preachy d***head,” he says. “I have huge respect for Paul Weller, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder — people who wrote about their own times and did it well.”
Speaking of his family he says that his Dad was a drummer who was part of the Dublin blues scene and then a bank worker. He was forced to retire when Hozier was six years old following an operation to correct a spinal problem which left him with nerve damage and in a wheelchair.
“It was a tough old time — no money. Mum kept us together in a big way.”
His Dad’s health has improved physically and he has retrained as a sound engineer. His Mum went back to college and studied art. She has painted the sleeves of all his releases while his brother is a film-maker. His brother and he were raised as Quakers after their parents rejected their Catholic upbringings.
“My dad went to a Christian Brothers school. They just beat the s**t out of kids.”
Hozier went to a Catholic secondary school in Bray and says,
“I went on Catholic retreats, stuff like that. There was a lot of pilgrimage-type stuff to holy places in Ireland. At the time I was very open to trying things, trying to get my head around it.”
He describes faith as an “absurb thing” and says,
“I still wouldn’t define myself as an atheist – it’s too absolute. But I don’t have any faith. I think faith is an absurd thing but I’m OK with that. There are no answers because the universe never asked a question in the first place.”
Hozier’s debut album is due out in September and he plays St Stephen’s Church, W12, on June 14th.
I absolutely love this man. So talented, has great music, so handsome, has a sexy voice, is so articulate, cares about people and issues. I think I’m a bit in love to be honest! 🙂
Watch the video for Take Me To Church here: