You are here: Articles Redbird Interview with Heather  
German message about Redbird
Interview with Heather
London Rain
Heather deserves a hit
Comming out
NY Rock Interview
KOOL artist biographies
Heahter's concert in lower Manhattan
Walk the world
Forgotten Angel
The Crossing Border Festival
New album "Storm"
Anti Pop Heroine
Your point of view
The ticket blues
Heather's Isolation
Marktrock 2003
Heather is expecting a child
Nova shines brighter than ever
Rock Star Burning Bright
Birthday gig
Reviews and exclusive artist reflections
Heather at the Vredenburg
Heather at Shepherd's Bush
Simply the best



i had just written songs for a number of other artists (afro celt sound system, ATB , eskobar etc.) and the idea of something with dido came up, so we did it by email. tt's the oldest song on the album and was released in the US and i had many requests from european-based fans to put it on an album. i like the energy of the song and thought that it would fit well as an opener on this album


I Miss My Sky

I Miss My Sky
someone recently told me about the theory that amelia earhart actually crash landed on a tiny deserted atoll rather than into the sea and that she and her navigator lived as castaways for years without of course ever being found. artifacts and debris have been found to back this up. i was so taken with this idea that i wrote i miss my sky imagining i was her. i tried to imagine her state of mind, her emotions, the details of her life in such a situation. it is probably my favourite song on the record.
i also was lucky enough to have a fantastic violinist, sophie solomon, play on the song. i used to play the violin, and really felt inspired by the emotion that seemed to sing from sophie's violin


i have recently had the most life altering experience i can imagine - becoming a mother. no one can really prepare you for the intensity of it - the immense love but also the vulnerability that comes with it. the terrible fear and of course the joy. all wrapped up in this tiny package...


this is a song about the underlying current of our sexuality, the mystery of it. with the song redbird i wanted to make a song that had the colour red running sort of subliminally throughout it. so when you hear it you are imagining red. red is such a symbollically powerful colour - the colour of love and passion, the colour of fire, and of course the colour of blood - of life and death.

Done Driftin'

Done Driftin'
a spiritual moment! it's about finding peace inside the chaos. realising you can stop searching and find joy in what's in front of you. i love the hypnotic feel of the wurlitzer and it was exciting to work with gospel singers. they added a whole other dimension to the track.


i always love doing a little spoken word over loud guitars. mixing poetry with rock'n'roll. this is a dark story about falling in love - dazzled by someone who is maybe the wrong person: "caught in your sunset, overturned". dazzled by the brightness of the sun, but it's going down.

Wicked Game

every now and then i like to do a cover. i like to take a man's song and sing it so that it takes on a different meaning. i have always loved this song. we tried a lot of different arrangements but in the end it seemed that sticking close to chris isaak's original one suited it best.


i wanted this song to sound euphoric. lots of strings!

Singing You Through

Singing You Through
the most acoustic song on the record. stripped right down. a simple song about being there for someone in trouble.

A Way to Live

i wanted this one to feel almost orchestral rather than like rock music. the gospel choir lifts it to new heights. it is a song about how we as the human race seem to find it so difficult to get along. if we looked closer we would see that we are all so similar. forgiveness and compassion would heal and put an end to war (if only it was that simple!).

This Body

the power of a woman's body. the woman's body should be worshipped! not when it is a perfect 10 by our cultural standards but when it has gone through life and performed its feats - like producing a child. it is so fucking miraculous!

The Sun Will Always Rise

a lullaby for my son.

Heather Nova on her new record

Heather Nova on her new record
motherhood and creative freedom
how are you? what have you been up to?

very well thanks. a lot has happened since my last tour in the fall of 2003; i had a baby and i wrote and recorded my new album, redbird. i also played some festivals last summer in europe.

storm was a departure musically from all your previous albums. was this a reflection on your state of mind at the time or, after releasing south, which had so many different musical styles and emotions, did you want to create an album that had one continuous flow?

absolutely - after south, which in the end felt overproduced in places, and not focused enough stylistically, i really felt the need to simplify things - to make a record that flowed; one that felt natural and yet had a sense of mystery. it was important to do it all in one time and place too, with one band. i was very happy with storm. it felt like 100 per cent me; like there had been no gap between writing the songs and realising their arrangements; no production getting in the way.

Can you tell us about redbird as an album and some of the stories and ideas behind the songs?

well it was probably the most difficult album i have ever made because for the first time i had something else besides music (my baby) taking up my time and attention. so instead of having endless days with nothing to do but write, i had 2-3 hours on a good day. and that meant focusing in and working very intensely in a way i hadn't done before. it was a challenge. but at the same time i was incredibly inspired to write for this album. i had just had a life-altering experience! i felt like my heart had been blown wide open and i was the most vulnerable and yet the strongest i had ever been. that's what mesmerised and motherland are about.

when your son sebastian grows up do you think he will have your song motherland on his ipod playlist or will he think it's too embarassing?

oh god, i am sure he will be embarrassed by all my music! aren't children always embarrassed by their parents? he will probably find them too personal and get into death metal or something to rebel!

now you are in total control over your career business wise owning your records and choosing who will release them. is this the only real future for artists who have their own minds (and want to keep them)?

i don't know why i didn't do it sooner. an artist needs to be able to follow their instincts in making an album, and with a record label breathing down your neck it's hard to do that. a label always has an agenda. and so you get pulled around and end up compromising artistically. there are always battles which are such a drain on your energy when you are just trying to make something you believe in, something true to your heart. i feel a real freedom creatively now that i make the records myself and license them out. i would recommend it to any artist who wants creative control. of course i am not doing it alone - i have a great team of people working with me, and that is essential too. people i can really trust and who truly believe in the music.

this must be the longest time you have been off the road. have you missed it and how will you manage touring as a mother?

i spent about 12 years pretty much non-stop on the road so it is strange not to be out there! i love playing live but to be honest after a while i felt like i had no life except for touring. now that i have a child i feel strongly that i need to put him first and make sure his life is stable and happy. i have also discovered the joys of being in one place for a while - like growing my own vegetables and watching the seasons change! so i will continue to play live, just not for such extended periods. this summer i will play a bunch of festivals in europe and then, starting at shepherd's bush empire in london on the 30th september, i will do a one month tour of europe. (see website for dates)

do you have any plans to release your albums again in north america, japan, australia?

contrary to what fans in america think, it is not that i don't care about them that i haven't released my last album over there! the truth is that there is a lot more to releasing an album than people realise. first you have to find a label that will invest the time and money into promoting it, then i would have to do months of travelling around the country on promotion, then months on the road doing a tour. when you add that to the european promotion/touring there isn't much of your year left. so i decided i would get on to making another album rather than releasing the last one all over the world. because i knew that thanks to technology anyone who wants to can now buy the records from itunes and similar sites. i am a big fan of the itunes store (i live in bermuda, so i have to be!!) and i hope that fans in north america will take advantage of it.

if you could make an album with tracks from all your releases what would be on it and why?

hmmm, difficult.... some of my personal favourites would be:

winterblue - this track always feels good to me. i love the way the arrangement feel like the lyrics - that is perfect production! it sounds oceanic, watery. and it is my favourite song to play live.

island - this is the song i took the biggest risk with lyrically. and i guess i am proud of that. it's a good example of how the truth can set you and others free - from letters i have received this one seems to have reached out to a lot of people, for which i am grateful

ear to the ground - what i like about this song is that i didn't really know what i was writing about. it kind of came out of me and revealed something to me. but there is still a mystery in it that even i don't understand

help me be good to you - there is a silkiness to this track, an ease that i like. but also a real ache, that feeling of wanting to be better than we are. and i like the understated arrangement in the music. i remember recording this - we were all sitting around in a tiny room with just a couple of mics because it was just meant to be a demo. that is probably why it sounds so relaxed!

just been born - i like the way it feels hypnotic and driving and almost sort of seasick. to me there is kind of compelling darkness to it.

aquamarine - a flash of colour, of light bouncing off the water, a deep longing, a moment in time. and then it's gone forever.

all i need - this song is very simple but it feels great to sing. it feels powerful.

i miss my sky - i enjoyed the challenge of getting into someone else's head. i think it's one of my best lyrics.

sugar - it rocks.

Article reprinted on this website courtesy of