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Hope Sandoval's influences

Mazzy Star’s enigmatic frontwoman Hope Sandoval on three timeless influences

TextWill ButlerPhotographyJohn Engle

Taken from the October issue of Dazed & Confused:

Epic gaps between albums don’t phase Mazzy Star. As with their friends in My Bloody Valentine, the passing years are simply extended gestation. Released this month, Seasons of Your Day is the fourth album from the Santa Monica-formed dream-pop heroes and their first in 17 years. Yet all that time, frontwoman Hope Sandoval never stopped making music, even with the band’s guitarist, David Roback, living in Oslo. She formed Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions with My Bloody Valentine’s Colm O Cíosóig, and made a slew of guest appearances for artists ranging from the Chemical Brothers to Massive Attack. Sandoval is famously cagey about personal issues – it’s clear her love lies in the music. Today she splits her time between Ireland, Norway, London and California, seeking locales where she can keep the music a priority. From Dublin, she discusses  influences and remembers her first band.


“He was an amazing guitarist and an amazing person. I worked with him on the first record I did with Colm and it was sort of a fantasy of ours. We flew him out to Norway, we recorded in David (Roback)’s studio, and Bert had never done anything like that. He was never a guest on somebody else’s record. He always did his own thing. He came in and everybody was nervous. The engineer, everybody, we were all huge fans. He started tuning and it was just mindblowing. When Bert would excuse himself to go to the bathroom or go get water we’d all just sort of laugh with each other, like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening!’, and then put our straight faces back on when he came into the room. We were very lucky. Grateful that we had some good songs that he liked.

Tragic Troubadour ELLIOTT SMITH

I was just thinking about Elliott Smith the other day. I only recently got into his music. I love it so much. I don’t even know the names of the records. But I remember the cover of one because my brother used to live in Silver Lake, and when I saw the cover I knew where it was. There’s this song he covered called ‘Figure 8’ that I grew up listening to – it’s from a children’s show (Schoolhouse Rock!). The cartoon is a little girl making a figure 8 ice skating. So for some reason when I think about him, I think about the figure 8. I remember growing up with that song and thinking, ‘That is the most beautiful song.’ It’s a really sad little cartoon. His music is so beautiful, though. It’s a shame that we didn’t get to hear the rest of it. Cheers to him and what he’s given us musically.

California Dreamer SYLVIA GOMEZ

With the song ‘California’ from the new album we were thinking about my old bandmate Sylvia Gomez from Going Home (who formed in 1986 and recorded a Roback-produced album which remains unreleased). She lives in LA and I am godmother to her two kids. We’re very close and talk all the time, but I still miss her. She’s a brilliant songwriter, an amazing guitarist and a big influence on me. She’s not really that into releasing music; I think she may be interested in releasing a Going Home record, but for the most part it’s not her thing. She just likes to get together and play. I spend a lot of time in London and I miss California. Of course, when I’m in California I miss London.”

Seasons of Your Day is out on September 24 on Rhymes of an Hour Records