Just a week after FOE’s release of her debut album, Bad Dreams Hotline, I caught up with Hannah, the mastermind behind FOE. We chatted about her influences, the album and her plans for the rest of 2012.

First off, you have quite a dark, mysterious style. Why did you choose to adopt such a style?

FOE : It wasn’t really a conscious thing, I think my music is channelling something in a way. And I’m inspired a lot by artists like PJ Harvey and Nick Cave. I see it as a bit tongue-in-cheek at the same time.

Would you call ‘FOE’ an alter ego or just a creative medium of releasing your music?

FOE : Yeah, to an extent I think FOE is definitely a guise. It gives me the kind of confidence to perform in a sense. It certainly is some kind of persona. The more I have been playing live, the more it starts to merge, and I am getting more and more comfortable performing as FOE.

Can you tell us the story behind the name ‘FOE’?

FOE : I had a few names that involve the word ‘foe’, and I was just playing with that for a while. It’s basically the idea of foe as in nobody’s friend, cause I have put all my effort into music, that’s why I chose the name, as it fits me quite well. I then decided to have it just as ‘FOE’.

Last Christmas you did an advent calendar, which was a lot of fun. What made you want to make one on your own?

FOE : I love Christmas. It’s kind of based on the idea that I wanted to do some covers with friends, some local musicians and artists. It’s just a way of getting it out there, getting some free content out to people. I didn’t end up doing that many covers, I think there are only three covers in total. The main idea is just to give people some more stuff for free.

Adam Crisp, Entrepreneurs, is a frequent collaborator. I wonder what brought about the collaboration between the two of you?

FOE : Adam was in a band called Elle Milano, and I was about 15 at the time, I was a huge fan of his band. I went to loads of their gigs and I used to email Adam all the time. It’s quite embarrassing really. I was in a college band of some sort, eventually, we played a gig together, and we asked Adam to produce our stuff. So I’ve been working with him for years, he’s just very talented and he has his own way of doing things. I think his kind of style doesn’t sound like anything that I’ve heard. He’s also in the FOE live band as well. We just work together really well and we understand each other so it’s quite easy to work with him.

Yeah, I can hear a lot of similarities between your music and his?

FOE : I think we’re probably influenced by each other and I’d definitely say he’s influenced me a lot, artistically.

Your debut album, it’s quite a bold move not to include your really successful and hit single Deep Water Heartbreaker. Why did you exclude it from the album’s track listing?

FOE : It just didn’t work, it didn’t seem to fit right for me, it just didn’t feel right in context. I like the idea of it existing in its own little world, in a way. Hopefully if people buy the album, they might delve into other stuff I released and come across the track as its own thing.

I really admire your creativity and imagination – there are seem to be a lot of characters in your songs, especially those featured in the album. From where did you get the inspiration to creating and including them?

FOE : The album is kind of based on the dreams that I’ve had. I’ve always had really vivid dreams, and sometimes I find it really hard to tell the difference between what is a real experience and what is a memory of a dream. It’s kind of a mixture of ideas I’ve had in my dreams and some personal experiences. It’s like exaggerating real life in a way. I think it also might be because whenever I’m writing, it’s something that I always do on my own, I spend quite a lot of time on my own, so maybe I’ve created my own little world, like imaginary friends.

So, would you say your album is pretty theme-based in a way, as you just mentioned how Bad Dreams Hotline revolves around dreams?

FOE : It’s not wholly based on dreams, some of it is kind of personal, and some of it is more abstract. But I think all of the songs touch on dreams, so yeah, I would say it’s based on dreams in a sense.
Foe Manchester3

What will FOE be up to for the rest of 2012 ?

FOE : I’m gonna be gigging a lot, playing a lot of shows. I’m gonna be writing, hopefully writing my next album.

Wow! So soon?

FOE : Yeah, I think I like to work quite quickly and I just want to keep getting stuff out there cause I write all the time. At the moment I’m sort of planning my next idea for the next batch of songs that I write. I’m thinking I might do some kind of tour around England and just stay in different towns and weird places to write and to be inspired by the country as a whole. So just a lot of gigging and writing, I’m sure there will be some other weird treats from me throughout the year.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.