"Always greet a ghost with a handkerchief, otherwise it will leave a black mark on your hand."
So said the grandmother of Hunter As a Horse's Mia Van Wyk who, after experiencing a family tragedy on a rural farm in South Africa's Free State, took to writing songs and playing the guitar “only because I didn’t know what else to do with death.
Living closely with the Sotho people, and with a nanny who was a Sangoma (African witch doctor) had a profound influence on her upbringing and the music she began to write.
Paul spent his teenage years helping his father John Galanakis record traditional African music and hip-hop in his studio, but his real ambition was to explore and experiment with electronic music.
Paul and Mia met in 2002 in Johannesburg and started the band Black Rabbit but soon realized that their future lay in London where electronica was taking off in a big way. After writing and producing for other acts in London they decided to start a new project. Initially they named the band Evil Spirit, referring to the presence Mia always felt in the room when she wrote 'real' songs. She believed after so many years of writing commercial tracks to make a buck, the spirit once again returned to help her create real songs.
It took them a year to fine-tune their sound and direction and in 2012 they changed the band name to Hunter As a Horse.
Hunter As a Horse draw inspiration from sources as diverse as astral travel, shamanism, psychedelia and the macabre, as well as from an eclectic collectanea including Stephen King, Nina Simone, Chopin, Clive Barker, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and Jan Bartell’s ‘Spindrift’.
They live in Richmond upon Thames next to the river and the trees, composing music, learning to astral travel and dreaming up ways to communicate with the other side. Now, after years of subterranean gestation, they are set to haul their ethereal sounds and broody vocals above-ground...