In the decade since Hozier broke out with his 2013 single “Take Me To Church,” the Irish musician and megastar has only gotten bigger. The 33-year-old singer and songwriter has topped the Billboard 200 charts (with his second album
Wasteland Baby!), graced stages from Glastonbury to Lollapalooza, and collaborated with everyone from Mavis Staples to Tori Kelly — all while maintaining a strong political heart in his music, touching on issues from the 2022 feminist protests in Iran to reproductive rights.
In August, Hozier released
Unreal Unearth, his third studio album that contains some of his most ambitious and outspoken songs to date — and has now sent him on his biggest North American tour yet which will see him hitting iconic venues like New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. Here, in the midst of tour prep, NYLON caught up with the renowned troubadour to ask him about everything from astrology, his current go-to drink order, learning about Ireland’s Siege of Jadotville, and more.
What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?
My astrological sign is Pisces, and I do think that when I read some horoscopes it’s a great deal to project onto one person based on the month of their birth. However, I am told so many times from so many different sources that I am an archetypal Pisces, that I struggle sometimes to hold on to my disbelief.
Do you believe in ghosts (and have you ever seen one)?
I have never seen a ghost. I had an interesting experience in a bookstore in Los Angeles, in Book Soup, where myself and another customer who was a stranger to me witnessed a book jump off a shelf. It had been resting at an angle that would’ve been seemingly impossible for it to fall off the shelf. I asked the owner who said strange things like that happen all the time there, but the other customer picked up the book and bought it! So, I’ve never seen one. Would love to see one.
What’s your go-to drink order? (And if it’s boozy, what’s your go-to hangover cure?)
At the moment, if I am going to have a drink, it would probably be a nice tequila. My go-to hangover cure is, I think, orange juice and coffee, and when the stomach is able, french fries. Something fried, something salty helps.
Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?
James Brown in the height of his powers, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald.
What’s the weirdest snack that you make?
I’m pretty unadventurous when it comes to the creation of strange snacks, but I’m not above smearing peanut butter on any piece of fruit before eating it. So an apple or banana.
What’s a bad habit of yours that you’ve been meaning to fix?
Time keeping. I have a bad case of what I have heard described as time blindness and I would love to have better time management.
What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?
Information regarding the Siege of Jadotville, which was when a troop of Irish peacekeepers on mission for the United Nations was attacked by French-backed mercenaries and militants of the region of Katanga in 1961.
Describe your worst date in three words.
If you could be in any music video, what would it be?
I always enjoyed The Verve’s video for “Bittersweet Symphony” — there’s something very iconic about the way he just barrels through strangers in the street. There’s something incredibly badass, very gritty about it, so to be either the lead singer or one of the extras that he shoulders, I’d say that’d be a lot of fun.
What was your first concert, and what are your memories of it?
My first concert, I believe, was a Sting concert when I was a child. I would’ve been at gigs that my father played as a drummer, but my first ticketed concert was Sting. I remember I couldn’t understand why they played “Octopus’s Garden” before the show; why they played music before they played music and why the decision was “Octopus’s Garden.”
What’s your favorite meme/internet joke and why?
I really love the image of Elmo with his hands up, an intense look on his face, and an atomic explosion behind him. I just find that fantastic.
What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?
I’m not sure, I’d have to lift the note/bill and see what it is.
What is one question you never want to be asked again?
Question 12, thank you so much. That is a question I could do without.
What is your go-to sad song?
“Don’t Explain” by Nina Simone. I think it’s absolutely staggering.
What is your go-to break-up song?
I think Chet Baker’s version of “I Get Along Without You Very Well” is one of the most beautiful breakup songs ever written.
What reality show would you most like to appear on?
None of them. I really don’t want to appear on any reality TV show. Thank you very much for the offer, but no thank you.
What is your best beauty tip or trick?
I don’t have them and I think that’s my trick. Ehh.. don’t wash your hair as much as you think you need to.
What is your coffee order?
What is your favorite fast-food place, and what’s your order?
It’s not technically fast food, but there is a great Indian/Pakistani restaurant called Daata back home in Ireland, and they have this incredible Afghani chicken recipe that’s amazing. It’s called their ‘Famous Afghani Chicken.’