Signed with Innerstrength Records in September last year, Sacramento heavy hardcore / metalcore band HAVENSIDE have recently unveiled their new album called “Living Our Darkest Days”! The band have previously released two full lengths: “Nemesis” in 2012 and “Recognition” in 2010. Formed 8 years ago, HAVENSIDE went through a couple of line-up changes and now are back with a solid record. Stream it below and scroll down to read my quick interview where we talked about their new outing, Sacto scene and various other stuff.
Hey hey! What’s up guys? How are you? How’s this new era for the band been treating you so far? Ready to unveil a new chapter?
Jaramia (drums): Hey man, I’m pretty good. There’s so many talented bands coming out these days, it’s hard to keep up. It’s hard to express your own personal sound when writing music, its 5 guys that have to agree on something. But I like how the band is evolving the sound and style a bit. We know we’re not a huge band, we do it because it’s what we love to do. To travel to new places, meet new people and see our music reaching people across the globe is good enough for me!
Yeah man, you’re quite right there. But you’ve added a new member lately, haven’t you? Who’s your new bassist and what new features come along with him?
Casey (guitar/backing vocals): Yeah we have and his name is Jordon Morch. He brings experience from several bands he has played with in the past. He’s a great bass player with the right attitude with what we are trying to achieve right now with our band.
Can you share some of the names?
Jordon (bass): Alright my previous bands were A PLAGUE UPON HER and GIGANTES.
A “line-up change” sounds scary, hence the massive casting HAVENSIDE faced right before your debut full length. How do you approach such changes now?
Brandon (vocals): We approached it in a different way this time, by taking it slow. We tried out a few people before moving forward with things. In the past, it was always a friend joining the band, so it was a quick transition without much thought. This time we actually jammed with Jordon for a month, we needed to see how well we all meshed together as a band before making any decisions. We felt Jordon was a perfect fit for our band in every way. We are very excited for what the future holds.
Is there a certain theme behind the record? Do you write from personal experience or rather perceive what’s around you?
Brandon (vocals): Well the theme behind the album is really just me going through a dark place & time in my life and what I had to do to overcome it. Not really going to get too far into detail with that. Usually 50/50, I write from personal experience and I try to relate with others on normal day to day issues we deal with as individuals. Best feeling in the world, is knowing we were able to get someone through a rough patch in life by listening and relating to one of our songs. Music is a powerful thing. Never question it.
Is there some kind of an impulse towards moral criticism in your lyrics?
Brandon (vocals): No, not really. Well, I just try to relate to what people go through and the issue that exist in my life.
The cover art for this outing is definitely influenced by the Sacramento style :) Tell me more about it.
Casey (guitar/backing vocals): Well we wanted something that was actually drawn up by an artist for this album. No better way then having our friend and tattoo artist Jesse Allison do it. We wanted a local artist that represented where we’re from. The album cover portrays our latest song release “King By Destruction”. Please go check it out on youtube and download the track free here.
The album will be out on March 11th via Innerstrength Records. Was it a natural decision to work with this label? How about Westcoast Worldwide? Are still in touch with Mikey Hood?
Brandon (vocals): Very natural, we loved the diy vibe we got from Jason at Innerstrength. All the pieces just fit. There is no better work ethic to have. Westcoast Worldwide & Mikey treated us very well. Put out 2 albums with them and they helped us grow as musicians and individual’s. We just felt is was time to explore other ventures as a band. Mikey is one of our greatest friends, we talk to one another on a daily basis and look up to him for advice all the time in the music world.
What’s the role of a hardcore record label in a culture so focused on digital formats for music?
Promotion, physical distribution, outlet to better tours, connections with booking agents, etc. There is many things a label can help with. Idk if this question is for us or the label? haha.
Naah, you have to get a say, too ;)
Ok, you’ve been using many different online channels to promote your stuff. What’s your take on social media affecting music these days?
Well social media for bands is great, but it’s also bad in some ways. For example, bands passed out flyers for shows back in the day, actually interacting with their fans. Now it’s a facebook invite, which usually every other band does for their 10 local shows every month. So it just floods everyone’s inbox, leaving their fans annoyed, so they never even open it. Also, there are so many social media sites that it’s become oversaturated with the same posts and bla bla because they’re all linked together. But we have them, it is what it is. It does help bands get their name out there in a shorter amount of time. Idk, I can go on and on but it doesn’t really matter, does it? lol. This is a digital age with live in.
But still, there’s no better promotion for a hardcore/metal band in the world than playing gigs and taking your message to the people. Did you already have a chance to play some of the new riffs live? What are your touring plans for 2014?
Yes, on our last tour we did w/ LIONHEART & WARHOUND. We played “Stronger Everyday” and “Unite & Conquer” off the new album.
We plan on touring Europe this year and touring the US.
What’s the timetable?
Jaramia (drums): Late Spring/Early Summer if all the pieces fall into place for Europe. US – A few tours during the summer.
Ok buds. So what other plans do you have for the future? Are there any extra tracks recorded during the latest sessions? You haven’t released an EP since 2008. Aren’t you tempted to switch to releasing more shorter records?
Casey (guitar/backing vocals): We were thinking of writing a 6 song E.P. for the next one. Not sure what will happen. But already starting to write for new ideas.
How about a split? Do you like the format? What band would you team up with for such a release?
Brandon (vocals): We would love to do one in the future, maybe with HOODS, LIONHEART, DESERTERS, CONCRETE, or WITH WOLVES.
What other local bands does the world need to watch out for this year?
Brandon (vocals): HOODS, CONDUCTING FROM THE GRAVE, LIONHEART, THESE STREETS, WITH WOLVES, ALTERBEAST and many more.
Ok guys, how do you think the band evolved over the years? Does HAVENSIDE still get on the same types of tours, more or less the same press coverage, etc.?
Casey (guitar/backing vocals): We definitely feel more recognition now than before. But we have been getting better opportunities now. So i feel we have grown as band and happy where we are at, at the moment.
How do you keep yourself inspired? Do you have a private canon of artists and authors you re-investigate? How does it work for you guys?
Jaramia (drums): To be honest, our local scene inspires us to write new stuff. Seeing our friends doing what they love keeps us going. That’s for sure.
Are you happier in being a part of this band, writing, creating, playing shows, etc. than you are walking around in life?
Brandon (vocals): Very happy, This has been a big part of my life for 8 years now. This band keep us out of trouble and keeps us in the right path.
Alright. Let’s wrap it up then. What are you working on right now? What’s coming up from HAVENSIDE a.d. 2014?
Well, we are actually starting to work on new material just to get a head start, we were sitting on LODD for about a year before it released so we are trying to keep the juices flowing. We plan to do a few tours here in 2014. So look out for that.
Cool! Let me know when things develop.
Thanks so much for your time guys! All the best for the rest of the year! Take care!
To you as well. Thank you!