Wien, Austria’s atmoshperic, blackened hardcore duo HAUNA have teamed up with us to discuss their local independent scene of Vienna and their misanthropic debut EP “Dunkelkrach” (“Dark Noise”). With its raw nature and various cross-genre inspirations, HAUNA is both a new departure from the established, more popular forms of the genre and. Their wizardry will allow to lead them into all kinds of new areas, hopefully making this interview a fine opener of the doors for more appreciation of their craft.
Photo by Lukas W. Rosch.
Hey guys! How are you? How’s Vienna? I passed your amazing city on my way back from my recent trip to Croatia in mid July, but all I’ve seen just involve long highways and some traffic jams, haha. Tell us more about Vienna and your closest surroundings.
Hey Karol! Nice to hear from you :)
Yes, Traffic Jams are the worst in Vienna, it’s a good Idea to not have a Car in this City. We both have no Drivers Licence and no car which makes touring a little bit hard but it’s cool.
Vienna is very warm at the Moment, which is not usual, because Weather is changing a lot these Days and sometimes Summer here feels like Autumn. But as we’re kids of darkness and very true black metal that’s okay for us :)
When you were here in July you missed some great Shows! In July a lot of Bands coming through Vienna and their Way to Fluff which is pretty awesome and we gladly had the Chance to play our Releaseshow with the wonderful OLD SOUL and DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS at a Pre Fluff Party organized by our dear Label Miso (Hardcore for the Losers), what a good Night.
Vienna in general has a good and active DIY-Scene, and there are really a lot Shows happening all year. What doesn’t make it easy is that sometimes are quite a bit too much Things happening and so the crowd is overwhelmed where they should go and sometimes they just stay at home.
People from/in Vienna are usually complaining a lot about everything and you can see that at especially in the Diy Hc/Punk-Scene here, but maybe that’s also a good thing.
I (Florin) did Shows for 5 Years here under the Name “Generation Noir” and so I know all the problems and I experienced a lot of shit, but I always try to see it from the bright side and would say that everything is fine, there are much worse big cities in Central Europe to book and play Shows!
We’re very active going to shows from befriended bookers and bands and try to support as much as we can.
Bookers/Labels/Collectives you should be aware of: My Name Is Jonas, Hardcore for the Losers, Pylon Network, Li’l Sebastian Memorial Booking, Saitan Diy Shows, Eternal Laser, Featherlight Records, Into the Abyss, Transformer Music, Vanity Vague, Reich und Föhn and so many more!
Some of our Friends and cool Bands in general from Vienna: PETTERSSON (watch out for their LP coming in Fall, it’s breathtaking!), KOMETA, MELA, ROSA NEBEL, LORRAINE, DIVES, THE WEIGHT OF WATER, IRON HEEL, AVALANCHE, DISCURE, AIVERY, JODOK, CRYSTAL SODA CREAM… too much to mention, Vienna really has a great music scene!
What made you gravited towards punk rock and hardcore in the first place? Please tell us about your backgrounds.
I had the chance to grow up in a really cool home, my parents both make music, are really left-wing and showed me as already as a kid so many things that influence me until now. So for me it was really hard to rebel like other kids against their parents, haha. But somehow i also managed that. I think the main thing was growing into punk and hardcore that i used to skate a lot with my friends, being the only listening to hiphop, everyone else already were into this skatepunk-bands. I didn’t understand what punk means, but I hated it because it was not rap until the boyfriend of my big sister gave me some mixtapes with bands like PENNYWISE, BAD RELIGION, MISFITS, RAMONES and NOFX. I liked it alot from the beginning. So I became a Punk. I was listening to a lot of Deutschpunk afterwards, because everyone in the little Punkscene in the City i grew up in (Steyr, Upper Austria) did that. Me and my friends weren’t really political at that time, we just hated nazis, got beaten up a lot but we all were a little bit of fashionpunks with no deeper interest. I also started playing with some of my drunk teenpunkfriends a band called “rot weiss tot” and played some shows with them, until i found out that Punk can also be louder and harder, I left the Scene, I discovered Hardcore and later Metalcore, Screamo Stuff, Learned more about DIY/Political Movements and somehow became that what I am now.
It took some time to find myself and it took many years to play in a band again. After a lot of unlucky projects me and Dimitri met at a Show of TRAINWRECK at the EKH in Vienna which I organized with some friends and we stayed in contact, because we both listened to a lot of the same bands which not many people knows and shared same views on so many different levels. So there were always that feeling that we should do something together.
1-2 Years later we started talking about doing a Screamo-Bands with other guys. Than Dimitri moved to Paris for Studies and nothing happened until he came Back and on a Show from RUINED FAMILIES we decided to rehearse on the next Day. That was the Birth of HAUNA.
Photo by Lukas W. Rosch.
Your debut record sounds really interesting, bringing in some unconventional mixtures of styles and atmpspheres. What inspired this approach?
Thanks for the nice words!
I think our main goal from the beginning was to create something different and try not just to copy from bands we’re listening to. From that time we started the project until now our views on how we want to sound changed a little bit. In the beginning I just wanted to play, loud and fast. But we both are listening to a lot of different genres and have so many influences, that somehow we wanted to combine all that into a homogeneous sound. We’re listening to everything from FULL OF HELL to Justin Timberlake.
So what we have now is some weird mixture of experimental black metal stuff which I’m into a lot and mathy screamo which is Dimitri’s passion, combined with some post punk, sludgy & darkened hardcore and a lot of noise.
All together it makes that HAUNA-sound.
But we don’t want to be arrogant and make people think that we created something totally new, because that just would not be true. It also can make the listeners go crazy, because it’s just too much different stuff in one song, I can totally understand that. Some also said it’s “avandgarde music” for them, but we can totally live with that.
When people ask what genre we find it really hard to describe, but for me music is not about describing, just listen to it and hopefully like it. In the future we also will never take a break from evolving and going further with our sound. The 4 songs on “dunkelkrach” and the other songs we’re playing live are already a little bit old for us, we’re now creating a lot of new songs which are also sounding totally different to the stuff we wrote in the past. That’s really inspiring process and that’s why I love playing in this band so much.
Lyrics-wise, what do you write about? What are some of the issues you’d like to touch upon in your songs?
Most of the songs, especially the older ones, are dealing with political stuff and personal problems. We always are writing the music first, most of it just happens during a rehearsal, after a song is finished I’m sitting at home or somewhere outside and think about topics that are in my mind. I give you a little overview about the 4 songs on the EP and what they are about:
Humans: Is about losing your believe in everything that sorrounds you, especially all human beings and what they are doing to this world, including yourself and that we’re always thinking that we can so much good and change everything when we post some critical facebook-updates but when it comes down we’re just stupid humans and that’s all.
Lost in Freiheit: Sometimes it’s hard for me finding my place in the left-wing and antifa movement and I’m struggling with some things happening on different levels and how people are acting with each other but all of them want to same thing. But it’s also about finding your place and your ideals and that it’s always good to think about things and discuss with each other.
Isolation: The big city life can really fuck you up and make your mind go grazy, so sometimes I just want to be alone in the woods and mountains and lakes and just forget about everything which is happening outside of this isolated atmosphere. This song is about that.
Prophecy: It’s something like a “end of the world” – song. The system has failed, all gods are dead and you will also be dead soon. Simple as that.
Why not hit more positive moods?
Haha, that’s a good question!
To be honest, I don’t write that much happy stuff, because it just wouldn’t fit with the music and especially in the first songs I wrote there was a dark time in my life and so there was no place for that. So all the Songs on “Dunkelkrach” are not really positive, that’s true.
I don’t think that the world we’re now living in is a positive place because it’s just too much happening right now, all the wars, the economic and enviromental struggles because people are addicted and egoistic to other creatures, the right wing idiots getting more and more stronger in every country… it scares the shit out of me!
But since some time I’m trying to also focus on the good and inspiring things happening around me and everywhere and there is really a lot which gives me hope and the strength to not go crazy about.
The new HAUNA songs we write right now are a little bit about that, also about misogyny and struggling with your own body/gender, but have indeed some positive vibes. But I think there will always a little bit that dark and misanthropic character in the lyrics, because that’s just the way we are.
Photo: Muhassad Al-Ani.
Ok, so lastly, what are your next steps, both touring and recording wise?
Since Dimitri is moving to graz right now and I’m starting a teacher-education, things might get a little bit slower but the plan is to write enough new songs for the second ep during autumn/winter, record that again in February or March, release it in Summer and make a little tour. Before that maybe play a weekender, outside of austria. It could also be that we try some songs with a bass-player this time, we will see.
It’s all about making baby-steps with this band, but we don’t have to hurry, life is stressful enough.
Thank you Karol for giving us this oppurtinity, it was quite fun!
Thanks for your time! Cheers from Warsaw!