Havok interview with David Sanchez – August 2014

@AnybodyBC @PlanetMosh interview with @HAVOKthrash @centurymedia

Denver thrashers Havok could well be one of the most busy bands on the road if they continue touring like they are now! Their huge world tour will finish in the October and guys already have further plans. I managed to catch Havok lead vocalist and guitarist David Sanchez just before their show in Glasgow and ask him several questions.

David Sanchez & Jurga KalinauskaiteSo you’ve been touring for quite a long time now, how is it going?
Touring is fun and exhausting! But that’s exactly what I like to do, so I’m happy.

Any memorable gigs from this tour?
Yeah, we played a lot of festivals and the coolest was Brutal Assault, even though we played at 11 am. There were thousands of people and within five seconds of the show starting there was a circle pit. It was great!

Any unusual/awkward things that happened during the tour?
On our way to Russia the airline lost 100% of our stuff: all our guitars, our drums, our sticks, our picks, our pedals, our merchandise – everything! For all of our Russian shows we had to play on other people’s instruments *laughs*.

So now you’ve got everything back?
Yeah, we have it all back now but that was kind of the pain in the ass.

Yeah, that’s true. Recently you changed from Candlelight Records to Century Media. How and why did this happen?
Well, our contractual obligations were over with Candlelight, we were obligated to do three albums and we did them, so the contract is up now. Century Media offered us a pretty good deal.

So you’re really glad about that?
Yeah! It should be really good.

Are you planing to release a new album soon?
We’re going to take a break after the Crowbar tour in October and then write and record the new album. Should come out some time in later half next year.

Do you have some ideas for it already?
Yeah, we’ve got lots and lots of riffs and quite a bit of lyrics but no full songs yet.

Do you feel it might be quite different from previous one?
I think it will probably sound as catchy as “Unnatural Selection” and as aggressive and angry as “Time Is Up”.

Oh, that’s sounds good!
Yeah, fast, heavy and catchy!

So, how does your creation process work?
I do most of the arrangement and composition, most of lyrics I do myself as well. But Reece would contribute – with good riff ideas and Pete would lay down his drumming ideas. With the last record Mike joined very late in the writing process, so there wasn’t so much time for him to get creative as we just needed to record it and get it out. But on the next record I’m really excited to work with Mike, because he’s really great bass player and he writes a lot of really cool stuff. I think the next one is going to show everyone’s abilities the best. But normally it all starts with the riff and then you figure out another riff and then it goes with it, sandwich them together and start figuring out other parts to go between the holes.

Havok @ Ivory Blacks, Glasgow, 12/08/14
Havok @ Ivory Blacks, Glasgow, 12/08/14

And then the lyrics…
Yeah, normally lyrics, at least the phrasing and stuff comes last but this time we have a lot of lyrics already written before the music, normally that’s not the case. So, I don’t know, it will a little different writing this album. It’ll be cool, I’m looking forward to it.

So, you’ve been playing for 10 years now, how do you feel about it?
It’s been a long road but I’m finally starting to get where I want to be with life and the career. It took a decade to come here but I think that all the hard work is starting to pay out. It’s really nice.

Are there any things you would change now, when you look back?
No, if anything would be different, I would not be here, talking to you right now and maybe I wouldn’t be in Glasgow, Scotland.

Tonight you’re with Skeletonwitch and Black Talon. What do you think about both of these bands?
I’ve never heard Black Talon but Skeletonwitch is one of my favourite bands of the last decade. They’re awesome, really sick riffs, heavy, evil and all the guys are cool, it’s fun touring with them.

Is there any band that you would like to be your supporting band but haven’t been before?
Yeah, there is a lot of them actually. One that comes to mind immediately is Power Trip. This is really cool band from Texas, really heavy, kinda like hardcore thrash, crossover stuff. So yeah, Power trip is one but there is a long list.

You’ve been touring so much and visited so many countries… do you have some sort of the plan to play in every country in the world?
Anywhere where fans want to see us and people will show up – if we can make it there, we’ll do it. That’s the way I look at it. I would like to hit every place we can as long as there are people who want to see us, I’d love to play anywhere. I like playing in new places and seeing new things. As long as we are not going to put our lives in danger to play somewhere, then yeah, will probably go do it.

Any dream places you’d like to go?
I want to go to Egypt, I wanna see the pyramids. Egypt and India are two biggest wants on my list of places that we’ve not gone.

Have your influences changed over the years? If yes, how?
Yes, definitely. When the band started over ten years ago, I listened lots of other kinds of music that I didn’t listen to before. And I think that my musical horizons have broadened and it contributes to the band’s more eclectic sound and I think it will continue to go that way. All the influences from the different styles of music works its way in our heavy style. Lots of people don’t know but I listen to tons of funk music and it’s a big reason that there is a lot of slap bass in our material. I can’t think about many other thrash metal bands that slap bass a lot. And there are a lot of other sounds that work their way into our music. Listening a lots of classical music, jazz, punk rock, hardcore, classic rock, funk music.

Quite a big variety…
Yeah, I love that stuff. And some weird stuff like Frank Zappa, Mr. Bungle, Oingo Boingo.

And what about the inspiration from other sources, besides music?
Society, people, nature, space…

Basically everything what is around you?
Yeah! There is enough going on here in real life, that we don’t need to talk about made up things *laughs*.

So what do you actually do in your free time, when you have it?
When I’m not touring I work as audio engineer at home, at venues – I do work at few venues in Denver, but aside from that when I have true free time I enjoy to hike mountains, cook and read books, listen to music.

You mentioned that you enjoy reading books, do you have your favourite author?
I don’t know if I have definite favourite author but I really like Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain, George Orwell are pretty cool.

Do you have your favourite track to play live?
I really enjoy playing “Give Me Liberty.. Or Give Me Death” – the riffing is really fun and lyrics mean something to me and I think to lot of people. The message, the anger, the aggression and energy in that song is perfect for a live show. Gets the blood flowing and is full of passionate anger. *laughs*

And now is the time for the awkward question: if you could describe yourself as any food or drink, what would you be?
A sour gummy worm. *laughs*

And your last words for the readers!
I would like to say thanks to everybody, who has ever come to the show, or bought a T-shirt or CD, or told their friends about Havok. Without those people we would not be here. I urge everybody to think for themselves, support music and be kind to other people – world needs that, it would be a much better place.


Thank you a lot, David!

About Jurga Kalinauskaite

Photographer, journalist, curious wanderer.
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