– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the HAVOK’s camp right now?
Things are great! The new album just dropped and we’re on our way to Bogota, Colombia for our first show in South America.
– You have just released «Unnatural Selection» so, how are the first reactions being?
The reactions so far have been mostly positive from fans and reviewers alike.
– Digging deeper into this new opus; what does its title make reference to?
– Yourself has taken production duties so, how was this process like?
The process was hasty as we only had a few months to write and record this album between tours. It was a bit hectic as we had hardware malfunctions, microphones stop working, computer hard drives crash, etc, etc.
– I personally think you have got a perfect mix between a clear sound but not really modern or too mechanized, keeping the old school vibe your music has. Is it easy nowadays to avoid mechanized sounds?
Easy if you have a good recording! We made sure to not have the drums sound triggered and the guitar tones on the album are real. You know, speaker and a microphone; No re-amping.
– In fact you have a quite 80’s musical basis. How did these influences born and which bands do they come from?
A lot of my early musical influence comes from Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Overkill, Pantera, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest, etc. You know, the usual bands that metalheads get into when they start diving into the world of heavy!
– I have read you recorded drums in a theater. How did you come up with the idea? And how do you think has this affected the drum sound on the album?
Yeah, we recorded the drums at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood, Colorado. I wanted to have all natural reverb on this record, so we opted to track in a theater… We’re all pretty happy with the result!
– After giving the record some spins, it sounds stronger and more solid than your previous releases. Could you say you have now find or established/solidified your very own identity? Some people use to say the third album by a band is, somehow, a confirmation.
I think that “Unnatural Selection” is just an extension of our sound. It’s not necessarily a new direction or our “signature sound” to be expected from here on out. It’s merely the newest batch of songs we’ve created. Every album will sound a bit different… If that weren’t the case, things would get stale.
– In the songwriting I have also noticed certain improvement, is stronger and has more diversity to it. For instance we can find tracks with certain European flavour, such as «Under the Gun», tracks at the old EXODUS’ style as «Worse than War», or really filthy, relentless and straight-forward songs as «It is True». Is having this versatility something important for HAVOK?
I think that this album is definitely the most versatile and diverse yet. It was a conscious effort to bring in some new sounds on this album because let’s be honest, we can’t play a zillion miles an hour for an entire set and have it FEEL like a proper show. With “Time Is Up” we showed that we can play fast, with “Unnatural” we wanted to have more groove so that we could build our live set more like a rollercoaster ride; with peaks and valleys in the music.
– You have also featured a cover for BLACK SABBATH’s «Children of the Grave». How did you come up with the idea and why did you choose this song? You have been pretty loyal to the original version I’d dare say but, what changes have you done to it?
The song is fuckin’ rad and heavy! The lyrics of the tune also hold just as true today as the day they were written. Lyrically it fits in perfectly with the rest of the album, so it was an easy decision. We didn’t change much because we didn’t need to! The heaviness is already built-in.
– And what other songs would you like to cover someday?
That list goes on and on! Someday we’d like to release an entire covers album, complete with oddities that people wouldn’t expect from us.
– All this about «Unnatural Selection» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Groovy slam thrash.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We’re embarking on a headline tour throughout North America from July to September. After that, I’m sure we’ll continue touring as that’s WHAT WE DO. Expect to see us on the road all year and onward into 2014!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thank you to anyone that has every bought a shirt, cd, come to a show, told their friends about HAVOK or helped in any other way!! Other than that, support music and THINK for yourself. Many great things will come from doing those two things.