Haken Interview is up....
- This being your debut album tell us where Haken came from?
Haken was originally formed by Matthew Marshall (ex-guitarist), Ross Jennings and I. We put the band on hold until we completed our academic studies, at which point we could then dedicate ourselves fully to the project. In 2007 we went on a hunt for the remaining members to complete the line-up. We found Pete Jones (ex-keyboard player) on an internet forum, which in turn led us to meeting his close friend Raymond Hearne (drummer). At this point we had enough members to record a demo, which is exactly what we did. During the recording of this demo Matthew and I came across the band To-Mera, and were blown away. We decided to contact Tom Maclean, guitarist and songwriter for To-Mera, and subsequently he volunteered his services as our bass player, to which we, of course, said yes. This remained the line-up until 2008, when Pete and Matthew decided to pursue other careers. We then held auditions for new members, and found the acclaimed Linear Sphere/Anchorhead guitarist Charlie Griffiths, shortly followed by the gifted keyboardist, Diego Tejeida. This is the current line-up. (Richard Henshall)
2. Your debut Aquarius is a mix of Prog rock, Metal, Avant Rock and Blues elements that make it a very original sound... Are you surprised how epic the sound came out to be?
As a band we have a diverse range of influences, so it’s no surprise to us that we create a diverse sound (Richard Henshall). The general idea behind the music on the album was big sounds, thick textures, everything on an epic scale to reflect the direction and flow of the lyrics and the overall concept. Christian ‘Moschus’ Moos at ‘Spacelab Studios’ really did a great job at enhancing our music to sound even bigger than we could have imagined. If anything, this album is too epic! (Raymond Hearne)
3. I'm impressed on the mix of Clean and Growled vocals its reminds me very much of what Borknagar is going are you fans of this band?
I am not familiar with this band, I will be sure to check them out. (Richard Henshall)
4. How did you come to work with Sensory Records ?
We are honored to be working with Ken Golden at Sensory Records, there are so many great bands on his roster. We were brought to Ken’s attention through Lee Barrett (founder of Candlelight Records). Tom and I played with Lee in To-mera, and this is how he became aware of Haken. Lee passed our details on to Ken, who contacted us requesting a demo. (Richard Henshall)
5. Do you feel Lasers Edge/ Sensory will get the CD out to the world. I find them the best Prog / Prog metal label out with Inside Out right now...
Lasers edge is a distribution company as well as a label, therefore they have a lot of experience. (Richard Henshall)
6. Will Haken be touring the USA at all of this CD?
We have not played the USA yet, be would love to in the near future. We’ll hopefully be arranging some festival dates over there during the summer. We’ll be arranging some tours throughout the UK and Europe during the summer. Check our myspace for dates. (Richard Henshall)
7. Is Haken very different live vs album ?
Of course we try our best to keep loyal to what fans hear on the record, but in the past we have always made adjustments here and there when playing live, for example, opening up solo sections. Sometimes bands risk getting a bit boring when they churn out the same old songs the same old way, so I think keeping the audience on their toes by developing some songs a little further is a great way of sustaining a live energy. This is progressive music we’re playing after all! (Raymond Hearne)
8. What is a live show like for Haken?
Energy is a very important aspect to our live shows. Almost all the songs we play are averaging ten minutes in length. They are generally fairly complex and constantly change direction into new and contrasting styles. The hardest part for us live, but also on recording, is making sure our songs flow, whilst maintaining a high level of energy to keep the audience interested, and not merely confusing them with an onslaught of different styles. (Raymond Hearne)
9. Is there a story line behind the album Aquarius?
Yes, the storyline is very much our own fairy-tale with a twist! It follows the life of a mermaid born of human parents who, in turn, disown her. There then follows a dramatic sequence of events following the mermaid’s life through each song, with a broader overview linking her life to the flow of water. (Raymond Hearne)
10. Is there a strong Prog Metal scene in UK still?
It’s difficult to say. I keep hearing of progressive music festivals being postponed or cancelled because of a low budget or a lack of interest. Having said that, Opeth played at the Royal Albert Hall this week! As far as I’m aware, this was the first ever occurrence of this nature at such renowned venue. Prog music in general seems to have suffered greatly since its Golden Age in the 60’s and 70’s, but it is bands like Opeth and Dream Theater that have kept the music alive. It’s always been one of our main aims as a band to re-ignite the prog flame for the UK! (Raymond Hearne)
11. Are there any new bands that impress the members of Haken?
There’s a band called ‘School’ which I heard recently and very much enjoyed. (Raymond Hearne)
12. Do the members of Haken feel Myspace and the digital age are hurting the bands / labels today and the only way to make living with band is touring and merch?
Of course! Especially the smaller, less commercial strands of music, for example prog. There only seems to me to be a handful of prog bands really making a living from their music nowadays. On the other hand, the sheer amount of music now available to people on the internet has its advantages to. The variety of music that can be accessed now compared to just ten years ago is enormous thanks to the development of the digital age. Less bands are making money which is a great shame, but far more are being heard. (Raymond Hearne)
13. Haken seems at times to be full on Prog rock then the next Prog Metal do you have an odd mix of fans at shows? being the band really has 2 drastic sounds and side??
I think all progressive rock/metal bands have a diverse mix of fans, which generally reflects the diverse sort of music they listen to. I wouldn’t say we have two drastically different sides to our music. I think we prefer to think of them united. (Raymond Hearne)
14. Your artwork for the album is amazing do you feel art and music are a full package will there be a vinyl release even limited for this wonderful artwork?
With this release, the artwork and music definitely go hand in hand. We were very lucky to get the fantastically talented Dennis Sibeijn on board who really couldn’t have done a better job! We haven’t really thought about vinyl or limited edition releases but one day that would be great! (Raymond Hearne)
15. Any closing thoughts place here Thank you again...
Buy this album! It’ll blow your mind!