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In Words: Havok

- Havok - Aug. 2009 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Havok

Havok - August, 21st 2009 (by email)

With Havok there is a new thrash metal band from the US on it's way. They aren't one of the Bay Area scene, but perhaps that's an asset...

Most metal fans won't know you, so please tell us a bit about how it all began!

We started out in high school and found other mates at the local music stores. We started jamming Metallica songs. We actually sounded decent and people started chatting about us and asking us if we had original songs. We got to know each other musically and began writing some of our own material and it just took off from there. Basically, Metallica is responsible for the seeds of Havok!

Why did you name the band Havok?

We wanted the band name to be just one word and the word. 'Havoc' came up while we were brainstorming for a name. The logo was sketched up and we changed the 'c' to a 'k' to make the logo symmetrical. Once we saw it drawn out, we decided THAT has to be our name. At the time we only knew of the one band from decades ago named Havoc.

You released an EP independently, but now you are signed to Candlelight Records... Have you been shopping for a deal? Or have they found you?

We were approached by some smaller labels a couple of years ago, but we wanted to stay on our own as we developed our style and music. We did have an offer from another label during the same time that Candlelight had contacted us. But after much negotiation, we decided on Candlelight. It's a great label and we're very proud to be a part of their roster.

On Burn you have some song which were previously released on the single and / or EP... Have you overdone these songs?

We re-recorded a few of the older songs because we wanted Burn to be a good representation of what we've done up to this point. The album contains new songs and songs that we've been playing for 5 years. We don't think the older songs are overdone, since we are now being introduced to a much larger audience.

And how did you choose the songs? Testing the waters live?

The older songs that are on the album are the ones that WE like playing and others enjoy hearing. We would not have put a song on there that everyone hates and we don't like playing. We often do get requests at live performances and that's when you know you have an audience favorite! That's one that definitely goes on the disc.

I guess you already got some feedback for Burn... Are you satisfied?

The feedback has been pretty good! We appreciate all the interest and kind words that we have read. The only thing we wish people would stop saying is that we're following the 'thrash trend'. When we started this band, there was hardly anybody making this kind of music; we could only find a small handful of similar new bands. We were making this music, years before thrash became popular again or 'trendy'. We've been cranking our Havok tunes for almost 6 years now!

Why the title Burn? And how does the artwork fit in?

Halseycaust did the album cover, she is an artist from Portland, Oregon. The album cover art is mildly based on the lyrics of Melting The Mountain. We called the album Burn because it's such an appropriate word for the music. After hearing the album, it sounds like it should be called Burn. It's fast and it fuckin' rips! Smokin~

Please tell us a bit about the lyrics! What's the story behind tracks like Morbid Symmetry or Identity Theft?

Identity Theft was the first song we ever wrote. The lyrics talk about people that just follow trends and can't make up their own mind on what to like. You know, the people that are just into whatever is hip at the moment; the kind of people that will do things just to fit in.
Morbid Symmetry is about celebrities (ultra famous or just your high school hottie) and their lives outside of the public eye. A lot of those people are really fucked up! News headlines and tabloid articles, the irony of having it all while actually falling apart inspired a lot of the lyrics.
Most people can relate to the lyrics of both songs in some way.

Which bands inspire you musically? And what's your inspiration when you write lyrics?

Our songwriting and playing styles are very influenced by the classic thrash metal bands, but there are definitely some different kinds of bands that we take inspiration from, such as Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Arch Enemy, Boston, Into Eternity, and Death. We all started playing music for an escape, a way to be creative and express ourselves.
Our lyrics are usually inspired by real life. Most of the lyrical topics cover personal issues, historical events, and human behaviour.

Even before the album was done you got the chance to play live with some bigger names. How was it for you to play with bands like Exodus, Destruction and Metal Church? And which of all the bands you shared the stage with impressed you most?

It has been absolutely awesome to share the stage with some of the bands that we really look up to. Amazing feeling is about all we could claim! Into Eternity is a very impressive band to see live, because their music is so complex and they absolutely kill it. They've got insane music and even more insane vocals. Exodus, Destruction and Metal Church showed us plenty and they can all still bring it like they have for years! We learned so much from performing along side them all.

If it would be up to you, who would you like to support on tour?

If we ever get the chance to tour with Metallica, Megadeth, or Slayer, I think we'd all shit our pants in excitement!  *Cough cough, nudge nudge, booking agents*

What can we expect from Havok in the near future?

We will be touring our asses off over the next year! Expect to see us on the road soon. We hope to be heading overseas in 2010. We will also continue to write some fast, heavy metal.

Looks like Havok are out to thrash the metal world.... The 'oldsters' of thrash metal are still alive and kicking, but they have to be aware of bands like Havok who rattle their throne!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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