Havok Front Man David Sanchez Shares The Message That "Time Is Up"
Band Photo: Havok (?)
Denver's Havok is set to drop a new thrash bomb on the world titled "Time Is Up" on March 29th through Candlelight Records. To give fans a taste of the upcoming release, Havok recently premiered the new song "Scumbag in Disguise" through Metalunderground.com at this location.
Vocalist David Sanchez recently shared his thoughts with me on the progression of the band's sound since the "Burn" album, along with the song writing process for "Time Is Up." Read on to get some insight into the 10 upcoming tracks from Havok and how the band differs from the rest of the players on the thrash field.
xFiruath: Havok has been around since 2004. Fill me in on the history of the band and what Havok has been doing so far.
David: Like you said we started in 2004 and I started the band with a couple of dudes I knew from high school and a guitar player we found by putting up ads at music stores. We started playing, getting our name out, recorded some demos, and kept writing songs and playing shows. Eventually we had some lineup changes and then got signed to Candlelight and released an album. A year and a half has gone by, and here we are now, about to release a new album “Time Is Up,” and now I’m on the phone with you.
xFiruath: What sets Havok’s brand of thrash apart from any other thrash band fans may be familiar with?
David: For starters, there’s a shit load of slap bass on our album. I think there’s a lot of different influences other than strictly thrash metal when you pay attention to the music. There’s a lot of parts where I took influences directly from bands like Rush, Boston, Kansas, and stuff like that. I think there’s a lot more to it than just your meat and potatoes “Kill, kill, kill, die, die die.” There’s a lot more musicality in it than I think you get with your standard “thrash metal” bands.
xFiruath: What’s going on with the new album “Time is Up” and what’s different about this album?
David: The album was actually tracked in my house. I produced the album here and as far as it being different from our previous stuff, it’s just a natural progression from where we were before. I think compared to our first album this one is heavier, faster, more aggressive, more technical, and a lot more catchy.
xFiruath: Is there a theme between the songs or does each song stand along as its own separate idea?
David: Each song is written to stand alone, but the album title “Time is Up” completely applies to all the subject matter of every song. It’s not a concept album by any means, but the phrase “Time is Up” is totally applicable to all the subjects.
xFiruath: Who did that interesting old school artwork for the album?
David: The artwork was done by Halsey Swain, who also works with Toxic Holocaust and a bunch of other metal bands. Halsey is insanely good at art.
xFiruath: Tell me about your song writing process.
David: Most of the time, for this album, it happened by me going in the basement and recording a riff, and then recording another riff that sounds like it might be good with it. Then I program drums to it and write bass lines and try to figure out vocal patterns. That’s how most of this album was written. With that being said, I’ll present the initial composition to the rest of the guys and they’ll give me input on stuff we can change and tweak and make better. So everyone has a say in the song writing on this album, but there were a few songs that were written as a complete group effort. Just because of lineup changes and things like that, most of it was written by me in my off time. Anytime I’d have an idea I’d record it, just to get it out of my head. Then I’d come back to it and keep working on it until it eventually turns into a full song.
xFiruath: Since you do both vocals and guitar, how do you keep your voice while out on tour?
David: You know I’m not really sure, but there was definitely a tour where there were no monitors for five or six shows, and because I was having to sing louder to try to hear myself I threw out my voice. I had laryngitis really bad and couldn’t even speak. Because we were on the road I had to sing every night and it was pretty rough as far as vocals go on that tour. I couldn’t speak, but somehow I had to try to conjure up a singing voice every night. It was really impossible, so on that particular tour my guitar player and bass player had to figure out parts they could sing and cover a third of the set every night. So to answer your question, I don’t necessarily know how to save my voice from that, but basically I try to control it so I sound aggressive without hurting myself.
xFiruath: Do you guys play local shows often?
David: Yeah, we play shows in Denver a lot. The metal scene out here is actually thriving. There’s a lot of people into metal and a lot of bands, so I would definitely think we have a good local scene here.
xFiruath: What bands are you listening to these days?
David: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of funk. I haven’t really been listening to a whole lot of metal. Generally speaking I listen to classic rock and metal and every once in awhile some jazz. I’m a fan of just about every genre of music, but at the core I’m a metal head.
xFiruath: What else would you like to say about the album?
David: I think everyone needs to pick it up, because if they are a fan of heavy metal they will definitely appreciate it. I also wanted to clarify one thing though, because I’ve seen some incorrect information on the Internet. It was produced by me, and then it was mixed by Pete Rutcho, who also worked with Revocation and Bury Your Dead. After the mixing stage it went off to James Murphy, who mastered the album. I’ve read different things on different websites, and some of them have incorrect information somehow.
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