THE brilliant HAVVK…
have been telling me about the video for the single, Glass, and what it was like shooting it. I was keen to know how they started life and what we can expect from them going forward – they highlight some artists to look out for and whether they grew up in musical households.
I ask how they spend their time away from music and which albums they each hold dearest; whether they all love being on stage and connecting with the crowd during gigs – they provide some useful advice for artists starting out.
Hi, HAVVK. How are you? How has your week been?
Actually, ridiculously productive!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re Matt, Julie and Sam. We’re an Indie-Grunge band based between Berlin and London.
How did you all get together? When did the band start life?
I had a disastrous first attempt at an open mic in London (in my defence, most people’s first open mic night is pretty bad). Luckily, Matt was working on the desk and encouraged me to come back and fight the nerves. We soon started working on my solo songs together but eventually packed in the acoustic stuff to form a nice new, noisy band. It’s pretty much been getting noisier since then. A couple of years ago, we relocated to Berlin and we’ve been hopping back and forth since then.
The video for your song, Glass, is out. How did the concept come together? What was it like to make the video?
The inspiration is directly drawn from the Pride (rainbow) flag. We released the song in solidarity with the Marriage Equality campaigners in Ireland in 2015. I’m from the West of Ireland and we’d been on tour there in the run-up to the referendum. The video was shot by our good friend and amazing director James Byrne. It was a super-hands-on, D.I.Y. video-shoot that we did right outside Matt’s front door. The actual cut that you see only took about fifteen seconds to shoot in the end. A little bit like the Mirror Maze video, we spent most of our time trying to figure out how to shoot it without ourselves turning up in the reflections!
Are you working on any new material? Might we expect something new next year?
We are really excited about next year’s releases. Matt’s been producing with Rocky O’ Reilly in Belfast who has worked on some projects that we absolutely love, like And So I Watch You From Afar. I can’t say too much just yet but you’ll know before the year is out.
Did you all grow up in musical households? Which artists did you follow when young?
We all had loads of encouragement growing up to listen to music and try different instruments. We all feel really lucky in that regard. I grew up in the West of Ireland and my earliest memories are of bouncing on my mum’s lap watching my dad play the guitar at trad sessions (still happens, minus the lap bouncing).
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We are seriously keen to get back on stage. We locked ourselves away a bit during the middle of this year, finishing off tracks and working on other projects outside of the band. We run a label called Veta Records and I recently co-founded a D.I.Y. music initiative called SelfMade which has kicked off pretty quickly - no complaints though! But, I think we’re all really keen to reconnect with our audience - we’ll be announcing some winter live shows pretty soon!
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Julie: Sleater-Kinney - The Woods
Reason: I think it was the first time I listened to an album and felt a true calling to be in a band.
Matt: Radiohead - OK Computer
Reason: It was the first album that I stayed up past my bedtime listening to on headphones when I was young and introduced me to all sorts of unusual noises and different ways of thinking about music.
Sam: Ministry of Sound Ibiza Club Classics '08
Reason: Carrig lads on tour4lyf!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
On-site twenty-four-hour breakfast chef.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
It’s all in the works…
Do you all love being on the stage? What is it like travelling between gigs and bonding with one another?
Being on stage is amazing. It’s the part of music with the most risk so, when everything comes to together at a good show, it feels like nothing else. Travelling together is pretty silly - there are a lot of car games and playlists. But, everyone pulls their weight and even though it’s hard work, it’s really rewarding. There’s always a kind of ‘summer camp’ sadness afterwards.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Ask questions. There are so many aspects to a music career that aren’t songwriting and playing, but they pretty much have to get done. Things like planning the timings for a release, getting a website; registering tracks for royalty collection…
Ask other artists about how they’re doing it. Sign up to music groups on Facebook. Buddy-up and go to free industry events and panels. And, also, please know that you are not the only one who is feeling clueless. Sometimes it can feel like all of your peers know exactly what they’re doing and this can be really isolating. Ask questions and you’ll probably find out there are things that you can advise them on in return.
IN THIS PHOTO: Party Fears/PHOTO CREDIT: Nina Agnes
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We are all the kind of people that fill our ‘spare’ time with extra projects, so I’m gonna say ‘no’, we don’t get that much time to chill. BUT, we do love and believe in everything we do, so it’s worth it. When I have an hour or so, Berlin lakes are my getaway.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Pillow Queens – Rat