Vinylbanner

Interview med David Sanchez fra Havok

David Sanchez

I anledning af Havoks femte album ’V’, fik vi os en snak med forsanger og rytmeguitarist David Sanchez, om den ideelle tourné, muligheden for et kommende livealbum, og præcis hvad det er, der påvirker ham til at skrive så vrede sange.

Introen til jeres nye sang ’Post-Truth Era’ er blevet sammenlignet en del med ’Blackend’ af Metallica. Var det meningen, eller skete det mere ved et tilfælde?

Sanchez: Tja, da jeg fik idéen til at gøre det tænkte jeg, at det ville være fedt at prøve af. Så vi gjorde det. Da vi lyttede til det tænkte jeg: ”Åh nej det her lyder super meget som ’Blackend’.” Det er sket før med andre sange, hvor jeg syntes, at det mindede for meget om en anden sang, hvor de fleste andre i bandet syntes, at det var fint og vi skulle beholde det. Jeg tror at en del af grunden til, at jeg var okay med det var, at jeg aldrig havde hørt nogen andre gøre det siden. Siden 1988, haha. Ingen har gjort det i mere end 30 år, så hvad fanden. Det er vores hyldest til det muligvis bedste heavy-metal band nogensinde. Jeg har intet problem med det. 

Så det var ved at være på tide, at nogen andre gjorde det efter 30 år?

Sanchez: Ja, 32 år senere synes jeg andre har lov til at benytte sig af den samme studieteknik. For det er ikke engang fordi, at musikken er den samme. Musikken er faktisk forholdsvis forskellig. men det er den samme studieteknik. Du tager mere eller mindre bare alle de her guitarspor, uden trommer eller bas, og så spiller det baglæns og fader det ind. 

I har selfølgelig ikke mulighed for at turnere, for at promovere jeres album lige forløbigt grundet Coronavirusen…

Sanchez: Det har jeg ikke hørt om, af hvad for noget?! Haha.

Men planlægger I nogle turneer til efteråret eller vinteren? 

Sanchez: Vi ville rigtig gerne. Men lige nu er alting vendt fuldstændig på hovedet. Der er ingen bands der har nogen idé om, hvornår de vil kunne komme ud for at spille igen. Det er det værste af det hele, usikkerheden. Ingen af os ved hvad der kommer til at ske. 

Men når I kommer ud at turnére på et tidspunkt, hvem kunne I så godt tænke jer at turnére med?

Sanchez: Ift. bands vi gerne vil tage med ud, er der klart et par stykker. Der er også klart et par stykker vi godt kunne tænke os at komme ud at opvarme for. Ift bands vi gerne vil tage med ud, har jeg en gigantisk liste af bands, som jeg tror ville være virkeligt fede. Men det er ekstremt svært at planlægge en turné med nogen, da du skal bruge en gruppe på 3-5 mennesker, der alle kan tage fri fra arbejde og ikke har andre ting de er nødsaget til at gøre. At få et band til at planlægge en turné er svært nok til at starte med, men når man snakker om at lave en pakke med tre andre bands er det utroligt svært. Stjernerne og planeterne skal stå på en lige linje, for at den slags kommer til at ske.

Men er der nogle bands som f. eks Municipal Waste or Warbringer som jo også spiller thrash, som I godt kunne tænke jer at turnere med, eller som I har nydt at turnere med førhen?

Sanchez: Vi har allerede turneret med nogle rigtig gode bands som Warbringer og Toxic Holocaust. Der er en god del, som vi allerede har turneret med. Bands som vi ikke har turneret med, som ville være rigtigt fede for både vores fans og os, er Municipal Waste og Powertrip. Det er de første jeg lige kommer i tanke om ift. thrash. Men der er masser af bands jeg gerne vil turnere med, som ikke rigtigt kan kategoriseres som thrash. 

Det lyder interessant. Er der nogle bands der lige kommer op?

Sanchez: De første jeg lige kommer i tanke om, er Gojira eller Turnstile. De vil passe godt til os vil jeg mene.

Sangen ’Don’t do it’ fra jeres nye album var ret progressiv, sammenlignet med den mere klassiske thrash metal I plejer at spille. Hvordan kan det være, at I valgte at skrive en sang som den?

Sanchez: Tja… Nogle af de riffs er faktisk ret gamle, omkring de ti år. Men de er aldrig rigtig blevet brugt til nogle sange. Men vi har endelig fundet en måde at få dem brugt på, på en fornuftig måde. Selv uden den lange intro vil jeg stadig mene, at den sang ville være ret dynamisk og en smule anderledes end resten af sangene. Men jeg synes at introen virkeligt giver en masse til atmosfæren og stemningen i sangen. Jeg synes helt klart at det er noget vi ikke normalt gør, at have en forlænget atmosfærisk intro. Det var sjovt at optage, da vi fik mulighed for at bruge en masse ting, som vi aldrig rigtig har lavet sange med før: Båndløs bas, underlige pedaler, volume-pedaler, sliderør og alle mulige slags ting, såsom 12-strengede guitarer og 8-strengede basser; alt muligt underligt som ikke er normalt for os. Så vi havde det sjovt med at optage den. Og overordnet set vil jeg mene, at det gav en masse atmosfære og stemning til sangen. Når vi skaber en sang som ’Don’t do it’, har der ikke rigtig været noget der har været udelukket for os. Det var ikke fordi vi sagde: “Hey, vi kan aldrig lave sådan noget”, og pludselig valgte vi at gøre det til dette album. Vi har haft nogle af de riffs liggende i evigheder, men det virkede aldrig rigtigt, så det var kun en del af bunken af riffs, som vi følte for at bruge i øjeblikket. Den slags ting var aldrig som sådan udelukket; det var bare at timingen aldrig rigtig var der førhen. 

 

Du benytter dig mere af clean sang i forhold til de fleste af jeres andre sange. Var du urolig for, hvordan folk ville reagere på det?

Sanchez: Ikke rigtig. For på alle albums, er der altid melodisk vokal at finde et eller andet sted. På hvert eneste album har vi sange, hvor jeg ikke blot skriger af mine lungers fulde kraft hele tiden, så jeg finder det ikke så overraskende. Der er mere af det på dette album end på den sidste. Men alle vores albums har dele, hvor jeg synger og ikke bare råber, så det er ikke så mærkværdigt. 

Frygt og løgne virker til at være nogle af hovedtemaerne bag albummet. Hvad var det, der påvirkede dig til at skrive om netop dette?

Sanchez: At vokse op i netop denne tid haha. At observere verdenen omkring mig, var inspirationen til at skrive om bedrag og løgne. Medicinalvirksomheder og den stigende teknologi... Der er en hel del temaer til albummet, som simpelthen er inspireret af at stoppe op og kigge sig omkring. 

Nu nævnte du selv medicinalvirksomheder. Hvilke sange på albummet har det inspireret?

Sanchez: Den fjerde sang på pladen ’Ritual of the Mind’. Der er en linje i den sang, som starter andet vers som lyder: “They want a war on drugs, but not the ones they sell”. Hvad jeg konkret snakker om, er de store medicinalvirksomheder. Det er den største pengemaskine af en industri i USA. Det genererer flere penge end film, flere penge end sport, flere penge end tv, flere penge end olie, flere penge end krige, flere penge end noget andet. Den farmaceutiske medicinalindustri i USA er nummer et på listen over pengemaskiner, som nogensinde er opfundet. 

I har altid været et band med en del på hjerte. Er politik meget vigtigt for jer? 

Sanchez: Ikke nødvendigvis politik. Jeg vil hellere sige, at vores band er en smule anti-politiske. Vi prøver ikke at skubbe hverken en venstre eller højreorienteret dagsorden ned over folk. Vores formål er at kalde det hele for noget lort. Vi kritiserer alle sider i det, og prøver at få folk til at tænke selv og vågne op. Det er ikke politisk for os. Det er mere et “wake up call”, end det er et forsøg på at gøre folk mere politisk aktive, eller at få dem til at tænke på en bestemt måde. Jeg vil ikke have folk til at tænke det samme som jeg gør. Jeg vil have folk til at tænke selv. 

Som band har I aldrig holdt jeres kærlighed til de tidlige thrash bands som Slayer, Exodus og Testament skjult, men er der nogle nyere bands, der har virket som inspirationskilde til jeres nye album?

Sanchez: Hmm… Vi henter vores inspiration fra en hel del steder. Ærlig talt kommer meget af det der har haft indflydelse på os, fra bands der ikke engang spiller metal. Vi har helt klart ladet os inspirere af mere moderne bands før. De er måske ikke så nye mere, men ikke ligesom de originale oldschool 80’er bands. Men vi har afgjort hentet inspiration fra bands som Arch Enemy, Gojira, Skeletonwitch, Power Trip, Turnstile, Warbringer mfl. Det er de bands, som først lige falder mig ind, som har haft en form for indflydelse på vores lyd, da der afgjort er elementer fra de bands som vi synes er fede. Det er ikke fordi vi nogensinde siger: “Hey vi burde skrive et riff der lyder ligesom deres riff, dem derovre”, men når man lytter til de bands, starter tænder det en gnist i en, som giver lysten til at lave noget fedt, som har et strejf af inspiration fra andre. 

Når I nu har udgivet fem studiealbums, og jeres koncerter hovedsageligt bliver godt anmeldt, vil I så overveje at lave et livealbum på et tidspunkt?

Sanchez: Ja det ville jeg elske at gøre. Men det er ret svært, da situationen er den, at vores første tre albums er udgivet på et andet pladeselskab end det vi er på lige nu. Så det er lidt et copyright mareridt at prøve at få styr på, da det mere eller mindre ville være et pladeselskab som ville udgive det, og en masse af det der ville være på, ville være underlagt et andet pladeselskab. Så det er svært at overtale nogen til at lægge en masse arbejde i at udgive og promovere et album, for at en masse af pengene så skulle gå til nogen andre. Så det gør det ret udfordrende for os at gøre, men jo, jeg ville elske at lave end livevideo. Jeg ville elske at lave en DVD, eller hvis de er for gammeldags, en blu-ray. Hvis det også er for gammeldags, så bare smide det op på YouTube eller en hjemmeside, hvor folk ville kunne købe det. Jeg ville elske at lave en liveoptagelse på et tidspunkt, som virkelig fanger essensen af, hvad det er vi gør når vi spiller live, da jeg tænker det ville være en ret god ting at kunne kigge tilbage på om 40 år; bare prøve at få et øjebliksbillede, så vi ville kunne kigge tilbage på, hvad vi plejede at gøre, hvor det fanger bandet i vores storhedstid, mens vi stadig er forholdsvis unge og stortset ikke har gråt hår, haha.  

The intro to your new song ‘Post-Truth Era’ has been compared a lot to ‘Blackend’ by Metallica. Did you intent to or did it happen more as a coincidence? 

Sanchez: Well, when I thought of the idea to do it, I thought it would be a cool thing to try out, and then we made it and listened back and I was like, oh no this is super ‘Blackend’. It has happened before with other songs where I was like, this is too close to this other song and pretty much everybody else in the band was like, nah it's cool let's keep it. I guess part of the reason why I was okay with that, was that I have never heard anybody else do that since. Since 1988 haha. So nobody has done it in more than 30 years, so whatever. That is our salute to the greatest heavy metal band arguably of all time. I don’t have a problem with it.

So it was about time for someone else to do it after 30 years?

Sanchez: Yeah 32 years later I think someone else is aloud to utilize a similar studiotrick. Cause it’s not even that the music is the same. The music is actually quite a bit different, but it is the same studiotrick. You basically just have this layered guitar-part with no drums nor bass, and you flip it backwards and fade it in. 

Of course you won’t be able to tour in support of this album right now because of the Coronavirus…

Sanchez: Wow I haven’t heard about that, what?! Haha

But are you planning any tours for the fall or winter maybe?

Sanchez: Yeah, we would like to do it, but right now everything is completely up in the air. No bands have any idea when they will be able to go out on the road again. That is the worst part about all of this, the uncertainty. None of us know what is going to happen next. 

But then you go out and tour at some point. Who would you like to take with you to tour with? 

For bands we would like to take with us, there are quite a few, and there a also quite a few we would like to be supporting. As far as bands we would like to take out, I got a gigantic list of bands I think that would be really cool. But it is really hard to schedule a tour-package, because you need to get a group of 3-5 people that are all available and off from work, and don't have any obligations or things to go to. Getting a band to schedule for a tour is difficult in the first place, but then when you start talking about building an entire tour-package of three other bands, it is incredibly difficult. The stars and planets have to aline for that stuff to happen. 

But are there any bands like Municipal Waste or Warbringer who also play thrash that, you would like to tour with or have enjoyed touring with in the past?

Sanchez: We have already toured with a lot of good ones like Warbringer, Toxic Holocaust. There is quite a handful that we have gone out with. Bands we have not toured with, that would be really cool for the fans and for us I think would be Municipal Waste and Power Trip. As far as thrash goes, those are the first ones that comes to mind. But there are plenty of other bands I would like to tour with, that aren’t really thrash bands. 

That sounds interesting. Are there any bands in particular that comes to mind? 

Sanchez: First ones that comes to mind is Gojira or Turnstile. They would be a good fit I think. 

The track ‘Don’t do it’ of your new record seemed quite progressive, compared to the more straightforward thrash you usually play. Why did you decide to do a song like that? 

Sanchez: Well… Some of the riffs are actually really old, like ten years, but have never made their way into songs. But we finally figured out how to make them fit. If it wasn’t for the long intro, I think that song would still be dynamic and a little different than all the rest. But I think the intro really adds a lot to the atmosphere and the overall feeling of that track. I think that is definitely something we don’t normally do, having kind of an extended acoustic spacy intro. It was fun to record that, since we got to use a bunch of things that we never really recorded with before, like a fretless bass, weird pedals, volume pedals, slides and all kinds of stuff, like 12-string guitars and 8-string bass. All kinds of weird things that are not usual to us. So we had fun recording that, and I think overall it added a lot of atmosphere and vibe to the song. Creating a song like ‘Don’t do it’, there wasn’t anything that was off the table for us. It wasn’t like, hey we can never make stuff like this and all of the sudden for this album, we decided to go there. We had some of those riffs forever, but it just never really worked out, so it was kind of a chunk of the riff pile that we wanted to pursuit at the moment. Those things were never really off the table, it was just that the timing had never really worked out in the past.

In the song you also use more clean vocals than you usually do in most of your other tracks. Were you worried about how people were going to react to that?

Sanchez: Not really, because on every record there are melodic vocals somewhere. On every single album we have songs where I’m not just screaming my head off the entire time. So, I don’t think it is that surprising. There is more of it on this album than the last one. But every record of ours have parts on it, where I am singing, and I am not just yelling. So, it is not completely abnormal.

Fear and lies seem to be some of the major themes for the album. What affected you to write about these things? 

Sanchez: Growing up at this time, haha. Observing the world around me was the inspiration to write about deceit and lies. Pharmaceutical companies and the rise of technology; there are all kinds of themes for the album that are just inspired by stopping and looking around.

You mentioned pharmaceutical companies. What songs were inspired by that on the record? 

Sanchez: The fourth song on the record, “Ritual of the Mind”. There is a line in that song that starts the second verse that says: “They want a war on drugs, but not the ones they sell”. What I’m talking about specifically, is the big pharmaceutical industry. It’s the number one moneymaking industry in America. It makes more money than movies, more money than sports, more money than tv, more money than oil, more money than war, more money than everything. The pharmaceutical industry in America is the number one money-making machine ever invented. 

You have always been a very outspoken band. Are politics very important to you?

Sanchez: Not necessarily politics. I would say that our band is kind of apolitical. We are not trying to push any sort of left or right agenda. Our agenda is calling the whole thing bullshit. We are calling out all sides of it, trying to urge people to think for themselves and wake up. It’s not political for us. It’s more of a wake up calling, than trying to get people to be more politically active or think a certain way. I don’t want people to think like me. I want people to think. 

As a band, you have also never been shy of your love for the oldschool thrash bands like Slayer, Exodus and Testament. But are there any newer bands that have been an inspiration for your new album?

Sanchez: Hmm… We take inspiration from a lot of different places honestly. A lot of our influences comes from bands who are not even metal bands. We definitely have been inspired by some more modern bands in the past; they might not be new anymore, but not like the original old-school 80’s bands. But we have definitely taken influence by bands like Arch Enemy, Gojira, Skeletonwitch, Power Trip, Turnstile and Warbringer. Those are the bands I can think of, off the top of my head that had some kind of influence on our sound, because there are aspects from those bands that we think are cool. We don’t ever go like, “Hey, we need to write a riff that goes like their riff, the ones over there,” but listening to some of those bands, lights a fire in you to make something cool with a spark of inspiration from someone else. 

Since you have released five albums, and your concerts mainly gets very great reviews, would you consider making a live album at some point? 

Sanchez: Yeah, I would love to. But it is very difficult because our situation is, that our first three albums were released under a different record label, than the one we are on right now. So, it’s kind of a copyright nightmare trying to sort that out, because basically one record label would be putting it out, and a bunch of the material by a different record label. So, it’s hard to convince someone to do a bunch of work to put out and promote it, and a bunch of the money is going to go to someone else. So, that makes it kind of challenging for us to do. But yeah, I would love to do a live video. I would love to do DVD, or if those are too antiquated, a Blu-ray, and if those are to antiquated, just put it up on YouTube or a website for people to buy it. I would like to do a live recording at some point, where it truly captures the essence of what we do live, because I think it would be a good thing to look back on in 40 years; just trying to capture a moment in time, so we would be able to look back on what we used to do, where it captures the band in its heyday, where we are fairly young and mostly don’t have grey hair, haha.  

Tilføj kommentar