The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





Not too many people may have heard of this band named Havok but to the hardcore thrash fans out there that follow the underground scene, they are a seriously amazing band that is slowly on the rise to the next level. Hailing from Colorado in the U.S., this 4 piece thrash outfit have put out 3 solid album's including the recent 2013 release "Unnatural Selection". Here in Australia for their very first headlining tour, we managed to catch up with vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez to talk about the tour and their latest album.

Andrew: Hi hows it going?


David: Going well, how are you?


Andrew: Yeah good thanks. So you did your first show last night, how was it?


David: It was good! It was fun and it was one of the hottest shows I've ever played in my life.


Andrew: Oh yeah, did you get a good crowd?


David: Yeah crowd was awesome!


Andrew: So how does it feel to be touring Australia for the first time?


David: Great! It's been a long time coming. People have been asking us to come down here for years and it's cool to finally get down here.


Andrew: Yeah it's great to see you here. I was actually surprised when you announced the tour for over here to be honest. I don't know too many people that have heard of the band. Was this tour planned a while ago or was this a last minute kind of thing?


David: We knew we were going to be doing this for a couple of months and we figure since we are going all the way to Asia, we might as well hit Australia too since we're in the eastern hemisphere.


Andrew: So that worked out well then!


David: Yeah we just finished up a week in Japan and then Indonesia on our way here.

Andrew: So for the rest of the tour what can we expect as far as setlists and all that kind of thing. Will you be varying it up or sticking to the same thing?


David: We will be playing something from every single recording we've made. Stuff from every album and the EP so people should have their pallette satisfied I think! For the most part though we will be ripping through heavy fast shit! It's a heavy metal show after all!


Andrew: Yeah definitely! That's good to hear. I gotta ask, will you guys be playing "Time Is Up" by any chance?


David: The song "Time Is Up"?


Andrew: Yeah the song.


David: Yeah we normally bust that out every night.


Andrew: Ah cool. That happens to be one of my favorite songs. It was actually the song that introduced me to your band so it's good to hear that you're playing that one. Love that stuff!


David: Right on yeah!


Andrew: I hear that you are moving to a new label for your next album?


David: Yeah we'll probably be doing that. I don't know where our new home will be but there is some offers on the table and we'll negotiate something and try a new place to go sometime in the next few months.


Andrew: So with that change and the world tours and all that kind of stuff, do you feel that the band is really starting to get to a next level kind of thing?


David: Yeah definitely! We've toured internationally now more than most people (who) have played guitar or in bands ever dream of and a lot of places that we go it's really cool to see the fans there, that people know the words to the songs in a country where they barely speak english. It's really cool and exciting to go out every time and my appetite for adventure is never satisfied. I'm always wanting to go out and explore new places.

Andrew: Does it surprise you to find a big fanbase in all corners of the world?


David: If it wasn't for the internet it would have been massively surprising but we had already tried a few that had some good markets around the world because of a facebook page and people telling us to come out to this place and that place and the other. Even knowing that places are gonna be good it's still amazing to me that people on the other side of the planet that knows words to the songs and are really stoked about the band.


Andrew: Yeah I think you are absolutely right in saying that the internet has definitely helped a lot of bands get successes that probably in the past would not of happened.


David: Yeah the internet is the reason for where we are I can honestly say.


Andrew: So for that reason do you still feel like a small band or do you think you have outgrown that small band mentality?


David: You know it's funny, a lot of people say that we're getting bigger and congratulate us on success and stuff but honestly we're all within the bubble so to us it all kinda looks the same. So in my mind we're still up and coming, I don't think we're a big band at all.


Andrew: I guess the perception has changed. You're obviously active on the internet so I guess people have a different perspective on what is big and what is not. At the shows on your recent Asian tour that you did, was there a lot of people coming to the shows?


David: Yeah we played quite a few packed clubs on this trip. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore. It was all really, really cool. Bangkok, Thailand was great!


Andrew: How was your experience in China? I hear stories about bands having to change certain things at their shows. Did you have any problems at that show?


David: No not at all, it was great! Went off without a hitch and it was killer, really packed.


Andrew: I just wanted to ask about your last album that you put out. I love the new album "Unnatural Selection". It's a bit of a leap forward from the last album "Time Is Up which is also a bit of a leap from your first album. Do you think that the next album will become a bit different as well in certain ways or do you think you will continue into the same kind of thing?


David: I think the next one will be the best one. We're going to take a few months off the road, write it and record it so we will be real focused on making it sound right. But we got a lot of really cool riffs and things that we wanted to put on Unnatural but we just already had the whole album on our hands so we decided to hang it up and put it on the shelf for later. So we got a lot of aces up our sleeves.

Andrew: And just the album title for that which I have wondered. Obviously it's a play on the term natural selection from evolution but where does the title come from?


David: Yeah the closing track of the album is "Unnatural Selection" and that song is written about the holocaust. It's kind of funny, every single one of our albums the last song is the one that relates to the album title. I don't know if we will just keep doing that.


Andrew: So it's been coincidental so far?


David: Yeah coincidental so far. Like first album "Burn", the last song is "Afterburner", "Time Is Up" the last song is "Time Is Up" and "Unnatural Selection" the last song is that one.


Andrew: And the band name, does it come from X-men by any chance?


David: No it does not. I never knew that existed before when we came up with the name. We were brainstorming names and the word "havoc" came up and I thought it probably looks pretty cool as a logo if I change the C to a K. So I drew up a logo for it and that pretty much solodified it. It looks pretty cool so yeah.


Andrew: Yeah I mean that pretty much looks thrash metal so that is cool. And that's one of the things that drew me to your band as well was your album covers, they kinda look a little like Megadeth type stuff. I don't know who the artist is but it fits your style of music perfectly, it's great!


David: Yeah the artist that does most of our artwork is Halsey but our last album cover was done by a guy in Poland named Rafal


Andrew: And you did a Black Sabbath cover on that album, how did that come about?


David: It's a really cool song and lyrically it fits right in with the rest of the album. The lyrics of 'The Children Of The Grave" are just as true today as they did when they were written.


Andrew: Were there any other songs that you thought about covering or was it always going to be that song?


David: We had that in the back of our mind to cover that for a while so we just busted it out. But every time we go in and record anything, we plan on recording some covers so that eventually we got a stockpile of covers that noone has heard that we can maybe release all at once.


Andrew: Do you play any of them live at all?


David: No we haven't played any of the covers live in a while.


Andrew: OK so one thing I gotta ask you which I have asked a few other thrash bands as well and you are kinda in the middle of all the recent new wave of thrash metal. What's your take on the whole thing at the moment?


David: I don't really have too much to say I guess. It's funny that people say there's a resurgence and stuff but I think there is only in a minor respect because if you look at what was popular with the original bands - Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica, Testament and shit like that - those kind of bands were packing arenas and now this new wave just packs up clubs. So even though it's kind of getting a little popular and on the rise a little bit, it's still fucking mega underground because unfortunately pop music, hip hop and country rules the charts.


Andrew: Yeah unfortunately that's the way it goes. I would love to see some thrash metal on the radio but obviously that's not going to happen especially with your kind of music but one can only dream.


David: Yeah absolutely, of course. What's funny, the radio in the U.S. never started playing Pantera until after Dime was murdered. They didn't give a shit about Pantera until he got killed and everyone was mourning his death and the music industry was like 'Hey we can capitalise on this guy dying, let's do it!'.


Andrew: Yeah it's a pity and the same with Jeff Hanneman as well. There's a bit more spotlight on Slayer these days but unfortunately that's how things are.


David: Yeah it is unfortunate but you know what? That's why people that show up to metal shows and buy metal stuff are way cooler than the average customer.


Andrew: Yeah definitely. So what's next after this tour? What are you guys planning on after Australia?


David: In February we are doing 3 dates in Mexico and in late March we are going to South America and after that I think we are hitting European festivals in July/August.


Andrew: And a return to Australia again?


David: I don't know when we will come back to Australia. Probably after the next album is out.


Andrew: So you reckon later this year or next year for the next album?


David: Next year.


Andrew: Well it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you. Thanks for coming down to Australia. All the hardcore thrash fans that love your kind of music really appreciate you guys coming all the way down here, it's great! Love it!


David: Awesome! Yeah no problem, it's my pleasure.



David spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe January 31 2014





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