Having recently supported the likes of Make Them Suffer and Confession, Perth’s Havoc are now travelling the country to promote their current release, ‘Affidavit’. The 12-show run, with Advocates, began earlier this month and sees the band performing across most states. Killyourstereo.com caught up with vocalist Mitch Harding to discuss the shows, the Perth scene and plans for the year ahead.
How has 2016 treated you so far?
2016 has started off with a bang for us. We kicked off by supporting Make Them Suffer in Perth on their ‘Requiem’ tour. Just weeks after, we also supported Confession on their final tour. Now we are off on our own national tour with Melbourne boys, Advocates.
As you just mentioned, you have quite a few shows this month and next. Now that you’re performing more extensively, how have you found balancing band priorities with outside commitments like work and study?
The band has taken over a majority of my priorities recently, well at least how I balance them. I have a four-year old son at home and two puppies, which can really keep me on my toes. Leading up to tour, I found myself up really late at night sending multiple emails, ordering merch and sorting accommodation, backline etc. I actually had to leave my job as a Boilermaker/Welder to be a part of this tour, so a career change is in store for me once I have finished the tour.
Thematically and lyrically, ‘Affidavit’ was quite a confronting release. Was that storyline intended to be delivered in isolation or can you see the band touching on similar topics on future releases?
The storyline behind Affidavit is a fictional story that reflects personally on all members of Havoc. We wanted our music to touch base with social issues that exist in today’s society and affect all of those around us. Since the birthing of the theme for Affidavit we have only found ourselves looking for new ideas and themes for future releases. As we continue to write in the hopes of having a full length album sometime in the future, you can expect to see an underlying theme attached to it.
Perth can be a tough market for local bands with less shows and also being further away from the east coast. What’s your impression of the current Western Australian music scene?
The scene is not too flash right now, however it is certainly not dead. There are so many talented bands in Perth that honestly deserve to be huge. We had some of Perth’s favourite venues shutdown over the years, which impacted on where bands could play or even come to Perth for a tour. Now we rely on as little as three venues with one AA venue. There has been talks around the scene of more venues giving the live music side a crack and I really hope they take off. Punters want to see live music and support bands, but are quite limited to where they can watch smaller, younger bands who just need a chance.
What would you like to see improved to help up and coming bands?
More venues in Perth for starters. These bands need a chance to show what they have. A lot more local shows being put on would hopefully give the up and coming bands the experience they need to establish themselves correctly and build a fan base to move on to touring.
What are some biggest lessons you’ve learned from being in a band so far?
You only get out what you put in, some bands release something then sit on it and wait for it to blow up. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately. I’ve learnt you have to go out and push it as much as possible with touring, having a solid merch line to back your music, [and] get the punters wearing your clothes. Even how you promote your shows is the difference between getting mates down or actual payers who want to see your music.
What are some recent albums, local and/or international, that have influenced you and then allowed you to approach music in perhaps a different way?
Born of Osiris – Soul Sphere was an influence for me vocally, the phrasing in it was great and I enjoyed how it worked with the music, and it was never too straight. With our music, we have our individual sound we like to write, the main thing I always find myself changing through my influence is my stage presence. I watch a tonne of local and touring bands, forever in awe at some of the front men I’ve seen.
What are the plans for the next 12 months?
We want to keep touring and playing to new crowds. We have also started writing some more material in hope of a full length album for 2017. With two releases under our belts and three tours, we definitely have no plans on slowing down what we are doing.
Catch Havoc on tour, with Advocates, this February/March. Details via Facebook.
You can purchase ‘Affidavit’ via iTunes.