Deaf Havanas Meet Me Halfway, at Least Ten Years On, and Why Sound Evolution is so Important (Interview) – VultureHound Magazine

Posted: November 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm


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Deaf Havana dont play songs from Meet Me Halfway, at Least anymore. Thats ok, though. The novelty and simplicity of songs like Friends Like These will never be forgotten standing suspended in time as a memento of the era in which we didnt care if a song was well-written, as long as it had the right balance of screaming and melody.

I had a chat with Deaf Havanas guitarist Matt Veck-Gilodi all about it. Not being in the band at the time, but being the brother of the vocalist, hes in a position to give what I call an insiders outside opinion on the whole thing.

The album that kickstarted their career, released in October 2009 during the golden age of scene bands and screaming, is one that divides opinion, ten years on. Its not very good, is it? Matt laughs. Im not sure it was particularly good at the time, and I wouldnt say its aged well.

Play Friends Like These shouted out by hecklers has become a running joke at Deaf Havana gigs. But if the bandwereto ever play a song off the album perhaps only by having guns pointed at their heads I wondered which would be the most likely choice.

I think the last track. The last track is alright. In Desperate Need of Adventure, because obviously, it needed that many syllables in a song title, because it was 2009. Ah, the golden era of whole essays as song titles.

Another nod to that moment in time is the feature from Young Guns Gus Wood on 3 Cheers for the Easy Life. Along with bands like We Are The Ocean, Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, Lower Than Atlantis, Blitz Kids and now Mallory Knox, Young Guns are another band that didnt survive to see the 20s. Its probably time to firmly conclude that that scene, incredible as it was, is dead. But why have Deaf Havana along with You Me At Six and Don Broco survived?

The band have evolved so much through the years, and have always left themselves with room to develop further. Perhaps this is why in an era where most of the bands they came up with are either breaking up or staying stagnant, Deaf Havana are still steadily growing, countless Radio 1 plays and big festival slots under their belt. And theyre deserving of it all.

Post hardcore, alternative, folk, straight-up pop Deaf Havana have done it all. Apart from jumping away from being a screamo band, weve never really made a conscious decision to change a genre or a style. Its just sort of happened, Matt says.

Theyve not yet hit their plateau, and the fact that theyve never released two albums that sound the same and never regressed in their songwriting is likely why. But where does Matt see the bands sound heading in the future? Hes not sure.

I have no idea. People have asked us this after the last couple of records, and weve been like,Yeah, I reckon well carry on down the same route, or maybe go a bit heavier, and its always been the opposite.

Having toured with the band since 2012, Matt officially joined Deaf Havana in 2015. I asked him what it was like slotting into such an already well-established band. It wasnt too tough; it was just fun, he says.

Perhaps the biggest change-up Deaf Havana have had was the shift in sound from 2011sFools and Worthless Liarsto 2013sOld Souls. What almost felt like a full departure from the scene was a big folk nod to the likes of Mumford & Sons. Did Matts involvement in the band have anything to do with it? Im not sure. But he is very much involved in the writing these days.

It varies from song to song, but generally speaking, James will do the bulk of the writing, and then Ill come in and help out with that. The last record, I helped out a lot, and the record before. And then well all have our own flavour, but Id say sometimes Ill come up with a main part of a song and well flesh it out like that. It is mainly James; me and him together, a lot of the time.

Perhaps the synth-enthused, dreamy pop sounds of latest album,Rituals, are a product of his own influences. Right now, Im listening to a lot of electronic music. I cant stop listening to Bonobo at the moment. Probably because weve been travelling loads, and I find it lends itself really well to that.

Whatever it is that inspires the sounds that Deaf Havana are making, it works. They may not be the same screamo band that you first heard of back in 2009, but theyve outlived almost all of their peers, and ten years later, theyre at the top of their game.

Theyve matured as have their fans and grown into something truly substantial; a band that can hold their own in the charts amongst the heavyweights of UK music. Theyve left MeetMe Halfway, at Leastbehind and the dodgy haircuts that came with being in a band of that ilk to graze on pastures greener, and deserve every bit of success theyre now getting.

Evolution is key.

Happy 10th birthday,Meet Me Halfway, at Least. Gone butneverforgotten. Especially by that one guy who has a Friends Like These tattoo.

Catch Deaf Havana on their UK tour, starting tomorrow. 1 from each ticket will go to War Child. The dates are as follows:

November 6th Brighton, Concorde 2

November 7th Oxford, Academy

November 8th London, Alexandra Palace Theatre

November 9th Wolverhampton, KKs Steel Mill

November 11th Bournemouth, The Old Fire Station

November 12th Northampton, Roadmender

November 13th Leeds, Stylus

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Deaf Havanas Meet Me Halfway, at Least Ten Years On, and Why Sound Evolution is so Important (Interview) - VultureHound Magazine

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November 8th, 2019 at 4:42 pm