Deaf Havana

Following the release of their fifth studio album Rituals, British alt rock turned ‘hard pop’ band Deaf Havana are returning to Australian shores rejuvenated, rebooted and ready to go with shows starting next week.

Deaf Havana have been an enduring force in the British alt rock scene for almost a decade and a half, releasing five studio albums over 14 years. Their latest effort, Rituals, was released in August 2018 and has been described by the band and critics alike as an evolution of their sound. Featuring singles Sinner, Holy and Worship. James Veck-Gilodi (lead singer) speaks to Hi Fi Way about their Australian tour.

It is fantastic the band is returning to Australia for its own headline tour.
Yeah, we can’t wait, we love it!

Does it feel like it has been a little while in the making?
I guess so, we went back a couple of years of ago to support Placebo and we played a few headline shows. The first time we came to Australia was in 2013 so it has been a long time in the making that’s for sure.

Do you have fond memories of that tour with Placebo?
The whole was really cool! Because they are a big band they don’t really drink any more so we didn’t really hang out with them or anything. I have a bunch of friends who live in Sydney and it was good to hang out with them. We see a lot of Australia and it was really nice to be there. The highlight of that particular tour was Melbourne. We had friends there who took us out which was a great night.

Do you get any days off to enjoy Australia on this tour?
I think we have literally one day off which is really annoying but we’ll try our best to get out and about. When we play a show we’re only really busy in the evening and for one hour sound checking during the day. So there will be time to nip around and see stuff.

Are you enjoying the fact that you are able to step up each tour and play bigger venues?
Yeah, definitely! Particularly this time it is exciting for me because we are not well known in Australia. It is almost like we are starting again which for me is fun because the best years for me in this band was the really early years where there was no pressure and we were playing smaller shows having way more fun. I’m excited to be able to start that again.

Do you prefer the smaller more intimate shows?
I can’t speak for the other guys but me personally that is exactly what I love and that’s when I fell in love with playing live music. My brother, who plays guitar in the band, absolutely loves playing these small shows. The other two guys think they are a bit more cool and prefer big venues.

Will the Australian tour set list cover the entire Death Havana career?
We go back to the first record I sang on because the first album released was all screamy because we had a different singer and that was years ago and don’t play that. We cover four whole albums.

Has the creative process kept going since the release of Rituals?
I haven’t written anything since Rituals. When I am at home I make really rubbish hip-hop beats that no one is ever going to listen to and they are not really appropriate to use for this band. I have no idea of what the next album will sound like or when it will be released. I should start writing, like now!

Do you have to be in the right head space to write or do the ideas have to come to so you can get stuck in to it?
It is a bit of both, for me I can’t force it, I have tried. When I sit down at my computer and try and write a song for this band nothing comes out. I’m not in the right head space yet and that always happens on every record. Usually when I travel I write a lot, we go to Japan first and then Australia, we will be travelling a lot so hopefully some ideas will come to me. It is annoying that you can’t force it out, you have to wait until the moment comes.

Are there any bare bones of ideas in your head about what you might do and where you might take it?
I have definitely got some basic ideas of how it is going to sound. I don’t think it will be as poppy as Rituals but it will be a mix of the previous stuff. I have recorded some demos on computer, they are basic and not full songs. I think I know roughly what it will sound like.

Will the Live At Brixton Academy be available in Australia? Does a lot of preparation go in to making a live album?
It is on Spotify, we played Brixton Academy which is this iconic venue in London and we recorded and released it. A lot of it is editing particularly if I talk to much shit in the live show but we literally just pressed record when we were playing. We didn’t put any preparation in to it or anything really.

Interview By Rob Lyon

Catch Death Havana on the following dates, tickets through Destroy All Lines

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