A Chat With: Deaf Havana
English rock band Deaf Havana chat about the new album All These Countless Nights
After a wildly successful 2013 album Old Souls, The UK rock band Deaf Havana are back this month with the album All These Countless Nights. The new album stems from a songwriting stint from lead singer James Veck-Gilodi that happened when the band was close to calling it quits. Prior to the album's release on January 27th, we chatted with lead guitarist and James’ brother Matt Veck-Gilodi about the writing and recording process of the new album, their influences, and touring.
ANCHR Magazine: How did you all meet and get into making music together?
Matt Veck-Gilodi: Well James and Lee met at High School and then they met Tom and Chris (our ex-guitarist) at college. To be honest it all started because we come from Norfolk in England and there really isn’t a lot to do growing up around there and getting together and playing in a band was a way to have fun, hang out and get drunk with each other.
AM: How did the writing and recording process for All These Countless Nights vary from your past albums? What are some of the biggest thematic and sonic differences you notice between this album and others?
MVG: It was different in that we were allowed a lot of time to gather together demos and refine them into album worthy songs. With our previous records we’d pretty much get the 12 or so demos written that could fill an album and then just rush straight into the studio to record them, without doing any pre-production or changing the songs very much at all. Whereas with this record we worked very closely with our producer Adam Noble (who’s absolutely excellent) and he really honed the songs, helped us rewrite and rethink them and turn them into the best songs they could possibly be. He also got us to record the basis of every song together as a live band, whereas we would’ve previously recorded the drums and then add the bass and then some guitars etc., but this album came together very organically as a result. Well soniclally I’d say it’s a much more expansive record than we’ve had before. It’s not so thick as Old Souls is throughout, it ebbs and flows and is much more diverse - which artistically is very gratifying. Thematically the lyrics are relatively similar to James’ previous work in that they’re very personal and introspective, but on this record there’s a lot more positivity and hope present - even if it’s not obvious at first.
AM: What can your fans expect from the live shows this year? Will the sets be mostly new material or a good mix of both old and new?
MVG: They can expect a set full of bangers and a great time - we can’t wait to get back out on the road playing shows! Well with a new record we obviously love playing the new songs as they feel more exciting because they’re fresher, but it’s important to have a real mix between the old and the new I think. I’m personally really excited to tour because now we’ll have a pretty substantial back catalogue to craft a set from so we’ll really think about it and make something very special for our audiences.
AM: What’s your favorite way to pass time on the road?
MVG: I’d have to say having a few beers, listening to or playing music and then watching The Office. We’re all such good friends we tend to do all of these things together rather than go in our own separate ways.
AM: James has mentioned Bruce Springsteen as a musical influence, but who are some of your other musical influences?
MVG: We have a few to be honest. To give a selection I’d have to say Kings of Leon, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Placebo, Oasis, Ryan Adams - we like a lot!
AM: Do you draw songwriting inspiration from any other mediums (i.e films, art, etc..)?
MVG: For sure. I know that James takes a lot of inspiration in his lyrics from the author Charles Bukowski - for his straight up and uncompromising approach to writing literature. It’s never wrapped in metaphor, it’s honest and straightforward, which is something that seems to chime with the way James writes songs.
AM: What other bands and artists are you listening to at the moment?
MVG: We all listen to quite a varied mix but for me personally I can’t stop listening to anything Mark Kozelek does. I’m also hammering the new Nine Inch Nails EP but as well as that the new Strand of Oaks song “Radio Kids” is one of the finest from last year, and of course the new Ryan Adams stuff sounds incredible. I also absolutely love this band called Pinegrove, give them a listen!
AM: Have you guys got any New Year's resolutions for 2017?
MVG: Just to get out and play as many shows as possible, to as many people as possible. To be a proper touring band again and to have a hell of a lot of fun.
Deaf Havana will tour the UK and Europe from February- April of this year. Check out the dates and grab tickets here. You can also pre-order the album on iTunes and instantly get the tracks “Trigger,” “St. Paul’s,” “Sing,” and “Cassiopeia.” You can also grab the physical album here.
Lastly get ready for the release by watching the video for "Sing."