One of Belgiums darkest, Black Haven have been plugging away for a few years now and show no signs of letting up...
For the uninitiated describe the musical intent of Black Haven ?
R: There's no real intent. We like playing intense heavy music. That might be our intent.
How did Black Haven come about ?
R: Black Haven actually has been existing for a while with different members as some kind of side project. But we started as a real band somewhere in 2006 when I met Pedro and I joined the band. The line-up then was Pedro from The Deal, Mondy from AmenRa, Kluze from hell and Nick from a metalcore band called Deathwish. We wrote some songs, recorded a demo, did some shows and tours, recorded an EP, did some more tours and then Mondy and Nick decided to quit. That sucked. But we found the best replacements in Bert and Tijs. They are awesome. So that's the line-up as we have it today and it will probably always stay until the Haven quits.
You are a band in an age where there a lot of darker, heavier hardcore, what makes you stand out ?
R: We shave our balls with whipped cream.
What progress do you see in each of your releases ? from your demo to The Cleansing Storm to Lazarus ?
R: Our demo sounds the rawest. Those were intense hardcore punk songs recorded in our rehearsal room with our socks on the mics cause the pre-amps were fucked. I love it. We should record more like this. The Cleansing Storm was the first EP I ever worked on. So I was kind of new at this, the other guys had more experience. But I'm still happy with how it turned out. I think we really captured that period of Black Haven well on a record. And that's what matters most to me now. The next EP already sounds different and our full length even will a lot more. You can hear how we evolved as a band between releases. Lazarus was a 'we need to record new songs for those Converge shows'- thing. The Cleansing Storm was getting 'old' for us personally and we wanted people to be able to get some of our new songs. I thought this was important as we were going to play some big shows. So we recorded 2 new songs. This one also got released in the states by SAMOB.
What lies in the future for Black Haven ?
R: We're currently finishing the new songs for our full length. We already did some pre-recordings which turned out great. We're giving it a lot more time this time. Maybe a bit too much, but it's paying off. I want this record to be as intense as possible. I want every song to be 100% finished before we record it. It's gonna be hard. It should be out at the end of this year, so we'll be touring at the beginning of 2010.
Do you see Black Haven as a band with longevity ?
R: We'll keep doing this as long as we enjoy it.
Has the band gone in the direction you saw it going at its beginning ?
R: We hoped to write some good songs, play some shows, maybe even do a tour. So we got a lot more than we hoped for. We're gonna try to continue doing it this way.
What bands sounds have shaped your view's on hardcore ?
R: Local punkrock and metalcore bands got me into punk hardcore. Going to shows got me to know more bands. Hardcore bands that impressed me most and had the biggest impact on me are bands like; congress, liar, converge, justice, rise and fall, neurosis, high on fire and rival schools. Black Sabbath and Danzig had a huge impact on me as for non hardcore music.
Pedro: Bands that were very important to me personally as well as musically, bands that shaped me as a person as well as my view on hardcore are bands like Unbroken, Abhinanda, American Nightmare, Bane, Have Heart, Coalesce, Converge, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. I consider all those bands as milestones in my life everytime I got to know one of these bands.
What would be your ideal 3 bands for Black Haven to play with ? And at what place in time would you play ?
R: Vogue, Oathbreaker and Doomriders. We'd be raging in biblical- or medieval times. I guess middle ages, as a dungeon would be a good setting for a show.
What is your favourite show that Black Haven have played ?
R: The Hull house show. Dieter The Viking is our man.
We played someone's bedroom. It was like 6 square meters. Needless to say this show was packed. We had a great time. Pushed in a corner, forced to play this show getting spooned by Bert. True bromance. The Swamp Thing set was insane too.
Famous last words ?
Thank's for the interview! Check our myspace page for updates on our next release!