Five Minutes With Havoc
A metalcore band out of Perth's south that's on the up.
Words by Jackson Lavell-Lee.
Havoc is an in-your-face metalcore band based out of Perth’s south that is starting to develop quite the loyal following with some heavy live shows. With a few national and international tours already this loud and aggressive band is finding their feat and developing a classic metalcore image. The lyrics of each song are raucously delivered and intelligently composed amongst the outright thrill inspiring heavy riffs and complex breakdowns. Their developing popularity coincides with the release of their recent EP Affidavit, which was released on September 4 and launched on September 12 at YMCA HQ Leederville. We had a chance to sit down with the band after the gig to see what they had to say about there recent development.
So how’s it going guys what’s been going on?
Well since getting back from the Awaken national tour of our second EP, just working, writing and trying to really define our sound with a few new members; Normie on guitar and James on drums. We wanted to get faster with more technical riffs and the heavy breakdowns, which we’ve always had so I think we’ve combined those and achieved that.
So what other bands are the biggest musical inspirations behind Havoc?
We’ve all got such different roots. We grew up as little hardcore and metal kids and this EP was really about not being just a breakdown band but elaborating from that as a more complex instrumental and big sound from choruses through to solos. For this EP we really drew on Chelsea Grin and I, The Breather, so they were the biggest influences. We strangled that inspiration into building an EP.
Yeah cool, you can definitely hear that. What was the inspiration behind the lyrics? In particular from one of your older songs, Relapse, the verse “This was your last chance, yet again you threw it all away over what? Out with the bullshit and bring me the new shit, walk away smiling. I see the devil walking next to you, hands around my neck, squeezing 'till death”.
That song was a little bit of personal experience for lead singer Mitch Harding. Mitch: I was just feeling like I was relapsing over the same emotional trauma shit from a tough break up and going backwards and forwards in that relationship. I was sick of it and wanted to push past it but there was a barrier so that’s where I found my sound as a vocalist. A lot of people have told me I’ve got a very pissed off sound and I think it tells in the lyrics and the point of view which is again born on the title track of the EP – Affidavit: “I have been born into a world of darkness, where my path is already cut short. So clear to see. The future will be my corrupter. My destructor. This is my story.”
One song that I really dig and was amazing tonight is Forever In My Heart, can you tell me more about that? The lyrics are of course in your style quite heavy.
Mitch: That song is dedicated to my sister who passed away. It was the anniversary of her death and Clint showed me a pre-recording he’d created. I'd just been to her grave because our jam room is just around the corner from her grave and I went there and I was just writing out some lyrics 'cause I needed some debriefing for my mental state and I rocked up to jam and its was just such a coincidence I had two pages of lyrics and Clint had a new recording and I just started spitting verses and I’d pretty much written that song in that half an hour. And I know it's one of our older releases but it's still one that I hold massively close to my heart.
JL: So you’re lyrics throughout the EP is a story from start to finish in a traditional album style; is that story close to your heart?
Havoc: Yeah we wrote a lot about the troubles we’ve had in our life and all sorts of different things relating to a particular persona we created throughout the album beginning with “Affidavit” climaxing with “Captured” and ending with the deep finality of death in the final song of the EP “Eulogy”. It follows a characters stalking, kidnapping and battle with a distant reality of believing he is the only sane person on earth, investigating a personal battle with mental health and finally death. It just shows that sometimes, through no fault of your own, things have ways of getting fucked up and the future looks dark and predetermined. We wanted it to be relatable to people that have experienced hardship in there life and create an avenue to channel that rage as well as dance around too.
Okay so you were originally known as Pending The Silence, what were the reasons behind the name change and what has been called “a minor lineup change”?
With Pending The Silence we just jumped in the studio with Matthew Templeton and straight out he was pretty blunt and he said that’s the shittest band name I’ve ever heard, change it. So we thought with our hectic, energetic sound, heavy breakdowns and lyrics Havoc was the most appropriate name for us.
On your bandcamp it has written: "The 5 piece is now ready to take over the Perth metal scene with the upcoming release of their EP Affidavit." Are you looking for more commercial success with recent plays of your new EP on triple j?
Well we get so much credit from people who come to our shows 'cause we do have quite an energetic set, I think we just want to stay true to that and get some more people down to feel our vibe. It is Havoc.
You have a few Perth shows lined up so where can fans of metalcore and your new EP come and see you?
Well we’ve been on an Indonesian tour and are looking at a couple of east coast shows lined up for weekends here and there, and jump on a few events over there including Bang and Next in Melbourne and in Sydney Hot Damn. We’re playing at Amplifier on October 3 with Buried In Verona and Hand Of Mercy. We’re back at Amplifier for Last Night on October 10, which we are headlining and again at Amplifier on the 24th.
As a fan you can listen to the EP and hear that dramatic emotion that is played out through the lyrics and when you see how much the crowd are so intimately involved with the music at their live shows you can see the enthralling entertainment this raw and real band achieve. This reputation for a party lifestyle and a unique connection between stage and audience is building a reputation for the young metal rockers. With creative dark lyrics and face melting breakdowns this EP will consume you and get you smashing your head back and forwards, letting that fringe fly.
I encourage you to get to one of Havoc’s live shows. It is an experience that leaves you both screaming for more and surprisingly feeling a zen like endorphin releasing high. The mix of complicated rock ingenuity and dark but inspired lyrics builds a sense of emotional desire when listening to their entire EP. The onstage charisma of the entire band especially lead singer Mitch Harding is mind blowing and captivating. As a fan you are swept up in the moment amongst a swell of writhing head banging bodies.