Haunts (left-right): Gareth, Alex, Banks and Mitch
Haunts (left-right): Gareth, Alex, Banks and Mitch

Haunts are a band hard to define. Emerging out of the shadows of the London hardcore scene, they fuse elements of rock, punk and indie to craft post-apocalyptic soundscapes as epic as they are eminently danceable. The Badger sent Ben Hobson to have a chat with them on the Brighton leg of their recent tour.

How’s the tour been going so far?

Alex: It’s been a bit of a calamity – on our part at least. Plenty of things have been going tits-up!

Gareth: We’ve had the RAC out twice and A&E has been involved!

Alex: Banks, our lead singer, actually sprained his ankle in a dance-floor mishap. But these things happen, you know, it’s all in the name of rock & roll!

Why are you called Haunts? Are you a dark band?

Alex: On and off! The band came together from a bunch of other bands. We all came from a heavier, rockier background. And we all used to hang about in the same places. It just seemed kind of appropriate, because those places were our haunts, if you get what I mean. The name came about because of that, rather than, like, you know, WHOOOOOOH!

What do you think of the music scene at the moment?

Alex: I feel that every single element of everything that’s happening now has been utterly exhausted. It’s like in science when you’ve got a solution and you keep putting sugar into it but it’s not dissolving anymore – its reached saturation point! There’s just a lot of sediment floating all over the shop, a lot of bollocks sediment!

Gareth: But it’s also a hard climate to try to be doing something new in as well.

Alex: The problem we’ve always had is that people always want us to be the next this or the next that. They’ve tried to fit us onto bills with Funeral for a Friend, they’ve tried to fit us onto bills with the fucking Wombats, you know. We’re not like either of those bands.

How would you describe your sound?

Alex: I think we’re quite un-genre-specific, we’re sitting in this void – we’re not like anything really, nobody’s given it a name yet. The only reference point we usually give is the new wave thing. I guess a lot of our attitude comes from a sort of punk background. It’s the DIY aspect really, we produced our own record, recorded it, engineered it, the whole thing. We even built the studio, and we do all our own artwork – we’re completely independent. Our music is punk in its ethics more than in its actual finished sound I guess.

What are your aims for the future?

Alex: Well again, I think that’s where the new wave thing comes in – we’re in it for the long haul. When you look at the new wave bands at the time, they started out as just a four-piece doing one thing and then they took the initiative that was lacking in traditional punk to build on the music and take it somewhere new.

Gareth: And it’s all about making a big show, you know, a spectacle.

Alex: Like with Talking Heads and Stop Making Sense, the live thing, they’ve got twenty people on stage just having it, and I think that’s where we envisage ourselves ending up – if people will let us!

Gareth: Yeah, that’d be nice!

Alex: We’re waiting till album number three before we start utilising the world-music vibe though. By then we’ll all have beards. And album five, woah! Well, it’s going to be pretty far out by then! We’re going to be in the stratosphere!

Haunts’ self-titled debut album is out now! Go to www.myspace.com/haunts for a taster.

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