Interview: THE HAUNTED, Dublin 18th Jan 2017… Posted: 16/03/2017 by Danny Lee
THE HAUNTED opening for MESHUGGAH in Dublin, Fuck me what a show !!! Its been 22 years since MESHUGGAH last graced Irish shores when they opened for MACHINE HEAD, and also quite a lengthy absence for THE HAUNTED who last played in Cork opening for TRIVIUM back in 2006 and I have been counting the days till i get to see these lads again.
The room was already packed by the time THE HAUNTED reached the stage. An insane turnout, which I considered to be a humbling gesture for an opening band. And as soon as they hit the stage they knew this too.
“Revolver” which is considered to be a fan favourite album from THE HAUNTED was the main display of riffage for the night with songs such as ‘Abysmal’ and ’99’, but they also showcased some heavy and hefty newer songs such as ‘Time Will Not Heal’ from the 2014 album “Exit Wounds”. They played a stellar set with frontman Marco Aro having a constant expression of pure delight playing for this rowdy Irish crowd.
Luckily I managed to catch up with the lads for a quick interview after the show…
How did the support slot with MESHUGGAH come about? You are both unbelievable bands but you are very varied genre wise. How this this get set up?
- “We are both from Sweden, everybody knows each other. Ola Englund is a guitar freak and MESHUGGAH are guitar freaks. And we have played with them many times before. We did a US tour with them back in 2005 for 6 weeks after Ozzfest.”
“Exist wounds” was the first record that Ola Englund played guitar for you guys for. How do you feel about the album as a whole and what kind of reception did you get from your hardcore fans?
- “I don’t know! I think they liked it because Marco is back in the band, the fans that really liked those first albums were really relieved with Exit Wounds and I believe its really a HAUNTED album that has a lot of the elements of the live cycle of THE HAUNTED, but with Marco on vocals. I feel like we pleased a very big part of THE HAUNTED crowd I hope.”
We then had a brief break to have a beer with band, followed by some chit chat about the possibility of Ola Englund possibly doing some work with Keith Merrow in the future, fingers crossed!
Question for Ola as front man Marco bursts through the door…
Will you be going directly through for Axe FX channel on this tour as MESHUGGAH will be using your customer amp, the Randal Satan?
- “I’m using my Randall Satan also, the red shiny thing on stag but I’m also using a floor fractal pedal to run all my effects for switching the clean channels in choruses and for noise gates and harmonies for certain leads. It’s an awesome combination.”
Can you ever see THE HAUNTED doing a long European tour with AT THE GATES?
- “We did a mini tour in the US but At The Gates have never toured for more than 3 weeks, Right now we don’t have a big break but we don’t know about the future but it would be a dream tour for us because the one we did in the US was like a grown up daycare center, but the thing is we have known each other for 20-25 years already , there’s no secrets anymore , If one guy gets drunk and says something its like okay….shit he’s going to regret that tomorrow so leave him be. So if that came about , we would definitely do it.”
“Exit Wounds” was released in 2014 and was quite a hefty release, I saw in an interview with Blabbermouth that you guys stated the new album is going to be much more dynamic, can you elaborate on this, is there a main concept behind the album, are you drawing influences from any other bands or events ect?
- “Exit Wounds was a bit like a statement that we are back and that we are heavy heavy back, there’s not much to prove in that kind of way in this one. We were actually talking after the gig that most of the set was really fast songs, so it remains to see what material makes the album but its definitely going to be more diverse than Exit Wounds. There is also a lot less pressure, but there still is pressure because we have procrastinators and we have been writing this album for three years.
- But we are really taking it serious now because we have booked the studio so now we are finishing the songs. But since we don’t have the pressure to show off that THE HAUNTED is back we can take a step back and feel the songs more and do something crazy… I have no idea, it’s much more open. Exit Wounds was dynamic too so if you like that you will not be disappointed. We are old dogs! How much can we change.”
Is there any idea of a release date?
- “Yes, But we can’t say anything because there will be a press release soon and if we fuck it up we do not want to give anybody false hope, all we can say is that there will be a press release in the fall, and we are entering the studio in March in the UK.”
Thankfully the bands has issued an official press release since their Dublin show announcing that they are booked to head in to Parlour Studios in the UK with Russ Russell this month to begin recording.
Have any headline shows in Ireland planned in the future?
- “We have some stuff planned in the UK but this tour is great because its too late for us to tour on our latest album , and we get to support MESHUGGAH with their beast of an album.
- We have always had a good following in the Anglo-Saxon Countries, this is where it started and where we first caught on so this is great! We love Ireland really, invite us in and we will be here, do you have any metal festivals?”
Interview by Danny Fitzgerald
Photos by Anthony Coughlan