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INTERVIEW: House of Hatchets

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

JIM; Yeah good, cheers.  Busy as, but good!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Burn”?

CHRIS; It is the first single from our upcoming debut album ‘Reach’. The music is very driving and primitive in the verses followed by a kind of shattered chorus. It’s about obsession, lust and wanting to the detriment of yourself. A nihilistic love song of self immolation. It was a tough thought line to follow because there is no peace in the lyric, no redemption. We’ve all felt pangs of jealousy, possessiveness, and desperation. This song is these things turned up until you can see and hear nothing else.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

CHRIS; Lyrically I had that first phrase in my head. I felt I needed to mention something about stone hence the concrete reference. And then the rest came in dribs and drabs. It was a worker. The lyrics didn’t flow start to finish. I think you can hear the intensity in the finished article. The good thing about working with people you trust is that I can commit to a vocal knowing it will be captured and the strengths of it really polished up. Its a real turn everything up to 11 kind of track.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

CHRIS; I loved making the video, and working with Andrew Rothney again. Whilst making the video I got a row for setting a large fire in the abandoned factory we filmed in. Apparently it is not good for continuity or health and safety. Arson aside, I like filming. It was so loud though. That place was echoing and boomy. You can imagine having the big man Fraze smash those drums as well, was quite an experience. Also because of it being a wreck of a place there was no heating, and everything had to be run off 1 plug. It was also snowing, but the insanity of the filming process added to the feel. We were all a little nuts by the end.

PETE; The Video shoot was a lot of work, we had a script which Jamie drafted, a location, and a videographer. But no editor. The shoot itself was a long and cold day in early September, the building we were in was some kind of abandoned factory, with one working plug socket. Since we all had to be in T-Shirts, we got very cold, very quickly.  When it came to editing it, we looked around for an editor, however, we weren’t really seeing what we wanted. I then downloaded the free trial of Final Cut Pro, and as many are free plugins as I could, and got to work. For about a week and a half, Jamie and I liaised online crafting the video. I’d do a pass, then he would say what was working and what wasn’t, until we reached what we have today. And it didn’t cost us a penny!

LEWIS; It was a lot of fun filming first and forth most, but bloody hell it long and tiring!

JIM; I was convinced I was dying whilst we shot it as I had the flu. It took a lot out of us, getting there, being there all day, putting a lot into it physically and mentally.  Paid off though, we reckon.

How was the recording and writing process?

CHRIS; When we get into the studio we know exactly what we are doing. We have everything planned and ready and it is properly ‘go time’. This can be full on but very excilirating. It was a tough one to write for me, lyrically. It would have been an easy one to over do. I’m often a, ‘one brush stroke too many’ kind of writer. Luckily the others keep me on a short leash. This can mean that discussion can occur over lyrical content. But we get there. We all want whats best for the group.

JIM; Yeah with this one we had the music all completely nailed before we recorded the vocals, and we had most of the melodies down.  The first half of the chorus was a result of in-studio writing.  Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that aren’t overthought and they just seem to work in the moment. The vocal vibe in the breakdown was also an in-studio addition. It is an absolute tune.

How Deftones and Killswitch Engage has influence your writing?

JIM; For me, the guitar work on ANY Killswitch record is the level.  Technically it is unbelievably tight. When I was tracking the guitars on ‘Reach’, honestly I nearly went insane. I am a perfectionist, I wanted them to be literally perfect.  And they are!!  

FRAZER; Their beats are a reminder for me that simple can be effective. If in doubt, keep things simple and don’t over complicate when writing.

CHRIS; I think both bands are great, and have done some amazing work and have really made the genre broad. Lyrically I dont think we have any simalrities. I could see how people could draw comparisons with the soaring melodies and Killswitch. But thats where it stops for me.

What role does Edinburgh play in your music?

JIM; Well, it is where three of us are from so for us it is our hometown. Musically, maybe there isn’t as much going on metal-wise, compared to Glasgow for example.

CHRIS; Well, Edinburgh is a collective of streets and buildings, and thus cannot play an influence in the music I make. I don’t think there is an Edinburgh ‘scene’ or sound. If there was I don’t think we would pay any attention to it.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

JIM; Yup.  A full album, our debut album, of absolute bangers.

CHRIS; Yes, we would not really consider releasing a stand alone single. The album, Reach, will follow. We plan for it to destroy absolutely everything in its wake, eat all generic throw away music, and make real music fans cry in glee so hard that they run out of tears and start crying blood like a religious Armageddon.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

CHRIS; Yes, Reach – the album. Please see afore mentioned Armageddon plan.  Date is to be confirmed, but late Spring/early Summer ish.

How would you say this new work will showcase a much mature and polished side of the band?

CHRIS; To be honest – I think that there are just as many shades of unpolished gutteral, deep dark and unholy places in the album, just as much as there are shiny pop singalong parts. So to me the album may highlight that we can use the metal genre to bring everyone together through our use of contrast and that contrast may make us look more polished. Like people who kinda like the ‘singy’ parts of Slipknot tracks but not the shouty parts.

JIM; There is way more depth to the writing, in general. It is much more crafted and sculpted compared to the EP.  

Any plans to hit the road?

JIM; Yeah we will be going for a mini tour soon, when the album is out we will be doing a full blown album tour in the UK, hopefully some European dates, too.

LEWIS; Certainly are, we are planning tour dates as we speak.

CHRIS; I try not to hit the road. Its made of some pretty hard stuff and I’d hurt my hand.

What else is happening next in House of Hatchets’ world?

JIM; Writing. Playing shows. Planning world domination.

CHRIS; Potential for world domination. We have considered all living together and starting a commune/cult. Building a massive arc, turning the taps on and waiting. But probably write more, gig more, be more.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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