In The Know...Q & A w/ Haunter + enter to win its debut disc!

>> Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Photo by Marie-France Hollier

On Thursday, June 27th, oft-buzzed-about local indie-rock act Haunter will stage its record release party for  debut LP, Rivers & Rust, at the Windsor Hotel.


Officially, the album hits shelves across Canada in early July (via Disintegration Records). And we've got a copy of the record for giveaway (see below for instructions).

I recently caught up with the band's frontman, Matt Williams to talk about the band's terrific first album, and here's what Williams had to say:

Last time Haunter was on Painting over Silence, the band was admist a Western Canadian tour with Mt. Royal.  What has the band been up to the past three years?

A lot of planning, talking, and organizing. Rivers & Rust was very meticulously put together. We took so long getting stuff together, mostly because people were away or busy (I was in school here, Ryan in Minneapolis and Europe). Then the Lo Pub and the Albert closed and we had less places to play. In short, we’ve been biding our time until it made sense to put this out.

Who currently comprises the band?

I sing and play rhythm guitar, Jory Hasselmann and Cole Woods both play lead guitar, Marie-France Hollier plays bass, and Ryan Coates pounds the skins and is the general voice of reason.

How did Haunter come to be on Disintegration Records?

We showed up one day to our jamspace at Portage and Furby, and Greg MacPherson was moving in. This was confusing because no one had told us, and he explained he was losing his room so he was now in ours. A little while later I asked him for some help with a recording grant, and he said he and Cam were interested in putting something of ours out on a new label they were starting up, so we put off any immediate plans, and after many discussions over many beers, eventually figured out how we could do it. I’m not sure how the album would’ve come out otherwise. The label is more family than business, and the support they have for our music is unwavering.

Where was the new album recorded, and who produced it?

In February 2012 we did the initial tracking in two days at Prairie Recording Co. with Cam (Loeppky). Vocals and extra stuff was mostly done at Argyle Studios, which is also Cam’s house. As for a producer, Cam is the only one who really fits that bill. I would say the band was just as much a producer, but Cam knows us very well and it didn’t take much communication to get what we wanted. He just did it.

How did the band’s approach to writing and recording differ compared to earlier recordings?

It didn’t, really. We work collaboratively until we realize a song is completely finished, no matter how many practices or live shows it takes. Once that’s done, it’s just about sharpening it. We communicate ideas song-wise, but no one really tells someone to do a specific thing. Everyone’s part is their own. If there was a difference, for me it was lyrically and thematically. The album is very narrative, and that narrative is mostly linear. That was a challenge for me. Maybe that’s why it took so long to come out. Maybe it’s all my fault! (Probably).

There are some top-notch guests on Rivers & Rust including Keri Latimer and Marti Sarbit. What did they lend to the process? 

 The thing about musicians as talented as Marti, Keri, or Rusty is that they don’t need to be told what to do. I’d almost feel like it’d be a little insulting if I did. I contacted them with a song, and asked them if they’d like to be part of it. They said yes, and I’m very grateful for that. I wouldn’t want them to be part of it if they didn’t believe those songs were good. Those songs might never sound like that live, though, and I’m OK with that. I read a quote by Jim James once that said, “with an album you’re thinking about immortality – it will outlive you.” I don’t care about those songs sounding exactly the same live as they do on the record, because they’ll evolve as the band changes. But they will be recorded that way forever. And to me, their parts on this album were necessary to achieve the kind of thing I wanted to outlive me.

What’s the meaning behind the title, Rivers & Rust?

Like I said, lyrically, the album is very much a narrative. The characters in that narrative spend a lot of time trying to change their situation, or fight against it, or voice their frustration with it. But it really comes down to two things: they can either run, and move on to something new and (maybe) better, or they can stay where they are, and rust. It’s less fight-or-flight, and more fight-or-settle. And none of them want to settle. But you don’t necessarily get what you want just because you want it.

And finally, after the big hometown release, what’s next for the band this summer?

We’re touring out west with Cannon Bros. in late August. It’s pretty much exclusively Prairies, and maybe some mountains, but we’re definitely stopping in Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, and Saskatoon. And writing, writing, writing. It’s time to write some more songs.


Interested in owing Rivers & Rust? We've got a copy to giveaway. To enter, fire me off an email (on the right hand side, below the concert listings) by Tuesday, June 25th at noon CST with the subject line "Haunter CD Giveaway" and your name in the email's body. Winning name will be drawn randomly sometime that afternoon and contacted shortly thereafter, with the first name and last initial published on my Twitter account.


Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP