Deaf Havana has a well-earned reputation as an impressive live act, touring consistently over the last twelve years, nurturing a passionate and dedicated following. They are currently riding high on the back of their recent UK top 5 album, All These Countless Nights, featuring the single Trigger, which has been streamed over 3.5 million times. In addition to their national tour dates supporting fellow Brits Placebo next month, Deaf Havana are thrilled to announce sideshows for Sydney and Melbourne. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Matthew Veck-Gilodi about the tour, their new album and money troubles.
It must be really exciting on the eve of an Australian tour with Placebo? It doesn’t get any better than that…
That’s right, we’re all incredibly excited to be honest!
It seems a while since your last tour here in 2013 with Soundwave. Has there never really been the right time to opportunity to come back?
It’s never really worked out whether that’s to do with money or not being able to get the right tours to come back. We’re incredibly excited to come back any way and to be doing that with Placebo is amazing.
Did they ask the band to come on board with this tour?
We’ve played a couple of shows with them before because we are with the same management company and we got the offer for this Australian run and we obviously said yes please! Playing our own headline shows here is something that we really wanted to do as well and it is amazing to finally get the chance to play our own shows. It is one thing doing a support show but doing some of our own shows in Sydney and Melbourne will be amazing.
The last twelve months have been massive for Deaf Havana, do you look back and pinch yourself wondering if this is too good to be true? Top five chart in the UK and three and a half million streams are awesome achievements.
When I look back at this whole year I do have to pinch myself and remind myself that it is actually happening. After quite a long time of being out from doing stuff over the past few years and to have quite a busy year with so many amazing things going on has been pretty ridiculous to be honest.
Was it a relief when All Those Countless Nights was finished considering it hasn’t always been smooth sailing?
Yeah it was, the main relief is when the album gets released because the period of time between once you have finished recording to when you can have it personally at home to listen to and then wanting to show everyone we might have to waiting six or seven months or however long we had to wait. Then as soon as it comes out and people can hear it that is the big relief I found.
When you were working on these songs for All These Countless Nights were you quietly confident that you nailed it and let’s high five each other?
We did have that feeling for sure but you can get so carried away with that because in the studio you are in such an insular environment and you can get carried away with that as no one else is there to tell you what you are doing is rubbish. Also, because you are playing new music and just because it is new you can think that it is amazing whereas sometimes it isn’t. With this one we were a bit tentative in thinking that we absolutely nailed it but we did have a bit of that feeling to be honest.
With the success of All These Countless Nights do you feel the pressure just thinking about the next album?
We have a little bit, we have already started trying to write some songs because we took so long in between our third and fourth record and we don’t really want that to happen again. The focus is on trying to get some songs together and my brother has written a couple but when it gets to the point where we want to start recording an album and we have enough good songs, we’re not going to push it and release something that is a bit sub-standard, if we can get it out sooner rather than later we will.
Four years in between albums, what did you put that down to?
Well, that was mainly because we got in to a huge amount of debt that we then had to pay off and stuff like that before we could even begin to think about going on tours or writing another record.
Is that one of the biggest learnings you would pass on to any aspiring or up and coming band?
Yeah for sure, for sure, for sure, we got in to that position where we owed loads of people loads of money by not really staying on top of people who work in management or accountants who are handling all our money. We had always been that we are writing the music and we are paying you to do a job surely we don’t have to keep up on you. My advice would always be try and keep up with what’s going on as boring as it maybe it is important. We didn’t do that for a year and a bit and ended up in sixty thousand pounds in debt.
Wow! So no more private helicopters and Lear Jets?
Yeah for sure!!!
Do you get much time to get in to tourist mode on tour or is airport, hotel, sound check, show and more of the same?
Um, I think we’ll have a little bit of time particularly from when we fly in to Perth as we have two to three days there. We at least get to chill for a bit and I think there will be a few days off where we’ll get in to full on tourist mode. For the most part it is quite busy, that’s cool!
Are there any Australian bands that you are in to?
Violent Soho are my favourite band in the world at the moment and going way back like forever is Silverchair.
What do you think about Daniel Johns solo stuff?
I’ve listened a little bit and honestly it is great to still hear him making music but it is still not as much for me as Silverchair was. It is important to keep moving forwards as an artist anyway.
What’s beyond Australia?
Yeah, we have a few more tours after we’ve been to Australia and another in the UK in November then a couple around Europe after that. Then we’re pretty much good for the year. Coming back to Australia to do our own tour is something we want to build towards because Australia is a market we really want to get in to.
Watching Placebo every night must be cool. What’s your favourite album or period for the band?
I do have a favourite record but I’m not entirely sure I have a favourite period of the band. Without You I’m Nothing is my favourite album. If the setlists are anything like what I have seen that they’ll be playing in Australia it is amazing what they’re playing at the moment. Their set is full of hits…
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Deaf Havana headlining their own shows…
Tour dates with Placebo…
20 YEARS OF PLACEBO featuring speclal guests DEAF HAVANA
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
Mon 4 September – Perth Arena
Weds 6 September – Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre
Fri 8 September – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Sat 9 September – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Mon 11 September – Brisbane Convention Centre
Tues 12 September – Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Thurs 14 September – AIS Arena, Canberra
For ticketing information, head to www.ticketek.com.au