By NOTES BY VIVACE
As I like to do, I recently went to The Hi Hat to catch some bands that I’d never seen before. That resulted in me coming across The Haunts.
Before the band hit the stage, another photographer came up to talk shop. I mentioned I was just there randomly. He mentioned that he was there specifically to see The Haunts. He said he’d seen them at Echo Park Rising and was eager to catch them again. Whenever another photographer comes over and expresses excitement about a band, I am hopeful.
The Haunts’ sound has the feel of good ol’ rock. I got the opportunity to interview the band. I hope you enjoy.
Q.. What’s the story behind how your band started?
A. Aaron and Alanna had been in several bands prior to The Haunts, and had just left their prior band to start a more stripped back project. After several unsatisfactory sessions auditioning vocalists, they were ready to just go fully instrumental, until they met Max in the final few auditions they had scheduled. One hungover morning audition later, The Haunts were official!
Q. For the band and its future, how would you define success?
A. For us, success is getting to play shows in front of different crowds and have the music we make be positively received. We really do appreciate each and every person that comes to our shows, and we love to meet and interact with everyone. We have a lot of goals and plans for 2020, and are excited to see what the next year holds for us as we branch out of California more. Hopefully, our future successes include being able to fully support ourselves off of our music!
Q. Is there a song that has a specific story/inspiration behind it that you’d like to share?
A. Here’s a bit of a writeup on the inspiration behind the lyrics and story of the instrumentation for our song “Kids In The Street”: Lyrically, “Kids In The Street” is fairly on the nose. It just discusses the futility of social constructs and the beauty of hedonism. Max wrote the line “boys kissing boys kissing girls kissing girls” long before the song ever took form, and it just felt like a good platform to ask “what makes us ‘happy’ despite the judging gaze of others.”
We’re also leaning a bit on that “children are the future” mentality, and from what we’re seeing it seems like even today’s youth are overall more accepting of what makes us different and recognizing the importance of bonding over what makes us unique.
We each have our own means of finding bliss and accepting that we each have a right to that bliss (as long as it’s not at the expense of another’s bliss) brings us all more closely connected.
As for instrumentally, Aaron originally wrote the guitar riff in the key of C with the idea of the song beginning slow and chord based, before transitioning to the fast paced riff as an outro. After initial practices/demos of the song, Alanna suggested reversing the order, which seemed to make the song seem more complete. Beyond structural changes, the key of the song was changed to G to give the song some more low end, an aspect of songwriting we always work to consider with guitar and drums serving as the only instruments on stage.
Own final thoughts: Why don’t The Haunts have a bassist?
A. We started this band with the concept of being able to strip down a song to its most bare components, while also still being able to write songs we all felt were complete. We think a big aspect of our songwriting process is to not overthink any aspect and remember that there really aren’t any rules to what defines a band. We’re sure we’ll end up with a 4th member at some point, but for now, as long as we’re happy making and playing the music we write, the rest will hopefully follow. Plus, our minivan we tour in is super small, but that answer isn’t as fun.