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Band Of The Week // HAVELOCKE

Announcing their new EP Arsonist, Havelocke prove that the glory days of post-hardcore and emo are yet to be over.

Havelocke 2021

Sheffield-based quartet Havelocke are the reminder that emo and post-hardcore music is still around, and as impactful as ever. Behind a veil of searing riffs and pounding drums, the band questions the world around them and looks at society through a sceptical lens, never taking all at face-value. All of this will be taken to the next level as they announce their new EP Arsonist, which will be released on 13th April. To give a further flavour of what’s to come, the band has released new track and video for The Arsonist, where ferocious vocals meet shuddering percussion in a thrilling mix. The dynamic between vocalists Owen Cousins and Hope Thackray creates an exhilarating contrast as the fury behind the words leaps out from your speakers.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the track, lead vocalist Owen shares:

Not long before writing this song we had a bit of a fall out with a friend and it’s kind of hard to get into detail but we gave him chances to redeem himself, probably more than we should have, and he just kept messing up in the same way. ‘The Arsonist’ is about that – you only get so many chances before you get hit with the consequences.

Feeling fired up by the energy behind the track, and excited by the new announcement, we spoke with Hope and Owen to get a sense of what it was like behind-the-scenes.

What’s a motto you live by?

Life’s way too short to settle down. Play that tour, buy those cymbals, max out that credit card, and worry about all those things when you’re old and you’ve lived it.

If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?

Black or yellow or both if we’re allowed. Black because we’re big ol’ emos and yellow because it goes well with black? Owen’s colourblind so we tend to go for colours he approves of.

If you could set The Arsonist to a TV show or movie, what would it be the soundtrack for?

It’s definitely too obvious, but Umbrella Academy. They’d have to introduce another one who breathes fire or sets fire to things with their hands, just for us.

Did you come across any surprises, whether pleasant or unpleasant, while recording the Arsonist EP?

We didn’t realise quite how multi-instrumental our bassist Jacob was until he start picking up everything he could find in the building! The only unpleasant experience we had was breaking down on the way home (but who needs sleep anyway?).

What’s your fondest memory of making the EP?

It’s so hard to pick our fondest memory, but we really enjoyed cooking dinner and sitting at the table to eat before watching a film each night. Such a simple thing really, but the normality of the situation after the first lockdown was just what we needed to knuckle down properly.

Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories that you could share with us?

We’re the least rock ‘n’ roll set of emos. I think we spend more time snoozing and spooning than we probably ought to. I honestly think we’re too anxious and wired for anything crazy to happen. Except for that time when we went to the Heavy Music Awards and we ended up with a giant jar of olives from one of the bars we went to in our tote bag. Probably a good thing we don’t get too lairy on the regular(!)

Were there any particular events that sparked the inspiration for the EP?

We had written tonnes of stuff throughout 2019, but the first song that actually made it to the EP, The Arsonist (almost eponymous) was inspired by something which happened not long after Jacob joined in Feb 2019. A close friend of ours was involved in a situation which hurt a lot of people, including ourselves. We gave him opportunities and advice to get help, but unfortunately it happened again. The song tells the age old story of consequences always lingering around the corner.

We noticed that you did a few ‘Studio Diaries’, what is your favourite moment from doing these?

Being able to look through the footage months later and see clips of how good friends we are, even after all these years. Keep an eye out for part four!

And finally, slightly cliché but what does music mean to you?

Music means being able to tell your truths without actually having to say them out loud. You can tell a lot about how we were feeling on that day, just by listening to the layers in our songs.