Interview by Sarah Williams.
You might have heard the name Haest cropping lately. If you haven’t yet, we guarantee you will soon.
Haest are the latest in South Coast hardcore; hailing from Hastings they’re a vertiable DIY supergroup, feturing members of Matilda’s Scoundrels, The Barracks, Wizard Fight and The Dead Anyways. Seeking a new, heavier musical outlet, these four guys recently banded together to create something fresh. The result is EP #1, which showcases their gritty, sludgy take on hardcore.
We spoke to Dan Flangan (guitar) and Mark Tanner (bass) about their latest endeavour.
For a new band, there’s a lot of buzz about Haest at the moment! What first prompted you to start making music together?
- Mark: Dan could’ve started the idea off before, but I’m pretty sure I got involved after a few drunken conversations with Dan about a side project for a bit of fun playing some heavier stuff.
- Dan F: Matilda’s Scoundrels had 10 weeks off at the beginning of the year without a show and I had a bunch of riffs I’d written that weren’t really Scoundrels material. So Mark and I spoke about it then got Dan K onboard.
How would you describe your sound to someone?
- Dan F: I’m not really sure how to describe it. It’s very mixed. Hardcore driven with sludge/metal elements?
- Mark: My favourite description I’ve heard is that we’re like a punk Black Sabbath mixed with early Black Flag. I guess we’re sludgy hardcore/punk. Slunk!
Many of you have been, or are currently in, other bands. What other projects have you been involved in?
- Mark: Yeah we’re all still members of our other bands, Dave is in The Dead Anyways, Dan F plays guitar in Matilda’s Scoundrels, Dan K is in Wizard Fight and I’m in The Barracks.
- Dan F: Three of us are also involved with putting on Wotsit Called Fest in Hastings.
How did you all first meet? Do you hang out a lot outside of the band?
- Mark: Dan will be able to answer this better than me… But I don’t think I met Dan K properly until we started playing together? Dan F and Dave I’ve known for a while from gigs, drinking and stuff.
- Dan F: I’ve known Mark for years just through the Hastings music scene and nights out. I first met Dan K when I used to go see Wizard Fight play and the nights he used to put on. Most of us are regulars at Dave’s cafe, Sham City Roasters.
Lyrically and musically, what have you found most influential when writing the Haest EP?
- Mark: This is another one better for Dave or Dan F… Dave writes the lyrics, Dan F does the guitars, Dan K does drum stuff and I pretty much do what I’m told.
- Dan F: Basically bands like Pizzatramp, Nosebleed and ROTPM spurred me on to write most of the stuff we have. Constantly playing with incredible bands each week is the biggest influence.
How does the creative process work within the band?
- Dan F: Normally i’ll bring an idea to practice and get it structured pretty quick. Then we hand it over to Dave to work his magic with the lyrics. Most of us want to play fast and Dan K wants to play slow, so we try to mix the two with tempo changes.
What’s your favourite Haest song and why?
- Mark: My favourite changes a lot! At the moment it’s probably out of No Faith, This Tired Boat is Sinking and Don’t Judge Dread Coffins.
- Dan F: For me it’s the first track on the EP. A song about Amber Rudd called I Didn’t Throw A Single Stone And Still I Got Pissed On.
Where does the name Haest come from?
- Mark: I accidentally found something on the origins of Hastings when I was hungover and trying to come up with name ideas: “The word ‘Hastings’ comes from the Haestingas, the people who supported a Saxon (Danish or German) migrant leader called Haest (or Haesta) who occupied Sussex, east of the Pevensey Levels in the 6th or 7th century. In Old English, -ingas means followers, so originally the word ‘Haestingas’ was describing a group of people spread over a wide geographic area, rather than giving a name to a village or a town.”
If you are interested, you can read more here: http://hastingschronicle.net/key-events/origins-of-hastings/
You’ve incorporated a lot of Hastings culture into all your visuals for the project – what inspired that?
- Mark: I guess the origins of the name? Plus we all live in Hastings… and Hastings is cool.
- Dan F: The Scoundrels cover a lot of Hastings history and the characters thats have lived there in our songs, so I guess it’s natural for me to use it within the design/artwork. I feel Haest can also be an art project for me as well as music. So expect plenty more in the future.
What is your biggest ambition for the band?
- Mark: For me it’s just for everyone to keep having fun, make more music and play more shows. Maybe a few festivals? Oh, and get some monochrome merch.
- Dan F: All of what Mark said but more colourful merch.
What can we expect from Haest in the immediate future?
- Mark: Hopefully all of the above! And the EP will be done soon. Cheers!
- Dan F: The first EP is very close to being released. We’re going to try and play as much as we can, we have our first London show coming up supporting the Dwarves. Hopefully we’ll be playing a few festivals before the year is over as well.
Thanks very much to Dan and Mark for talking to us. You can keep up to date with the latest on Haest at their Facebook page and check out their new EP on Bandcamp:
Be sure to catch Haest live on one of their upcoming dates:
- Wed 25th July – The Lady Luck, Canterbury
- Sat 4th August – The Palace, Hastings
- Sat 29th September – The Palace, Hastings | Wotsit Called Fest
- Sat 1st Decemeber – The Palace, Hastings w/ Youth Avoiders