Haste the Day Interview: From Rocking Crowds to Washing Dishes Vocalist Stephen Keech is Ready for 'Something Meaningful and Passionate'

Justin SarachikAug 25, 2014 09:12 AM EDT

Christian metalcore band Haste the Day chatted with BreatheCast about the band's upcoming album, what calling it quits is like for a band, and how music has changed in just five years.

HTD is putting out their first new album since 2010's Attack of the Wolf King, and since officially disbanding in 2011. The band used Indiegogo to raise their funds for the album and have already completed their goal of $65,000 and have 21 days left.

"Wow, thank you all so much! We cannot believe the support you've shown us. This record will be incredible! We have some really awesome stretch goals that we will unlock over the next few weeks that will make this project even better!" they wrote on Facebook.

BreatheCast: Is this project a one off thing, or do you see yourselves continuing on as an occasional studio band with a few shows?

Haste the Day: No one really knows what the future holds. If I were to guess it would be a one time thing. But I was also pretty sure HTD would never make another record. I guess I just cant see the future so I’ve stopped making any assumptions about it.

BC: Was it difficult to get everyone on board with the new project and how did everyone make time to get in the same room?

HTD: Deciding to make this record has been a difficult process. And when you bring so many people together in any scenario it can be hard to keep everyone on the same page. But through many phone conversations and email threads we have finally figured out what it looks like to do a new record. I don’t think anyone had to have the arm twisted to make the record. We all love making music, and we miss making music together. This is going to be a very different record for us, though. We all are adults and have our own lives, and those lives are scattered around the us. Mike, Brennan, Jimmy, Devin, and Jason all still live in Indianapolis. But Scotty lives in California. Giuseppe lives in Pittsburgh. Dave lives in Brooklyn, and I live in Nashville where we will be recording the majority of the record. We probably will be using the Internet to help us communicate while we write this record.

BC: How does the dynamic change with both vocalists doing all the writing together, and how will the vocals be split up?

HTD: Jimmy and I have never worked together. So I’m curious to see how it goes! I’m confident it will go well because we always have fun together and I respect him a lot as a vocalist. Its hard to say how everything will go in the end because we have only begun forming the songs. We will both have our own songs we do and we will also have songs we do together.

BC: Haste the Day fans immediately went to action on the IndieGogo. How does it feel to still have so much support? How did you guys come up with the incentives?

HTD: The support we have received has been incredible. It really makes us excited to get this record out. We could have never expected such a great response. Our career long manager, Mark Lafay, has been heading up the Indiegogo. We all have ideas and we all share them, but he is the real brains in the operation.

BC: Had the IndieGogo not been successful, what was plan B?

HTD: Well, we never quite got that far… haha

Haste the Day
(Photo : Indiegogo: Haste the Day)

BC: Music changes very quickly these days. How much has the metal and hardcore scene changed for you guys since 2010, and will you be doing anything differently as far as the music or style goes?

HTD: I have spent the last few years detoxing from the metal scene. As HTD was first coming to an end, metal had started to become processed. Everything was synthesized from the drums, to the guitars, to the heavily auto tuned vocals. I still see that in metal music, but even worse now. I miss the passion and the frustration that was represented in early hardcore/punk. I rarely see that anymore. Some of these younger bands don't realize that heaviness doesn’t come from how low you tune your guitar or how many 808 hits you can shove into a 30 second breakdown. Heaviness comes from the content of your lyrics and the desperation of your playing style, not the precision of your “chugs.” That's what I want to see in the new record. The older I’ve become the more I’ve realized that I don’t have time for shiny, overproduced, stagnant metalcore. I want something meaningful and passionate.

BC: Haste the Day is known as a Christian band. In 2014, does the band have the same message and mission as when you all formed the band?

HTD: Yes we do. The only thing that has changed in our message is maturity. For me, getting off the road was one of the best things for my spiritual life. I found a church in Nashville and got involved. I realized after all those years of touring, I had a lot of baggage that I never walked through with anyone. Being grounded in one place helped me find the people I needed to walk me through the stuff that I couldn’t even see was weighing me down. I know this is happened with several other members as well. I think we have a more mature outlook on our faith. I’m looking forward to see what kind of lyrics come out of that.

BC: Are there any themes, topics, or outlines planned out for the new record? And if so are you able to share even if it's just a tiny glimpse?

HTD: We are in very early stages of writing so I don’t think anything is ready to share. Sorry!

BC: Being in a successful touring band for many years, what does it take for a band to call it quits, and how do you fill that void once it's over?

HTD: Oh man, this is a loaded question! ha. Touring is a very tiring job for most personality types. Of course, when we were kids we knew that we had to get on the road and nothing else would satisfy that urge for adventure. After a few years of that it becomes lonely and tiring. Some people can continue touring forever but I don’t think any of us had that personality. We were just ready to call it quits. When we did finally play that last show, we all flew home without any clue what any one of us would do. I spent that Summer going to the lake with my friends. After a few months I ran out of money and I had to get a job at two different restaurants. I worked the kitchen in one and washed dishes at another. It was definitely a shockingly different life style. But it taught me a lot and eventually I found my true passion in the studio Producing other bands and working on film scores.

BC: Is there anything you would like to add?

HTD: We are very thankful for such a good response about our new record. We can’t thank our fans and our contributors enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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