Since being signed to Westcoast Worldwide Records last year, Havenside has been turning heads all around the world, even as far as Australia, where they plan on touring next year. Brandon Wells is the sole original member of Havenside, and I hit him up for an interview to let fans know what they’re missing out on. They are old school street hardcore, in the vein of bands like Terror and Hoods, and really know how to put on an excellent show. I first became acquainted with them when I first started up my net-label R&B Records in November of 2009, and Havenside’s Lost & Departed EP was the 3rd release on my label. Check out this interview and check out their music, I will promise each and every one of you readers will not be disappointed.
MEB: So what is the history of Havenside? How did you guys meet? How long have you been around for?
Brandon: Well we formed around mid-2006 and began to leave our mark on Sacramento’s hardcore music scene. We put out two EPs for streaming, one in early 2007 and the other in October of 2008. After our first full length album release Lost & Departed EP in 2009, the band experienced drastic changes. We had to part ways with our old drummer Chris Watts, our old guitarist Tyler Todd, & old bassist John Orr. When that came about we were in search of three solid members to keep this thing going. A few months pass and we pick up Jaramia Bond on drums, Casey Mann on guitar, and Craig Wahlberg on Bass. We came together as a powerful force releasing Recognition in October of 2010. We played a massive amount of shows for Recognition. But shortly after that Craig Wahlberg parted ways with the band to go to college, so our good friend Anthony Salazar stepped up to fill the spot on bass. We also decided to pick up a second guitarist, Nik Santos, to become a five-piece unit. Today we are more focused than ever, this band is our family, and we don’t take this for granted. 5 1/2 years and running.
What releases do you have?
Lost & Departed EP (2009)
Would you ever consider re-releasing your old stuff prior to Lost & Departed EP?
Nope. We are currently just focusing on putting out the NEW material! We don’t really rep anything before Lost & Departed.
What are some of your major influences in music today?
Some of my personal influences are The Acacia Strain, Lionheart, Hoods, Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, Terror, and many other great bands.
What are some of your favorite venues and cities you’ve played at?
The Boardwalk in Orangevale CA, Skrappy’s in Tuscon AZ (great people there), Fresno CA, Vacaville CA, Las Vegas NV, and L.A. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of cities we had great times at, but those are just some off the top of my head.
So you were saying that you played bass with Lionheart for a couple tours (Road To Metalfest and Return To The Motherland Tours). What was that experience like?
Yeah, it was a great experience. Those guys are my good friends, they have great attitudes about the music scene and it was an honor to play beside those dudes every night. Definitely got my foot in the door as far as touring for an extended period of time, you know? Now we just got to get Havenside out more on some big tours! But yeah everyone should go check out Lionheart in a town near you.
In either Havenside or Lionheart, what were some standout shows? Any crazy road stories?
Um, I’m going to have to say Feb. 13th w/ Conducting From The Grave. There were so many stage dives and crowd surfing going on, our good friend broke his ankle in the pit. One crazy show! There were a lot of standout shows but off the top of my head, that has to be one of our craziest.
What are some major shows coming up for Havenside?
July 15h @CYC in Fresno, CA
July 16th @Ace Of Spades in downtown Sacramento, CA
August 19th @Fremont Teen Center in Fremont, CA
What is the meaning of the name Havenside? What is the story behind it?
To be honest, there’s no meaning behind it. A lot of people are right when they say it’s a street in Sacramento. Yes, we named it after a street in Sacramento!!! The name sounded cool to us and it’s definitely different from any other band name around. We wanted something to represent that we are from Sacramento, CA. That’s it. Nothing more. A name is a name. Music tells it all.
What are some other projects that you have, both musical and non-musical?
I run a management company called Oversight Management. Right now I manage the bands Draw From The Effect and Paint Over Pictures (You can read my interview with Robb of Paint Over Pictures here: http://fridayreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/interview-robb-of-paint-over-pictures.html).
So I heard you’re in the studio right now. How many songs are done and when can fans expect the next release to come out? What will the new album be called?
We are currently just doing pre-production. We have five songs done, and they are really heavy. The new album is expected to release Jan. 17th 2012! We are stoked for you all to hear it. We have yet to decide on an album title.
If you could play on a dream tour with four other bands, who would they be?
The Acacia Strain, Terror, Bury Your Dead, and Whitechapel.
What would you say is your biggest inspiration to go out and play music and sing every day?
Just all the bullshit in our lives, the drama, the struggles we all have to go through day to day. This lets me be me, this lets me express my opinions, that we all can do something great with our lives in some way. Playing in front of 5, 10, 200, or 1,000 people doesn’t matter to me. To get our message across is what it really means to me & the guys in Havenside.
What advice can you give for others wanting to form their own bands?
Just take time with it. It’s your baby. Get merch made, get a good quality recording of your music and make sure you’re serious about it before playing shows! Don’t be another band breaking up after only two months. Please don’t rush it and take it for granted. There’s too many bands in the scene nowadays.
Any last words for your fans and people who haven’t heard your music?
Keep spreading the word and keep supporting because we can’t do this without you guys! You guys are the only reason why we get to do what we love to do. We have the best fans and friends! You all are family to us. Thank you all and to show you our appreciation for supporting us, we are letting you download our 2010 full length album for free only on this site! Here you go: