Interview: Ross Jennings of Haken

Prior to their show in Glasgow, I had the opportunity to have a chat with Haken frontman Ross Jennings. Amongst other things, we discussed the 10th anniversary and the bands plans for the next six to twelve months. Read on for the full transcription…

Photo courtesy Carly Campbell

Tonight is night two of your ‘10th Anniversary Tour’. How do you feel last night went?

It was a good start actually. We had two days of rehearsals prior which allowed us to get everything to a good standard. It’s very different playing stuff in front of faces though, and everything that can go wrong will go wrong! But, I think all in all it was a good show and a good start to the tour.

Affinity, came out last year now. How well do you feel it’s been received?

I think it’s been received really well actually. We made the brave decision to choose not to repeat ourselves as we did on The Mountain. We could have continued along that route, but we kind of wanted to take a left turn and add in some new and exciting things. The good thing about our audience is they are quite opened minded, and I’m sure album five will be even more varied!

Did you ever think the band would still be going all those years ago?

We had no idea really. You don’t really plan these things. We just put ourselves out there and waited to see what happened. I don’t think we really imagined that we would get to the level where we are now with four albums and an EP under our belt and good crowds at our shows. We came at the right time I think.

I’ve noticed that the band seems to have an infatuation with old technology. Does this creep into the lyrics at points?

I can’t say that it necessarily creeps into the lyrics, but there is a bit of thing in there on Affinity. The words are usually a bit broader than our nostalgia. It is fun to use it when we’re promoting material, and some of our audience might not be aware of these things before.

Sometimes the music kind of dictates what features in the lyrical themes. We typically make music first and then tie in the lyrics with that.

What are the band’s plans for the next 6 to 12 months?

We’re going to spend this year focusing on the 10th anniversary, and we’re looking to book shows in territories that we’ve not visited before. People in Australia and South America should watch this space as we’re seeking to get over there. We’re also going to be working on a live release at some point as well. I wanted to do one a couple of years ago, but we never got round to it. Now that the popularity is there, we’ll be looking to get one out soon.

Is there any advice you’d give to new bands?

It’s tough to be in a band these days. We came along at the right time I think, but I really feel sorry for bands that are coming up these days. The social media battle is unreal, but you need to persevere. Stay true to yourselves and write the music that you would enjoy listening to and playing.

What would be your dream tour lineup?

I’d be happy to go on first if we could have Meshuggah on the bill. And then a revived Freddie Mercury playing with Queen. So yeah, Queen, Meshuggah, Haken. Playing Wembley Stadium as well!

Describe yourself and then the band in 3 words.

For myself, I’d say humble, creative and sore throat! Too much singing.

And for the band…. Prog, Eclectic and Intricate.

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