Dave Maffei (bass): We are Haan; we are a heavy music project from Brooklyn, New York. We have been playing together for about five years.
2.How would you describe your musical sound?
Chuck Berrett (vocals): Our musical sound is probably best described as a sludgy/metallic approach to rock music with a great deal of feedback and dissonant noise. We have several influences, but we never wanted to pin point our style because it would limit our ability to grow and experiment.
Jordan (guitar): For better and for worse, our music has not offered a tidy answer to that question. I readily admit that we did not arrive fully-formed, and that one can easily hear in our past and current stuff a search for focus. That focus is getting sharper of late, however. I love where we have been, but I am terribly excited about where we are going.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Chuck: Lyrically there is a common thread of depression, hopelessness, and a general distaste for tradition. Whether it be religion, politics, technology etc...the lyrics are a reflection of the disenfranchised state of mind the world creates. Almost like a fugue state train of thought.
4.Originally the band was known as 'No Way', what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Haan'?
Chuck: The band was very different when it was called No Way. We had a different vocalist and another guitarist at the time. The style of music was also much more of a post-hardcore/punk approach that we later transitioned away from. The name No Way didn't seem to fit us, or our music, any longer.
The name Haan was lifted from a North Korean concept. It's a collective feeling of oppression and isolation that is inherited through unavenged justice and oppressive forces beyond their control. Although we have no cultural ties to North Korea, the word and the concept held resonance with what our music is thematically trying to achieve.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Chuck: We were fortunate enough to play several shows with the late Fight Amp from Philadelphia. We've also played with Whores a multitude of times which is always fantastic. We consider both of those bands friends and always love(d) sharing a stage with them. EYEHATEGOD was another band which we had the honor of playing with, and that was a bit of a dream come true.
Dave: We played a show with Child Bite and Coliseum a few years back, which was a highlight for me.
In terms of our stage performance, our intention is to just play the music as effectively and efficiently as possible. There's no special lighting, or projections, or a mountain of amps - just four people going off and playing music. We want to create the biggest sound and best experience with as little interference between us and the audience.
Jordan: Just about every show that we have played at Saint Vitus (the venue) and the late, great Acheron have been fantastic. Those two places have spoiled us rotten. As for our show: Looks warm, sweaty, and blurry from where I stand.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Dave: Right now we're preparing a recording we did last Summer for release and working on demos for a big pile of new songs. Once that record is out later this year, we'll do some promotion for it. Other than that, we have a few regional shows here and there.
7.The ep was released on 'Kaos Kontrol', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Dave: Kaos Kontrol is a Finnish noise rock label and distro. The label is run by Jukka Mattila, who plays in Throat, a really fantastic Finnish noise rock band. We had many mutual acquaintances, as they distribute a lot of bands we are friends with. We ended up meeting through some message boards and the rest is history. They have been great to us and extremely supportive.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of sludge, hardcore and noise rock?
Dave: All of the feedback so far has been positive, which is very flattering.
Jordan: That there is feedback at all is marvelous. That it has been positive is a steady high.
9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Dave: We recorded six songs last summer and we're currently finalizing the release details. The music is both heavier and also goes into more feedback, ambient and psychedelic passages, often in the same song. We've also been recording demos of new songs the last few months which I think are a bit darker than our previous work.
Jordan: For the first time in a long time I feel compelled to create work in response to specific current, and potential future, events. I want to make music that hurts.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Dave: We like all sorts of different styles of music, but the most direct influences to this project are bands like Sonic Youth, Swans, Black Sabbath and The Stooges, and movements like post-punk, goth, and black metal. Conceptually, we really respect bands that work independently from the music industry and the traditional band methodology and focus on the craft above all. Some recent releases I've been really into are Värähtelijä by Oranssi Pazuzu, Raspberry Dream by Okkultokrati, Reflections by Brian Eno and "Awaken, My Love!" by Childish Gambino.
Jordan: I think that the middle of Haan's Venn diagram is home to a lot of music that is some form of heavy, and has a flair for the dramatic and sensual. The aforementioned bands for sure, as well as Killing Joke, PJ Harvey, David Bowie; stuff with some other bodily fluids besides just sweat and blood. Of late I have been listening to little other than Algiers by Thou, A Self-Help Tragedy by Doomsday Student, Live Through This by Hole, and Scott Walker's "The Electrician" on repeat.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
Dave: Most of my time is spent working and with my family. In between working on Haan and sleeping: cycling, movies, science fiction, architecture, technology.
Jordan: Anxiety, child-rearing, texting my bandmates.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Dave: Thanks for your time.
Jordan: The Plot Against America did not seem nearly so important a book two years ago.