Not to say Deaf Havana haven’t done well for themselves, but latest album Rituals was an awesome but weird turn. “A bit jarring for some people,” agrees lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, James Veck-Gilodi. “It’s definitely an album of cool stuff and I’m proud of it.
A brave move for the English alternative rockers, who deviated from their better loved rock standards in favour of something a little more, shall we say, pop. “A brave move or stupid,” laughs Veck-Gilodi. Nevertheless, it affords Deaf Havana the opportunity to come out to Australia on their very ever headline tour. Brave or stupid, for better or worse, Deaf Havana has amazing opportunities regardless of the change in their sound – and it doesn’t mean a change in the band’s delivery in a live performance.
“This is a question I was asking myself after we finished recording it because I was like, ‘How the hell are we going to play these songs and the old songs in the same setlist?’” says Veck-Gilodi. “The songs that are poppier we try to make heavier.
“We’ve duped things around a bit, and it wasn’t easy to incorporate the new stuff into the old set, but I think we’ve nailed it now.”
Though Deaf Havana have made efforts to suit up the newer material to sit more comfortably with the old, Veck-Gilodi doesn’t think that’s Deaf Havana playing at the conformist. “We haven’t’ done it to the point where they don’t sound like the same songs.
“For instance ‘Sinner’, it’s the same as the record – but there were songs we didn’t know how to play them live so we had to adjust them a little bit.”
If you want to put a positive spin on the assumed doubt and apprehension, Deaf Havana have allowed themselves some room to really stretch and explore and continue to morph those songs into how much more potential they have. “100%,” says Veck-Gilodi. “For me, a song is just an idea and there are so many ways it can be played, so we’ve definitely got a chance to mess around and see where we can take it.”
Given the massive divide around Rituals and Deaf Havana taking such a massive turn, Veck-Gilodi is unsure what it means for the band’s creative confidence moving forward. “Because we did get a lot of positive feedback, it kind of shows me we can almost do what we want but in how people responded, maybe I should have considered more the feelings of the people who consume our music and not just my own.
“It also gives me confidence that we can continue to push the boundaries a little bit.”
When & Where: Max Watts, Melbourne – August 24. Tickets via tickets.destroyalllines.com/
Written by Anna Rose