Joel Havea

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Joel Havea

Currently indulging in the beer, food and good times of Germany, we had a chat to Joel Havea who’s set to make his way back to Australia for a few shows – bringing his unique and worldly sound along with him.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m in a car driving through the rolling snowy hills of Baden-Württemberg as I’m currently in the middle of a 10 city winter tour around Germany. It’s been great so far but it’s bloody freezing and can’t wait to hit the summer soon!

Now that everything is starting to come back into full swing after the holidays, how did you spend your break?

I spent the Christmas break with my girlfriend’s family in Vienna and New Years in little city called Koper on the Slovenian coast. It was cold, but nice and relaxing – which is what I needed after a very full-on year.

You’re no stranger to touring and do it all year round. How did 2015 shape up for you musically?

2015 was definitely the busiest year I’ve ever had, musically speaking. I ended up playing over 100 shows in 14 different countries over four continents and was probably on the road for at least half the year. But I really love the nomad life and embrace everything that it involves (both good and bad). I also found time to head to Poland for a week last October to start the sessions for my next album with my trio at RecPublica Studios, which will be released later this year.

You spend much of your time in Germany, both on tour and living there. Is there any noticeable differences to Australia when you perform?

Culturally speaking, Germany is world’s apart from Australia and it obviously makes a big difference when the audience can understand what you are singing about. But that being said, music is something that transcends language and people respond emotionally the same way to a great show regardless of where they come from. The Aussies definitely like my between song banter much better though.

It’s been a debate that’s divided nations, so we need you to set the record straight. Which beer, Australian or German, really takes the prize as the best?

No disrespect to Aussie brewers but I’d have to go with Germany. Beer is such an ingrained part of the culture over here and brewing and drinking is steeped in a long and respected tradition. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper!

You’re obviously very well travelled. How has this influenced your music?

Because of my background (half Tongan, half Dutch), I’ve always been someone who was at home with different cultures. This no doubt influenced my music taste as well. I grew up listening to everything from grunge, rock, hip hop, electronic, reggae, R’n’B to soul and funk and of course lots of singer-songwriters and as a result my own music contains many of these elements.

In one of your blog posts you compare crowdfunding to crowdsurfing. If you could crowdsurf at any concert or festival, what would it be?

Last time I went crowdsurfing I think I almost broke some poor girls neck, so I think my crowd surfing days are over!

Do you believe you have a significant creative freedom due to your music being independent?

Yes most definitely. The next album will be completely written, arranged and produced by me and my band from Hamburg, namely Leo Lazar on the drums and Arnd Geise on the bass. There are no labels, managers or anyone else floating behind the scenes and the successful crowdfunding campaign means that we will be able to finish and release the album on our terms. We can’t really ask for anything more than that!

What do you have in store for your upcoming Australian tour?

I’ll be playing 16 dates along the east coast ending with an appearing at the Yackandandah Folk Festival. It will be primarily a solo tour, but I’ll be doing some band shows in Melbourne, Bendigo and Sydney and will be having some great local supports, e.g.. Liam Thorpe in Bendigo, HolyTrash in Rosebud and my good mate Bradlee Jay will be joining me for a few shows in Melbourne and Country Victoria.

Anything else you would like to add?

Get off the couch and support live music! Hope to see you down at a show in country Victoria.

When & Where: Ararat Live, Ararat – February 24, Babushka Lounge, Ballarat – February 25, The Golden Vine, Bendigo – February 26, Saints & Sailors, Portarlington – February 27