Halifax - 10.25.05
Mike Hunau, vocalist for Halifax, was kind enough to do this interview with AP; hope you enjoy it!
AP: First off, thank you very much for doing this interview with us, we appreciate it a lot.
Mike: Anytime. Absolutepunk.net has been a huge help to us, so we're always down.
AP: I guess the biggest news surrounding the band right now is that you guys just completed recording your debut full length. What can people expect from the new record as opposed to the EP?
Mike: I think the coolest thing about the new record is the diversity of it. We tried to write a bunch of different songs so it appeals to everyone and not just one audienceóitís got its harder times and its softer times. Expect a lot of sing along parts. Very rock n roll.
AP: What was the writing process for The Inevitability of a Strange World like? How does a Halifax song come together?
Mike: Well it was a lot of me and Chris coming up with the bones of the songs, and then putting all the jazz in with the whole band together. Itís actually really cool because the songs never come out the way we write them; by the time we get to recording, we change Ďem around so much that there's barely any of the original song in there.
AP: What all, including CDs, books, movies, etc, influenced the new album?
Mike: I would have to say old 80's rock and metal. We listened to a lotófor me, lots of AFI and Muse. But we don't limit ourselves; we listen to everything out there. That way it doesn't get boring,
AP: Where did you guys come up with the title for the album?
Mike: The album title was influenced by a character from a book called The Rum Diaries, which Adam had read.
AP: How was it working with Lou Giordano and Machine?
Mike: It was amazing and very different with both of them
AP: I know some people have some pretty strong feelings towards Lou; how would you describe his production style on the new album?
Mike: Lou was the first producer we ever worked with, and it was an awesome experience. Lou was very cool and laid back with us, pretty much let us record what we wanted to. He was great with sounds and what not, but got to put all our ideas out and not have to hold any in which was cool. A producer can only go as far as the band takes him. If someone has beef with a producer, maybe they should look into what the band actually wrote a little more. We actually just finished with Machine. I was dying to get into the studio with him and it fucking ruled. Machine is an animal and I love him.
AP: So when you went to record the 4 extra songs with Machine, did you guys use all the same gear so that there wouldn't be too noticeable a difference between the tones/sound of the songs, or were you going for 2 separate styles?
Mike: Well we had to make a choice: should we listen to the Lou stuff and try to somewhat match it? Or go at it as if it were the first time recording? And we all decided to fuck it and go all out and not try to match anything. I don't have any final mixes yet, but I'm pretty sure there's going to be some noticeable differences. But to anyone in their right mind, that rules. It makes the album more interesting as you go through it.
AP: So are you going to mix the songs up throughout the album, or will, say, the first 3/4 of the album be the Giordano songs and the last quarter be the Machine songs?
Mike: Not quite sure. I think itís going to be sorted by the songs in their essence, so it'll be a mix up and not just sorting who produced what. Machine is also remixing 3 of the Lou tracks so it'll be a little more even.
AP: I promise Iíll move on after this question, but what was the reason for recording those new tracks with Machine?
Mike: Haha, itís all good. We just thought we would like to add some more aggressive songs to the album, so between writing more aggressive songs and recording with Machine, we could add some more feeling to the record. We felt we needed it.
AP: What would you say you're most proud about regarding the new album?
Mike: As a band, I'm proud of the diversity. I felt we did a good job of writing this album, and personally I felt on one song, which is tentatively titled "Body Under Fire," that the vocals really sound emotional and you can feel it.
AP: By diversity, do you mean tempo-wise or are the songs just different in general?
Mike: Different in general.
AP: Sweet. So I guess there's been a lot of talk about this lately, but how do you guys feel about the whole Real World deal?
Mike: I can only speak how I feel, so take what I say as my personal feelings, not everyone in the bandís. I think itís funny how fucked up it is that you watch TV your whole life thinking what you see is how it actually is in real life, but they edit that show so much itís ridiculous. For the record, we all got along with the cast and they were all super nice to us. As far as I'm concerned, it was fun; as for the show that came out on TV, I just hope people don't look down on us. We're the same Halifax we've always been.
AP: Yeah, I read all your warnings and stuff like that. They must've done some pretty crazy editing. How'd you guys get the opportunity to be on the show?
Mike: Well if you watch the show, their job is to find bands going to SXSW [South by Southwest] and do a documentary on them. They got a lot of submissions and just happened to choose us as one of them, so when we went to Austin for our Drive-Thru show, they asked us to hang out and do some stuff for the documentary.
AP: So have you guys, uh, noticed a spike in MySpace friend adds or pureVOLUME plays, or things like that in general as a result of being on the show?
Mike: Yea, it definitely pumped up our friend list.
AP: Haha, cool. One of the AP readers likes your voice a lot and was wondering if you've had any vocal training.
Mike: Well first off, thanks, and yeah, Iíve had some vocal training, but not that much. Only a few lessons, but it was after the EP was recorded. I took a few before we actually started touring.
AP: Did you take the lessons to protect your voice, or was it more to help out with your range and things like that?
Mike: Both. They helped me learn how to tour without losing my voice, and also how to use my vocal muscles to hit higher notes without straining myself.
AP: You guys have one song up on pureVOLUME already. How does that song, ďAnthem For Tonight,Ē compare to the rest of the album? Also, when can we expect to hear some more new songs?
Mike: That song is actually one I redid some vocals to and that Machine is going to remix. Itís just a little taste of what's actually on the record. As for the album, thereís lots of rock n roll in different ways. I think we'll probably start streaming some new songs on a certain day of the week, for like a day and take it down, then every week show something else. It was an idea brought up, but I don't know if and when it'll happen. Iíd love to put some more songs up ASAP.
AP: What plans do you guys have for next year? Besides touring, of course. And speaking of touring, you guys are going to Japan pretty soonóhave you been there before? If not, looking forward to it?
Mike: Umm I'm not sure really. Weíll be releasing the album in February, touring probably the whole year, and probably recording a new CD soon so the wait isnít as long this time. I'm soooo looking forward to Japan. We all are. I've never been.
AP: How many songs from A Writerís Reference are you guys planning on performing each night on your upcoming tours?
Mike: Until the new album comes out, we'll play 4 from the EP each night. Then when the new album is actually out, we'll play more new stuff and only a few old songs.
AP: I know this probably isn't what you want to talk about, but your CD comes out in a few months, and there's always the possibility that it might leak. How do you guys feel about downloading?
Mike: I think it would hurt record sales, but we really don't care that much. We'd rather have people have the record and listen to it, than never hear it 'cause they didn't buy it. Itís a lot cooler if you buy it, but as long as youíre a fan and listen to us, itís all good.
AP: Who did you guys listen to growing up, and who are some of todayís artists that youíre currently enjoying?
Mike: I listened to a lot of Fat Wreck Chords bands growing up: Lagwagon, No Use For A Name, NOFX, Strung Out and all that good stuff. Nowadays we listen to everything from Radiohead to Dave Matthews to Pantera to Rage Against the Machine. We even listen to Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance, and a lot of the other bands in our genre.
AP: Whatís the craziest band story you guys have?
Mike: Umm I can't think of any right now. If one comes to mind, I'll let you know.
AP: One final question.
AP: How do you guys feel about ďSydneyĒ being on pretty much every compilation ever?
Mike: Itís cool that people like that song, but I can't wait until our new recordís out and people have different songs on comps and shit. Itís kinda overdone having that song everywhere.
AP: Well that just about wraps it up. Thanks so much once again for doing the interview; we at AP wish you the best of luck with your new album. Anything you'd like to say to the readers of AP.net or just anything in general?
Mike: I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who's helping make our dream come true. Without the fans, we'd be nowhere and we love you all for that. Also, if anyone out there ever feels alone or depressed and possibly suicidal, just know you are never alone, and if you want to contact Halifax, we're here for you and we love you.
thats such a nice thing to say,what he said at the end, they dont have to say anything like that. cool interview
They really are nice guys. Mike is cool. I can't wait until they play a show that I can actually go to again. Their new album will surprise a lot of people.
that was nice, and what they say is true they do actually talk to fans which is cool so many bands that are lame and dont.
real good interview, he seems like a nice guy
I really liked their EP, and he had me excited for this one when he talked about the new music having lots of sing along parts. Then he compared it to AFI, Muse, and 80's metal and the excitment crashed.
such a heartfelt and genuine guy. this band is coming such a long way in such a short time. love 'em.
That's just what he'd been listening to, not what the album's gonna sound like.
mike is the one who originally told me about absolutepunk about 3 years ago.
lol I went to high school with Mike, I graduated right next to him and had a few classes with him. He was a very cool guy, even in high school.
lol i stil have there old cd of them when they admitted they were a pop punk band! ohh yeah!!!
mike, and the rest of the guys in halifax, are pretty much my heroes.
and a great band.
february should come around a little faster.
Cause they were pop-punk back then. And Start Back at Start was terribly generic. Yes even more so than the new stuff since someone will probably look to make that type of joke.
I love their old cd! I got it right before it went out of print. Anyways, I sat in on an interview w/ Mike about a month ago and he seemed like a really nice guy. Great interview!
They all seem like really cool guys.
& they actually are really connected to their fans, posting their cells & all. I think it's awesome that they care so much.