HAKEN’s RICHARD HENSHALL Discusses How Private Loss & The Animal Kingdom Influenced Their New Album Fauna

English prog-metal ensemble Haken proceed their reliably regular output with the discharge of their seventh studio album Faunaout there by way of Inside Out on March 3.

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Bolstered by the return of keyboardist Pete Jones and a large European tour with Between The Buried And Me, the authors of such bombastic and mind-bending cuts as “Cockroach King” and “Provoke” pull no punches on their newest acid journey to the senses.

“Nicely, firstly, thanks a lot for having fun with Fauna,” shared guitarist Richard Henshall in a sitdown with Steel Injection. “We have been caught on this bubble for the final couple of years while writing and recording it, and it is typically laborious to even have the ability to gauge whether or not it is any good anymore by the tip of the entire course of. So it has been nice listening to suggestions from fellow music lovers and it is all the time very promising when individuals are into what you’ve got been doing.”

The return of Jones, who collaborated with Haken in what Henshall affectionately refers to because the demo years, comes as a welcome shot of enthusiasm and creativity to a collective already bursting with the stuff.

“Yeah, it is actually nice working with Pete once more. He was within the band means again through the demo years, so 2007, 2008 and a bit of bit earlier than that, simply type of crafting concepts collectively to report the demos. So we have recognized one another for a very long time now, 15 years or so. He went off to review theoretical physics for a bunch of years, so he is a really intelligent lad, rather a lot cleverer than any of us [laughs]. For a begin, that type of added a complete new dimension to the band dynamic,” Henshall shared of Jones, who he additional collaborated with by the Nova Collective.

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“Through the years he is matured as an individual clearly, but in addition his musical tastes have broadened. His enjoying is clearly very proficient, however by way of his tastes, he is actually expanded into type of jazz influences and there is a very robust digital sound to his enjoying, which has actually added a sure sound to this album, and I hope he’ll keep it up on future albums as effectively.”

Whereas stopping in need of calling Fauna an idea album, the tracks are tethered along with a nod to the animal kingdom, with metaphorical strands connecting the Brits to their spirit animal of selection, if you’ll.

“I really feel like perhaps midway by the method of writing the tunes, we got here up with this concept of basing them on the animal kingdom, and we use totally different animals or totally different species as metaphors usually for, , issues which are happening within the human world or private experiences as effectively. And it actually proved to be fairly efficient as a result of the animal kingdom is such an imposing and eclectic factor.

“It actually mirrored the music on the album as a result of it is in all places and there is numerous totally different colours and moods happening which is similar to the animal kingdom.” Henshall explains, including that the writing course of, for him personally not less than, took a way more close-to-home flip following the lack of his father.

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“However yeah, we use the animals as metaphors and there is a complete bunch of various concepts throughout the album, even private experiences. For instance, my father handed away through the strategy of writing a tune. It was very difficult to take care of as a result of he’d been such a supportive determine for me as a musician. However not solely that, he was very supportive of the band.

He was nearly just like the seventh member of the band through the early years of Haken. He would ship out demos that we might made to all corners of the world without spending a dime and ship pictures of the band. He wrote a bit of bio as effectively that he’d ship to everybody and he would by no means cost individuals, he’d simply do it without spending a dime.

“Like a real, true prog fan, he had a giant lengthy checklist of all of the Haken reveals that he’d been to and he’d seen us like over 100 instances. He was actually devoted to the trigger and he by no means as soon as wished to be on the visitor checklist. He’d all the time pay for the tickets as a result of he wished to help what we had been doing. And he knew that ticket gross sales meant that we might keep it up doing what we’re doing. So yeah, very, very unhappy when he handed away. So I made a decision to jot down this tune (‘Eyes of Ebony’) about him and I used the metaphor of the plight of the ultimate male white rhino to type of inform that story.”

From the riff-heavy opener “Taurus” to the eclectic mashup “The Alphabet of Me” and the cathartic nearer “Eyes of Ebony”, Fauna is Haken at maybe its most dynamic and ferociously courageous. For Henshall himself, the inventive course of was therapeutic in a time the place clouds of grief hovered woefully near dwelling.

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“It was very therapeutic, and it was a tough time. I’ve by no means handled grief on that stage earlier than. Simply the concept one thing’s there and that it, it is gone the subsequent day and you’ll by no means fairly get that again. In order that was laborious to take care of and I felt writing the tune was positively therapeutic and it healed me for certain,” Henshall admits candidly of Fauna, which he compares in scope and ambition to 2013’s The Mountain. 

“Yeah, the album for me could be very particular, like I think about Fauna can be in ten years time,” Henshall shares of the tenth anniversary of The Mountain. “It was a pivotal second for us. We might simply signed to Inside Out data, so we had plenty of consideration. And I keep in mind we put out ‘Cockroach King,’ and we did a unusual video with it, which actually caught plenty of consideration. And even the likes of Jordan Rudess and Mike Portnoy heard of us at that time. And we’re like, ‘Whoa!’ I keep in mind even seeing a video of Rudess enjoying by a bunch of themes from The Mountain. It simply blew my thoughts. Abruptly we had been thrown into the eye of a few of our heroes, so it was an actual turning level for the band, and it actually began a ball rolling, to be trustworthy.

“I like to think about Fauna nearly like a religious accomplice to that album by way of the way in which we approached it. It was a really type of nearly, I would not say free, nevertheless it was very liberal and we did not actually have a lot of a filter when it got here to writing. We had been similar to something goes, ? It could possibly be as wacky and zany as you want, something goes. And that basically resulted in it being very various and diverse. And I prefer to suppose Mountain has that related vibe and feeling if you hearken to it.”

Catch Haken on tour all through Europe with Between The Buried And Me and Cryptodira earlier than hitting North America on a run of headline dates with particular visitors Arch Echo! Fauna is available worldwide March 3.

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2/21 – Hamburg, GER – Gruenspan
2/22 – Leipzig, GER – Werk 2
2/23 – Berlin, GER – Heimathafen
2/24 – Warsaw, POL – Proxima
2/25 – Prague, CZE – Palac Akropolis
2/26 – Vienna, AUT – Simm Metropolis
2/28 – Budapest, HUN – Durer Kert
3/1 – Munich, GER – Freiheitshalle
3/2 – Karlsruhe, GER – Stadtmitte
3/3 – Aarau, SWI – Kiff Saal
3/4 – Roncade-Treviso, ITA – New AGE
3/5 – Milan, ITA – Alcatraz
3/6 – Lyon, FRA – Ninkasi Kao
3/8 – Barcelona, SPA – Razzmatazz 2
3/9 – Madrid, SPA – Mon
3/10 – Murcia, SPA – Garaje
3/11 Seville, SPA – Customized
3/12 Lisbon, POR – Lisboa ao Vivo
3/13 Porto, POR – Exhausting Membership
3/15 Toulouse, FRA – Connexion Reside
3/16 Nantes, FRA – Ferrailleur
3/17 Paris, FRA – Alhambra
3/19 Esch-sur-Alzette, LUX – Rockhal
3/20 Cologne, GER – Burgerhaus Stollwerck
3/21 Antwerp, BEL – Trix Membership
3/22 Tilburg, NET – 013
3/23 Bristol, UK – SWX
3/24 Manchester, UK – Academy 2
3/25 Glasgow, UK – Storage
3/26 London, UK – Shepherds Bush Empire

North American Tour:

5/3 – Nashville – TBA [Tickets]
5/4 – Cleveland – Home of Blues [Tickets]
5/5 – Toronto – Opera Home [Tickets]
5/6 – Montreal – Corona Theater [Tickets]
5/7 – Quebec Metropolis – Imperial Bell [Tickets]
5/9 – Boston – Paradise [Tickets]
5/10 – Philadelphia – TLA [Tickets]
5/11 – NYC – Le Poisson Rouge [Tickets]
5/12 – DC – The Black Cat [Tickets]
5/13 – Charlotte – Underground [Tickets]
5/14 – Fort Lauderdale – Tradition Room [Tickets]
5/15 – Orlando – The Beacham [Tickets]
5/17 – Atlanta – Terminal West [Tickets]
5/19 – Dallas – Granada Theater [Tickets]
5/20 – Austin – Come and Take it Reside [Tickets]
5/21 – El Paso – Lowbrow Palace [Tickets]
5/22 – Phoenix – The Nile [Tickets]
5/23 – San Diego – Brick by Brick [Tickets]
5/24 – LA – Regent Theater [Tickets]
5/25 – San Francisco – August Corridor [Tickets]
5/26 – Portland – Hawthorne Theater [Tickets]
5/27 – Seattle – Neptune Theater [Tickets]
5/28 – Vancouver – Rickshaw Theater [Tickets]
5/30 – SLC – Commonwealth Room [Tickets]
5/31 – Denver – Gothic Theater [Tickets]
6/1 – Lawrence – Granada Theater [Tickets]
6/2 – Minneapolis – High-quality Line [Tickets]
6/3 – Chicago – Harmony Music Corridor [Tickets]