HAAZE: Setting Milestones

HAAZE

Haaze is a sludge/doom metal trio from Red Deer, Alberta in Canada. The band has recently released a new single “Swamp Mama” taken from the upcoming album of the same name, out in January 2019. Singer/guitarist Mitchell Soloway spoke for Prog Sphere about the upcoming release, creative process, influences, and more.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your upcoming album “Swamp Mama” and the themes it captures.

Each time we start working on new material we kind of set a milestone for ourselves, say for instances if the last song or two we worked on was a certain way we almost try to top that or divert away from what we have previously done all while staying heavy and full of rhythm. The types of things I convey in the lyrics is all based on where I was at in that moment mentally, I find that I have a way easier time writing lyrics if I take what I am currently feeling and try to form that into something instead of forcing out non organic content. For example the song ” 35 Indians” is a throwback to an inside joke with one of my best friends that only he would understand, the reason I named the song that was one night while I was working out lyrics for the tune and I had been texting with him which doesn’t happen often cause we live so far apart now and we are both pretty busy guys. I had realized how much I had missed all the time we used to spend just sitting around talking about music or playing the most horrifying video games out there in complete darkness while totally stoned out of our teenage minds.

What is the message you are trying to give with “Swamp Mama”?

Lyrically there is no message, they simply are just my feelings at the time of creation for each song. Musically however we feel very obligated to stray from the typical path of just a “metal band” or ” stoner rock band” , even though we play very heavy we try to write songs in a way where there is feeling almost like its a story being told each time a different song is being played.

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

Good ol’ cellphone technology! If any one of us has an idea usually we will quickly record it and send it to the other guys from our phone, we are pretty basic and none of us are smart enough to record ourselves properly. Usually we will start with something and it will mutate several times before it hits it finishing point. I have probably 20 versions of certain riffs on my phone where I “liked it” but wasn’t “in love” so I’d make note of it and listen back to it literally hundreds of times and just fiddle around with how I played a section. I must drive my wife totally nuts cause we will be mid conversation and I will just pull out my phone to listen back to a riff even if it means cutting her off, I don’t mean too it but when you got that feelings you just got it! Usually ends up with her being like ” Are you fucking serious right now?” Hahaha.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

Yes and no, we don’t write anything deliberately to be a certain way. It’s more like if the song forms that way then we just roll with the punches, you can feel when a song calls for a type of feeling.

HAAZE - Swamp Mama

Describe the approach to recording the album.

For this album and our previous EP we would record live off the floor, then add bass and vocals in after. We take a lot of pride in being able to replicate our sound 100% on stage. Also by some sort of miracle we met Ranjit Ranawaya who recorded and mastered the album, within the first hour of working with him I knew he was very particular and would not accept anything sub par which we are very grateful for, if I ask him ” does this riff suck or does this sound weird” he won’t sugar coat it by any means, this album is just as much his as it is ours.

How long “Swamp Mama” was in the making?

Probably nine months, Ranjit had approached us in Oct 2017 with the offer to do some free recording with him so he could test the waters with recording a live band from his studio. We had literally just recorded and released our EP so we had ZERO material in the bank, this lit a fire under our ass to get some decent stuff going because if your getting offered free studio time you better make the most out of it. At the end of the first session we had finished “Stereotypically Doomed” & ” 35 Indians ” and realized that we really gel’d with Ranjit and we wanted to recorded more, 3 – 4 months later when did another 16hour session and came out with the other 4 songs on the album.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

Any band that we come across that puts soul into their music. We are all huge into a wide array of music, if any of us come across something really banging we send it to one another. All the way from old school country, rock n roll to hip hop and some greasy grindcore. Our time on the way to gigs is usually us picks the best stuff out of our library and showing one another.

What is your view on technology in music?

Its awesome, its a double edged sword though. It makes music easier to access and to create but it makes finding really good stuff that much more difficult, but I love spending a evening just listening to all sorts of weird shit on the internet.

Haaze live

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yea 100%, I walked away from a job where I was making 110k a year because I was treated like shit and felt like a hollow version of myself just investing energy and mental space into this environment that paid me nothing back. Now I didn’t leave that job to pursue music fully cause any musician would tell you that you’re a dumbass unless you got a world wide tour lined up but I did leave knowing that I have more purpose in life than being in a constant state of stress and I hope someday my daughter sees that I pursued my dreams all while still getting shit done as a responsible father and husband and she uses that as fuel in her future, I would say the same for anyone reading this or any fan of ours. We only have a limited time on this Earth, take the dive and enjoy the feelings of being uncomfortable and not always knowing, those experiences are what makes life worth living.

What are your plans for the future?

A couple small North American tours in 2019, maybe Europe late 2019. Already working on the next records.

Pre order “Swamp Mama” here. Follow HAAZE on Facebook and Instagram.

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