Monday, 9 June 2014

We're Only Here For The Banter - Hagana

With their debut album 'One Year' having dropped back in March this year, Hagana, a trio from Edinburgh, have been eagerly lapped up some attention from further afield. I caught up with Gary and Fox from the band a while ago for a chat.

Hello, how are you?

Very well thank you.

It's the question everyone hates, but could you tell us a little bit about your music and your influences?

We think we sound a bit power-rock-pop, but have been described as having elements of Foo Fighters, Weezer and Sugar, which we think is fair enough.  But we are particularly susceptible to a lot of other stuff, including, but not confined to, bands such as Cardiacs, Rush, XTC, '80's cheese, power ballads, European novelty records from 1968-1992, semi obscure prog rock, late '70's/'80's video nasties, the work of Bert Kwouk and football.

What's your song-writing / creative process like?

I (Fox) come up with initial ideas usually just written at home.  Me and the guitar in a small room with a cup of tea.  Usually starting off with a chord progression noodle and work out a melody around that.  Record it and then bring the ideas to the guys and into the rehearsal rooms.  See if it works or not.  See if it grows.  If it sticks with all three then we take it from there.  Quite simple really.

Debut album One Year was released on 3rd March.  How was the process of getting your dĂ©but album ready for release?

As we have done it all ourselves, recording and producing at Dave’s studio, it’s was long process from the start to the point of release.  Mainly due to real life getting in the way.  A lot of good and bad stuff happened to all of us during the making of One Year and that’s what makes this mean more to us.  We wanted to be able to take our time and get the album to sound the way we wanted it to sound.  Big, lively, heavy in places and full of tracks we are proud of.  An album that sounds how we are live.  We have evolved into a much heavier, tighter band since the last recording.  With Gary joining on bass we wanted to put together a full collection of songs that represent the sound we have and make people take notice.

You've done some overseas touring already (Canada in 2013). Do you think playing away from your own back yard is a beneficial thing for bands early on in their careers?

Aye absolutely.  Just playing anywhere and everywhere you can is good.  It’s given us a bit more of a nudge to go and look at other places to play further away.  It’s all a great learning experience, which you can’t beat.  Playing away is the real test of a band, if you can stand being in each other’s company for more than a day or two without wanting to beat the shit out of each other for some minor annoyance, it’s a start.  Beats a fortnight’s package holiday in Shagaluf or [enter equivalent destination of choice].

What could we expect to see from a live show?

Tight pants, sassy attitudes and Dave’s bitching immediately spring to mind.  We hope that when anyone comes to see us they hear a well rehearsed, tight band with tunes that stick in your head.  A band who are a good laugh, like to communicate with an audience, looking and sounding like they are having a moderate amount of fun on stage whilst playing rock type music very LOUD.  Dave likes to make fun of Gary onstage.  This makes him (Dave) feel better about himself.

What have you got planned for 2014?

Now that the album is out, hopefully playing as many gigs as we can across the UK and beyond.  Festivals in the summer would be very nice as we know our stuff will sound great.  We are open to playing anywhere anyone wants us to.  We would also like to play in Europe as the Canada trip was great.  Couldn’t have met nicer people, and while it was venturing into the unknown for us we are the sort of guys when met with problems or obstacles we all think positively and say to each other, "what would ('90's Irish girl band) B*witched do in this situation?"

What other artists (Scottish or not) would you recommend to the Scottish Fiction readers?

We’ll go for the Scottish ones we have played with.  In no particular order; Birdhead, Vasquez, AFYCW, Fatalists, The SparrowHawk Orkestrel, Fat Goth and Black International.  Sorry if we left anyone out.

Thanks for speaking with us, would you care to share a joke with us?

Thanks for asking us.  OK, here’s the first one we could think of.

What is E.T short for? 
‘Cause he’s got wee legs.

That’s the cerebral level of humour you can expect at our gigs.

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