There aren’t many bands in Winnipeg doing the ’90s music thing, but if you’re looking for quality alternative rock, then look no further.
Haunter is one of this city’s hidden gems in the sense that they’ve been around for about five years now, but have not yet really been properly announced in the local or national music scene.
Enter Rivers & Rust, the band’s debut LP, to be released July 9 on Disintegration Records. This album truly embodies the aesthetic of the band, comprised of mid-tempo numbers that flip-flop between melodic verses and fuzzed out choruses.
BeatRoute was able to chat with Haunter’s lead vocalist, Matt Williams, about the new album, future touring plans and Internet pop sensation Rebecca Black.
BeatRoute: After five years of being a band, you have finally released a long awaited LP. How do you think it turned out?
Matt Williams: I think it turned out exactly the way we wanted it to. It’s a very separate, very different monster than our live shows, without sacrificing any of the energy and immediacy. It’s also a lot more nuanced than what people might be used to hearing from us live. A lot of time and energy went into making it [ . . . ] and I think it was all worth it.
BR: What differences and similarities do you see between your past releases and your new album?
MW: I looked back on our past releases a little while ago and there is a very obvious evolution from each one to the next. Our self-titled EP doesn’t sound like the 7-inch, the 7-inch doesn’t sound like Rivers & Rust. The production quality is an obvious change, but the songs on Rivers & Rust have also had a lot more time spent on them, musically and lyrically.
BR: From the band’s statement on your website, this album has been a long time in the making. Why such a long process?
MW: It really was mostly because life got in the way. When it came down to us actually being able to get it done, time was a factor, because Ryan [Coates, drums] and I were both in school full-time and everyone else [was] busy with work, as well. I also wanted to put the album together in a very specific way once there was a concept thematically and that came together very slowly. Money was a problem, too, since none of us really have any. And to have all the other pieces fall into place like the special guests on the album took time too.
BR: How was the process of working with Cam Loeppky?
MW: Quick and painless, mostly. Cam knows us and what kind of sound we like very well, so it wasn’t much of a drawn-out process or anything [ . . . ] There’s an obvious trust with someone who not only has a track record like his, but is also a friend. He also made me do nearly an hour of vocal takes per song, which I assumed was some sort of sick test, but worked in the end.
BR: How do you plan to promote the album? A world tour perhaps? Or some sort of a viral video à la Rebecca Black?
MW: We’re going to do an internationally-televised concert at the new stadium in Winnipeg, sponsored by Virgin Mobile and Volkswagen, and Rebecca Black is joining us via hologram to flesh some of the songs out, but that’s probably not for a month or so. After that, we’re going to hit Saskatchewan and Alberta in late August, and maybe scour each city in hopes of finding the greatest pizza in the Prairies.
BR: Tell me a bit about the album release and what’s in store for the smart people who attend.
MW: We’re going to play very loud and for a little longer than usual. We might even be playing up to four new songs that we’re all really excited about. We might even cover a KISS song.
Haunter are set to release their latest LP, Rivers & Rust, on July 9 via Disintegration Records.
By Jenna DiubaldoManitoba, MB, Winnipeg