HvH in 09. Photo courtesy of the HvH official Myspace House vs Hurricane (HvH) has caused quite a stir in the Australian hardcore scene. This young 6-piece group from Melbourne has brought hardcore, electronic and trance elements together to create a mix that has rocked venues across the country. Next up is the US, as HvH prepare to fly over to record their debut album with US producer Brian McTernan, known for working with groups such as Circa Survive, Darkest Hour and Thrice. HvH’s first EP, Forfeiture, sold over 3000 copies, distributed by Australian label El Shaddai. HvH are currently in negotiations with several labels, including US labels, and when the LP drops, more than just the Australian heavy music scene is going to take notice.
Official video for the song Forfeiture, from their debut EP of the same name.
I caught up with vocalist Chris Dicker and drummer Sam Osborne before one of their band practices and asked them a few questions about HvH and the upcoming record. – How did you get Brian McTernan to produce your record, did you contact him yourselves? Chris: Yeah, before we’d even spoken to labels or anything, we sent him a message over Myspace. We found his studio on Myspace, then sent him an email saying we planned to record an album around this time of the year, and if he was available and how much it cost. He hit us back and said he was interested, said he was into the tunes. Basically just let us know he was interested, so we did it. – Why did you choose Brian, was it because of his work with Circa Survive? Chris: Circa’s like my favourite band ever. The way I personally saw it, he’s done a whole different mix of stuff. He’s just did Darkest Hour’s new record; he likes the heavy side of stuff. He’s done Circa Survive, which is the whole weird guitar effect kind of vibe. He’s done a couple of different keyboard bands, you know that Sky Eats Airplane band? They have big midi keyboard influences. He did that really well. Just his ability to mix all of those styles and mix them well. There are aspects of that in our band. If he can do each individual band then he can probably do the whole lot. – Does the album have a title yet? How many tracks? Chris: *pauses, looks at Sam* Doesn’t have a title yet. Sam: Working title… Chris: Maybe about 12 tracks. – Are they all written at the moment? Chris: We’ve got a whole bunch of songs written, but we’re still deciding on which songs to use, and chopping different parts up and putting them together. I think we’ve got 8. We can play eight. Sam: Yeah, eight songs Chris: And can play half of two more. We’re still very much in the learning process, and there’s only five weeks to go, so we better get a move on. Sam (L) and Chris (R) at our interview. – Are you planning to work with Brian to write songs together, or do you aim to have them all done? Chris: That’s the thing with a producer. Personally I’d rather just go and have the songs finished. But he’s such an established dude, and has worked on so many good records, that I think are good anyway. I’m sure he’d have some pretty cool ideas. I’m sure he’s chopped up many different bands recordings. So any ideas he has we’ll take into consideration, it’s just whether or not it suits with what we are trying to do. – How do you think the line-up changes have affected the band? Chris: I think it’s totally different. Dynamically, it’s different; it’s changed the dynamics. We don’t fuck around as much, we’re a bit older than we were around the time of the EP. It’s just freedom now man, to write how we want to. We’re all stoked. – Why did you choose to fly over to the US to record your debut? What are the advantages over recording in Aus? Chris: The way that we discussed it is that we think the production of the EP was pretty up there, we were pretty happy with how that sounds. We wanted to make sure that the debut was a step upwards production-wise. Obviously the ability to work with someone like Brian, who has worked on some of my favourite records is a privilege, something that you totally want to take advantage of, being possible. So when he said “Yeah I’m keen to do it”, we were like “Alright, fuck it, let’s do it.. lets go over.” It opens doors, you get to meet people, just from recording with someone who works in the US, an established producer. – Have you finalised the label for distribution of the LP? Chris: *laughs, looks at Sam* Sam: *nods head saying no* Chris: We’ve settled on two labels, but legally I don’t think we can discuss that, we are in a bind with our previous label so we can’t really talk about that. Come back on the first of November *laughs*. – Are you looking at Australian or overseas labels? Sam: Yeah, I think we can talk about that. Chris: Distribution here, a label here for distribution, and a label overseas as an actual label for the band. – I understand Chris2 (guitar) wrote Forfeiture, now Joey (keyboards) has started to write tracks for the LP, how is his style different? Chris: With the EP, Chris came to the band with the songs on the EP, 90% of what he wrote is on the EP, we still mucked around with structure and we all had our own little input writing the EP. When it comes to the album, Joey has probably written just over half of it, and Chris has written the rest of it. We definitely played around more in the band room, with stuff like structure, just trying to create the right vibe, get it sounding the way we want it to. It definitely had a different impact, writing differently. It’s all worked very well. And what was behind Joey starting to write tracks for the LP? Chris: That goes back. Myself, Joey, Chris and Ryan played in a band before HvH (Beyond Mine). We wrote a bunch of stuff and the direction started changing, so we dumped that name and got a new name and started writing everything else. Once we had done that Chris had already written five of the EP songs, we wanted to release something, record and play shows. Joey was writing that whole time. In Beyond Mine, Joey wrote some of the songs for that band as well. Sam and Chris feed the need for nicotine. – House has completed several national tours. Which band has been your favourite to share the stage and tour with? Chris: Mary Jane Kelly. I guess they are now an aggressive hardcore punk band. They’re just the best dudes though, we have the wildest times. I love that band *laughs*. Bullet for my Valentine we didn’t even see when we toured with them. We never even saw the dudes once, they were just backstage before the set. Sam: Naz Vow (Nazarite Vow) Chris: Naz vow was fun as well, they are a band from Adelaide. Sam: Good stage energy. Chris: They put on a good show for sure, that was a good tour – What was is like touring with (now defunct melodic hardcore band) Rex Banner? Chris: That was a ball. We’re still really good friends with one of their guitarists, Kelly. That band was heaps of fun. That tour was actually really good. We played with another band called A Secret Death, they broke up as well. Really fun tour. Actually every band, bar Bullet for my Valentine has been a bunch of sweet dudes. They were just rockstars, we never saw them *Sam and Chris laugh*. – House has management and books through Destroy All Lines now. What are the advantages of having agents do booking for you? Do you think using agents is necessary to organize the types of tours you do now? Chris: I don’t think it’s necessary, but it makes it a lot easier. Because obviously Cam, at Destroy All Lines books for us. He knows all the promoters, all the people who work at the venues, he deals with them regularly. If we want to play any specific venues we’ll be like “yo dude we’d like to play this venue” and he knows them straight away. He can hit them up the same day. It’s not essential but it makes life a lot easier when you don’t have to do everything yourself. Sam: It’s even easier because he’s a really good dude and helps us out heaps. Chris: He’s like a seventh member of our band, he’s just the best dude. He’s being working with us since day one. He books 50 people venues to the 800 people venues. It’s just been a pleasure full stop. Our management is US management, Destroy All Lines don’t actually manage us. We’re managed by Jerry Club, he lives in Los Angeles. He helped us get a foot in the door and start talking to US labels. He manages a band called Suicide Silence and a couple of other death metal bands like All Shall Perish. So he, again, same kind of deal he knows all the people we want to talk to. If we to talk to a specific label, he’s probably already has spoken to them previously. It makes it a whole lot easier to get going in terms of starting a conversation. – The trance and electronic elements in House has definitely made a lot of people notice the band. Is that side of the music going to be expanded on for the LP, or are you moving in a different direction? Sam: It’s still there. Chris: It’s definitely still there. I guess everything on the EP has just been expanded. The heavier parts are heavier, the poppy parts are poppier, the dancier bits are more dancy. I guess, it’s different… it is different, but I think it’s a natural progression, nothing dramatic I don’t think. – Having done several tours now, how has the crowd reaction changed? Are you getting a lot better response than the early tours? Chris: For sure, 100%. The recent shows.. we just played Perth for the first time, we’ve never been there before. Two of the three shows were sold out in ten minutes, the kids just knew all the words in all the sing-along parts. They sung along really loud, it’s amazing really, I’m still get taken aback by it, because I still remember the days when were playing to 25 people at Noise Bar in Brunswick. Now we play venues like Manning Bar, which we did on our Perth headline tour, there was like 750 people there, and everyone knew the words, and kids were going apeshit. It’s just amazing really. I still can’t get over it.
More info on their Myspace page: www.myspace.com/housevshurricane