We speak to English alternative rock band Deaf Havana before their first-ever concert in Singapore.
Fans of Deaf Havana in Singapore can finally get to catch the band up close in person, as they are set to perform a concert here for the first time ever.
Since their formation back in 2005, the band has released multiple EPs and albums, the latest being 2018’s Rituals, which marked a pivot in the band’s sound, and even creative process (as the band puts it, the album is “the result of throwing out the ‘Deaf Havana rulebook”). While the album may sound more joyous and upbeat, it deals with familiar themes of struggle and redemption.
Come August 30, Deaf Havana will perform songs both old and new at concert venue Decline. Fans can expect numbers from their earlier works, including 2011’s Fools and Worthless Liars and 2017’s All These Countless Nights, which featured hit song ‘Trigger’.
ZYRUP speaks to the band ahead of their debut concert in Singapore.
ZYRUP: Thanks for speaking with us. This is going to be your first time in Singapore. Why did you guys decide to bring your music to this part of the world?
Deaf Havana: We always want to be able to take our music to different parts of the world and reach as many people as possible and coming to Asia has been something we’ve wanted to do for some time. We can’t wait!
Aside from the show, what else do you have planned while you’re in town? What’s on your bucket list?
Anything really! We just really want to explore and experience the difference in culture. It’s the most amazing thing that we get to do as a band really. And eat! We can’t wait to experience the food.
It’s been more than a decade since you guys have started making music. Not a lot of bands can say that they’ve lasted this long – how did you guys make it work?
By just believing in what we do. It isn’t always easy but we love the music that we make and it’s so important to us. We are also very good friends which definitely helps when on long tours!
You’ve got a big repertoire of songs now. Is there a particular one that is your favourite to perform live? Why so?
We have got a lot of songs to choose from but I’d have to say that my favourite to play live is a song called ‘Cassiopeia’. It’s just always loads of fun to play and tends to get us and the crowd going.
Now that you guys have so many songs to choose from, is it difficult to put together the setlist of a concert? What is that process like for you guys?
It can be difficult because there are certain songs we want to play and then there are some which don’t necessarily translate that well live so there’s a lot to think about. We tend to try and create a setlist that really takes you somewhere, so we can have some lulls and slower songs to go with the heavier more rock sounding songs. It can be difficult to choose a setlist but as a result of having so many songs, it can allow us to craft something really interesting and exciting for audiences.
Let’s chat a little about your latest album, Rituals. Tell us a little more about the album. How would you introduce it to someone?
We would introduce it to someone as an album full of big emotional pop songs.
Rituals marked a shift in Deaf Havana’s sound. Were you guys nervous to step out of your comfort zone?
Yes, we were very nervous really. We didn’t intend the album to sound a particular way, the songs we were writing just seemed to have a more poppy flavour and so we carried on in that vein of songwriting and we really didn’t know whether anyone would take to it or just think it sounded too different from what they were used to so yes it was a very nervous time for us!
How did your fans react to the album? Were there any memorable responses?
Our fans were much more positive than we thought really! We were expecting a lot of people to hate the album but we’re lucky enough to have fans that really understood what we were trying to do! I can’t really remember that many memorable responses but we did definitely have a couple of people telling us that they would never listen to us again…
Tease us a little about your show in Singapore – what can we expect?
We will be bringing a good time! It’s going to be a lot of fun and we cannot wait to come and play for you and to explore Singapore!