We started playing together in '98. Me and the drummer. We found a singer through a personal ad kind of thing when we were recording up in New York. We did a couple of demos. We just finished doing our record last year so we're in the middle of shopping it. That's the short and sweet of it.
You haven't found a label yet?
No, Michael's actually working on it right now. There's a showcase coming up and a couple of labels are interested. Actually what we want to do is, we want a short term deal. We'll see what happens.
You won't be stuck in a contract you may want to bail out of later.
Exactly. Too many horror stories. We try to stay away from them.
I hear a lot about that. Tell me a little about the record.
We recorded it last May with Tim Gilles. He's got a studio in Jersey called Big Blue Meenie. He's worked with Hades, S.O.D. He did a lot of the new hard-core bands. He did that with us and kicked our asses for seven weeks. Did preproduction and stuff like that. Had the band really playing well. We wrote most of it in the course of two months. Put everything together and just got it going and we did it.
When you were writing that album you lost your father.
Yeah, the music just fired up and that was it. As soon as I came home from burying him I wrote the whole record in about two months. That was it. I just trapped myself. Didn't do anything but play guitar. Wrote the whole record and started doing guitars, drums, bass, everything. The singer sat down, arranged the songs, put his vocals on it. That was it.
Do you write most of the material?
Yeah, the music. I do just about all the music and the singer does 99 percent of the lyrics.
Was this therapeutic for you?
I guess so. If you want to call it that, sure.
You got all your aggressions out.
Yeah, there's still more to come. We're starting to work on the second record now. It's way, way heavier than this one.
Is a lot of your material based on personal experiences?
The songs? Yeah, just about every one. Our singer had a drug problem for a long time. He's a little older than the rest of us. He's actually 40 now. He actually had two heart attacks from drug addiction. From hitting coke and stuff like that. A lot of the songs, if you listen to the lyrics, a lot of that is about losing things over his period of his life. He's a pretty neat guy if you talk to him. Pretty tormented. It's hard for him.
A very tormented soul...but that's what rock and roll is all about. He was inspired a lot by Rob Halford.
Yeah, he's a huge Rob Halford fan. I told him as soon as he becomes gay, that's it. He's gone. LOL.
Has he ever met Rob?
No, actually we're going to try to work on that because the guys from Immortal know him. They're like "well you've got to come to Europe and we'll get you to meet him when he comes there." They know him. They see him all the time. I guess we'll go to Europe and meet him.
How did you guys hook up?
I was in a band called Axiom back from '92. I was young when I did it. '92 to '96 I was doing that and we did a whole bunch of tours. I toured with Testament and we did some opening slots for Overkill and King Diamond. I set my foundation in doing it. I took two years off. I was just burnt. I just needed time off and just a bad record deal. It just kept getting worse and worse as it was going through. I said fuck this, I don't want to play guitar ever again. I put it down and didn't touch it for two years. Then I saw Ovie, our drummer, and he was in a band called Malicious Onslaught. They were signed to I think Osmose Records. Same thing with him. Real bad record deal and it just kept getting worse and worse as they went. They were trying to get me to play guitar for them. I wasn't into the style of shit they were doing. It was all that kind of grindcore, death metal. I'm not into that shit so I saw him and I was like I got to get this guy to play. That was it. I wanted to play again as soon I saw him live and I saw him rehearse. I said that's it. I gotta get back playing. I called him at work and said "hey I'm working on new material. Why don't you come down and check it out?" He said "nah I'm pretty dedicated to what I'm doing." I said "just come check it out. Listen to it." He came to my house that night and said "cool, let's go pick up my drums. I'll quit the other band tomorrow." We've been playing together ever since. It's four years ago. Mallek, we found him in a paper. It said crazed vocalist looking for equally crazed band. He showed up with this enormous PA system so I was like fuck it. Who cares if he can't sing. He's got a PA system. Hire him. It worked out pretty good. Bass players. Dave's our second one. He was actually our roadie for two years and the bass player we had just wasn't cutting it. Dave came right in. He was like "dude I can tell ya. I can do it. I can do it." He was like one of my students. I was like we'll see. Sure enough he went from this level to this level with no problem. Jumped up and he's fucking great live. He worked out real good.
You teach music?
Yeah, I got about 20-something students now full time that I teach guitar to. I'm really into that now. I love it.
How did you get into that?
Just playing my whole life. My dad got me started playing when I was six or seven years old. I played all the way up until my two year break. Constantly playing. I'm always learning something new and always looking to learn something. I like teaching kids. As long as they want to learn, I'll teach anybody.
On the album, This Violent Earth, are there some tracks on it that you like the most?
I like "Years Of Abhorrence" and "Vindication". Probably "Years Of Abhorrence" is about the whole metal scene if you're familiar with how it is up in New York where it used to be one big unity of metalheads. It didn't matter if you listened to Metallica or Slayer or Overkill or Obituary or anybody like that. It didn't matter. You were all metalheads. Now it's segregated where you've got kids who just into hard-core or just grindcore. It's a big fuck you to them because they all say how metal they are. If they had any clue they wouldn't segregate themselves like that and the scene would be so much stronger.
Every once in a while when I'm online, I go into a room called Metal Chat. It's interesting watching these people tell one another "oh you're not metal." "Oh yes I am. You're not metal." How old are these people? 12?
They're all a bunch of fucking idiots. Exactly. They segregate themselves so much that they kill the whole scene for everybody. The song's just a fuck you to all the fake little faggots that have no clue about what they're talking about. "Vindication", I had that riff going through. At my dad's funeral I heard the chorus, I came home, wrote all the lyrics. Mallek had just done his high school reunion. He was kind of the nerd in high school. Kind of the stand out kid. Now he's a monstrous big fucking gorilla guy. He got picked on a lot in school. He went back for his high school reunion and here we getting press in magazines and papers. I guess people had seen it and all of sudden he was the popular kid. I kind of wrote the music and steered right into it. You know, losing something and all of a sudden you just gain this thing at the end.
Why do people get the impression that the band is hateful and demonic?
As soon as you hear the name HavocHate, they see these two words put together right away. "There's something just fucked up with them. They're just angry." We're ballbreakers. We really are. I'm the biggest ballbreaker you'll ever meet. I just throw digs at people. I'm just joking around. Sometimes people take it as "wow this guy's kind of fucked up." But I'm not. I'm just playing around. I'm just a goofball and I'm always looking to goof around with somebody. Always doing something for a laugh.
So they basically look at that name and it freaks them out. Actually when I saw it, I didn't see it in that light.
The name actually came from the word advocate. That was it. There were too many tequilas and Coronas. It was just from the word advocate.
Inspired by a New Jersey Devils poster and The Devil's Advocate.
Why are some people troubled by the song "When God Dies"?
Mallek had a problem with some guy about that actually. Giving him a hard time. It's just about when people work six days a week and then they go to church on that Sunday and give all their money to the church. As soon as one thing goes bad they're like "what happened? Where are you?" When you need him the most, he never seems to be there. Your father just dies or you crash your car. "How come you weren't watching out for me that time? I gave you all my money. I went to church all the time. I did whatever you needed me to do and you fucked me in the end." That's pretty much what that ones about.
Tell me about the gear you use and why you like that gear in particular.
I'm the first metal guy to ever sign a Bogner endorsement. Bogner Amplification. They're a small company out of California. They endorse Aerosmith, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and now me. It's pretty cool. I was really excited about that. Now I'm using Bogner Amps exclusively. I pick them up Tuesday when we get to L. A. They built me four full stacks and two heads. It's cool. I'm excited. I still use Jackson Guitars. Swear by them. I don't think I'll ever use anything else unless somebody gives me a better deal. Nah, I like their guitars a lot. The Bogners are God. Nothing sounds anything even remotely close to them. Unbelievable. All hand wired. This guy builds 200 a year or 100 a year. Something like that. If you're a normal kid going off the street to buy it, they're $4000 for one guitar head. Just the head. When Michael called me up, he said "what do you think of Bogner Amps?" I was like "dude they're amazing. What do you mean what do I think of them?" He said "would you be interested in an endorsement deal?" I said "yeah, right." I thought he was joking. I was like "they're not going to pick me up." He said "dude the guy loves you. He wants to hook you up right away." I said "you're serious?" He said "sure." I flipped. I was like "yeah all right!" I was running around the house screaming "fucking A!" Here I was going after companies like Mesa Boogie that everybody's got or a company like VHT. There are not too many people who got that but it's easy to get. He calls me up and says Bogner. Wow! That's pretty cool.
How does getting endorsements work?
I don't really know what they do. They give me gear and I use it, pretty much.
They just give it to you? You don't have to pay for it?
No, I think we get what they call artist rates. Most companies don't give anything away unless you're Metallica or KISS. Then you get your gear for free. Being on our level or even a Manowar level, you pay what it costs them to make it plus maybe 20 or 50 bucks. To even get that endorsement, this guy doesn't do anything for anybody. Nobody. I know people that have went after Bogner for years and never got them. Here I am. No record deal and a Bogner endorsement.
I can tell you're excited.
We got some shit coming up too. We're going to remix our record with Neil Kernon. He did the first two Nevermore records. He did the Cannibal Corpse record. He's awesome. Love his work and we called up Mike. I was like "dude, you know I don't like the mix on the record. If we're going to get it signed, before we get it signed, can we remix it?" He said "yeah, if you want to try to do it, we'll do it." I said "can you get Neil Kernon?" He said "wow. I don't know if I can get Neil Kernon." Sure enough, he dug the record and he said "yeah, we'll definitely do it." I think we're going to do that the first week of June. Spend two weeks in Texas.
We took a break for soundcheck and then I was surounded by all the HavocHate boys.
Well since I've got the rest of you guys with me, tell me how you got into music.
Mallek: That's a pretty easy question for me. I came from a musical family. My sister was doing a lot of Broadway stuff. My brother was a drummer. He had a band. My father was a great singer. Never did anything with it. Just sang at weddings and my mother sat and watched. She has no talent whatsoever. She gave birth to us. I guess that was her talent. So I got in really early listening to old Beatle records that my sister had because she's a lot older than I am obviously. My brother brought home Black Sabbath. First one. I was really, really little. Probably like five years old and I heard that. Ever since then, it took off from there as far as the heavy side. That's how I got into it. I was a drummer since I first picked up the sticks at 18 months old. My mother recorded that in my baby book. I played for about over 20 years and I just got into singing before I met these guys. It was something I always wanted to do and I never really had the nerve because drumming was a place for me to hide because I was shy so that was my thing. I'm not quite as shy anymore.
Tell us where some of your song lyrics come from.
Mallek: All of it I guess originated early on being a shy kid and never feeling part of anything in particular. Trying to break out of that shell. Gone through a lot of hard things with either drug abuse or parents dying because my parents are deceased. Just numerous things that propelled me to a life of misery for many years. I kind of gave up music because I was too busy trying to kill myself. Then I got my act together about five years ago. I said enough's enough. My girlfriend at the time said goodbye. The day she walked out is the day I stopped doing everything. That was five years ago. That gave me really the strength to pursue what I wanted to do which was this. I got my self-confidence up and I put the ad in the paper. The rest is history as they say.
You showed up with the PA system.
Mallek: I showed up with the PA system which doesn't hurt. I didn't look anything like these guys so they were a little skeptical.
Tell me a little about you.
Ludwig: I started playing guitar in the fifth grade. My brother really got me into it. He played bass in a band. Then in sixth grade my mom actually made me join orchestra in school. I played guitar already. Bass is kind of cool so I played bass in orchestra. I just did that through middle school and high school. I played in all kinds of orchestras. Played Carnagie Hall. I did everything musically you can do in school. A marching band. I played Yankee stadium with the marching band. I was in chorus. I was in a jazz band. Pretty much anything.
Ordine: A band fag.
Ludwig: Yeah. I went to college after high school. I had the rock attitude. I was miserable. I got into a little drinking problem so that was enough of that. I met these guys and I knew them for a while. I did some bass roadie for them and they needed a bass player so I was like "I can do it."
Ordine: We were like "no you can't." You showed us that you could.
You proved yourself. Any other comments or ideas?
Mallek: We love you and write nice things about us.