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Dave Sanchez – Vocals and Guitar for Havok

Date: 7/2/13
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. With the resurgence of thrash metal and several of your peers benefitting from the attention, how does Havok fair among the competition?

DAVE: Its cool that people are interested in playing riffs and fast again, but I think its doing well for us. I don’t really think about how the other bands impact us because I’m really focused on Havoc. I don’t think it hurts nor helps us.

2. Do you feel Havok are selling music and getting on big name tours the way you would like?

DAVE: Yeah, we have done some pretty rad tours, they are not gigantic tours, but I think its on the horizon. The music, well a lot of times people don’t buy music, we benefit from fans buying merch. Album sales help too, but that helps the label more.

3. I thought your last album, “Time Is Up”, was excellent with no filler. So how did you either match or exceed the quality with “Unnatural Selection”?

DAVE: “Time Is Up” was a brutal assault the entire time, on the new album we wanted to have a few more groove mid tempo stuff so we could build our live setlist to have more peaks and valleys in it. We don’t want to play a hundred miles an hour the entire time, it gets stale.

4. Tell us about the video for ‘Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death.

DAVE: It’s a lyric video so people could hear some music before the album came out. Let’s be honest, the government has their nose in everybody’s business and it’s a bit unsettling. The lyrics are meant to be kind of open ended, and the images in the video compliment the lyrics.

5. How many new songs from “Unnatural Selection” will be in the setlist?

DAVE: In Bogata we did four new songs, maybe six or seven, depending what the people want.

6. Why did you cover the Black Sabbath song ‘Children Of The Grave’?

DAVE: Because its fuckin rad, hahaha, its nice and heavy and the lyrics fit in with the rest of the lyrics on “Unnatural Selection”.

7. Why did you call the album “Unnatural Selection”?

DAVE: It was the closing song on the album, we did the same thing on “Time Is Up”, and it rolls off the tongue nicely. No particular reason behind it.

8. When coming up with riffs and arrangements, who are four thrash bands that come to mind and why?

DAVE: Testament, Slayer, Metallica, Metallica. I hear some Slayer in the middle section for ‘Give Me Liberty’. I often hear that people hear different old school thrash bands in our music, and that comes from us listening to those bands for so long. But we have other musical influences too besides thrash.

9. What comes first when you write a song, a killer riff or a hook?

DAVE: The riff first because without a riff you don’t have a metal song.

10. Who are the five guitarists who had the biggest influence on you?

DAVE: James Hetfield, Eric Peterson, Gary Holt, Jeff Hanneman, and Dave Mustaine.

11. You guys are on tour in the US. Where else will the support for “Unnatural Selection” take you?

DAVE: Mexico, Canada. We just got back from Europe with Suffocation. We will probably go back to Europe before the end of the year.

12. How much touring have you been able to do in Europe, especially over the summer and playing the festivals?

DAVE: We have gone to Europe twice, we are hoping next summer to do the festivals next year. We did just do a festival in Colombia in front of 45,000 people it was insane. Cannibal Corpse and Symphony X were on the bill.

13. Tell me one song you would like to cover from the following 80s thrash bands:


DAVE: Ugghh, man, there are so many, just one, ‘Fight Fire With Fire’.


DAVE: ‘E…limination’.


DAVE: ‘Cracked Brain’.


DAVE: ‘Caught In A Mosh’.


DAVE: ‘Black Friday’. “paint the devil on the wall”.


DAVE: ‘First Strike Is Deadly’. I wanna do that scream in the chorus, hahaha.


DAVE: O yeah, that tight ass picking….‘Bloodbath’.


DAVE: Something off “Bonded By Blood”. Probably ‘And Then There Were None’.


DAVE: We already did ‘Reign In Blood’. I’d like to do something off “South Of Heaven’, ‘Read Between The Lies’.


DAVE: ‘Code Red’.


DAVE: ‘People Of The Lie’.

14. Have you ever thought of doing an album of covers by all classic 80s thrash bands?

DAVE: Yeah, every time we record an album we like to do a couple covers. We do want to release a covers album at some point down the road, and not just thrash songs.

15. Who are some newer metal bands you listen to?

DAVE: Revocation, Psycho Sematic, Vector. I listen to a lot of old stuff to.

16. Do you listen to new music by older bands, like Maiden, Sabbath, Priest?

DAVE: I’ve heard a few new songs from Sabbath and they were pretty good.

17. Do you do anything musically outside of Havok?

DAVE: When I’m not touring I do front of house and monitors at venues. I’m an audio engineer.

18. I know this is only Havok’s third album, but have you professionally recorded any shows for a live CD or DVD?

DAVE: Actually for this tour we will record some shows, multi track recordings off the board. So maybe.

Official website: http://havokband.com


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