Interview with David Sanchez - Havok, April 2011

Could you please introduce the band to our readers?

David: HAVOK started in February of 2004.  We’re a thrash metal band from Denver, CO.  Our quartet consists of me (David Sanchez) on lead vocals and guitar, Jesse De Los Santos on bass, Pete Webber on drums, and Reece Scruggs on lead guitar. 

Your first album, which I don’t know, what is it called and are they in the same style?

It’s called “Burn” and came out in June of 2009.  “Burn” is a representation of the early years of HAVOK and the state we were in back in 2009.  It was meant to be an example of what the band used to  sound like and where we were headed in the future. 

Your new album ‘Time is Up’, what does the band want to say with the title?

The album’s title isn’t so much a statement as it is a fitting title for the overall themes throughout the album.  “Time Is Up” fits perfectly to describe the lyrical topics. 

What makes this album different or better than the earlier releases, for example ‘Burn’?

Compared to the first album, this one is a lot faster, heavier, and more aggressive.  With “Time Is Up”, the goal was to rip peoples’ faces off!  We feel like the material is stronger on this album than the last one.  The song writing in particular has come a long way since when the band started and I was 15 years old! 

How did you get in contact with James Murphy for the production?

Our manager knows James from previous work, so that’s how we got in contact.  The album was produced by me, mixed by Peter Rutcho, and mastered by James Murphy. 

A lot of people will say that Havok is original like flies on shit and that there is nothing new, how do you react on that?

We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here.  We’re making good fuckin’ heavy metal.  People that have a problem with its “lack of originality” need to realize that there is NO originality in metal anymore these days.  There WILL NOT be another band that creates a new sound.  Everything has been done before.  Look at classical music...  It’s not super “original” these days, but there are certainly composers that are better than others.  If I showed people a John Williams piece and then a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach, most people would just say, “Oh, that’s just classical music.”  ...Never mind that the two pieces were composed hundreds of years apart.  I guess what I mean is that everything in metal (like classical music) has already been done before, so from here on out, people just need to enjoy the sounds that they like and not get caught up on how “original” it is.


Metallica, Testament, Exodus etc etc are influences for the band, which other bands are you influenced by?

I like to incorporate lots of different sounds into our stuff.  If you listen to our album carefully, you can pick up on influences from Death, Boston, Atheist, Rush, Dimmu Borgir, Sepultura, Arch Enemy, D.R.I., Dream Theater, etc. 

Your vocals sound like a kind of mix between Chuck Billy and Schmier, are those two your examples?

Chuck Billy is one of my favorite singers and I love Schmier’s vocals as well, so I take it as a compliment.  I’ve heard that I sound like so many different things – which is good!  I would hate to always hear that I sound exactly like one other person. 

What new thrash bands do you like?

I like a lot of the new thrash bands!  Vektor, Warbringer, Witchaven, Bonded, Revocation, Vindicator, Lazarus AD, Savage Messiah, Lich King, Evile, Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust, Violator, etc.  There are too many to name!  I love thrash metal, and right now, there are a lot of bands doing it well.   

What is your goal with the band? Just a nice (expensive) hobby or……

I would like to make a full time career of this band.  It practically already is!  We tour so much that this is pretty much all we do.  I’m in full-on “Failure is not an option” mode! 

How are the first reactions on the album?

We’ve heard nothing but great things from all the reviews and fans.  People have reacted very positively to the new material. 

Will the band play a lot live in 2011?

I’m actually typing this as we’re on the highway, on our way to a show!  We will be touring relentlessly in 2011 and beyond, so expect to see us more and more often. 

A European tour perhaps as support of Destruction……… would be nice…… wouldn’t it….?

That would be most excellent!  We will be hitting Europe as soon as we possibly can.  Should be happening this year. 

What are in your opinion the 5 best metal albums released in 2010?

I get all of my years mixed up, so I would have a hard time answering this question!  The last 4 years of my life are kind of a blur.  I’m not sure if it was 2009 or 2010, but my favorite recent albums are Revocation – “Existence Is Futile”, Vektor – “Black Future”, Steel Panther – “Feel The Steel”, and Early Man – “Death Potion”. 

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Anyone that digs fast, in-your-face, heavy metal should pick up “Time Is Up”!  If you like riffs, you’ll probably like the album.  And to all of the fans, thank you for the support through all the years!  You guys make all of this possible and we can’t thank you enough.  

Havok - Time is Up

Label: Candlelight Records




David Sanchez (Vocals & Guitars)
Reece Scruggs (Guitars)
Jesse De Los Santos (Bass)
Pete Webber (Drums)

Time is Up (2011)
Burn (2009)

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries