Face to face with Hagana

Hagana

March will be a special month for Edinburgh-based outfit Hagana: they’re releasing debut album ‘One Year’. Mixed on grunge, rock and pop, their music is expressive and energetic with a great deal of spirit and attitude, so ‘One Year’ is definitely the album to anticipate. Hagana’s drummer and vocalist Dave Chisholm tells Rock Britain about ‘One Year’, evolution and favourite debut albums. 

– How did Hagana start as a band?

– Myself and Fox met at college almost 10 years ago. He was playing in a band with 5 other guys and they needed a drummer, I had never played drums before but fancied a go, so I joined and we had our first gig one week later! The band had several changes in lineup before we evolved into the smaller, harder-rocking and better version of what Hagana is today!

– You’re releasing your debut album ‘One Year’ soon. What was your main focus, priority while working at the album?

– We wanted to make a lively and heavy album that represented our true sound while also creating a very professional piece of work. We needed to make something that would take us forward.

– What’s the story behind the record? How did it start and evolve into a full-length debut?

– Fox and I had been looking to record a full album for a while, and when Gary joined on bass we knew we wanted to get him up to speed and ready to record ASAP.

Hagana had evolved into a much heavier, tighter sounding band since our last recording and so we wanted to put together a full collection of songs that would represent our ‘sound’ and make people sit up and pay attention.

– How the experience of producing the album yourselves was for you?

– Exciting, challenging, tiring but overall it was really rewarding. We recorded it in my studio in Edinburgh (Soundreach Studio) which meant there was no pressure on us to finish it quickly and we could make sure we were 100% happy before deciding it was ‘finished’.

– What makes ‘One Year’ special?

– It’s our first full album, which is always special. But also, so much happened to all of us during the making of ‘One Year’ that I think it makes this album mean more to us than a normal release would. We’ve always had fun and never really taken ourselves seriously, but making ‘One Year’ has given us real focus and made us realise how good we can be and that is really exciting for the future.

– What’s your favourite debut album of all times?

– Oh, I have a few… Hmmm. Well, I think my answer will be different from the others! I would say Foo Fighters’ debut album, because it was so rough and raw but you could hear how good a songwriter Dave Grohl was at that early stage. Weezer’s ‘Blue Album’ is another huge favourite, it is full of classics. I also really like the first Van Halen album! It was SO over the top but it is just ridiculously good fun and has some amazing playing on it. ERUPTION!

– Which bands can you call your biggest music influences?

– I think we have really wide-ranging influences. There are obvious ones like Foo Fighters, Weezer, Nirvana etc. but also we all like pretty heavy music, 80s pop music, more obscure stuff like Cardiacs and also… RUSH!

– What is it like to experience your live shows?

– I think we are a really good, fun and LOUD live band. We recently supported Filter, a pretty big band from America, and we were told by a loads of people that we were a lot louder than them, which was very pleasing!

We also like to make fun of Gary (our bass player) onstage. It makes us feel better about ourselves.

– If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?

– I’d like to go back in time and play at the fall of The Berlin Wall. David Hasselhoff didn’t deserve that honour.

– What are your other plans for 2014 alongside releasing a debut album? How are you planning to make 2014 big?

– We want to finally get people to notice us, so we’ll be being as controversial as possible. Maybe Gary could release a sex tape?

Also maybe a European tour, we did Canada last year and now we want to do more travelling!

– What kind of evolution have Hagana undergone since the day the band was set up?

– Well, a previous version of the band used to have 6 members in it, but it wasn’t very good. Now we are quite good, so I think that is the thing that has evolved the most. From being shit to being a lot less shit.

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