After ten years and four all around praised albums HAKEN celebrate their anniversary in a way that should put a big smile on every fan’s lips: With the release of „L-1VE“, the first concert recording of the English. Guitarist and keyboardist Richard Henshall tells us what awaits the inclined prog lover and how the evening in Melkweg, Amsterdam, went from the band’s point of view.
Hi Rich! How are you doing?
Thanks for having me. I’m doing very well. We’re currently wrapping up of our fifth album in the studio right now so all is good in the Haken camp.
There it is, the first live album from HAKEN. Congratulations! Is it’s release a bit more exciting for your than releasing a regular CD?
Thanks a lot. It’s been ten years in the making! There is always an air of excitement and anticipation among the band with everything that we release. I’m looking forward to finally getting it out there for all of our fans to see.
What was your intension to release „L-1VE“? Did you have it already in your mind for a long time and now the opportunity to make it work or is this your way to celebrate the 10th birthday of HAKEN?
We’ve never released a live album so it was about time we gave the fans what they deserve! It’s something we’ve always had in mind, but have never gotten round to actually doing it. Plus, like you said, last year we celebrated our ten-year anniversary as a band and we felt a live DVD would be a perfect way to mark the end of that chapter of the band’s journey.
Of course it is! And congratulations on a decade of HAKEN! If you should describe each year with one word, which ten words could it be?
Ok here goes starting from 2007:
Snow, Manifolds, Peel, Fish, Deja vu, Deja vu, Mallory, Nostalgia, Bonn, Rocky, Fortress.
Did you tell your audience in Amsterdam in advance, that the concert will be filmed? In case you did, was there a more special atmosphere than by other concerts?
We didn’t let people know that it was being filmed beforehand, but I’m sure the astute among them they would’ve quickly worked it out with all the cameras on the stage. Luckily we had a healthy sized crowd that was full of energy during our set, which really helped set the mood for the show.
According to the question above, were you nervous because there were cameras filming you?
Yep, it’s always a bit nerve-racking when you know you are being recorded. It’s the same as when you’re in the studio; seemingly easy parts that you’ve played countless times before instantly become impossible to play as soon as the red button is switched on! To help get us more relaxed with the whole process we decided to record the audio feed from the mixing desk each night throughout the whole tour, so by the time of the final show in Amsterdam we were fairly comfortable with that side of things. Also, the music was fully ingrained in us by that point, so we were free to focus on delivering as best a performance as possible. Thankfully, everything went well and the rest is history.
Which were the important things for you while you planned the release: A special set list or the location in Amsterdam or the way how „L-1VE“ should be filmed?
As it was our anniversary tour we came up with a retrospective setlist that included all of our favourites from across all our records. We also pieced together a medley of all the main themes from „Aquarius“, which seemed to go down well.
Your colleagues from Leprous asked Costin Chioreanu to film their concert at Rockefeller Music Hall. Who was responsible for picturing „L-1VE“? And according to which criteria did you search for this person?
Leprous did a steller job with that live album. They’re such an amazing band to see live, and I think the DVD really captures their intense energy on stage. We decided to go with some contacts Ross had from his university days. Obi Mgnado, Luca Shakison and Robin Pijpers from The Oyssey Media Group were in charge of the camera work. We also had our good buddy Simen Sandnes capturing some of the close-up footage from the night. Miles Skarin from Crystal Spotlight took care of the editing for us. We’d worked with him on the videos for „Affinity“ so we knew he’d do a great job.
„Affinity“ was made in the style of the 80ies. Does this applies to your live album as well? Was it important to you to keep that pattern?
We certainly peppered the music and artwork on „Affinity“ with some influences from the 80s, which I feel struck a chord with a lot of our fans. I guess a healthy bunch of our fans must have an affinity with the 80s, whether it’s through films, music or growing up in that era. We decided to approach the packaging for „L-1VE“ in a similar way and drew inspiration from the beaten up recordable VHS tapes from that era.
What is your favorite moment on „L-1VE“ and why?
We haven’t played a lot of the tracks from our debut album „Aquarius“ in a while, so playing the „Aquamedley“ was good fun.
If your compare the work load by the process of releasing a filmed live album, would you do it again or will HAKEN in future prefer doing concerts without camera?
We’re all very happy with how the DVD came out so we’re definitely going to try and make it a regular thing. We’re now in a better position to make that possible. Releasing a live album towards the end of each album tour cycle would be a great way to document each stage of our career from this point onward.
So, the end of the interview is near. Thanks for answering our questions, Rich! Is there still something that you want to tell our readers?
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy watch and listening to „L-1VE“. Keep an eye on our socials for news about our upcoming studio album. You can expect a slice of filth on this one!
Promo-Bilder: Marco Castellani & Renee Liszkai (Presse-Kit)
Live-Bilder: Stephen Schmidt (Presse-Kit)