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Interview with The Haptics
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I can only answer for myself - I've been singing for bands for a long time and making various sorts of art: paintings, digital art, and written works. I'd probably be doing the same thing I do nowadays, make digital art! I think we all wish we could pursue music a little bit more readily but the landlord doesn't accept IOUs, unfortunately.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Jin's a graphic designer and art director for a local EDM record label: Monstercat. She spends her days making art and listening to music, which definitely feeds back into the creative cycle. Cam loves spending time with his family and dog and you can often find him jamming at home, composing various melodies. Brent immerses himself in a wide range of music during the day and thus comes ready to practice to create original works inspired by the greats! Flavio is full-time producer and musician who works with rising and established artists, elevating their work to the next level.
How long has your band been around?
We met on-line in the early days of 2022.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We're based out of rainy Vancouver. I think being in the West Coast and having grown up around a lot of grunge and alternative rock has definitely influenced our musical styling.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Jin was reading a William Gibson novel that mentioned "haptic feedback" and "haptic reconnaissance" and brought the word to practice to play around with. We all liked how the words "haptics" refers to sensory experiences. Music is definitely an immersive sensory experience with the ability to recall memories, raise emotions, and inspire all of the nostalgic feels.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Personally speaking: Radiohead at the Gorge near Seattle, Bauhaus (still incredible, worth seeing, the OGs), and Lebanan Hanover. All put on a hell of a show. The Haptics most memorable show? Well we had a great time playing Buddha's. It's an old venue in Vancouver that was one of the first places to have punk bands play in the city. Great vibe there!
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We'd love to play some bigger places around Vancouver! We've played a bit locally and would love to expand our live repertoire to other parts of the West Coast. My favorite venue I've ever played at was the first venue I ever played at: the now-defunct Silent Barn in Brooklyn. It was my very first show ever and I was soo nervous. I find these small more punk venues often have super encouraging, receptive listeners.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
A few bands come to mind: New Order, OMD, Interpol, Bauhaus... any of the ones I've already mentioned, too! There's a great local act called Wire Spine I'd love to open for, too.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Don't readily listen to other people's opinions when it comes to art. Art is a matter of personal taste and personal expression: take encouragement and take feedback humbly, but respect your own views as well.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
It gets better. Honestly, your young years are incredibly impressionable, difficult, and turbulent. Life gets a lot better, and easier, as well.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
"Zeroes", our new single that's actually out on Spotify, means a lot to me. I wrote the lyrics about an experience I had living in Berlin and undergoing psychiatric care in another country. It's dedicated to a girl who unfortunately passed away the day after I met her. An incredibly sad experience that I'll never forget.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We love playing our new stuff, always. And some of our older music seems almost classic to us now: Doubt is definitely a crowd favorite and always fun to play.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Cam often comes to practice with strings of music ready to incorporate into songs. Jin likes writing lyrics off the top of her head and draws inspiration from her own life experiences as well as more universal themes that we can all connect to.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
A few things that come to mind: you're okay, and you're not alone– you might be different, but you're not alone.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
It's completely and 100% human to have disagreements! Luckily we're all quite amicable and friends, so we like to hash it out in our group chats and then over person, preferably over a few drinks.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We're playing September 21st in Vancouver at Portside, and a couple shows in October including the 25th at Fox Cabaret! We're also dropping a new EP this fall called "Zero Gravity". I'm super excited for the next single off of that EP, "Mouse", coming out soon. Stay tuned to our IG (@the.haptics) for the drop. Lots of love.