The Haunted – Family Reunion

Thursday, 14th August 2014

Dead Rhetoric: How was working with Chuck Billy on that song?

Aro: It was cool, but we didn’t actually get together and do it. When we did the 1999 tour with Testament, we became friends and we kept in touch. When Jensen wrote the song, he mentioned that he was considering doing it as a duet with Chuck Billy, and I thought it would be awesome. Chuck Billy was one of the reasons I started screaming in the first place. When we put just my vocals on it for the first time, it was crazy. I thought it was insane; it doesn’t sound like a Haunted song. It doesn’t have the heavy riffing or the melodies, but it’s a straightforward kick in the face. I think it’s going to go over really well live. When Chuck Billy sent his vocals back, I was in my car. I had to pull over to listen to it and I found myself laughing at the end, because this song is just crazy. It was a great dream come true to do a duet with my childhood hero.

Dead Rhetoric: A lot of the guys in The Haunted have been coming out lately about having to work steady jobs outside of the music industry and that it’s harder to get out and tour. What are you doing outside of The Haunted/The Resistance?

Aro: I’ve always been a metal worker; a construction worker/blacksmith. The thing about this time around is that we all have jobs so our lives don’t depend on The Haunted anymore; we can do it just for fun. We don’t need to do it to put food on the table. Music is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be a must. Once it becomes a must, you can tell. We don’t ever want to be that band that is doing their job and you can tell from a mile away. We are doing this for fun, and once it becomes a must, we need to sit down and take stock in it all and reconsider what the point is that we are missing.

Dead Rhetoric: With that touring aspect in mind, do you see yourselves getting over to the US?

Aro: Yeah, definitely! We are just waiting for the right offer. We are going to do the stuff that makes sense. If we are going to do a 4-week tour with Testament or Slayer, so be it. But we aren’t going to do the crazy headlining tour where we play for 100 people each night, when we can hit up things like New England Metalfest or something similar, and play for 2500 in one night. We are going to tour more in an exclusive way. But then again, you never know. But the plan for The Haunted is that we are going to keep it exclusive, pick the raisins out of the cake, and do things that make sense.

Dead Rhetoric: Is there anything new going on with The Resistance? How are you going to balance out being in both bands at this point?

Aro: Actually, I’m not the one in the band on the shit end of the stick. Adrian has got 6 bands! He did the Barge From Hell a few years ago, and he didn’t get one day off because he had a band on each day.

We have an online calendar where we put down everything that we have booked and once there are two things on the same date, we sit down and have a discussion about it and decide who is benefiting most from it. The Resistance is actually recording right now for a 5 song EP, and I’m going in next week to put the vocals down and we have few Resistance shows booked. At the Gates is currently mixing their album as well. So it’s going to be a small hassle to balance it all out, because everyone needs their day in the sun so to speak, but I think we have a good format to make it work.

Dead Rhetoric: With Exit Wounds set to be released, where do you go from here with The Haunted?

Aro: We actually have a plan that we are going to write a song every month. This album actually started out in the wrong end, and we did the recording process differently than ever before. We usually jam an album together, but this time the only person that spent some time in the studio was Adrian. The rest of us pretty much sent fragments of songs to each other. Jensen put down the guitars in his house, Ola recorded at his studio, Jonas did it at his house, and I put down the vocals in The Resistance’s rehearsal room. Even though we got by with the skin of our teeth, I think that if we had jammed this album, it would have been a lot better; but then again maybe not.

We were scheduled to release Exit Wounds in early May, but we and the label pulled the brakes on it. I guess we got too overexcited and booked tours and the studio time before the record wasn’t even half done, writing-wise. Actually, Jensen ended up in the hospital due to stress and that’s when the label came in and said that it was too much for everyone and we needed to slow down. Jensen was working 10-12 hour days and then coming home and writing songs, and it got to him. So we cancelled the tour dates and studio time except for Adrian’s because he was already done. We listened to what we had and sorted it out and started back from square one. But I think it turned out great, because this is something we are really proud of. A lot of stress and hard times went into the album, but we got it done. It is a phoenix rising type of thing, but it wasn’t meant to be. Once we heard the finished product we were really happy with it.

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