No Haven: Melbourne foursome’s crushed spirits reborn outside business hours

By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor

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No Haven is a Melbourne-based four-piece made up of members of other bands that aren’t very busy right now – Party Vibez, Weedy Gonzalez, Speech Patterns, etc. The band – Will Robinson (guitar), Alex Johnson (drums), Angus Harvey (bass) and Mike Nolan (vocals) – just released a digital EP, Colours of Nothing, and it’s bleaker than the latest election result. Basically it’s metal and it’s heavy, polluted with crust, grind and black metal toxins, but it has an earnest post-hardcore heart and highly capable fingers.

“We all work boring full-time jobs,” says Mike. “Playing obnoxious music is pretty much the only distraction we have right now from a life of going on Kontiki Tours or trying to buy a house in Gisborne with a long-term partner.”

UB punches the clock and talks workaday frustrations, musical motivations and “the blackening” of metal with Mike…

 

Where did the members of No Haven all meet?
Will, Alex and Angus all know each other from Tassie and have played in various different bands together back in the day. I met Will a few years back when he moved to Melbourne through mutual friends he introduced me to the rest of the dudes when they eventually migrated over to Victoria. The whole time I’ve known Will we’ve talked shit at the pub about starting something real heavy and dark and a few years later it finally eventuated.

What other bands do you play in?
Will plays in Party Vibez but their singer is hardly in the country, Alex plays in Trespasser with Will but no-one lives in the same city anymore, Angus plays in Speech Patterns but no-one lives in the same state, either, and I play in Weedy Gonzalez and most of that band is hardly in the country these days.

Where and when was Colours of Nothing recorded and who helped?
We started writing the songs at the start of the year, recorded with Mike Deslandes (YLVA, High Tension, Coerce) at Black Lodge Studios over two days in the middle of May. Mike was great to work with and knew exactly what vibe we were after. We sent the recording off to Audio Siege in Chicago to get mastered by Brad Boatright who has a great track record of making all things sound huge.

What gives Colours of Nothing EP such a (bad) vibe?
I guess when we wrote this EP we tried to channel the most negative, moody, hateful, depressing and nihilistic vibe we could. Lyrically, the songs kind of paint a pretty bleak outlook of the kind of person who just wants to watch the world burn around them. I try not to get personal or political in writing lyrics, I just can’t be bothered with the debate that may or may not follow up.

Are you bummed-out generally? Does anyone smile at practice?
We’re all typically upbeat and positive dudes most of the time, I guess. When you are writing songs on a Wednesday night at rehearsal when all you’ve done all day prior to that is read depressing news articles at work and seeing human beings generally being awful all the time in every aspect. Then add that to the minor chord shit Will comes up with on guitar the rest just comes together so fluently. And I’ll start smiling more at practice when Grim Rhythm finally put out a record.

Does adding the word “blackened” to something make it better or worse?
Adding the word “Blackened” might get your EP uploaded on some blog in Eastern Europe if you’re lucky. When someone adds the word “blackened” to something I just imagine certain aspects of black metal and I guess crust and hardcore or whatever and (insert genre here) all throwing down the tarp and having a gang bang. It’s hard to explain music without sounding like you’re blowing smoke up your arse. Like, try explain to Janet from Accounts or your racist uncle what “Blackened Post-[insert genre here]” is and tell me how that conversation goes.

 

Listen to Colours of Nothing EP:

No Haven play Stockades’ LP launch with Infinite Void and Sonic Youth Allowance at the Catfish, Fitzroy, Melbourne on next Saturday, August 6.
They will be on the road with Departe for their album launch tour in November.

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