Habit to: Breaking Rock
Habit To are a thorny musical existence . Their musical synthesis is derived from a deliberate intention to be a post-rock outfit. Resulting in concoction of musical influences ranging from Jazzy baselines to hard rock guitar riffs. We spoke to the outfit about New age rock, having a female lead and their upcoming tour to Asia.
Tell us a little bit about Habit To and how the idea for the band initially came about?
As soon as we got together as a band we hit a jam pridy much every day. It became part of our daily routine. Not because we thought about it or wanted to crack the big time but because we just wanted to. It became second nature to get our daily fix: to bounce riffs and ideas. That’s HABIT TO.
As a band you guys have been together for more than ten years, tell us about some of the weird and wonderful things that have happened to you in that time?
We’ve puked on stage, we’ve been late for shows because of delayed flights, we’ve had bleeding feet all over the stage from broken bottles, we’ve broken down many times on the road, we’ve had tours cancelled and have had other shows spring up on us very suddenly, we’ve partied and have been partied out. But most of all…We’ve always had the time of our lives during show time!
You describe your sound as new age rock, who are some of the acts and people that have had the most influence on you?
It’s New Age Rock because we’re taking a fusion of Jazz, Classical, Rock and Pop influence and creating something fresh and rocking. Without even realising we could come up with an R&B groove over a Heavy Metal Riff and Rock it like there’s no tomorrow. It’s all just Rock ‘n Roll at the end of the day. There are too many acts and people that have influenced us in so many ways to be dropping names.
One of the reservations I always have about rock bands is that they tend to be repetitive not only in the music but in performance. How do you guys transform yourselves in order to stay relevant?
We can never force the writing process. It just happens. Writing tends to be influenced by life’s experiences and because we live and grow older, the music & performance transforms as a result.
Tell us a little bit about the bands creative process, how do you guys actually put your songs together, Going from concept to product?
Chillie usually comes with a riff or vocal melody with some chords and then we beef it up with rhythmic ideas and work together on the arrangment. Or we could start by bouncing riff ideas. There’s never a specific formula.
You guys come from an ‘academic’ music background, which is ‘kind of weird’ for a rock outfit. What value do you think that has added to the way you guys approach music?
Music is music . In studying Jazz, Classical and Pop, our appreciation for different genres of music has grown. The knowledge of theory and the skill of reading and transcribing music gives us a deep understanding of what is going on. But we like to toss the academic stuff out of the window in the creative writing process. After all music practical came before the theory.
Your latest album Boomerang Saturn, tell us about the concept behind that project and how is it different from your debut offering?
Boomerang Saturn is Triumphant, anthemic and feel good. It’s about letting yourself go and never waisting the good times.
Durban has a very bad reputation for not supporting its own acts, how have you found the reception has been to your music in the city?
Maybe the bands are too close to home for an appreciative audience. HABIT TO has been well supported over the years. But we seem to be better recieved in a city away from home. People are entitled to their choice of whether or not they want to go out and support a band for their own enjoyment. I guess most of the time Durbanites would rather have a braai than party in the night life scene unless an out of town band is in the area. We prefere to toss the negative bull shit to one side though and keep the flame burning.
I have to ask, there aren’t a lot of rock bands that have female leads in Mzansi so what is it like to have Chillie as the front of the band?
It’s almost like Chillie has become the selling point for us because she can really jam the heck out of the guitar and having a chick that can solo and riff like she does makes HABIT TO different.
You recently did the video for R10,40, tell us about that experience?
Durban is awesome! And what better way to celebrate it by making a video that puts it in a nutshell. We worked wth iKind media for the shoot trekking all over from Alverstone to the Durban Beach front with Fred (the tyre) taking us along for the ride.”
You guys are gonna be touring internationally this year what does this mean for Habit to as an act?
We are STOKED! To get the chance to put HABIT TO on the international map is brilliant. Touring with gigs every night and living in each others pockets will only make us tighter and we will return as a bigger and better animal!
You are taking your music to a very ‘different’ market in Asia, as opposed to a lot of local acts who prefer Europe, why is that?
The difference is we didn’t choose. We got chosen! Whilst on the road to promote our latest release, we got spotted by a Chinese talent scout. We caught her attention as one of the headlining acts for White Mountain Festival. She’s hooked us up these shows where we’ve have been invited to play stages in: Abu Dhabi, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Beijing, Shanghai & Yantai (China). This is a Rock n’ Roll Dream come true. It seems that all the wood shedding and hard work behind the scenes is paying off.
Are you gonna do any recordings and collaborations whilst you are out there?
We’ll definitely document the tour. And hopefully we can meet some crazy Chinese musos who are keen to collaborate with us.
You guys are gonna be performing with VCK at Burn tell us what fans can look forward to on the night?
A night of deboughtry mostly. But if the fans have half as much fun as we do, they’re in for a hellova good time!
What are some of the future plans that you guys are working on?
We are basically just gonna take over the world. Simple.