HAKEN - Conditioned for success

19. November 2018


HAKEN - Auf Erfolg konditioniert

In the good ten years of their existence, Haken have unerringly fought their way to the top of the progmetal scene and delivered true classics with albums like "Visions" or "The Mountain". With the concert recording "L-1VE", the group recently drew an impressive balance of its work to date. Now the four Britons, the Mexican and the US-American want to start again with the fifth studio album "Vector".

Shortly before a US tour with Leprous and Bent Knee we talk to guitarist/keyboarder Richard Henshall (34), who has a lot of interesting things to report about the new hook record. He is especially fond of the topics psychology and psychoanalysis, which run like a red thread through the songs. The former main composer is also very happy about the division of labour established since the predecessor album "Affinity", since not only the band climate but also the music had profited from it: "Since all six were involved to the same extent, the album was also six times as good!

eclipsed: With "Vector" you return to the concept format of the first two records. Do you find it easier to compose when you have to set an action to music?

Richard Henshall: Well, in "Aquarius" and "Visions" there was definitely a strong storyline that held the music together. With "Aquarius" the concept came first, the music I wrote afterwards. With "Visions" it was the other way round, and "Vector" is a mixture of both approaches. The music is harder this time, and we tried to work out a suitable concept. The songwriting is definitely a lot of fun if you have a story as a basis, because it gives the music something cinematic.

eclipsed: According to your singer Ross Jennings you were inspired by various film classics, but also by the psychological studies of Stanley Milgram and B.F. Skinner.

Henshall: Yes, "Vector" is definitely a bow to the movie "Clockwork Orange" and the psychological experiments of the fifties and sixties. These experiments would no longer be allowed today for ethical reasons, but were groundbreaking at the time because they provided completely new insights into the human psyche. Our story is about a man who undergoes electroshock therapy with a sinister doctor. Many dark thoughts and problems from his past emerge, which he tries to overcome.

eclipsed: Are you familiar with psychological studies yourself?

Henshall: Not really, but psychology was one of my A-level subjects at school. Later, I enjoyed watching television programmes on this topic and worked more intensively on it in order to be able to write interesting texts.


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