DS Exclusive:  Have Nots talk new album, tours, music videos and future plans

DS Exclusive: Have Nots talk new album, tours, music videos and future plans

The Have Nots have been a breath of fresh air for ska-punk with their work being a great example of what made the genre great in the first place.  The four piece from Boston have spent 2011 touring their asses off, winning fans all over the place and they even won an award for the “Used To Be” music video.

Have Nots took time out with Dying Scene to talk about all things Have Nots including the genre that is ska-punk, the new album, touring and the best bands in punk rock today.  You can read all about it here.

When can we expect the new album to be released?

It’s being mixed right now by Stephen Egerton in Oklahoma. Should wrap that up in January, and hopefully get it out there shortly thereafter. We don’t have an exact date yet though, unfortunately.

A lot of ska-punk bands today are losing the ska. How do you feel about this?

I don’t know, obviously ska isn’t really the cool thing to be doing right now, so a lot of bands move  away from it over time. And in that case, if a band is changing their sound because what they’re doing isn’t trendy, I think that’s kind of lame personally. But then for some bands, it’s just the natural songwriting progression, and I can always understand and relate to that. If your hearts not in the ska anymore and your songwriting moves away from it, I can’t really argue with that.

Who are your big influences when it comes to ska?

Op Ivy, Suicide Machines, Rancid, Less Than Jake, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Slackers and Big D are some of my favorite ska-ish bands.

A few weeks back you went on tour with Street Dogs and Flatfoot 56. What was touring with those bands like?

So much fun! Every show was a blast. Street Dogs have always been one of our favorite bands, so to be able to watch them play every night was amazing. I’d always liked Flatfoot too, but had never seen them live before this tour, and they fucking kill it every night (they’re also the friendliest band I’ve ever met.) The crowds were great and everyone on the tour was super fun to hang out with…so yeah, it kicked ass. It’s tough though, you get used to hanging out and playing an awesome show and then drinking all night every night, and now I’m home and like why am I not playing an awesome show and getting drunk with cool people right now?

You also played Riot Fest in Chicago in October. Tell us about the experience playing one of the largest punk rock festivals in the country.

Riot Fest was a blast as well, for many reasons.

  • Hanging out in Chicago is always a real treat. I climbed the Sears Tower and walked around Wrigley Field and ate at Hot Dougs like a good tourist, and got to hang with some great old and new friends alike.
  • There were so many awesome bands the day that we played. Bosstones, Less Than Jake and Pennywise, you can’t really argue with that. And then all the younger bands were excellent too. The Flatliners, Banner Pilot, The Swellers, etc. It was just a great day of music and hanging out.
  • Even though we played first out of a million bands, we played to a pretty big, very enthusiastic crowd of people.
  • We sold a fuck ton of merch, which was good, because we hit a deer in Michigan on our way to Riot Fest, leaving the van in not so great shape, and we had to leave for Europe like three days after we got home from Chicago, and our van got booted by the Boston parking authority while we were in Europe. So we needed it.

You’ve been working on recording your album with Paper and Plastic records. How has working with them been?

Working with Vinnie and Sushannah and everyone else at the label has been an absolute pleasure.

Any exciting new plans for Have Nots in the near future?

Lots of good things on the way. Obviously we are very excited to release a new record, and everything that comes along with it. New videos, hopefully some acoustic tracks, wacky new tshirt designs and finally some buttons and patches and shit, lots and lots of touring in the US and abroad, hopefully the Caribbean. I’m trying to find us a residency as a pool side cabana band in a tropical paradise for the month of February, let me know if you have any leads. Maybe we’ll think up a new music delivery model that saves the industry for the new album. Or maybe not. Only time will tell.

Your video for the song “Used To Be” just won a Boston-area award for best video. Could you tell us a little bit about the process of making this video?

We did that video, like most of our videos, with our dear friend Michael Gill right here in Boston MA. I highly recommend him for anyone looking to make a video on any budget, www.circumvision.net/ We did one day of shooting at a recently vacated office in downtown Boston that our buddy hooked us up with. That was a lot of fun because I got to dress up in a shirt and tie and dorky glasses and slicked back hair, and walk around an office acting like a jackass on camera.  Getting kicked in the balls by our dear friend/hot girl Valerie was a real pleasure as well. Then we did another day of shooting in this shady warehouse building in Roxbury that some of our buddies in Big D and The Kids Table were living in at the time. It was really pretty terrifying setting up our shit on top of all that rubble, the whole thing could’ve collapsed at any minute, stabbing us all with disease infected metal piping and what not. It was worth it though, I think the video looks pretty sweet.

About a week after we shot the warehouse footage, the building burned down, and our buddies were evicted. It was the biggest fire in Boston in several years. I think some kids set off some fireworks. Fucking crazy.

Who do you consider the best bands around in punk music today?

The Street Dogs, Flatfoot 56, The Swellers, The Flatliners, Bomb The Music Industry, The Menzingers, Frank Turner, The Dopamines, Blacklist Royals, Gaslight Anthem, Lemuria, Cheap Girls and Burning Streets, to name a few.

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