Interview With Haytor

16 May 2019

HAYTOR are back with a new single, ‘Sirens’. We recently spoke to frontman Austin Robison on what it takes to be an independent band, their new release and what they have planned for the future.

HH: Tell us about your latest record!

AR: We’ve just released our latest single Sirens and it’s gone down really well, the feedback has honestly been fantastic. It’s probably one of our rockier songs but it’s still got the layers of synth sitting in there minding their own business.

I didn’t want to do anything particularly scripted or story based for this music video, so we collaborated with our videographer/photographer Will and decided to do something slightly artier, mixed in with us playing along. I couldn’t have asked for it to turn out better, we love it! (especially the last 2 seconds at the very end).

The song is about a modern kid who’s struggling with mental health stuff - he’s artsy and into poetry and books and wants his life to be like a novel, thinking he wants to go like Virginia Woolf. It’s kind of dark, to contrast with the big bright instrumental arrangement.

We released our debut four track EP back in November - and it’s really given ourselves a base to launch on from. Our guitarist Ryan produced it all, so it was very much a pet project for us.

HH: How do you feel you guys have developed as a band since your debut self-titled EP?

AR: There’s definitely a lot more synths. Songwriting wise, the newer tracks are starting to come from a lot more pop and slightly experimental places, as opposed to the rock heavy songwriting overlaid with pop arrangements that I’d been doing before. Sirens is probably one of our heaviest songs instrumentally but the songwriting is a lot more poppy.

For Sirens we worked with Chris Tilke, who we’d found through his awesome work with Dead Ground and Jonah Hitchens, and he’s been fantastic to work with. He’s definitely brought something to the production and recording process and left his mark firmly on the track. You can expect more work from us with Chris for sure.

HH: What’s it like being in an independent band today and how’s the music scene in your area?

AR: It’s hard work but it’s a lot of fun. There’s a hell of a lot of emailing to do! But when you get a great gig with an audience who are into it it’s just so worth it. It’s also great having such a close team - and not just the band. We’ve got our photographer/videographer extraordinaire William Smith who we do pretty much all our work with, Fin who roadies for us but is actually just one of our best mates, of course our families, and just a generally great group of people around us.

These days a lot of the day-to-day work is doing all the social media, which I just try to have a bit of fun with really. Although we take our music seriously we really don’t take ourselves seriously, and I think that’s reflected in some of the stuff we post - especially on Instagram. At the end of the day I just think, people don’t want to look at boring informative posts on social media all the time, people are going to follow you because they like what you post and then a lot of the time that’s how you convert people into listening to your music. It makes it sound very businessy but I just try to have a laugh with it.

The music scene in the South West is brilliant, from Devon and Bristol there’s such a diverse range of music. There’s some great venues around Devon - some of the best ones you have to travel a bit to get to though, like in Torquay etc. Make sure you check out Dead Ground, Haunt The Woods, Crooked Little Sons, and the aforementioned Jonah Hitchens. Also you wanna check out Hypophora from Cornwall. Bristol has a wicked music scene, there’s something on every night. Bands to check out would include (but not be limited to) Blank Atlas, Hush Mozey, Sweet Tooth, Discount Columbo, there’s too many to mention. There’s also the community that aren’t just artists, people like Marcus at On The House music and The Music Flow magazine - it all ties in.

It’s also so sick when you get a great touring band come down this way and we get the opportunity to play with them - some bands of note for us would be OUTLYA, The Tin Pigeons, and Dancing On Tables.

HH: Can you tell us about what’s in the works for Haytor and can we expect any more music in the near future?

AR: Absolutely - there’s new music on the way. We’re going back in the studio with Chris very soon to record some hot new jams. They’re some of our favourite songs to play live so we’re super excited to hear them recorded.

In regards to writing, I feel like I always have at least 2 or 3 project files on the go at any given time. Some we’ll crack out in a day, and some sit on my hard drive for months. At the moment we’ve managed to finish a couple new songs that we’re really happy with and we’re looking forward to absolutely ruining them live.

HH: What shows do you have on the horizon?

AR: We’re at Kindred Spirits Festival on the 26th of May which is gonna be a right laugh - we’re camping the whole weekend so we’ll probably be absolutely stogged in mud by the time we need to go on.

We’re also doing a couple more festivals over the summer and a few other bits and pieces that we’ll announce closer to the time, so be sure to give us a follow and keep an eye out.

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