And spread the hazyness!

Just a few days remain until the next gig organized by Soulstone Gathering. Canadians from The Hazytones, who will show up at Piękny Pies in Cracow on the October 28 playing a gig, are on the road for the last few weeks now across the whole of Europe. However guitarist/vocalist Mick Martel found the time to answer a few questions. It’s a great opportunity to know more about this excellent band from Montreal and about their local stoner/doom scene. Enjoy!

In the introduction to this interview, I’ve provided basic info of The Hazytones, but I’m afraid that you’re not a well-known band in Poland yet – how would you describe your music?

For basic of our music is influenced by a lot by blues and rock and roll. For me, it’s like if I’m playing the blues but I play it the heaviest I can. We’ve found our place in the stoner/doom scene with the way our records sound. I think what ties those music styles together is the songwriting. I wanted to keep the same songwriting feel throughout both albums. As the band progresses we’re getting darker and darker!

How’s the tour going? Were there some cities or events especially worth mentioning or recommending to visit?

It’s truly awesome! Highlights of this tour so far are this bar called Brin de Zinc in France which had a really magnificent crowd and the whole Spain territory, such beauty! We hope to come back soon and play some festivals.

You have travelled a lot of places and one of them was California. Have you been to Rancho De La Luna? It’s kind of stoner mecca…

Actually, we haven’t because our tours are always crazy and packed with shows. We rarely take time off the road to actually see things which is a bit of a shame. Next tour we’ll try to make an effort.

In one of the interviews, you said that stoner is a brand new rock’n’roll. Can you explain it a bit further?

I just think sometimes people want to put everything in categories but the music we play is straight rock n roll to my ears. At the same time, it’s a good thing that we have all these genres because fans they like to associate themselves with these movements. I really hope stoner and doom end up being huge and that all these bands we have got recognition

Is there any stoner scene in Canada? Or going even further – is there any stoner scene in Montreal?

Back home in Canada, we have a lot of stoner bands but not really a scene. Some great bands like Mountain Dust, Dopethrone, Blue Cheese but still not a big scene. It’s the US scene that is getting strong right now. I hope Canada follows soon, especially now that weed is legalized.

At a certain point of your career you have all moved to Montreal – was it necessary?

Yes, it was necessary and I’m speaking on behalf of all band members when I say that we all moved there for the music. It was way before the Hazytones were a band, we are just really music driven people.

You released a great, new record on the 5th of October. I’ve found an information that this album is a follow up to the themes from the first one (“The Hazytones”). But what were the themes on the debut?

The themes of the second album were less obvious but still similar to the first album. Dark themes that hide deeper meanings. I tried to write more of a concept album for the second one. If you look at the artwork for both albums, you’ll see the evolution. The witch kick’s back at what was trying to control her. Ain’t no more holding back in the new Hazytones music.

You described the two-part title song as a concept. Is it a separate story of each of the parts?

No, it’s one song. But the truth is they were two different songs when we wrote the music. It’s only when I wrote the lyrics that I felt they should be one song, The Monarchs of Oblivion are just trying to bring back balance to the world.

Was there any music concept you stick to while writing the songs?

The truth is no. I just like to follow the natural songwriter instinct. I try not to go too far from the original ideas.

It easy to hear that you have developed the sound using some synthesizers. In “The Great Illusion” and “The Beast” there are some wicked fx sounds, in “Spit You Out” I think I can even hear an additional melody played.

Yes, and all those effects are 100% analog. That’s why you sometimes hear subtle melodies. Analog is the best

I found it a lot darker and “psychotic” than the previous one, also because of those sounds. Is this the direction you are heading or was this just the flow you were into at the moment of composing?

It’s definitely the direction we’re going. To me, the first had too many influences that were drained from the 70’s and I want to keep things fresh

The cover for the debut with the old picture reminds me post-hardcore covers when the new one is a bit more “thrashy” or “heavy metalish”. Even it’s not a “stoner kind of covers” it fit to the albums well. Was it on purpose?

I think we just wanted to stand out from other stoner oriented album covers. I think a lot of people use the same kind of design and I wanted to get away from that. I think the new cover kinda grows on you.

Yes, exactly! Who created those artworks and how have you found the person?

Dk13 Design, a really nice guy who wrote to us on our webpage. He’s an artist in Poland with a lot of talent.

The album sounds awesome – is it because ReelRoad Studios is upgrading or the fact that you have more experience was the main factor?

The experience is one factor but we haven’t been working with the same people. Producing this record I wanted for it to sound a bit clearer. I’m happy with the results but to truly appreciate I will need to wait a year or two and listen back

Are you more happy with the second album? Or the debut is the achievement you’re most proud of?

I would say the second cause we had member changes and it was a hard process on the band. I’m happy we’ve made it happen.

Good luck with the rest of your tour and see you at the Piękny Pies in Cracow on October 28! Any message for someone who has not yet decided to go to the Hazytones gig?

Just show up, support your local music, not just the Hazytones. And spread the hazyness!