Darkhaus are a special band. After all, it’s not every day that a rock band can refer to themselves as an Intercontinental Synth-Rock outfit; or even better, consist of a lineup of five men from four representative countries (Scotland, US, Germany, and Austria).
Founded in 2011, Darkhaus have recently secured a record deal and are preparing their debut album for release later this month on November 22nd, 2013.
In anticipation of the release of their first album “My Only Shelter”, AltWire recently spoke to Darkhaus’ Kenny Hanlon to learn more about Darkhaus and to put the spotlight on this talented new band. Believe us when we say this is a band that you most certainly don’t want to miss! Be sure to check out the full album below, available for stream for a limited time on SoundCloud.
Altwire [Derek]: You’re set to release your debut album this month. For those just discovering your music, tell us about the early history of Darkhaus. How did the band come together, and how did you come up with the name of Darkhaus?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: It all started when Gary and Rupert met in the studio while working on another project. They had mutual respect for each other’s talents and a certain creative spark between them that they decided to really explore beyond those sessions. So they decided to put a brand new band together and drafted guitarist Marshall Stephens from Pro-Pain and German drummer Paul Keller. I was the last piece of the puzzle, joining approximately a year later after some unsuccessful attempts to find the right person to front the band. Gary happened to be browsing online in the hope of coming across a potential candidate and stumbled upon some rough demos of mine. After exchanging a few emails I was invited to audition for the band, and the rest is history.
Altwire [Derek]: Your band has an awesome blend of 80’s style synth rock and modern rock. Who are some of your biggest influences, and what bands and artists inspired you to get into music?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: Our collective influences include bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, HIM, Depeche Mode, Rammstein, to name a few. Personally, the ones responsible for me becoming a musician and songwriter was mostly Oasis, Manic Street Preachers, and Nirvana in my teens, which expanded as I got older to bands like Led Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, and Cave In for example.
Altwire [Derek]: In recent years, it has become easier for hip-hop or electronic artists to make music without a label due to the rise in the use of ‘in-home’ music production software. Do you feel that this change has made it more difficult for rock bands to make it in the music industry, and what challenges have you faced in your life as a band so far?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: If anything it’s made it easier because you no longer have to spend a fortune on studio time only to be constantly watching the clock. You can equip yourself with a basic and adequate setup at home pretty cheaply these days. And with the internet, you have unlimited access to all the info and tutorials you need to hone your skills. This of course means almost anybody can make music these days and that in turn equates to a percentage of it perhaps not being so great. However, the true talent will shine through regardless, as long as they’re putting an equal amount of energy into promoting themselves.
Altwire [Prici]: What did you guys do, before you got into the music business?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: I have been lucky enough to survive since leaving school mostly from playing music around the pub, club, and bar scene in the UK, occasionally supplemented by part-time jobs. For example, I’ve worked as a parcel courier, in call centers, and in a hotel as a trainee chef. If I wasn’t a musician I would most likely be working in the catering industry or doing a job that involved working with materials, perhaps a carpenter or something similar.
Altwire [Prici]: Some Bands like to pray before going on stage some take naps and others just jump around. Do you guys have any rituals?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: Not really, nothing too out of the ordinary. I honestly don’t put too much thought into it until I walk out there, then it’s almost like flicking a switch. Taking a nap right before a gig for me is the worst thing I could do because it makes me slightly lethargic until I’ve fully woken up and as a vocalist, that’s not good. And I try not to eat at least an hour before a show or drink any carbonated drinks.
Altwire [Prici]: You guys are from four different countries, how does that affect your music?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: I think it only strengthens us as a band. One thing about darkhaus is that there are 3 songwriters, all from not only completely different backgrounds but completely different parts of the world, and all bringing something unique to the table. Each person has their own story to tell.
Altwire [Prici]: What can we expect from your debut album? How would you describe the music?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: Just under 60 minutes of dark, emotional, thought-provoking, and inspiring music. Our album should appeal to anybody that appreciates a good melody accompanied by powerful lyrics.
Altwire [Prici]: Every song has a story behind it. Which one of your songs has the strongest story and which one is the most important to you?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: Honestly it’s impossible to say because every person could interpret the lyrics slightly differently, and I like that. Personally, I have a special place in my heart for ‘Breaking The Silence’ because not only is it a great rock song but it’s the one that got me the gig in the band. I was offered the job immediately after laying down demo vocals at my audition. And ‘Life Worth Living’ also means a lot to me because it’s one of the tracks that caught Gary’s attention when he found me. Every time I listen to it I’m transported right back to how I felt when I wrote it. It’s a very honest song.
Altwire [Prici]: What are your plans for the future?
Kenny Hanlon [Darkhaus]: To take over the world, of course!!
22. November 2013: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
25. November 2013: Rest of Europe
03. December 2013: North America