HAVOK – Colorado Thrash Metal

HAVOK – Colorado Thrash Metal

(…this article is in English…)

Havok is a Thrash metal band from Denver, Colorado and they are doing whatever they can to prove that there is good metal band in Colorado, too. They have just released their second album "Time is Up". Personally, I was not totally turned on by the debut album "Burn", but "Time Is Up" is more right in your face thrash metal with clear vibes of the 80s. The old Thrasher in me awaked once more and a small interview were sent across the pond. Vocalist David Sanchez is the one responding.


The music of Havok reminds very much of the early Bay area thrash. Have you taken the inspiration and influences from other scenes?

Of course!  My personal influences come from a pretty broad spectrum.  I get ideas from thrash, death metal, punk, old hardcore, classic rock, prog rock, jazz, funk, etc.  I’m all over the place with influences, but I try to work them all into a metal style.  If you listen carefully to our new album, you can pick out all of these influences throughout the album.

If I say that you in a way have gone back in time musically with "Time Is Up", do you know what I mean by that?

If you mean that it sounds like the era of heavy metal at its finest, I’m totally ok with that!  We are often told that we sound like late 80s thrash, and to me, that’s when the best metal was made, so I’m cool with it.

What thrash metal bands and singers have been your own favorites over the years?

I have too many favorite thrash bands to name, but with singers, my favorites are James Hetfield, Chuck Billy, Tom Araya, Steve "Zetro" Souza, Bobby Blitz, and Phil Anselmo on the CFH album.  Phil’s vocals on that album are out of this world! 

Which musician or band was the reason why you started with thrash metal?



Colorado Thrash Metal – I understand that this is a union or something. Please inform us.

It’s just what we always put along with the word "HAVOK".  It’s not a union, but just informing the world that we’re from Colorado, not California!!  Most thrash metal comes from the west coast and we want it made clear that we’re from CO.  Colorado isn’t famous for breeding huge metal bands.  We’d like to change that.

How is the thrash metal scene in the U.S. today? Are there many bands and would you say that the scene is healthy?

The scene is healthy!  There are a lot of bands that came from the "new wave" of thrash, so thrash metal is abundant right now.

There are plenty of examples of bands who have taken the decisions after a few albums and had performed with more commercial style. Some may be more successful than others, even though the fans might not have been as agreed. Example: Metallica "Load" and "Re-Load". Do Havok has such plans for the future or will you forever be true to the real thrash metal?

I don’t know if we’ll always be a thrash-to-the-bone band, but we will never make an album like "Load" or "Re-Load"!  It’s cool the way bands evolve, but of course, it’s always great to see the bands that are still in touch with their roots.  We’ll always be rooted in thrash metal, but that’s not to say that we won’t experiment here and there.  There are no plans to make a commercial album just for the sake of being commercial.  If we ever do have a commercial success, it won’t be something we forced ourselves to do, it will be a natural move.  Look at "Countdown to Extinction":  It’s a commercial success, but it’s an amazing piece of music and still heavy as fuck.  It was a natural progression for that band.  They didn’t pull a "Load" for that album.


In thrash metal, the music is most important. The riffs, the breaks and the drive has to be there while the lyrics are not so important. You are both a guitarist and vocalist, how much time do you spend on the texts in relation to the riffs?

Because I have to sing and play at the same time, the vocals HAVE TO flow.  If they clash all the time, I can’t do it.  That’s one advantage that I feel we have over bands with a singer that just sings.  I’ll never be out of time because I NEED to be on time to play my guitar parts correctly.  I do focus on the lyrics, after the music is written.  To most listeners, good lyrics are just as important as good music.  I feel like the lyrics on this album came together very nicely.  There are no songs that I’m embarrassed to have written.

How is a typical concert day for Havok? Is it hectic from the time you wake up until you are finished and well into the tour bus again, or do you find time to relax and maybe check out what else the cities you are visiting have to offer apart from the venue?

A typical day for us is: wake up early, drive to the show, load in, and then wait for the show to start.  There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" that goes on in touring.  We normally try to relax at the venue, but that’s tough to do when there are sound checks and lots of other things going on.  We will normally try to get out of the venue to grab dinner, but that’s about it.  Then, after the show’s over, we usually load up and try to get some rest at a friend’s house or a hotel, but most of the time, we end up just sleeping in the van.  Ah, the touring life.  It’s so luxurious!