Yesterday, recently-reunited Christian metalcore band Haste the Day made headlines when it was revealed that in just two days of crowdfunding their new album, they’d already made $33,000 of their $65,000 goal (it’s up to $38,000 as of press time). The band will be recording with both incarnations of their lineup. We caught up with vocalist Stephen Keech to talk about crowdfunding, how the music business has changed since they split up a few years ago, and how permanent of a reunion this is.
So is the band back for good, or is it just a one-off?
We all already have full time jobs for the most part. After the band ended for each of us we went on with our lives to pursue other passions. This record just gives us a chance to remember that this band was and still is a passion of ours as well. But we won’t be getting back together. None of us know what the future holds but I can say that we will be returning to our day to day lives after we write and record this record. Haste the Day is just a hobby for us again. And that is a really exciting place to be in. We all feel like kids again. We can write music and have fun without the pressures of “trying to make it.”
So far, the band had a phenomenal start with your indiegogo campaign. Were you expecting it to take off as quickly as it did? And what do you think has led to such voracious demand/interest?
I don’t think any of us expected it to kick off so fast! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the band refreshing the indiegogo page on their phone every 5 minutes on that first day. We are so excited and blessed that people out there care about what HTD has done, and they care deeply enough to help us make a new record. I think people are excited about this record because it is all encompassing. Every part of Haste the Day is being represented.
You’re also recording a song with the original lineup. What’s the reasoning behind that? And will it lead to more collaborations with the first lineup?
When you have so many members and phases of a band, reunions can become confusing. We didn’t want this record to be exclusively one phase of the band. The only way it could truly be a reunion record is if everyone was involved. And that was what excited us all about making this record.
Why did you break up in the first place?
The short answer is that we felt the band had run it’s course. Mike Murphy, the only original member in the end, and I had felt tired for a while. Mike had been touring for almost 10 years and I had been on the road with them for 5. We were growing up and started envisioning our lives off the road. Our career-long manager, Mark Lafay, sent Mike and I an email telling us he was getting out of artist management. He was basically a part of the band because we were all so close. We couldn’t see ourselves carrying on without him leading the charge. So we made the hard decision to end the band. The rest if the guys would have kept going. They were still eager to be in the road. But the majority of us felt like it was time to call it quits. It was a crazy time in all of our lives. But it was a great way to go out. We didn’t foresee doing this record after all of that, but here we are! We are doing it and we are going to have a blast.
How do you feel the music industry has changed since the band broke up?
The music industry was in the middle of changing when we broke up. It’s obvious that selling a record isn’t enough anymore. Music is distributed by Internet streaming companies who pay fractions of a penny per stream. But some of the changes are really exciting. We are using one of the new, most revolutionary additions to the music industry right now to help us pay for our record. Crowdfunding is amazing because, when done right, can really bring the fans and the artists together. This way of funding eliminates the need for major record labels who throw advance money at young bands causing them to go into debt without ever getting big enough to pay the label back. It makes it so the demand for the record is set before the supply. It’s very efficient.
Why wouldn’t you just re-sign with Solid State?
Without getting into the weeds on this, since breaking up, the label has gone through numerous changes which afforded us both the opportunity to re-define how we did business together. Solid State will be marketing and distributing the album for us, but we will own the album which we are paying for via this campaign.
Are there any touring plans for the band?
As far as touring goes, we all have jobs that we are invested in. So leaving for weeks at a time isn’t in the cards. But we will play some shows. I really don’t know what those will look like yet. But I’m sure there will be a few shows popping up next year. And I hope to see our fans face to face again at least a few more times! They are the ones who keep us realizing that HTD is more than just a band to us and to them. It has become a beautiful experience for all of us thanks to the true HTD fans. We can’t say Thank you enough.