HAVEN Interviewed by Nicky Baldrian
Pamme: The Band was actually formed a few years back when we all simultaneously answered an ad. From the moment we all met there was just this immediate and intense chemistry that demanded to be pursued further. This was our first all original band and we think it's safe to say we're "lifers".
I answered an ad, which is where I met John. Then Pamme answered an
Well, Matt and I grew up in Orange County. Even back then, he was a
monster player! I remember him playing 'Burn' by Deep Purple for me,
and just blowing me away! Afterwards, he sold me this huge tambourine
that barely fit in my hand, and a Queen album for 10 bucks (Which reminds
me...I think I still owe him the 10 bucks!). With Robin, I actually
had a dream that we were driving around in my car listening to 'The
Curtain' and 'Forgiveness' and I was asking if he wanted to do background
vocals with me. Two days later, my sister Lisa and I saw him at a swap
meet and he was just the COOLEST! The funny thing was, a couple years
earlier (which I neglected to mention) I had stood in line after a MSG
concert so he and Michael could sign their poster for me! Anyway, I
guess the story must have intrigued him, because soon after, we were
driving around the block of his neighborhood listening to 'The Curtain'
and 'Forgiveness'. I'll bet if he'd known how excited I was to be recreating
my dream, he'd never have got in the car with me, because I drove like
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland and almost killed us at a 4-way stop!
P: Yes, that's true. I've yet to play in a band with a drummer that inspires me to the heights that Matt does. He remains my all time favorite drummer to play live with! We did record but unfortunately those tapes were destroyed in a bonfire!
P: Matt and Robin are consummate professionals and are a blast to work with, so when their schedules permitted, they just came in and nailed their parts! After Robin had done his parts, Matt came in and laid down live drums to pre-recorded tracks and did the drums in 3 days. No rehearsal was necessary because Matt, not unlike Robin, is pretty much a one-take wonder. They'd just listen to the song and then say 'Let's do it!'. I recall telling Matt before hearing the songs that we had several ballads, is that cool? He responded with "Does 'November Rain' mean anything to you?" Matt is a complete and perpetual crack up - I just love that guy!
M: I think it can expand your experience. You might go in a direction that you normally wouldn't. Sometimes that's good and other times it's not. I'll always try to have an open mind and give it a try. You know when it feels right.
Absolutely! The energy and feedback that comes from working with other
P: I was contacted and asked if I would like to sing the song 'Tell The Truth' by David Lee Roth for the tribute CD (www.lionmusic.com/jasonbecker) you and Lars Eric Mattsson were putting together for Jason Becker. Until then I'd never sang the blues, just lived them! Lars sent me the backing tracks that he had done and we did a few vocal takes in our studio and we were surprised how good it sounded because Roth sings that song in a pretty low register. I guess my Viagra came in handy after all! [Check out this issues cover CD and hear the track for yourselves - Nick]. Johnny somehow had found us on mp3.com and contacted us saying how much he liked the band and he would like to forward a package to a label he was on which is Now & Then/Frontiers.
asked him if he would like to contribute to the Jason Becker project
and he said just tell me when and where! So Johnny flew down on a Saturday
and did his vocal parts that day. In the original version the male vocals
are the main part with the female vocals in the chorus. We switched
it around and I sang the main vocal line and we had Johnny do the chorus.
Johnny Lima is 'Sheer fun at first sight'. I'm still laughing! We then
had Robin come over and do some vocal lines that we traded back and
forth and also on the vamp out. We then sent the tracks back to Lars
who had Alex Masi add some guitar and then he mixed it. We all had a
great time recording the song and Robin left having experienced 'the
Anytime I hear PAMELA I know I'm in trouble!
(Humming) 'You say tomatoe I say tomato, you say Soprano I say Saprano!' Truth be told... my dad did one of the first live radio talk shows in the USA. It was at that time hat the program director suggested he go by the name Jonathan Kirby, a name that served him well through-out his broadcasting career! My dad had a captivating personality and a tremendous sense of humour, which explains him 'gifting me' with the name 'Kirby'! Perhaps my reluctance to use the name Kirby stems from going through my high school years with a close friend named Alaina 'Hoover'... (The nightmares have only just begun to subside!)
P: For this project, John and Michael would get together to bounce ideas back and forth. After they'd get the scratch tracks, they would then pass the ideas on to me on Adat. I would wait to have the mic on and the tape rolling before even hearing most of the parts for the first time, preferring to just wing it and improvise to whatever was on the tape. Then, we'd all get together and collectively choose the songs that we felt captured the most magic. Once we decided on which songs we would take to the next level. John and Michael laid down all the music tracks. Once again, I'd get the songs on Adat, and recorded my parts in a studio I have at the house, complete with all the necessary atmospheric 'creature' comforts of home. And by creature, I do mean CREATURE! You see, I have a lot of animals and have always found them to be very grounding, not to mention quite the enthusiastic audience!
While writing this record, I endured some of the most immeasurable losses in my life, with little or no recovery time in between. I discovered first hand just how viciously relentless grief can be. So much so, that at times, it can just threaten to consume you! Having had the music to channel the waves of emotions into was an amazingly cathartic experience, and my hope is, that others who are going through significant heartaches of their own, will also find subjective and substantial comfort in the songs.
J: I guess you could say our songs have more of a universal message to them. We put positive and uplifting messages in our lyrics and hope that people that are going through some difficult times in their lives can find some hope and comfort from our songs.
Yes indeed! The contract we signed is for two records with an option
for a third. We have a few songs that we have recorded as demos and
lots of ideas for songs on tape. The next step will be to decide on
which ideas we want to turn into songs and then start recording them.
We don't have a date for the release because we will have to see how
the writing and recording goes, but the plan is to have a CD released
P: Steve Walsh of Kansas, Ann Wilson of Heart and Steve Perry from Journey! They are clearly phenomenal singers and I have yet to hear anyone grab hold of my heart and demand my attention at that magnitude. I also learned a lot from David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Lou Gramm of Foreigner and Joe Lynn Turner. Spiritually, no question - Kansas!
band inspires me with authentic emotions and made me aware of just how
I started playing music because of Paul McCartney. Some of the bands
Musically I was inspired by UFO (Michael Schenker), Rush, Black Sabbath,
Deep Purple, Robin Trower, The Beatles, Y&T and Classical Music.
Spiritually I try to find inspiration in everything. It's there, we
just forget it!
When you start piecing your songs together, do you go with the natural flow of what's comes out or do you start looking for some form of inspiration?
I believe that within certain instrumentals the story already exists
and beckons to be told. The most compelling lyrics are those that find
their home amidst music that not only compliments the tale but delivers
the message just as successfully.
I think that for all of us inspiration comes when we are not looking
for it. Our best songs were written that way and just seemed to come
together naturally. Of course there are those songs that you just can't
seem to finish and with those you have to look for some inspiration.
can't remember not singing. It all started with a radio cassette player
I got for Junior High School graduation. I spent that whole summer forcing
my reluctant friends to monitor my progress as I sang them my renditions
of that summer's Top 40! And what a lonely summer that became! We are
all born with innate abilities and I really do feel blessed to have
discovered my purpose early on.
let me see....Steve Walsh, Steve Walsh, Steve Walsh! Starting to see
a pattern here aren't you? Good thing for Steve they passed that stalking
I've had a few, shall we say, narrow escapes, ending with 'How 'bout no, Scott!' Yeah, sure.....THEN you'll hear my songs and get back to me, right? I love that story! By the way, I just love Austin Powers. Mike Myers is a genius.
heard it said that's why they call it 'Show' business and realize the
same goes with music industry. Ego is often an insecurity camouflage
that deflates and destroys. I know some real pretty girls where after
talking with them for a while you feel 'Man, I'm talking to Medusa,
if I look another second I'll surely turn to stone!' whereas other people
I know who maybe aren't considered your classic raving beauties just
radiate this whole different vibe, a vibe so genuine it just transcends
societies definition of beauty and or sexuality. Concerning looks and
sexuality, it seems there is a lot of smoke and mirrors used to work
that angle, so much so that at times you can lose track of your musical
perspective if the whole image thing becomes to much of a focus.
It seems my whole life's been crazy! I don't think I'd know the difference.
J: We never could decide on a title so when we released it ourselves we just called the album 'Haven'. When the artwork was almost done we were all looking at the cover and we thought it needed something under the logo. So we decided to name the album. We all thought about it for a few minutes and we all agreed on 'The Road'.
P: It just seemed apropos, as we all travel down our subjective roads to ultimately the same destination.
'The Road' felt right. We've all been through some unfortunate situations
the last few years and the Road we've all traveled has been rough. But
we've all grown and learned from these experiences.
P: Hopefully that our music will create a ripple effect much like the bands that have and continue to inspire us.
J: The immediate future has us finishing up some publishing contracts, some more interviews and getting our website up and going. After that we will start the process for recording the next album. Hopefully the debut will be received well and from there who knows...
Many wonderful things!
For now we are going to stay a 3 piece. We will probably have Matt Sorum
play on some tracks along with Steve Klong who is also an exceptional
drummer. Robin has already agreed to sing on a few songs again and we
might have Johnny Lima sing a little. Lars Eric Mattsson has agreed
to play on at least one track, which will be really cool. He's an awesome
M: What we offer is sincerity in what we do. We write from the heart and when you do that you get what I call 'Magic!'
We truly hope to offer a place of musical refuge and shelter on the
many roads of life's uncertain highways. Our hope is also for people
having heard the songs to come away thinking 'Hey, I guess I'm not the
only one who feels this way and that this too will pass.'
P: You're right, they are the same. My goals in life are to be an instrument for those who feel they have no hope. We're all still searching aren't we? And for our beloved animal kingdom who truly have no voice.
M: I think my over all goal is to be a happy 'Spirit'. That encompasses many things. Having the gift of writing and playing music is amazing. We sometimes take things for granted. I'm leaning to appreciate everything I have. Making music and hopefully touching people along the way will be amazing!! No worries! It's all good!
I try and do the best I can every day. I always ask myself at the end
of the day, 'Did you do your best?'. I use that as a benchmark both
for my personal and musical goals.
M: Thanks for hearing our music and being touched in someway. It's really nice to hear that people like what you are trying to convey.
J: Thanks to all of you have contacted us and told us how much you like our music. We really appreciate it when someone takes the time to write and we always try to answer every one of you.
Check out the
review of Haven's debut album 'The Road' under 'H' in the CD Reviews