EMQ’s with THE HALO TREES
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Berlin, Germany based Dark/Melancholic Indie Rock band, The Halo Trees. Huge thanks to vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Sascha Blach, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We’re called The Halo Trees. We are a rock band that merges indie rock with darker tones like synths, violin and deep vocals. Thus, there’s a certain melancholy and depth to our music.
How did you come up with your band name?
At this point I always like to tell you something about the meaning, because I like the image of the tree, which is deeply rooted in the earth and stretches its branches high into the sky and thus unites the earthly and the transcendent – that opens up a wide field for us in the lyrics. How did I come up with this name? I don’t know anymore. I just remember that it wasn’t easy, because all the good names seemed already taken.
What Region/Country are you from and what is the Rock/Metal scene like there?
We’re from Berlin, Germany, and the city’s metal scene is thriving, I would say. There are many different types of this music. However, I have to admit that The Halo Trees has little to do with Metal, although Stefan and I both have origins in the Metal world and are still active on other projects. But The Halo Trees is more atmospheric and calmer.
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
In 2018 we released our debut EP “Time And Tide Wait For No Man”, followed by the first album “Antennas To The Sky” a year later and on October 8th, 2021 our second album “Summergloom” was released.
‘Birdsong’ (Official Video)
‘Dark Clouds Over London’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Hard to say. I wanted to develop a sound that offers a lot of space for the deep voice without playing Gothic Rock. And there aren’t too many rock bands with deep vocals. Madrugada, The National or Nick Cave are definitely the best known and I think we can please fans of these bands. But our spectrum of influence is basically very broad and includes not only rock but also electronic music, singer/songwriter, post-punk, progressive rock – and metal of course. I really like The Doors, The Beatles and Radiohead, for example.
What first got you into music?
I was maybe ten or so. That’s when I persuaded my parents to buy me a drum kit. Then I made a lot of noise that could be heard from the whole neighbourhood. And it was really noise because I didn’t have any lessons. I then “sang” to it and recorded the whole thing with the cassette recorder, thus producing demos on tape early on. In retrospect, it was probably a good thing that these were never made public, haha. I joined my first band as a singer at the age of 14 and since then have worked through a lot of different styles, recorded more than two dozen albums and even set up my own studio – the Winter Solitude Studio. By the way, I haven’t learned to play the drums to this day, so it’s probably better that Stefan play the drums (laughs).
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
I haven’t thought about that yet. Usually you’d name your favourite band, right? But I would actually find one of the big producers more exciting, e.g., to see what Rick Rubin, Nick Raskulinecz or Andy Wallace could get out of our music.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’ve never been there before, but the Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert seems so extraordinary and exciting that a trip there would certainly be worthwhile. I don’t even know if we would fit in there. Of the European festivals, Roskilde or something like that.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We’re still a newcomer band with The Halo Trees and I can’t remember gifts, but in other bands we got pictures painted by fans, bracelets, cakes and local souvenirs from fans. But something really crazy…huh, I guess we’re boring, haha.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Look beyond the surface!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Jim Morrison. And I would do the back from the dead interview with him, haha.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
What I enjoy most is sitting in my studio and working on new songs. I could do that all the time. What can be annoying is the long wait on tour and in general business stuff.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would give small bands that are serious a basic state income that allows them to work on their music with the same professionalism as the big bands that can make a living from it.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
One? My collection is full of them, haha. Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” came first to my mind.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
That is hard. There is a suitable moment for everything. During the daytime work, I mostly listen to music on my computer. CD’s and Vinyl tend to be in the evening or on the weekend when I want to listen to an album in peace. I also still have a lot of tapes from the past and don’t dare to dispose of them, although I don’t listen to tapes anymore, because many memories are attached to them. And the albums are available on Spotify in most cases. But somehow…
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Always the next one, haha.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Write novels. Whereby making music doesn’t actually keep me from doing that, rather the lack of time.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
My five alter egos.
What’s next for the band?
The release of our second album “Summergloom” and we’re also working on the third album, which may be released in 2022. Let’s see. At the moment, we’re recording and mixing in parallel. And well, live shows …hopefully as well one day, but it’s impossible to plan that right now.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Well, I guess our Website and the Bandcamp page are the most important ones, but you can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify etc. And maybe you want to check out our videos at Youtube? There are many since we like to produce videos whenever we can.
Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I had to google that. Cake. What have I won, haha?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity. And anyone who has read to that point, check out our music and drop us a line in the comments of our videos or wherever you can.
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