Amidst all the fuzz and distortion, these guys (Matt and James) have created a vintage sound that can be compared to the likes of Weezer and Buddy Holly; some even say they’re an amalgamation the two. Whilst those are some pretty meaty comparisons, The Haunted Continents certainly show that they can hold their own with a sound that’s fresh and unique making them a band to certainly watch out for.
For Fans Of: Weezer, Buddy Holly and We Are Scientists.
Alter The Press: Why should Alter The Press! readers check you out?
The Haunted Continents (words by vocalist/guitarist James Downes): You're already going to spend 30 minutes scouring Youtube for mobile phone videos of schnauzers in a kiddie pool filled with gelatin barking the first 4 letters of the alphabet, and then one of them takes a shit. Don't pretend like that's not why you signed on in the first place. What I'm saying is, you should check out The Haunted Continents because it was created with passion and purpose. Hey, I have no idea if you'll like it. I don't even know what kind of music you're into anymore, but I do know that regardless of your tastes, I think you'll agree that it has musical integrity. We have fun with the record and I think you will too.
ATP: What's the story behind the band?
THC: It started out as a solo project to get songs out that weren't being used for the previous band I was in. I would put out EPs and do some tours, but never really moved it out of "side project" status until the band I was playing with went on hiatus. I had a nervous breakdown because my life changed drastically in a matter of months (lost my band of 7 ears, moved to NYC, broke up with a long long term girlfriend, sickness and death in the family, had a good friend get locked up... you know, the usual). I don't want to make it a sob story, so I'll move away from all that shit. But, with all these things going on, I was feeling pretty aimless and confused until I heard The Platters' "Great Pretender" one day while bar tending, and it struck me. I wanted to write songs about all the things that go wrong, but in a way that makes you feel better when you play them or listen to them, like the way the bop and soul bands did back in the late 50s and early 60s.
I rushed home and practically vomited out sixteen songs in the next two weeks. Those songs became the raw material for the new (and only) full length, The Loudest Year Ever. So I had these songs and no band. I called a guy I knew from high school who happened to posses two things, a drum kit and a NYC zip code. We worked real quick and arranged the songs and recorded them ourselves in a studio we helped set up in Brooklyn. I pressed the record myself on my label, Forest Park Recordings, and now we have a full length.
ATP: Single highlight as a band so far?
THC: Making our first video for the albums single, "2nd Avenue Blues". We went to my folks' place in suburban Connecticut and made the video ourselves. Matt, the drummer, has a film production company (bigshins.com) so he took the reigns. The concept was very simple and fun. We were going to invite as many old friends over and blow up shit all while having a picnic. We did just that. We even sweet talked a fire work store into giving us free explosives. They gave us an absurd amount of shit and we used it all. We almost lit the garage on fire. If you watch the video, you'll see how.
ATP: What are your plans for the 12 months?
THC: We're going to record some songs for an EP in the Spring, and do some touring, make another video, rock a bunch of stages, laugh, sleep on floors, send tons of emails, do it all over again.
'The Loudest Year Ever' by The Haunted Continents is available now on Forest Park Recordings.
The Haunted Continents on Bandcamp and Facebook.
Words by Sandeep Dawett