From the Archives 18/10/2013
They have had limited radio play, little media coverage and a top 10 album.
It shouldn’t have happened and yet Deaf Havana have become one of this year’s most unexpected success stories.
“I was surprised. You know what it’s like, we’re from this place where nothing happens, nothing goes on and yet we’ve managed to get somewhere,” explains singer James Veck-Gilodi.
The 23-year-old is proud of his band’s achievements despite a lack of support from traditional means.
“We definitely haven’t been backed by the media. I’d prefer more radio play, but it seems to not make that much difference. Achieving a top ten album is a middle finger to those cool bands that are hyped to be the next big thing, those bands that then turn out to be nothing.”
Results speak for themselves. The band’s new album, Old Souls, entered the UK Album Chart at number nine and at one point was behind only Arctic Monkeys, one of the biggest selling albums of the year.
“We’re pretty much underdogs,” says James. “It’s embarrassing how little coverage we’ve had, we’re not seen to be cool.”
It doesn’t seem to bother them though, he believes there are more important avenues to follow.
“YouTube and iTunes are the way forward,” he suggests. “The most important thing though is being good. You’ve just got to be good.”
James is thankful for their fans, many of whom have been following the rock band since their early hardcore days when they formed while studying at college in King’s Lynn in 2005.
“Our fans are loyal, they stick with us. They’ve been with us for a long time,” says James. Maybe the reason they’ve been on the radio less frequently lies with James’ choice of instrumentation?
“Perhaps it’s because we’re not thrashing guitars around. I’m finding our new direction more interesting, I started playing guitar quite young so it’s not as if I’m bored of guitar, but I just fancied playing something different.”
* Deaf Havana play The Institute, Birmingham, tomorrow. Tickets: £15.50. For more information visit: www.deafhavanaofficial.com .