Interview: Habu

I recently caught up with the guys from Habu, Alex Brody, Andy Clarke, and Alex Dunbar.

Hi guys, thank you for your time. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, and reviewing your album “Infinite”, and I genuinely enjoyed it, What was the inspiration behind it?

AB: “Although ‘Infinite’ is not a concept album in the true sense – all the songs are supposed to fit with a particular theme. Although the songs, hopefully, speak for themselves, and touch on lots of different ideas, the central idea is the one that everything that exists has always been here and always will be. There’s a temptation to consider things that have happened and say that they belong only to the past, or even that they’ve gone forever – but whatever the future holds, nothing can change the fact that the things that have been said and done today have happened, and nothing can ever erase that, for better or worse.”

AC: “Musically, the main influences are obvious – Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd – but my taste in obscure classic metal and new wave/goth rock has edged into the sound.”

In my review, I said that the stand out tracks for me were “Dead Weight” and “Heavy Chains”. Which are you personal favourites?

AB: “I love playing ‘Dead Weight’, but am really pleased with the lyric to the song, ‘Infinite’.”

AD: “For me, all the tracks have their own feel to them, and I love them all for different reasons… but if I must choose, I would say ‘Infinite’, ‘Dead Weight’, and ‘Grain By Grain’ “.

AC: “I, too, love ‘Dead Weight’, but ‘Measure Of A Man’ has been a live staple, even since before our first album came out, and it has always been one of my favourite Habu songs, so it was a real pleasure to get it down on record. I’m also really pleased with the way the title track, ‘Infinite’ came out – compositionally it does break new ground for us, and feels truly progressive.”

“Grain By Grain”, to me, had the biggest Pink Floyd feel, especially that guitar solo. What inspired this song, and were you aware, at the time, of the Floyd feel?

AB: “The instrumental that leads into ‘Grain By Grain’ is called ‘Isn’t This Where We Came In…’ which, if you didn’t already guess, is a tribute – in name – to ‘The Wall’, so yes, we didn’t set out to write a song that sounds like Pink Floyd, but when it happened – we realised, and didn’t mind at all.”

AD: “Myself and Alex [Brody] actually play in a Pink Floyd tribute band, so having learnt all those songs, I think we were naturally inclined to write something in the same vein. It was the kind of song we felt the album needed, and as all three of us are big Pink Floyd fans, it just sort of happened!”

AC: “That guitar motif was something I came up with in the week leading up to band practice. I showed it to the guys and the song just formed around it, in one evening.”

Aside from the nods on the album, who else would you say have influenced you musically?

AB: “I learnt to play bass by playing along to Rush and Yes albums, so they will always be musical heroes of mine – but I like a diverse range of music; Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult and Cheap Trick are favourites of mine. In terms of more modern acts I am really into Public Service Broadcasting and Ghost at the moment.”

AC: “My biggest musical influence is usually whatever I’ve been listening to any given week, but it was Iron Maiden who started me on a path that led me to all things heavy, melodic, progressive and powerful.”

AD: “Some people say we sound like Rush, but we actually have never even heard of them… Okay, we are a little influenced by Rush, but also just as much by bands like Marillion, Camel, Dream Theater, Pink Floyd.”

So… if you could choose any band to tour with, who would they be?

AD: “All of the above, but we also work really well with a lot of metal bands. Someone like Iron Maiden would actually be a lot of fun.”

AC: “Probably Ghost. They’re doing something classic in a new and exciting way and are amazing songwriters with an equally great stage show. ‘Meliora’ is one of the best albums to come out in the last decade.”

…and will there a full UK tour to support “Infinite”? AD: “We are planning to gig as often and as widely as we can. There are currently no plans for a full UK tour, but this is definitely something we would love to work on.”

How did the opening slots for Uli John Roth and Deborah Bonham come about? What was your reaction when you were asked to open for them? You’re obviously appearing on someone’s radar.

AC: “Uli was a great honour, as I’m a fan of his Scorpions material, and consider the guy a real legend of guitar -he was the first true shredder- and definitely the proto-Malmsteen. Deborah Bonham was pretty cool to get because of the Led Zeppelin connection, but that one didn’t elicit the same gut reaction.”

For those yet to hear Habu, what would be your elevator pitch for “Infinite” AB: “As far as I know we are the only band doing what we do. We are a technical hard rock trio and we have picked up where Rush left off in terms of the ‘power trio’ idea but are really trying to push limits of rock music, whilst still retaining the power and excitement that makes the genre great.”
AC: “Infinite’ is a music album for people who love music, full stop. We played our hearts out on it. The rock bits really rock, the pop bits really pop, and we’ve given 110% in every aspect of the writing and performance. I know we get labelled as prog and that puts some people off before they press play – but I really think we’re just a hard rock band with a pronounced emphasis on musicianship and experimentation. The hooks and the melodies come first, and we really care about having that immediacy – we’re just adventurous in how we package it.” AD: “We would encourage them to come to one of our gigs and buy a copy in person (we aren’t that scary, promise!) For those that can’t make it to a gig… TRY HARDER! – or head over to, where you can purchase one, and we will send it to you!”

And finally, before I go, if you were a wrestler in the WWE, what stage name would you give yourself?

AC: “John The Cretin”

AB: “Tyrannosaurus Alex”

AD: “Greg”

Haha! Brilliant! Thanks again, guys. All the best with the stunning “Infinite”… and get a bloody tour sorted!

Interview: Craig Travers


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Review: Habu ­- 'Infinite'

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