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Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster

While on their first ever headlining tour,'s Scott Fryberger caught up with the Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster's bassist Roman Haviland to discuss the band's Summer experiences on the road with Warped Tour, as well as their upcoming 2009 studio project, aptly titled III, and more...
This interview took place on: 10/17/08.

  • Jesus freak Hideout (Scott Fryberger): So Roman, what instrument do you play?
    Roman Haviland: Bass.

  • JFH (Scott): How long have you been with Maylene?
    Roman: The whole time. It started about, oh, 4 years ago now.

  • JFH (Scott): And you guys are working on a new album, is that correct?
    Roman: Right, and we'll start recording it right after this tour. We'll go in probably the first week of December, hit a little bit of pre-production, and then start tracking until probably mid-February.

  • JFH (Scott): Do you guys already have all your songs written or are you still working on stuff?
    Roman: Well, we've got a good bit of material. There's just a lot we're trying to accomplish on this record. There are probably about 8 songs that I'd say are completely structured and ready to be re-structured in pre-production with a producer, and a lot of other stuff that we've got to work out completely.

  • JFH (Scott): And I remember hearing it was gonna be more of a southern-type sound than before. I know you guys have always had a southern sound, but is there anything different about this album?
    Roman: Well, I don't know if it's gonna be more southern as much as it will be more diverse with a tad bit more of a southern twinge. I mean, we always had that just because of the influence and stuff. Yeah, there's a lot of different things that are gonna come out on this record, a lot of different styles. So that's how it's really gonna come about, it's really gonna be kinda hard to explain until the record's out and people can hear what I mean.

  • JFH (Scott): What kinda bands have you been listening to lately? Not just you, but the other guys in the band as well.
    Roman: Everybody kinda has their own thing. You know, we all kinda have certain stuff that we like. All the way from the new Meshuggah to old country to Pete Yorn to a couple bands we've toured with and just an array and mix of so much different stuff. I know for me, I listen to Bruce Springsteen a lot, I listen to a lot of blues and old r&b and old country and that sort of stuff. Actually, here in the past year and a half, I've probably gotten into americana rock a lot more, all the way from the 90s mainstream stuff to the more underground stuff. That's where I stand, but everybody has a bunch of different stuff. Our drummer, Matt, for instance, he likes a lot of old school hardcore, a lot of experimental kinda stuff, some jazz stuff. He's well-balanced with the stuff he listens to. Yeah man, it's just been an array, lots of different styles.

  • JFH (Scott): What kinda topics are gonna be in the new songs?
    Roman: A lot's happened to us over the past year and a half, family members have passed away and people have gone through different things even on this tour. We've had a lot of stuff happen to us on this tour that's kinda bonded us. So the topics of the songs will be along those lines and also along the lines of just what we see, what the world needs. I think the world's, well, not in a dark place but a position to be in a very dark place if there's no influence or change or different things happening soon. We're just gonna speak from the heart, and that's what the songs will be about. What God has inspired us to do and how we've grown in that, and everything that comes with it.

  • JFH (Scott): What's one of the best tours you've played on?
    Roman: It's hard to say, because every tour we do, we generally make good friends. At the same time, there's a lot of tours where you might not wanna hear every band or you might particularly be a fan of the style. But you know, every tour we've done that I can think of, we keep in touch with probably every one of those bands. So you know, it's hard to say. Just in this year, the Clutch tour was amazing, because we got to see what a band that has longevity can do, with their fan base after they've been playing for sixteen years, and that style of music is really good as well. They are just so good at what they do, and it was awesome to hear them play. The Devil Wears Prada - those are just awesome guys, good friends, and people you can bond with. Warped Tour was like an array of friends, and it's cool being able to hang out and make good friends and have a good time with those people and just get to know people and their situations. This is our first full headliner, we're only a couple weeks into it and we're starting to make good friends with all the bands on this tour. So yeah it's hard to say a favorite necessarily as much as it is to say that you just enjoy the fact that you're with these bands. It's an honor to be alongside them.

  • JFH (Scott): Do you have any say in who you go on tour with?
    Roman: The way our booking agency works is you get offers or you make a bid for a tour, so yeah, ultimately the band itself has to decide whether or not it wants to do the tour and who they want to be a headliner like this. Ultimately the band has to be agreeing with what is going on. We also leave a lot of trust in our manager and our booking agents because they are some of the best in the industry. They give us the word on a band to go on tour with or bands to take out and we'll take that and go with it.

  • JFH (Scott): What do you guys do in your spare time when you're traveling to the next city and you're just kinda riding along in the van?
    Roman: Sleep is probably the biggest thing. I mean, the road wears on your body, so you know, the more you sleep, the better. But everybody kinda does different things. You know, we talk, we spend time on the computer, we listen to music, write material. If I'm driving I like to be able to look at the scenery and see the area around me. Just kinda pass the time kinda simply, you know, not getting crazy or something. Just trying to relax.

  • JFH (Scott): How often do you get to go back home?
    Roman: It just depends on the year and how hard you're going to be touring. We've gotten a decent amount of time off this year, and we're getting to the point with our band where we can spread our tour schedule out a little more and have more time home, which is important to a lot of people and our family. There are times where we're on the road eight months out of the year and times we're on the road ten months out of the year. But no matter how much time we actually have at home, I don't think we ever could say that we actually stop working because of writing and recording and the business side of the music industry, and it's always just a year-round thing. It never stops. Time off is really not something that I can say we have. This is the busiest industry there is. Time at home means a few months here and there and everybody seems to be okay with that for now. Hopefully as time goes on and things get better for us, more time will be spent at home or we might be able to bring home with us.

  • JFH (Scott): I had a really get great question for you. It was gonna be a good one, and I just totally lost it. (*laughter*) I'll remember it. But, how long have you been playing bass?
    Roman: I've been playing bass for about six years... eh, about six and a half. I was in a band, and we broke up, but I was the drummer of that band. And basically half of my band and half of another band joined up, and well, they already had a drummer, and I had really played drums my whole life. And one thing I had played the whole time alongside the drums, but never got to do in a band, was guitar. But we already had enough guitarists as well so I started playing percussion, but when we started to realize that that wasn't really going to work I picked up the bass and started playing. And, you know, I played bass like a guitar player does. I wasn't really all that great. Then when Maylene started, that's when I had to start learning how to really start paying attention to the bass. And I'm still learning now, but it's been about six and a half years, and I got a long way to go.

  • JFH (Scott): Well, I remembered what I was gonna ask you now. When Maylene started out, you were pretty much completely in the Christian music scene and then when you released II, you kinda broke out with a different record label and started getting bigger in secular music, like Warped Tour and such. How has that changed anything - better or worse?
    Roman: It has not changed who we are, and it can't. Even if you're a band that's in the Christian market, you're not gonna do just full Christian band tours all the time, unless - you know there are bands that do, but very rarely do they ever break the mold. As far as all that goes, I think if your Christian band has a message that the people who don't know Christ need to hear, your job is to go out into the world and preach that message. And the Christian market is good, our next record will have a much deeper Christian market push than we did before because we have worked out those business ventures and we'll be able to do a little more in that market than we did on the previous record. At the same time, even a lot of Christians are out there, they're not in the Christian scene entirely. So, that's where we stand with it all, and it hasn't changed us. If anything, it's made us stronger as Christians, because you get to see everything that you don't wanna be, and you just grow in Christ. It's almost like God shows you when you're in a market full of things that, by most standards, would be considered evil or dark or unpleasant, God shows you certain things that Christians should accept more, and also that you never wanna be, and you never wanna be a part of, and you never wanna even get close to. And that's how God shows you you want what He wants for your life. Because you see how much it's not about you, the band, or your personal life, as much as it is "Hey I put you here because you're ready to work for Me."

  • JFH (Scott): If you could pick any band to go on tour with, who would it be?
    Roman: That's tough. I guess if I had to personally pick a band, I would love to go out with huge bands like AC/DC or Metallica or Guns N Roses or somebody like that, that would be insane. But, I mean, being a fan of all different styles of music, I would love to go out with anybody, you know, like Allison Krauss, Coldplay, all sorts of bands. Artists in the country market, or even old 90s alternative bands like Vertical Horizon, you know, just to see what it's like to be a part of that era.
  • JFH (Scott): Do you have plans for another tour already?
    Roman: We won't tour again till after the record's finished. (Scott: Yeah, I forgot haha.) We go into the studio till mid-February, so then at the end of February we go back to Australia for SoundWave Festival. That's the next tour we do, it's gonna be a big one. Nine Inch Nails and Alice In Chains are headlining, Lamb of God's on, and InFlames, Unearth, Poison The Well, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Anberlin, Underoath, and even bands I don't listen to like Say Anything, The Audition, Evergreen Terrace, there's just so many.
  • JFH (Scott): That's a lot of big bands.
    Roman: Yeah, a lot of huge, huge bands. Bands that we honestly don't even fit the bill with, you know, we're not even close. But it's gonna be a good tour, a good way to kick off the year. And it's in Australia, which is probably one of the best places on Earth.
  • JFH (Scott): Do you have a potential release date for the new album, or an album title?
    Roman: Uh, just III. We're just gonna continue with that. The release date's not quite mapped out. Um... estimates are gonna be sometime in late spring next year, I don't know if that means March, April or May. But considering that we'll finish recording and probably won't get the whole record mastered, mixed and finished completely until the end of February anyway, when we're not there - you know, it takes a long time to get that record published and printed and put in stores and all that. But we're shooting for then cause that seems like it's gonna be the best time to do it.
  • JFH (Scott): Well I'm pretty much all out of questions. (*opening band starts with a loud scream in next room*) *laughter* Apparently they're ready for us to go too, so you got any last words for us?
    Roman: I just wanna encourage people to seek out Christ in their own hearts, and find Him personally for themselves. And don't take people's word for anything, cause people do that way too much and just because you see something in a magazine or you hear it on the radio or you see it on the TV, or just because somebody may have said something that you can relate to, does not mean that you should just become a follower of that or whatever. Be who you are, and be able to like other things, but be able to love people. Love people more than anything else, cause that's what's most important.




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