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EVERY SO OFTEN, someone or something comes along so far apart from the current trends that it stirs souls, makes girls cry, and causes fake tasters to wet their pants. After witnessing Th'Haint first hand, I found it necessary to catch up with R Erickson to discuss the twists and turns of this apparition.--Lou Rogai

What exactly is a haint?

Slang for ghost.


I first heard the word from my dad and my grandfather. It's common in West Virginia and Appalachia, TN.

So can these haints wander from the hills into the towns, or do they have to stick to one place?

Couldn't did, never will. Lusty stuff for feet that have minds of them own.

How do you think it might feel for a haint from the rural past to be wandering the urban technological jungle?

It sucks.

Too many lights and colors flashing around?

It gets scary, but vanishing is a pretty simple task. You just turn off. These new on-off switches are pretty cool. People get confused and start stuffing things in their mouths, itching each other.

So a haint can turn back on when it feels like delivering some haunt? This must have been what occurred when I saw Th'Haint perform in the dank murk of a Lower East Side dungeon.

You saw one?

I saw three of them, with an olden twang that rumbled the soul. They were plucking on my ribcage and howling weird secrets into our ears. I couldn't tell if they were actual haints or an exorcism. Which is it?

You must have us confused. We sing songs very clearly with proper colloquial annunciation. They are exercises in the very sense of the word. Kind of like "Mary Had A Little Lamb" meets "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Maybe you blacked out. Th'Haint has a recording coming out, can you speak a bit about that?

It's a doozy. WM Mouton did all the knob turning. It's going to be out for the New Year. We're putting it out ourselves because we like making things from scratch, which is one of the inspirations of why this all began, and it's something we can do on our own at our own pace. Seeing bands that are self-sufficient is really inspiring and cool; they have complete control over what they're doing. That is invaluable.

Indeed, freedom is hard work but well worth its weight. How do you relate these ethics in other aspects?

Those ethics are fundamental to getting anything done. Granted, a band is a group situation and you have to be flexible. The roles are somewhat defined and generally you arrange to work with people that jell together. Chemistry is absolute. WM and I went through a lot of change ups in the first three years of playing together. Drummer drama mostly. M Dirshel joined the band last year and has been a trooper considering he came in to this after our direction had been well established. He is a like-minded individual.

Speaking of drummers, didn't you have a deaf drummer or some situation where you had to use sign language to communicate?

He was from Argentina. At first his English was minimal and we had to grunt and wave our arms.

Thankfully some things transcend language barriers. So the New Year will bring forth the first album from Th'Haint. Anything else in the works?

Play shows and make the room as tense as possible. We have some other recordings we're working on as well; this EP is what we have documented so far.

Where is this tension coming from?

It comes from many wheres and theres and bottlenecks into one place. Ultimately it has to do with going to see a show and not feeling that energy where you feel like the room is about to pop, a slight paranoia or edge. It's a combination of the presence of the music and the people playing it, a crucial dynamic. When a band flies off the cuff and whacks your poker face, to me that is the most thrilling aspect. All of the derivative trends that have been happening for a few years now are not achieving this effect. So it keeps both the performers and the audience on their toes ... There's dialogue there and interaction. There's something to experience, it's not shoegazers versus the showgazers.
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Author:Rogai, Lou
Article Type:Interview
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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