Interview: The Haunt Discuss New Single Ahead of Tour With Missio

South Florida-based goth-pop alt-rockers The Haunt are making their long-awaited return to Europe. Founded on the incredible dynamic between vocalist Anastasia Haunt and guitarist/vocalist Maxamillion Haunt, The Haunt have been making waves with their recently released Do Not Resuscitate EP. Now they’re going to be trekking across seven countries—Italy, Poland, Slovakia, England, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands—as direct support for Austin, Texas-based electronic duo Missio. To kick off the new tour, The Haunt are releasing a new single today called “Can People Really Change?” which features Missio themselves.

Maxamillion and Anastasia took some time to sit down with us and chat about the coming tour, the new single, and the upcoming album they’re working on which promises to be a heavier sound.

First thing I want to talk about is a new single you have coming out, “Can People Really Change” Featuring Missio. What is the song about?

Maxamillion: It poses a question. It’s about people that you’ve worked a long time trying to turn into something, you see potential in somebody, and you want them to be something different than they are, but they just keep doing the same.

Anastasia: It also is cool because it has two different perspectives in the song. While I’m singing with Matthew, it has me asking the question, “Can people really change?” and him answering back, “I’m different.” It’s all the different emotions you go through in a relationship when someone is not showing up how they need to.

I noticed you have this coming out right before your tour where you’re going to be opening for Missio in Europe. Which came first, the tour idea, or the collaboration on the song?

Maxamillion: The collaboration came first. They had announced the tour a little bit after that, and we’re like, “Hey guys, what if we tour together?” It’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m going back to Europe (for the first time) since we toured there in 2019 with Palaye Royale. So it’s been a minute. We’re very excited.

So if the collaboration on the song came first, how did that collaboration come about?

Maxamillion: We’re label mates, and so our team also works with them. And we were basically put in front of each other, and we got along really well when we met. We actually were flying out to LA; we had to get one more song done on our record because we ended up scrapping an earlier song, and missio happened to be in town while we were there. They don’t live in LA; they live in Texas. And so they happened to be there while we were recording, and we’re just like, “Come to the studio.” And we just spent the day, and we made the track together.

Anastasia: We had been fans of them for a while. We had songs saved from, like, 2016.

Maxamillion: Some of my earliest songs saved on Spotify when I was in high school, I was listening to them. So it’s a very cool full-circle kind of moment

I noticed you just put out the new EP, and now you turn around and have this other single. Is there a reason that this new single didn’t fit in with the other songs for the EP?

Maxamillion: So this new single is our first step towards our next album. So we have a new EP that we’re going to (be) releasing right after this single.

Anastasia: (It’s) our first step in a new direction that we’re leaning, a lot heavier.

Maxamillion: We went into the lab and just decided we were going to make some more hardcore shit, and so this is our little step in that direction.

Anastasia: (It’s) what we’ve been aiming to do for years, but somehow the production has always taken it a little softer. But now I feel like it’s really where we want it to be.

What are you most excited about with this upcoming tour, then, since you you said you said you hadn’t been back to Europe in a while?

Maxamillion: So many things! There’s such an energy when you play in Europe. It’s hard to describe. I think American fans, as much as we love touring in the U.S.—and we do most of our touring, and most of our audience is here—there’s a specific thing that happens because the European markets are undersaturated. There’s not a ton of bands that go there and tour there really often. They’re very energetic about everyone that comes through, and it’s just such an amazing energy. So to go back there and play in front of a an audience like that, and then just experiencing Europe again. It’s been half a decade since we’ve been there, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to just see how much everything’s changed and just explore again. (There’s) some new countries (on the tour that) we’ve never been to, Slovakia and Poland, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

I’ve always heard the thing that, once you get into areas like Germany, they’re very energetic if they’re into you, but if they’re not into you, they will let you know.

Maxamillion: Very luckily, we haven’t had that experience.

Anastasia: I think that’s definitely true. It’s definitely more of a cutthroat market, for sure.

Maxamillion: We had more of that in northern U.K. than we did in mainland EU.

Anastasia: Honestly, our experience was really great.

Maxamillion: Yeah, we didn’t get to experience a lot of the negative, so it was a good thing for us.

You said, this is going to be the first one off the new album. Is there going to be a video for this one?

Maxamillion: We don’t have a video as of right now because we’re going to be on tour together, and we don’t have time before the tour.

Anastasia: But we will have a lot of time together coming up.

Maxamillion: We’re going to be on the same bus, so we will be making the video together as we tour, and then it’ll come out some point during the tour.

Okay, because I noticed that with your previous EP that you just put out, you had a video for almost everything. Do you really just enjoy making videos for your songs.

Anastasia: We do, actually, that’s my favorite part is getting to put a visual in that my creative image actually comes alive.

Maxamillion: (Anastasia) directs and writes what the videos are going to be, and then we have a videographer that we work with on basically everything, and then I edit the music videos.

Anastasia: We try to have one for every song, at least something. Even if we have zero budget for it, we’re still making something DIY.

Maxamillion: Two full records now, we’ve had a music video for every single song.

Those were all the questions I had. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about or anything you can tell me about the new album?

Maxamillion: I guess that’s the biggest thing. We’re the most proud of the step in the direction that we’ve taken. It’s the first time we’re actually talking about it, but yeah, we’re really excited because the last record that we made—they’re two EPs, and we kind of look at them like one record—but it was one of those things where we made it over the course of many years, where, for this one, we sat down, wrote a record, made the record.

Anastasia: Yeah, It feels like one cohesive piece of art.

Maxamillion: It feels like we made an album as opposed to having a bunch of songs come together into an album. This feels like we sat down and made a cohesive piece of art.

Anastasia: It feels more like a book than little shorts. A story.

So you say it has a story. Do you mean like a concept album?

Maxamillion: Not necessarily.

Anastasia: It’s borderline. If you listen to it, I feel like you’ll definitely know what we were going through and all the differences,

So a loose concept?

Maxamillion: Yeah, exactly. It’s just non fiction.

Is there anything else you want to go over that you need to plug?

Anastasia: Definitely come see us on tour. Come see us if you’re in Europe, touring all over Europe and the U.K. Stream the song all of June. Follow us on socials. We are The Haunt on everything.

MISSIO w/ special guest THE HAUNT
6/08 – Milan, IT – Santeria Toscana 31*
6/10 – Warsaw, PL – Proxima*
6/12 – Bratislava, SK – Fuga Bar*
6/19 – London, UK – The Underworld*
6/21 – Cologne, DE – Luxor*
6/25 – Zurich, CH – Plaza Klub*
6/26 – Munich, DE – Strom Linienclub*
6/27 – Berlin, DE – FrannzClub*
6/29 – Amsterdam, NL – Tolhuistuin – Zonzij*
*I Am Cinco Tour

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Photo courtesy of The Haunt 

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