Danny (of Wharf Chambers/Jesus and His Judgemental Father fame) messaged me later one night to tell me that there was a band I absolutely had to book for Youth Anthems. He’d played in Birmingham that night and seen Haq123 and was quite rightly blown away (he went full fan buying all available merch!). When Danny talks, you listen! I looked them up online and was into the album straight away, doom/metal with a lo-fi twist with two members at primary School ages, how could I not book them?? The key thing to bear in mind with Haq123 is the age factor does not make them a novelty band, the songs are well-crafted and seriously rock. However the youth element does give them an enthusiasm and freshness that does make them stand out, so make sure you’re down at the gig.
Here’s Millie (vocals), Zac (drums) and Dave (guitar/bass) to tell us more…
How did Haq123 form? (I rarely expect anything different when I ask this but have high expectations here!)
Zac – Millie and I were playing bottle flipping round at our house and we started making up songs. Then Millie asked if we could have a jam with Dave and after that first rehearsal we decided to become a band.
Dave – I’ve been playing in bands for 30 years or so and after that first rehearsal I already knew we had something magic going on and was already making plans to gig and record.
It could be argued that the band have a very “Birmingham” sound. Would you agree that the musical history of the City has had an influence on Haq123 and are people from Birmingham generally aware of their metal legacy?
Millie – Yes, we love Black Sabbath, when I was a baby I used to fit nursery songs to the tune of Iron Man, imagine twinkle twinkle little star , baa baa black sheep and a few others
Zac – Yes. I could name all of Black Sabbath when I was 3 years old. Bill Ward is my favourite drummer.
Dave – Most Brummies seem to have some knowledge of the fact that Ozzy and co are from round here. The Home of Metal Project is also doing a great job of spreading the word right around the world that the West Midlands spawned many other important historical bands and gave birth to the greatest musical genre.
Where do all these scary song ideas come from? How does a song tend to come about?
Millie – Songs come from our out of the world crazy imaginations, from games, tv programmes and films. Sometimes they start with Dave and Zac writing the tunes, and then we all get together and write the words. Other times we might see some grafitti , some funny writing or hear something crazy and decide it would make the start of a good song.
Zac – The early songs all came about from jams and Millie made up the words on the spot. Song ideas come from trying to think about creepy things. We sometimes get together with a thesaurus to get more interesting words. Now we have been together for a while we come along with our own ideas and we work on them together. I asked my friend Ray for a song idea and he came up with the idea of Green Sweat.
Dave – The more random the inspiration the better. Broken Eye from our album is based around some lyrics that Zac made up when he was 4 years old. Some new stuff we’ll be working on will be about a dead children’s railway that we invented while all on holiday together in Hungary and another one will be about pollution and recycling that came about due to one of Zac’s mates telling me off for lobbing an apple core into a bush.
What advice would you give to any young people thinking about starting a band?
Zac – If you like music Just do it . Its really fun. Playing in front of crowds is great, especially if you get to play festivals. We have played at Supersonic, Lunar and last weekend at Hi-Viz Festival which was amazing.
Millie – Don’t be afraid, just rock on.
Dave – Do it – there’s no other experience like playing a gig with loud instruments blasting away behind you.
I’m aware some of you are involved in other projects. Can you tell us a bit about them?
Zac – At school I play steel pans and we have played a concert at the music evening. We played Paint It Black and Careless love. My dad plays in Evil Blizzard who all wear masks, have four bass players and a pig on keyboards. They are playing in Leeds on 27th October at Brudenell Social Club.
Dave – Yes, we are playing in Leeds on 27th October at Brudenell Social Club, come down.
The cake stall is an important part of the Youth Anthems gig so what are your top three desserts?
Millie – Chocolate sponge pudding, chocolate waffles with strawberries and sprinkles, Oreo Cheesecake
Zac – 1. Gooey chocolate cake. 2. Trip Choc Cookie from Lidl. 3. Choc porcupine cake from school.
Dave – Same as the drummer boy – chocolate stuff.
Top Birmingham fact?
Zac – Parts of Ready Player one was filmed in Digbeth where we did our first two gigs.
Millie – Digbeth in Birmingham is well know for its graffiti and street art, we just played at a New festival with lots of awesome street art called High Vis Fest
Dave – Boring one – Brum has more miles of canal than Venice.
What other bands that we might have missed should we be checking out?
Millie – Bands I like, Tirikilatops , Acid Mothers Temple, Flaming Lips, Squalor Fan, Tornends, Rainbow Grave.
Zac – Good Water – my first drum teacher called Tom is in them. Roni Size – I saw him in the summer holidays at Blue dot festival. Big Lad and Cattle who me and Millie crowd surfed to at Supernormal Festival last year. Also, Rainbow Grave, Squalor Fan and Tornends who are all from Birmingham.
Dave – All of the above plus a new band called Michael who will be playing in London with Evil Blizzard soon.
Any parting words?
Millie – I am looking forward to playing Leeds as I have never been there
Zac – Come to the gig – its gonna be epic dude!