Haven are Pamme (Pamela Kirby) – vocals, lyrics; Michael Brody – bass, keyboards; and John Vanselow – guitar based in Thousand Oaks CA (USA) http://musicaldiscoveries.com/images/h... A star lineup of guests contributed to the album Matt Sorum (drums – Guns n'Roses, The Cult), Robin McAuley (backing vocals – MSG) and Jimmy Hotz (Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason, Gary Wright).
Looking back, HAVEN actually started in three different cities when John, Pamme and Michael were barely teenagers when they realized that music would forever be their life long companion. The cities are different, but the stories are all very similar. The names HAVE NOT been changed!
For Pamme, it all started when her parents bought her a portable radio cassette recorder and gave it to her for Junior High School graduation. She spent that whole summer forcing her reluctant friends to monitor her progress as she sang them her renditions of that summer's Top 40! One night, someone had a party behind her house and when she heard a band playing, she jumped the fence and crashed it. Upon hearing their singer had not shown up, Pamme said: "Uh, I'm a singer!" Next thing she knew she was singing "Get Back" by the Beatles. She left the party with the band's managers phone number written on her left wrist in lipstick. Although it took her 2 weeks to conjure up the courage to call him, she's never forgotten how in the blink of an eye, it was as though the skies just opened up and filled her with a sense of joy and purpose that has yet to be extinguished. And thus started Pamme's singing career!
For John, it all started when he was at his best friend's house and they happened to go into his best friend's brother's room and found a guitar lying on the bed. John picked it up and from that moment on was fascinated by the guitar. His best friend told John his brother's band was playing at the local YMCA that night and they went to see them. That was it. John wanted to be a rock n' roll star. About a year later John heard someone playing their stereo out of their bedroom window and couldn't believe the music he was hearing. He was so moved that he went up and rang the doorbell to find out what band was playing on the record player. The reply was UFO, and the song was "Rock Bottom"
And the fire raged on…
For Michael, it all started when he put on his first Beatles record. Paul McCartney stirred something deep inside him as a song writer and musician.
Other influences include. Rush, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley, Stanley Clarke and anything good, especially the "British Music" scene.
All three group members played in numerous copy bands and eventually found their ways to their first all original bands. Pamme's first band began when drummer Matt Sorum from Velvet Revolver, Guns n' Roses and The Cult fame called and said, "Hey Pamme got a band?" Having stayed in touch, she later hooked up with him again to record drums on Haven's debut CD "The Road".
The band was formed when the members each answered ads in a local music magazine. The band played live shows for a while and developed their songwriting skills. They decided to take time off from playing and record and produce an entire album. When the album was finished, they started selling it in local music stores and were really surprised at the response it got. They also started posting their music on a few websites.
Then one day, Haven received an email from someone affiliated with a European record label. The guy says he loves what he hears and that he is looking for a couple of bands to sign or produce for a European label he works with. So they send him a package and then he forwards it on to the head of Now & Then/Frontiers Records. About 3 weeks later Haven receives an email from the head of the company saying they want to sign them! From there it was all a matter of working out the details of the contract. That's how it happened. And all because they decided to put their music up on the web!
The bands first CD "The Road" was then released and received rave reviews. The band signed the deal for two records so they will soon start writing and recording for their follow up to "The Road." There has already been talk of having some "special guest" players on the next record. Announcements for this will be updated in the bands news section! Please check back as the review and interview sections will be updated periodically.
Special guest players include Matt Sorum on drums, (Guns 'n' Roses and The Cult Bourgeois Pigs) and Robin McAuley, background vocals, (MSG-McAuley Schenker Group). The band has many musical influences which have melded together to give Haven their own distinctive sound. Haven explores and provides a solid offering of life-giving lyrics and introspection, woven amidst a melodic storm of high-powered vocals and guitar work. They write from the heart, based not upon calculated efforts to clone the latest trend, but to use their music as a vehicle to uplift, heal and entertain, never forgetting why they started making music in the first place... They love it!
The band has many diverse musical influences. Pamme the Lead Vocalist and Lyricist was inspired by Kansas, Heart, Deep Purple, and Journey. She was inspired by these bands because of Steve Walsh, Ann Wilson and Steve Perry; three great singers and performers.
Michael the Bass, Keyboard and Rhythm Guitar player was inspired by Paul McCartney, The Beatles, Rush, Jeff Buckley, Sting, and various Pop bands.
John the guitar player was inspired by UFO (Michael Schenker), Black Sabbath, Rush, Deep Purple, Robin Trower, The Beatles, and classical music. Mix all that together and you have a pretty wide influence of musical styles which all add up to... Haven!
FIREWORKS MAGAZINE INTERVIEW
In conjunction with Fire Works Magazine, Nick Baldrain conducted an interview with Pamme, the lead singer of Haven on July 27th, 2001.
She has a thing for Kansas' Steve Walsh, she can sing like an angel, she's got the songs, she's amazingly gorgeous, she's got a killer band and she'sworked with some of the hottest names in hard rock: ladies and gentleman, Fireworks introduces you to Pamme and her awesome band Haven whose debut album 'The Road' has just been released on Frontiers/Now And Then Records.
Just don't call her Pamela, babe!
I got chatting with Pamme and fellow band members Michael Brody (bass, keys &
guitar) and John Vanselow (Lead & rhythm guitars), and began by delving into
the origins of the band.
When did you decide to form Haven?
Pamme: The Band was actually formed a few years back when we all simultaneously answered an ad. From the moment we all met there was just this immediate and intense chemistry that demanded to be pursued further. This was our first all original band and we think it's safe to say we're "lifers".
Michael: I answered an ad, which is where I met John. Then Pamme answered an ad and joined. We played together for a few years and then kind of took a break for a couple of years. Then I wrote a track and called up Pamme and John and said "Wanna Rock?" That track turned out to be 'Can You Hear Us'.
The project they were doing was called Haven. So I rejoined the Band. We work really well together.
John: When Michael called, Pamme and I had been writing a lot of songs together and had recorded one or two songs with a producer. So we recorded 'Can You Hear Us' and after it was finished we were all excited. We decided to get together one afternoon and just let the tape recorder roll. We must have put down 20 song ideas. Pamme listened to the tape and immediately started writing lyrics. Most of the album came from that tape!
It was interesting to see Matt Sorum and Robin McAuley helping out. How did you hook up with them?
P: Well, Matt and I grew up in Orange County. Even back then, he was a monster player! I remember him playing 'Burn' by Deep Purple for me, and just blowing me away! Afterwards, he sold me this huge tambourine that barely fit in my hand, and a Queen album for 10 bucks (Which reminds me...I think I still owe him the 10 bucks!). With Robin, I actually had a dream that we were
driving around in my car listening to 'The Curtain' and 'Forgiveness' and I was asking if he wanted to do background vocals with me. Two days later, my sister Lisa and I saw him at a swap meet and he was just the COOLEST! The funny thing was, a couple years earlier (which I neglected to mention) I had stood in line after a MSG concert so he and Michael could sign their poster
for me! Anyway, I guess the story must have intrigued him, because soon after, we were driving around the block of his neighborhood listening to 'The Curtain' and 'Forgiveness'. I'll bet if he'd known how excited I was to be recreating my dream, he'd never have got in the car with me, because I drove like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland and almost killed us at a 4-way stop!
I understand that you were in a band with Matt Sorum at one time - tell me about the band and did you record anything?
P: Yes, that's true. I've yet to play in a band with a drummer that inspires me to the heights that Matt does. He remains my all time favorite drummer to play live with! We did record but unfortunately those tapes were destroyed in a bonfire!
Did the recording of your CD go as planned, it must have been hectic to fit in with everybody's busy schedules, how did you manage it?
P: Matt and Robin are consummate professionals and are a blast to work with, so when their schedules permitted, they just came in and nailed their parts! After Robin had done his parts, Matt came in and laid down live drums to pre-recorded tracks and did the drums in 3 days. No rehearsal was necessary because Matt, not unlike Robin, is pretty much a one-take wonder. They'd just
listen to the song and then say 'Let's do it!'. I recall telling Matt before hearing the songs that we had several ballads, is that cool? He responded with "Does 'November Rain' mean anything to you?" Matt is a complete and perpetual crack up - I just love that guy!
Do you enjoy collaborating with different musicians?
M: I think it can expand your experience. You might go in a direction that you normally wouldn't. Sometimes that's good and other times it's not. I'll always try to have an open mind and give it a try. You know when it feels right.
P: Absolutely! The energy and feedback that comes from working with other musicians can be extremely inspiring.
You recently teamed up again with Robin McAuley and also Johnny Lima, Alex Masi and Lars Eric Mattsson to record a track for the Jason Becker tribute CD. How did all this go?
P: I was contacted and asked if I would like to sing the song 'Tell The Truth' by David Lee Roth for the tribute CD (www.lionmusic.com/jasonbecker) you and Lars Eric Mattsson were putting together for Jason Becker. Until then I'd never sang the blues, just lived them! Lars sent me the backing tracks that he had done and we did a few vocal takes in our studio and we were surprised how good it sounded because Roth sings that song in a pretty low register. I guess my Viagra came in handy after all! [Check out this issues cover CD and hear the track for yourselves - Nick]. Johnny somehow had found us on mp3.com and contacted us saying how much he liked the band and he would like to forward a package to a label he was on which is Now & Then/Frontiers.
We asked him if he would like to contribute to the Jason Becker project and he said just tell me when and where! So Johnny flew down on a Saturday and did his vocal parts that day. In the original version the male vocals are the main part with the female vocals in the chorus. We switched it around and I sang the main vocal line and we had Johnny do the chorus. Johnny Lima is
'Sheer fun at first sight'. I'm still laughing! We then had Robin come over and do some vocal lines that we traded back and forth and also on the vamp out. We then sent the tracks back to Lars who had Alex Masi add some guitar and then he mixed it. We all had a great time recording the song and Robin left having experienced 'the lollypop dance!'
You prefer to be called just Pamme, why's that?
Anytime I hear PAMELA I know I'm in trouble!
Is your name pronounced Pam or Pammy?
(Humming) 'You say tomatoe I say tomato, you say Soprano I say Saprano!' Truth be told... my dad did one of the first live radio talk shows in the USA. It was at that time hat the program director suggested he go by the name Jonathan Kirby, a name that served him well through-out his broadcasting career! My dad had a captivating personality and a tremendous sense of humor,
which explains him 'gifting me' with the name 'Kirby'! Perhaps my reluctance to use the name Kirby stems from going through my high school years with a close friend named Alaina 'Hoover'... (The nightmares have only just begun to subside!)
Tell me about the songs on the debut?
P: For this project, John and Michael would get together to bounce ideas back and forth. After they'd get the scratch tracks, they would then pass the ideas on to me on Adat. I would wait to have the mic on and the tape rolling before even hearing most of the parts for the first time, preferring to just wing it and improvise to whatever was on the tape. Then, we'd all get together and collectively choose the songs that we felt captured the most magic. Once we decided on which songs we would take to the next level. John and Michael laid down all the music tracks. Once again, I'd get the songs on Adat, and recorded my parts in a studio I have at the house, complete with all the necessary atmospheric 'creature' comforts of home. And by creature, I do mean CREATURE! You see, I have a lot of animals and have always found them to be very grounding, not to mention quite the enthusiastic audience!
While writing this record, I endured some of the most immeasurable losses in my life, with little or no recovery time in between. I discovered first hand just how viciously relentless grief can be. So much so, that at times, it can just threaten to consume you! Having had the music to channel the waves of emotions into was an amazingly cathartic experience, and my hope is, that others who are going through significant heartaches of their own, will also find subjective and substantial comfort in the songs.
J: I guess you could say our songs have more of a universal message to them. We put positive and uplifting messages in our lyrics and hope that people that are going through some difficult times in their lives can find some hope and comfort from our songs.
Do you have any plans for a follow yet?
J: Yes indeed! The contract we signed is for two records with an option for a third. We have a few songs that we have recorded as demos and lots of ideas for songs on tape. The next step will be to decide on which ideas we want to turn into songs and then start recording them. We don't have a date for the release because we will have to see how the writing and recording goes, but the plan is to have a CD released next year.
Who are your inspirations musically and spiritually?
P: Steve Walsh of Kansas, Ann Wilson of Heart and Steve Perry from Journey! They are clearly phenomenal singers and I have yet to hear anyone grab hold of my heart and demand my attention at that magnitude. I also learned a lot from David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Lou Gramm of Foreigner and Joe Lynn Turner. Spiritually, no question - Kansas!
This band inspires me with authentic emotions and made me aware of just how powerful and healing music can be. Their songs 'The Wall' and 'Hope Once Again' bring tears to my eyes and in an instant puts me back in spirit.
M: I started playing music because of Paul McCartney. Some of the bands that inspired me include: The Beatles, Rush (Geddy Lee), Kiss, Jeff Buckley and Sting. Spiritually.....now that's a good question. There are so many teachers around us. All we have to do is listen and observe.
J: Musically I was inspired by UFO (Michael Schenker), Rush, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Robin Trower, The Beatles, Y&T and Classical Music. Spiritually I try to find inspiration in everything. It's there, we just forget it!
When you start piecing your songs together, do you go with the natural flow of what's comes out or do you start looking for some form of inspiration?
P: I believe that within certain instrumentals the story already exists and beckons to be told. The most compelling lyrics are those that find their home amidst music that not only compliments the tale but delivers the message just as successfully.
M: I go with the flow. Inspiration comes when it does. It can be in the shower or in the car. Usually when I'm in that state of 'being' and not trying to force anything, ideas come flowing quite easily.
J: I think that for all of us inspiration comes when we are not looking for it. Our best songs were written that way and just seemed to come together naturally. Of course there are those songs that you just can't seem to finish and with those you have to look for some inspiration.
Pamme, how long have you been singing for and what made you became a singer?
I can't remember not singing. It all started with a radio cassette player I got for Junior High School graduation. I spent that whole summer forcing my reluctant friends to monitor my progress as I sang them my renditions of that summer's Top 40! And what a lonely summer that became! We are all born with innate abilities and I really do feel blessed to have discovered my purpose early on.
Is there anyone in the business you would like to write and/or perform with?
Hmm, let me see....Steve Walsh, Steve Walsh, Steve Walsh! Starting to see a pattern here aren't you? Good thing for Steve they passed that stalking law!
Have you had any unsavory experiences being a good-looking woman in the music industry, or has this worked to your advantage?
I've had a few, shall we say, narrow escapes, ending with 'How 'bout no, Scott!' Yeah, sure.....THEN you'll hear my songs and get back to me, right? I love that story! By the way, I just love Austin Powers. Mike Myers is a genius.
How do you feel about exploiting your looks and sexuality? After all, image is a very important part of the music scene, or do you firmly believe that only the music should do the talking?
I've heard it said that's why they call it 'Show' business and realize the same goes with music industry. Ego is often an insecurity camouflage that deflates and destroys. I know some real pretty girls where after talking with them for a while you feel 'Man, I'm talking to Medusa, if I look another second I'll surely turn to stone!' whereas other people I know who maybe aren't considered your classic raving beauties just radiate this whole different vibe, a vibe so genuine it just transcends societies definition of beauty and or sexuality. Concerning looks and sexuality, it seems there is a lot of smoke and mirrors used to work that angle, so much so that at times you can lose track of your musical perspective if the whole image thing becomes to much of a focus.
What's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you launched your musical career?
It seems my whole life's been crazy! I don't think I'd know the difference.
You were asked to change the artwork for the European/Jap release. How did you feel about this? Having seen the new artwork, we think it is amazing!
P: Thank you! The new artwork does better exemplify what Haven represents.
J: At first we were a little surprised. Where I work I had sold a few hundred copies and most people always commented on how impressive the artwork was. Even people that didn't buy it would comment on how cool the cover was. Michael and I had designed it so of course we had a bit of a bias towards it.
So we were thinking, 'What's wrong with it?'. The label said in a nice way it wasn't quite up to their standards. At that time we had no idea what we were going to do. So Michael contacted his friend Dan Platt and we got together and talked about some ideas and finally decided on a concept. Dan just put it all together from there. He was great to work with and he did an exceptional job. The right tool in the right hands!
The original release didn't have a title. Now it's called 'The Road'. Why?
J: We never could decide on a title so when we released it ourselves we just called the album 'Haven'. When the artwork was almost done we were all looking at the cover and we thought it needed something under the logo. So we decided to name the album. We all thought about it for a few minutes and we all agreed on 'The Road'.
P: It just seemed apropos, as we all travel down our subjective roads to ultimately the same destination.
M: 'The Road' felt right. We've all been through some unfortunate situations the last few years and the Road we've all travelled has been rough. But we've all grown and learned from these experiences.
What's in store for the future?
P: Hopefully that our music will create a ripple effect much like the bands that have and continue to inspire us.
J: The immediate future has us finishing up some publishing contracts, some more interviews and getting our website up and going. After that we will start the process for recording the next album. Hopefully the debut will be received well and from there who knows...
M: Many wonderful things!
Is the band gonna stay a 3 piece with guests, or expand?
J: For now we are going to stay a 3 piece. We will probably have Matt Sorum play on some tracks along with Steve Klong who is also an exceptional drummer. Robin has already agreed to sing on a few songs again and we might have Johnny Lima sing a little. Lars Eric Mattsson has agreed to play on at least one track, which will be really cool. He's an awesome player!
M: The 3 of us make a unique combination of elements. It works really well for us. If we end up doing some shows overseas then we might expand at that time.
There are thousands of bands trying to make it out there - what do you think Haven has to offer that makes them that more likely to succeed?
M: What we offer is sincerity in what we do. We write from the heart and when you do that you get what I call 'Magic!'
P: We truly hope to offer a place of musical refuge and shelter on the many roads of life's uncertain highways. Our hope is also for people having heard the songs to come away thinking 'Hey, I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way and that this too will pass.'
What are your goals in life, both personal and musical? Of course, these could both be the same.
P: You're right, they are the same. My goals in life are to be an instrument for those who feel they have no hope. We're all still searching aren't we?
And for our beloved animal kingdom who truly have no voice.
M: I think my over all goal is to be a happy 'Spirit'. That encompasses many things. Having the gift of writing and playing music is amazing. We sometimes take things for granted. I'm leaning to appreciate everything I have. Making music and hopefully touching people along the way will be amazing!! No worries! It's all good!
J: I try and do the best I can every day. I always ask myself at the end of the day, 'Did you do your best?'. I use that as a benchmark both for my personal and musical goals.
Is there anything you would like to say to say to your fans out there?
M: Thanks for hearing our music and being touched in someway. It's really nice to hear that people like what you are trying to convey.
J: Thanks to all of you have contacted us and told us how much you like our music. We really appreciate it when someone takes the time to write and we always try to answer every one of you.
P: Thank you for allowing us into your heads and hopefully your hearts. On with the adventure.....
Michael Schübeler Interview
First of all, I found nothing about where you come from.
Okay, we're in Southern Oaks/California. It's actually Ventura County, but it's also nearby Hollywood. It's a little more urban, you know, but it's getting developed. It's nice out here! As I said, they started to really develop it. So we're kind of in-between Santa Barbara which is an hour away and the Hollywood area. It's kinda horrible, I don't like that scene at all.
Your lyrics are very impressive and warmer then what you normally find in melodic rock. How do you write something like "Someday Soon"
Well, life's experiences are worth writing for me. I look at it either autobiographical or observational - and both of them have a great power! Like you, I do it because I love it. There's no calculated effort.
What about the name HAVEN? What kind of oasis or place do you mean by that?
Well, it's kind of subjective I think because life is like an intimate voyage. But it's more of a case of refuge 'cause I wanted to have a name of the band... I love animals! I LOVE them! Right now I'm looking at 6 little kitties that I just took 'cause I've been rescuing these wild cats. I have a whole bunch of animals myself, and I have a big dog. And I refuse to get them anything other than a home that I would give 'em. And so I love animals. So for me, a lot of my views and also my writing... You look back at the time when you were younger, you know, and you come back and go, "Wow! I was singing when I was 12!" or "I was beginning to study animals when I was 8!" And you see that those experiences more than shape you. And that's why when you're talkin' about HAVEN... For me, I've always wanted to have a big sanctuary for the animals where I can do them some good because they are so INNOCENT, Michael!
I see this innocence in the eyes of my godchild, too. And it's a shame that they'll lose it someday and you can do nothing to avoid it.
It depends. You can look at one child that's brought up in an atmosphere that encourages them to be themselves and have their imaginary friends and, you know, are more spiritual. And then you look at the ones that unfortunately are not allowed to be brought up in that kind of environment. You got to be grateful when you have a particular kind of talent that allows you that freedom. You know, you look at what you are because my parents totally gave me my love of animals.
I have always seen it as a gift to be human. I mean from our abilities we easily could be the crown of creation. But we are not because of all the stupid and cruel things that we do that I don't understand.
Isn't that why we write, Michael? Because it helps us to understand several things - and most of them are out of our control. That's the hardest thing that I've had to do. 'cause I've had people tell me all my life, "Pam, you can't save the world!" And my response to that has always been, "But I'll die trying, won't I?" But those people just don't take the time! If everybody took care of the kids or the people that were hungry or that needed help or someone to talk to, or the animals, then the world... it would be a better place! But unfortunately, this is a very selfish world. I have always looked at music as a huge opportunity to heal. And I also review on the next record that we're practising and writing right now. The last record that we did I totally know that I just scratched the surface, Michael. And that's why I liked the fact that you picked up on them. You know, you just keep progressing and you keep learning. But for me, it was the most horribly grace-taking (?) time of my life when I did that. And I was so grateful that I could feel these picked-up emotions and I had no (?) to quit (?) 'em. So that's when the music came. And it's almost like... I never had anything bad happen, I've never lost anybody or anything. I had this false sense of security. I was very very epathetic to people because, you know, you have your nature. But now I am sympathetic. Right now it's like I can really reach out and take somebody's hand. They know that I've been there. I feel like sometimes I had to go through this. Well I know for a fact, if I hadn't I wouldn't have written those particular lyrics. The next record is gonna be more I think observational. Well, some of it. What happened to New York City or any tragedy like that, automatically you're writing to find meaning and make sense. Usually, the guys give me the music and usually I will wait. But with "Face The Day", it was weird. I don't want to hear if it's a rock ballad, I don't want to hear if it's an uptempo song. I just like to always have the tape rolling because there's a moment... There's a little window that you get the certain little magic moments that you won't get and you can't reproduce with the same feel as the original inspiration. That comes out of nothing. That's the authentic thing of it. As my tape ran out at the end of the verse, I wrote "Face The Day" without music or anything. It just came right out, the whole chorus! That was so cool!!
Wow! You also contributed David Lee Roth's "Tell The Truth" to the Jason Becker tribute "Warmth In The Wilderness".
He inspires me. I love Jason Becker. I can't even believe that this guy still writes! They invented something that he can blink with, so he can answer things. I think what he does is he uses his mouth and does something. Well I really don't know 'cause I don't write music, but he does something with his mouth and a mouse or something. You know what? It's amazing! This guy is a natural treasure I think. Do you think that he's not wondering, "Hey, what happened to me?" 'cause everybody that I've talked to that has known him even if he was a little kid said, "He was the nicest guy!" And then I look at other people that I know, and they are like, "What's in it for me? What's in it for me??" They have everything and they're always wanting more, like, "When I have more, I'm gonna be more happy!" And then there is Jason, this great guy, outrageous player, and has this disease for 12 years and is still writing??? And that blows me away, Michael, blows me away!! When I did the chorus on "Tell The Truth", Johnny Lima told me that I guess Jason had a dream. And while he was still in the dream-state of sleeping, he awakened - and he was moving!!! And I said, "Oh my god! What does it mean?" It's like a part of his brain that when he's awake knows that he can't do this anymore, and for some reason the nerves to be able to move when he was in a dream. It's just amazing because he's very spiritual. He is in the whole brain thing, the whole Eastern thing.
You mean things like kharma?
I think it comes down to the freedom of choice. You can let things happen or you can make it happen. "Kharma" is just knowing right from wrong. You gotta look at yourself in a mirror and can you do that at the end of the day? Can you say at the end of the day, "Did I make a difference in someone's life?" That's kinda my goal. I don't care if it's a person or animal or somebody that happens to cross your path. I don't believe in coincidence. That's the whole thing: You kinda go where your heart leads you. You never know when life's gonna hand you the bill!
Official Website: http://www.haventheband.com/
MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/haventheband