Havochate is a drunken play on words derived from the word advocate, which means: one that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender. Havoc: widespread destruction. Hate: to feel hostility or animosity. So could we be dealing with a band who defends thier hatred of widespread destruction? Take it how you will. Metal Update got the dirt on this peculiar band name as well as the beauty of acoustic guitars and the band's unfortunate tragedy during the recording of Cycle of Pain.
Interview with Freddy Ordine in November 2005.
Metal Update: How did you guys settle on the name Havochate?
Freddy Ordine: Ummm, A bottle of tequila? (laughs) Me and the drummer Ovie, we were fucking drunk and we were trying to figure out the name of the band. So we came up with the name "Advocate," but spelled it ADVOCHATE. And we were just stupid drunk and were like, "Hey man, why don't we call it Havochate?" (laughs) That's why you don't fucking drink when you make business decisions!
MU: Sounds like it was a GOOD business decision though! That will be your Artist Fact on Music Choice.
FO: (laughs) We hope so! I was checkin out a review someone did for Cycle of Pain the other day in this teeny bopper site, and it's like listing all this shit, and they reviewed the album and so on, then at the bottom it says, "Did you know the guitar player Freddy Ordine is a Libra?"
MU: So you were getting a lot of random phone calls from all these broads you never met before and shit.
FO: (laughs) Exactly! It was pretty fucking funny!
MU: So how did the band find its beginnings, and about how long ago was that?
FO: Ah, I think it was like '97 or '98? Ovie was in a band called Malicious Onslaught and I was in a band called Axiom; we were signed and had two records out. And I decided to walk away for a while. I was fed up with the whole music business and I didn't want to do it anymore. We had gotten fucked by the record company and by our manager pretty bad. I was just spent, I didn't want to do it anymore. So I had seen Ovie play at a Malicious Onslaught rehearsal, and when I saw him playing I was like, I want to do this again! So I spoke with him afterwards and was like, look man I've been working on some new material and I'm thinking about starting to play again. So he's like, well let me hear some of the stuff. And as soon as he did, he was like, yeah man I'm in!
MU: How was working with Testament vet James Murphy?
FO: James worked with us on the first record doing engineering and some other shit. I was a huge fan of James since I was a little kid and I got to meet him when I played with him with my old band. And he and I have stayed in touch over the years. Then we lost touch for a while when he had his brain tumor. Nobody could find him or knew where he went. And he resurfaced, you know his family found him and discovered he had a brain tumor. So he underwent surgery, and then about a year following that he came out to New York to hang out for a while to kind of get out of Florida and start working on music again.
MU: And of course, he was debilitated for a while...
FO: Yeah he was in pretty bad shape for a little bit. But I just saw him a little while ago in California, and he's very much up and around and doing great!
MU: That's a killer for a musician dude, when you can't do what you like.
FO: Oh yeah, and it killed him, it really did. And you know, he's been playing probably better than he ever has before, he's back up and ripping again!
MU: That's so awesome to hear.
FO: He's the James Murphy of yesteryear and then some. Believe me! And I was like, "Hey Murph, I'm really not happy with the mix (of the first album)." And he's like, "Well fuck it, let's pull it apart and remix it." So now, the new record has Greg Christian on it (the original Testament bass player). I had met him out in California when we went to meet up with John Dette, the drummer that used to play with Testament and Slayer for a little while. We were looking for someone to help us track the record cuz Ovie had went through some shit. So we met Dette, and worked out a deal to have him come out and start doing the record with us, and while I was out there I met Greg. And we really hit it off. I told him I wanted him to be part of this record, and he was like, "Fuck yes, I want to do it!" He came out to New York and he's been with us since.
MU: So is he juggling both bands?
FO: Yeah he's going out soon to do the Testament reunion thing and his commitment is still with us. But it's a good opportunity to go back to his roots and shit like that, and we're like, "Go do it, dude!"
MU: Is Dette still involved with you in any way?
FO: No, me and Mario had most of the record written already when we had brought Dette out to New York. And it was super evident right away, that it was not the guy. He clashed really bad with Mario. So he went back to California and we haven't spoken to him since!
MU: So how do you guys go about writing new material? Is it a one-sided process or does everyone contribute?
FO: Well, either me or Mario will come up with a couple ideas guitar-wise and then we'll sit down and bounce things back and forth with each other. A lot of the shit we wrote on the new record we wrote on acoustic guitars believe it or not.
MU: That's funny because a lot of players I talk to always have an acoustic handy, so they end up writing most of their stuff with that. Kind of odd if you think about it.
FO: Yeah it's crazy man, all the riffs are just brutal grinding material, and when we're just trying to lay the stuff out so we can really understand what each others doing it works out really well for us. We wrote most of the record in the living room! And then once we get a basic structure of what we want, we just kind of present it to the rest of the guys and say, this is what we got going on, add your input or just shut up and play what we tell you. (laughs)
MU: So no one person is exclusive to the writing.
FO: Not really. A good chunk of it has my fingerprint on it. And Greg wrote one song all himself, "Buried in Lies". But I mean the biggest chunk of it is me and Mario. And Tim is responsible for all the vocals and lyrics.
MU: Tim sounds like a combination of a few singers out there. Warrel Dane and Chuck Billy come to mind foremost. It really sounds like you found a singer that complements your style.
FO: Oh yeah man, those are two awesome singers, and a lot of people have been saying that about him. He's a great guy, all around sweetheart.
MU: I'm loving the sound on Cycle of Pain. It sounds like you've adapted a more aggressive sound. What's been inspiring you?
FO: Well dude it's like, my life was in a cycle... That's how the record name Cycle of Pain came up, things would go good for a few weeks, then every thing would shit the bed, then it would go well again, then shit the bed again. And it goes back to good management. At that point we were dealing with an idiot. There was so much pressure in the band, it just came out that way. Tim's wife died in October, right in the middle of him singing the vocals man, so you can hear the real emotion of him going through that. And then coming in two days later and singing the record. So what you're hearing, that's the real fucking deal dude. When he's screaming, he means it.
MU: Holy shit dude. What did she pass from?
FO: She had an aneurysm dude. It was just a freak thing!
MU: What, just out of nowhere?
FO: Yeah! She just stood up, and said, "Tim I'm not feeling good". He was on the couch, and he goes to stand up and before he even could get up, she hit the floor and she was gone.
MU: Wow man, I'm sorry!
FO: We had a photo shoot on that following Sunday, and that happened on Saturday. And we're all freaking out cuz Tim NEVER misses anything or is ever late for anything, and he's just not showing up or answering the phone. So we're like, fuck man, something's GOTTA be wrong. So we're like, alright let's just go to the photo shoot, he knows where it is, he'll meet us over there. So my wife calls me, and is crying to me on the phone and I'm freaking out like, "What's going on?", thinking something happened to my kid or something. And she told me, "Tim's wife died last night," and we're like, "Holy shit!" And so we cancelled the photo shoot, came home, and two days later Tim came in, banged out his vocals so he could go home and be with his family in Louisiana. He sang that whole record in two days dude, and knocked it out of the fuckin park. But you know, how much more real and aggressive do you get than having to live through that?
MU: Well that certainly explains a lot of its fierce sound. That SUCKS man!
FO: But now, he's doing well man, he's dealing with it, he's starting to come back and be Timmy again. It's a rough thing to get over... I don't know if you ever really get over it or just learn to deal with it.
MU: So how are you feeling about metal today man, and the saturation of metalcore and hardcore bands out there in the scene and how it will influence the future of metal?
FO: Well, I think it's stronger than it's been in a long time, I don't know if it will ever be the heyday of like Slayer and Testament and Anthrax, teaming up and playing arenas together. I mean the closest thing we're getting to it is Slipknot and Shadows Fall, and it's like just these two or three bands and like none of the others are gaining momentum YET. But I think tours like that are going to help, I think Ozzfest helps a little bit. There's some really good underground bands getting on to it this year, Soilwork and Trivium and others, it's all good things for metal! I don't think it should EVER be like J. Lo popular, because that just waters it down and kills it. But if it gained just a little more steam, I think it would be awesome!
MU: You guys seem to cover all the bases on this new album, like both classic, and the newer kind of more aggressive shit, especially with the low ripping vocals. Is that something new for you guys?
FO: Well, we really wanted to challenge the metal community, you know? All these bands tend to lock themselves into one thing. We kind of just wanted to take all the stereotypes and flush them down the toilet and really challenge them. This is a metal record, whether or not you want to believe it is, you know? We're all fucking metalheads, tell us its not a metal record. With the first record, I felt kind of boxed in with all the crazy double kick, and there were really no dynamics to it, and we were going to have that on this one. We wanted it to be really dynamic. And we were really scared when we put it out, we were like, "Fuck dude, people are going to pummel us." And actually, the reviews have been great.
MU: The thing is dude, the scene needs that kind of shit now. There are a lot of bands, like some European bands that are shedding the whole locking in to one style and they're exploring everything, and it's definitely a relief!
FO: Yeah man, it's true! I mean I love bands like Nevermore, they're one of my favorite bands, and then I love bands like Immortal, they're another one of my favorite bands; so it's like why not stick those two styles together? And that's what we're trying to do.
MU: Although I haven't really heard any black metal out of you guys as of yet...
FO: Well, you will eventually! (laughs)
MU: So what do you guys like to drink when you're out on the road?
FO: Dude, you're going to laugh at me, but we all quit drinking. (laughs) Me and Ovie are on the wagon, first time for us in a long time! You know, for the longest time we were like tequila and Corona constantly. Whenever you saw me and Ovie, you'd see a tequila or Corona bottle not far away! (laughs)
MU: So you guys just quit?
FO: Yeah man, we had to, Ovie went through some rough stuff and got in some trouble. And that's why he couldn't record the record with us. And for me, it was just time, you know? I have two kids and a wife and it's time for me to just chill out. I mean, I'm not saying I'm not going to go out on tour and not drink, because I'd be lying to you if I did, but while we're home and stuff like that, we're just chilling nowadays. But yeah, it's usually tequila and Corona man!
MU: And you guys said your going out on tour THIS year?
FO: Yeah man, I'd say by July. Right now we're just doing single shows to get our shit back together but we should be back in full force soon.
METAL JUDGMENT - Review of Cycle of Pain
Interview: Pete Rutcho [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Photos: Mazur PR [ http://www.mazurpr.com ]
Metal Update Editor: Laura German [ email@example.com ]
Features Editor: Scott McCooe [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Webmaster: Kris Wolff [ email@example.com ]