Thrashing about

Colorado’s Havok brings thrasher metal to Rockstar

By Allyson B Crawford

“Being on the road can be creatively prohibitive,” Havok rhythm guitarist and vocalist David Sanchez tells the Dayton City Paper. “There are a lot of other things to do. We don’t have techs, so we do everything ourselves, and that means we don’t have tons of down time. I imagine bands that have written great road songs probably have techs setting up their gear and changing their guitar strings … the ultimate dream is to have someone else tune my guitar!”

Sanchez is bringing his Colorado-based thrash quartet to Dayton on March 14 for a show at Rockstar Pro Arena. While the band doesn’t have a team of roadies or guitar techs yet, they are well on their way.

Currently touring America with Children of Bodom and Megadeth, Havok are starting to make their mark on the metal world. Sanchez started the band 12 years ago when he was just 15. Now 27, he’s proud to say the band is finally getting its due and working hard on a new album that he hopes will put them on the map.

“The new music on our upcoming album is the best we’ve ever written,” he says, proudly. “It will be the one that helps us break through.”

Not wanting to give away too much, Sanchez does admit the album is very dark, aggressive and melodic. The world melodic often strikes fear in the heart of true thrash fans, but it’s not what you think: there won’t be any David Coverdale-like wails or Def Leppard-style guitar solos.

“A lot of the melodies in our bands are not in the vocals,” Sanchez quickly explains. “I don’t sing like Bruce Dickinson [of Iron Maiden]. A lot of the melody is in the guitar line. We’re using our instruments to their fullest potential on this record.”

Sanchez is also using his composition skills on their upcoming album as well. The new release, still unnamed, will be the band’s first with renowned metal label Century Media. A bigger label means bigger pressure, but the four guys are ready.

“I feel like on this new album, my love and appreciation of classical music has come forward more,” Sanchez admits. “I don’t have classical training, but I feel like composition is my strong point. I’m not the greatest guitarist or singer. When I listen to bands, I’m listening to the entire composition. That’s how I take influence and that’s how I get ideas for cool things that Havok can do.”

Taking influence, finding new roads and forging ahead are helping the guys in Havok make plans for the future, both immediate and long-term. The band will head overseas during the summer for a string of European festivals including Download and Hellfest. Then it is back to the states, touring off and on and getting slots to open for bigger name metal acts. It’s all part of Sanchez’s plan to carry the metal torch forward. The thought of carrying the burden of metal into the future for a new generation of fans doesn’t come lightly to Sanchez.

“I think 10 years from now the musical landscape will be barren as far as this genre that we play. A lot of the bands that we look up to will retire in the next 10 years. We want to take the torch and pass it. All the bands we look up to, someone needs to be there to carry on. That’s why I started Havok. The old school bands will disappear.”

Those old school bands, or the “goods” as Sanchez calls them, are the big guys: Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden. These established acts have been around for decades. It would be unrealistic to expect them to all continue to tour and record forever.

“The legends, they are all getting older,” Sanchez adds. “I’m not a prophet but I’m not so sure Slayer will still be doing what they do 10 years from now.”

If things go the way Havok has planned, they will still be rocking a decade from now. As for Dayton, the Rockstar Pro Arena gig will mark the second time the thrashers have played the Gem city. Havok played the same venue just a few months ago to a rowdy crowd.

“We hope to send everyone home with a sore neck and some laryngitis from yelling so much. Have some ibuprofen ready for the next day!” Sanchez says, looking forward to the Dayton show.

Havok will play Monday, March 14 at the Rockstar Pro Arena, 1106 E. Third St. in Dayton. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show is all-ages. War Curse will provide support. Tickets are $12 pre-sale. For more information, please visit or

Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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