HEAVENSGATE – ‘We Haven’t Taken the Foot Off the Gas’

HEAVENSGATE band interview

A number of us have a bunch of questions that come to mind when we hear the name HEAVENSGATE such as, who are these guys? Where did they come from? Do they like the Harry Potter series? Well, maybe not the last question but we still need answers. To scratch that itch, we grabbed Aki and David from the Greyscale Records signed band to pick their brains on everything to do with HEAVENSGATE, their new EP (our review here) and the motivation to blow minds early into the game…

For those who don’t already know, how did HEAVENSGATE come to exist?

Aki: So it all really started during the COVID lockdowns. I began following Josh (Ang) on Instagram a while back. He put up a story which said something to the effect of ‘who wants to play some sort of game’. I messaged him, and he responded. From there we just played games throughout the COVID lockdowns and within a month we got to know each other and essentially became friends.

Then, in the same sort of fashion, Jack, our other guitarist, met Josh in a similar way. At the time, Jack was trying to start a band off the ground, he was writing and recording early phases of demos and a bunch of stuff. When presented with this opportunity, Josh said ‘well, I’m happy to come in, join this band, and rework it with you guys.’

From there, the guys found Naz, and Caleb, David, and then myself, I was one of the last people to come into the fold. The whole thing basically started off through a bunch of Instagram DM’s.

Your debut EP titled And All I Loved, I Loved Alone is out now. Having already released three of the tracks as singles, what are your feelings towards the momentum that these songs have managed to gain?

David: Yeah, the singles have been really good, especially ‘Ginsick’, seemingly everyone is really enjoying that track. The response has been incredible. Each time that we have released a single, we’ve kind of spent a day or two enjoying everyone’s response and really absorbing it. However, we’re still so busy in the background working on stuff. For example, we know the EP is coming out. We’re like, oh yeah, cool, It’s finally coming out, but we’re still focusing on what’s next and what more we can still do. So it’s kind of, like we’re absorbing it and taking it in, but we’re also working on what’s next.

A lot of people, including myself, never anticipated the creation of HEAVENSGATE. It almost seemed that before anyone even had the chance to become a fan, you already had Greyscale Records in your corner, working with you on this release. How did that kind of working relationship come about?

David: So, Josh Ang already had a working relationship with the guys at Greyscale Records. They had been working together a few months previous to that with Pincer +. With Josh being involved in our band, as a sixth member and our studio member, he said, ‘I’ll send this EP to the guys at Greyscale, see if they’re interested in it. No guarantees’. We had everything prepped and ready to go. We had all the music recorded and had filmed all of the videos. We were lucky enough that they liked it. From there, we all sat down and had a meeting. I expected a really fancy business meeting, but instead, it was breakfast and everyone was talking shit. Those guys have been awesome to work with, we love it.

Have you noticed a difference within the results of what you’ve achieved so far by working with them?

David: Absolutely! It’s always good to just have people’s faith in you and support you. The amount of expertise that those guys bring to the table is immense. It’s a fine line and a difficult dance to dance because you’re putting your art out there and going, ‘hey, guys, can everyone please pay attention to me.’ That’s an extremely difficult thing to pull off. So those guys know when to push something and know when to hold back and have strategies to implement for different situations. They’re also just such big supporters of us and every other band on their label. They have such good relationships with everyone involved that they are involved with. Working with them has taken a lot of stress off our shoulders. Although we’re still working really hard. We have to match the energy the Greyscale Records produce. 

Josh Ang is such an incredibly well-rounded musician. What is it like having him involved as a studio member to draw from his knowledge and experience?

David: It’s great. Josh and I have worked together previously. So continuing that relationship and working with him again is fantastic. As you said, Josh has a wealth of experience and a lot of artistic flair. He can sort of create anything. So having him there to be able to draw from and then, have him create, on the EP and then be able to go, ‘oh, cool, we can take inspiration from that as well’ is really cool. Josh and I have been friends for a long time so it has been easy to connect with him on this project.

You guys have six members, most of which have previous projects that saw some success. Have fans from those past projects jumped across into what you’re doing now? And has there been any pressures to fulfil their expectations?

David: I wouldn’t say so. Josh, brings a lot to the table because he’s created such unique sounds in his music. So maybe yes from Josh’s perspective. When Josh first messaged me in regards to this project, I had been out of the music industry for a couple of years. I was just focusing on being a sellout and working the nine-to-five life [laughs]. Josh hit me up and said, ‘I really want you to be involved in this project’. At first, I was hesitant but eventually I got involved. So not so much for me. I don’t think anyone was really interested in what I was doing anymore.

But definitely what Josh was doing, and perhaps from the other guys in the band. However, there wasn’t really a focus on a need to fulfil that per se. We had established a mentality of ‘what can we create that we know that we’re good at?’ and so we just focused on creating an 11 out of 10 piece of art. The focus has always been to produce the best material that we possibly can.

David, after taking a break from the music industry and now returning to It, was it easy to fall back in love with the process of being in a band again and going through the stages of writing, recording and releasing music?

David: Definitely. I’ve been in the music industry for a good ten or twelve years now, since I was about 19. Taking that break was weird, because I thought oh good, I don’t have to get in a van with four other sweaty smelly dudes, while becoming annoyed at each other over nothing and eating McDonald’s for the third time of the day.

For the first time, I was relieved because I actually had some spare time and money to go on holidays and things like that. However, I found that it gets boring pretty quickly. I wasn’t putting effort into something that’s mine. I felt as if my creative outlet was gone, which was unfulfilling. Jumping back in was like riding a bike or putting on your favourite pair of shoes.

Looking past the release of this new EP, what’s in the pipeline for HEAVENSGATE?

Aki: We got a lot. Obviously, we can’t give away too much. I would like to build on what David was saying how we’re just constantly working, we haven’t really stopped, we haven’t taken the foot off the gas at all, we have been pumping out demos constantly. So we’re definitely going to have a lot more music out this year compared to last year. But we have a lot of things we want to do with this project and a lot of exciting steps to take. 

Is the band currently practising in preparation for future shows?

David: We’re only just starting sort of now to put shows together. We can jam and practice something, but we need to get an actual show together. So we’re obviously looking to do that in the first half of this year. We’re just waiting for the right opportunity to come along, or for us to plan the right thing. So yeah, we are practising and putting together a live show. And we want to make sure that that’s something really special. So when people come to watch us perform that they get the value out of it, and it’s worth their money.

Are there any last thoughts of fans (new and old) before they hear your And All I Loved, I Loved Alone EP?

David: We just hope that you’ll enjoy it. We’ve invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. The three singles seem to be well-liked. We also have the other tracks that we feel will surprise and there’s others that are similar to what we’ve put out so far. There’s a certain sound that we’ve created, but it’s not all the same. So I hope we hope everyone just enjoys it.

Aki: Also, a big thanks to everyone who has been supporting thus far. If you were to go on our social media, you see an abundance of people not only just commenting and interacting with posts, but we’ve had a lot of covers as well coming in, which was really cool to see. Seeing that has really boosted the morale of the band. It’s confirmation that what we’re doing is good and people like this, which is great, especially for a new band. It’s awesome to see that people are resonating with it.

Interview by Adam Rice

Stream And All I Loved, I Loved Alone here 

Stalk HEAVENSGATE on Facebook and Instagram

HEAVENSGATE - And All I Loved, I Loved Alone EP review

HEAVENSGATE – And All I Loved, I Loved Alone tracklisting:
1. Chemical Heaven
2. Comfort In The Slow Death
3. Gin sick
4. Lovers dance
5. She Moves Like Thunder
6. Symbiotic Suicide

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About Adam 'Ricey' Rice (112 Articles)
A young music enthusiast who dives into a world created by an artist then returns to reality to express what he experienced in writing.