Blind Haven ready to jam at Local Metal ShowcaseWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
While the members of Blind Haven have known one another for quite some time, their years of friendship and shared love for stoner, doom and sludge metal weren’t the collective impetus behind the band’s formation.
“Actually, we kind of formed out of a hospital room as weird as that sounds because I was in the hospital at the time,” said Blind Haven guitarist Heath LaTour.
In February, LaTour was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). AML is a type of blood cancer that starts in the bone marrow and results in bone marrow cells not maturing the way they’re supposed to. Symptoms of AML include fever and fatigue, and they’re often the result of a shortage of normal blood cells.
LaTour initially thought he was just catching a cold during the brutal winter and ended up passing out at work. His employer notified him he could not return to work until he saw the doctor, and that’s when he found out he had AML.
“I went and saw a doctor and spent the next, like, maybe a month, little over a month in the hospital room,” LaTour said. “And after I got out, I’d go in once a month for a week for chemotherapy treatments and did that until about July.”
While he was in the hospital, old friend and Blind Haven drummer Andrew Owen reached out to LaTour.
“He found out I was ill,” LaTour said of Owen. “He got a hold of me and asked me if I wanted to jam when I got out of the hospital, and we started a band from, like, that day.”
Comprised of LaTour (guitar), Owen (drums), Dustin Bourns (vocals) and Drew Rogers (bass), the Lenawee County-based Blind Haven officially formed in April. Heavily influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, the Melvins, Neurosis and New Orleans heavy hitters like Down, EYEHATEGOD, Crowbar and Acid Bath, Blind Haven’s music has one central goal: obey the riff.
“It’s all about creating one big riff, like, all of us together,” LaTour said of Blind Haven’s sound. “We don’t intend to write longer songs; it just happens. You get this living being of a song. You keep permitting life into it and it’s like, how do you bring it back to earth? You just don’t. You let it bring itself down, and sometimes you end up with a ten minute song.”
After years of playing a more up-tempo style of metal, LaTour said he was happy to get back to what got him into playing music in the first place.
“I had to return home because that’s what I grew up on,” LaTour said. “Black Sabbath was, like, the band that made me want to play in a band.”
On Nov. 1, Blind Haven will be part of the Local Metal Showcase at Frankie’s Inner City with Eyes of Legion, Living Like Robots and Thou Shall Not Be Forgotten. Tickets are $5 in advance at all Ticketmaster outlets and $7 at the door for the all ages show. Doors are at 9 p.m. at 308 Main St.
“The Innovation [Concerts] guys are really bringing their A-game as far as setting shows up, and also allowing local artists to book their own shows and kind of take the bulls by the horns and run with it,” LaTour said. “A lot of clubs don’t allow that, and a lot of booking agencies, they want it their way or no way.”
In December, Blind Haven will begin recording its debut album with J.C. Griffin at Lakebottom Recording House in Toledo.
“We’re all fans of the stuff he’s put out so far,” LaTour said of Griffin. “And he was honestly the first studio that we found that was willing to get dirty with this album.”
Now that he’s in better health, LaTour is eager to play more gigs in 2015 and get Blind Haven’s debut album out. In the meantime, he and his bandmates are excited to show fans at the Local Metal Showcase what the sludge is all about.
“It’s definitely a genre that most people don’t realize they like it until they witness it,” LaTour said.
For more info on the Local Metal Showcase Nov. 1, visit http://innovationconcerts.com/.