Haneke Twins can’t stop hearing disembodied Voices in their new post-punk single and animated video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
One typically dark slice of the Swiss band’s third album Stories Of Violence, Voices is a classic shard of gothic post-punk served ice-cold with a drizzle of dissonance. The song’s lyrics are based on an unreleased poem from Zen Das, a poet and friend of the band, and describe the emotions of someone processing the ravenous ache of loss.
“I grab my pen, a hand that shakes
You’re in my mind, my heart that aches
I know you’re there, you’re in my soul
You’re in my smile, my every bone.”
“We’ve blended influences from three generations of post-punk: the classic era of the ‘80s, its 2000s revival, and its modern retake,” the band say. “Our lyrics deal mainly with psychological, social, and political subjects, such as the lack of stable and appropriate housing, the ever-increasing policing and surveillance, the punitive justice, the recent refugee crisis, the vanity in our lives, depression, anxiety, and more.”
You can feel the heartache in each piece of Voices, expertly laid down by the band’s five members: Stefanos Leontsinis (guitar), Andrés G. Delannoy (guitar), Paul Aspell (bass), Emil Koulouris (drums) and Paschalis Vichoudis (vocals and keys). The track stands as a testament to the Haneke Twins’ insistence that while it takes pieces from multiple subgenres of rock, its original sound manifests into a style the band coined itself: Rough-wave.
“Even though we find that our music balances perfectly between post-punk, alt-rock, and dark-wave, none of the three terms describes it well enough, thus we often use the invented term Rough-wave when referring to it,” the band said.
Most of the album Stories Of Violence was hatched during the pandemic, which impacted the process and tone. “The mood of the album is such partially because most of the material was written during the pandemic,” the band explained. “The pandemic also affected our songwriting process since most of the tracks were not composed in the traditional way working together in a studio — on the contrary, they were written in total isolation due to the lockdown, exchanging material remotely.”
Originally the duo of Leontsinis and Vichoudis, Haneke Twins later grew to five. Their members live in Geneva and Zurich, but they recorded some of Stories Of Violence at a studio in France. Perhaps most unique about the bandmembers, though, is their scientific background. Each of them holds a doctorate degree in physics. “When not making music, we wear our lab coats and investigate the secrets of the universe at the CERN research center,” they explain. “Too bad the band name We Are Scientists was already taken.”
Instead, the band drew inspiration from Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke and his movie The White Ribbon, which they call a masterpiece. “It’s a second-to-none suspense film without a single note of music!” the band said. “According to Haneke, ‘Usually music is used to hide a film’s problems.’ Another favorite of his quotes is: ‘A feature film is 24 lies per second.’ The question that arises from this: What is the ‘lie rate’ in popular music?”
While that question might not have a scientific answer, Haneke Twins are doing their part to bring truth to the musical world. With baritone vocals and arctic guitars that rip through the songs like shards of ice, the band’s hypnotic and often explosive music transports you to the dark and smoky underground clubs of the U.K. while serving up the rawness of reality, like it or not.