Interview With Haneke Twins

2021_05_14 - Haneke Twins - Portrait

What was the beginning point for your music career? How did it all start?

The two of us (guitarist Stefanos Leontsinis and vocalist/bassist Paschalis Vichoudis), met 12 years ago while working on particle physics at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, home of the working at the largest particle accelerator in the world! After many years playing together in cover bands, we felt the urge of composing our own music. The Haneke Twins project started in 2018 when Costas Verigas, an extremely talented musician, sound engineer, producer and very good friend motivated us to jump on a plane to Athens, Greece and record the few ideas we had in our drawer! The rest is now history 🙂

Were there any bumps on the road? What kind of challenges did you have to deal with?

As independent musicians, the biggest challenge we have to deal with is booking shows – everything nowadays runs through booking agencies making it extremely difficult to get access to major venues and festivals. But you know what? We don’t give up so easily!

What was the most fulfilling and satisfying moment so far?

Signing a record label deal with The Animal Farm (London, UK) for the release of our mini-LP Astronaut! As a signed artist, doors open a little easier but still a long way to go (as mentioned earlier).

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

Razor sharp guitars and hauntingly abrasive vocals combine in doom filled soundscapes set in gothic musical architecture. We draw our inspiration from a large variety of post-punk/new-wave bands, along with modern post-punk revival and math rock artists. 

What is your creative process like?

Our songwriting process is a bit unusual. Since one of the two songwriters lives in Geneva and the other in Zurich (approx. 250km away), we exchange ideas over the net, mainly using MIDI tracks. Once the ideas grow and take a certain form, we then take them to the studio where they get ironed out during rehearsals with the rest of the band.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

The music industry has already changed dramatically the last twenty years becoming far easier for independent musicians to reach audiences they couldn’t even imagine. One thing I would change though would be to bring the attention of the music tastemakers to local and independent scenes.

If you were asked to give a piece of advice to upcoming bands, what would that be?

Start writing your own music now! Playing in cover bands is definitely great fun and extremely useful to develop musicianship however composing original music is something totally different, extremely satisfying creativity. To use a metaphor, cover bands could be seen as university studies preparing you for the real world, which is to start a project with original music. 

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

The best show by far was when we opened the concert of the goth giants Burning Gates at the legendary Death Disco (Athens, Greece) in October 2019. Performing for the first time in our home country, unforgettable!

If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing now?

Even though we approach music in a professional way, we do not qualify as professional musicians since we make a living working as scientists. So, I guess the question would be: “if you weren’t working as scientists, what would you be doing today?” And the answer would certainly be: “Making music!” 

What is new with the band at the moment? What are you currently working on and would like to share with the world?

Early 2021 we drafted in fellow CERN scientists Andrés G. Delannoy (guitars, from Puerto-Rico), Paul Aspell (bass, from England) and Emil Koulouris (drums, from Greece) to complete Haneke Twins. With five PhDs between us, some might say we are the band with the most doctorate degrees in the world! Currently we are focusing on playing as many gigs as possible while composing new songs for our first LP.

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