Shadowy New Wave four-piece

“It’s raining cats and dogs here.” Haunts’ Banks is on the phone and the weather in London is biblical. Has he royally pissed someone off and unleashed a plague on all our houses? He thinks for a moment; well, perhaps the dead: “We’ve been recording in our bassist’s garage. It was built on a Pagan burial site so things keep flying around in the night, it’ll be a wonder if we ever get it finished.”

The lead singer for the shadowy New Wave four-piece sounds not even slightly scared. With a band name like Haunts you have to expect such things: “We chose it because it’s short and it evokes the right sorts of images, it doesn’t really mean anything, and people are already getting it wrong – we’ve been called The Haunts – but that’s okay, we’re loosening up, we may just have a new name for each album, we don’t need people to know who we are.”

Singer Banks, guitarist Alex, bassist Mitch and drummer Grover met in London two years ago, when they were all in different bands, and they started talking about doing something together. “We each realised that if we joined forces we could create something really much more special than we were doing at the time but we didn’t even know what instruments we would play. All we were sure of was our worth.” It hasn’t always been so; Banks claims to have been terrible at music when he was at school. “I was really, really bad, but then one day I plugged my brother’s electric guitar in and made a lot of noise and feedback, and that was it. Being in a band is the only thing I’m any good at now.”

Haunts dress smart and play catchy, synth-heavy noir tunes packed with spiky guitar riffs, general disdain, and the occasional, blood-curdling scream that skirts the glam-Goth of The Horrors to create something less self-conscious and more punkishly fun. They are already gaining a reputation for hyper-compelling, energetic live shows: “We’re not that dangerous live, sonically perhaps, but we try to give a powerful performance and are aspiring to be a great live act more than anything.”

Their influences? “Personally I’d have to say Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Brian Eno, but collectively we’re really influenced by the whole New Wave scene. We have a punky DIY element that rather than gets in your face, gets inside your head. Talking Heads are a massive inspiration.”

Single ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ is out in June, is it a motto for the members of Haunts’ lives? “No! Our songs are not little insights as to what we believe in, they are just stories, little tales. I write the lyrics and I change my mind about life every five minutes. We don’t want to get bogged down in the political nor are we trying to do the rockstar wannabe thing. We’re just four incredibly good looking, well dressed lads who are in the best new band in London, England, and perhaps the world.”

Haunts’ debut album will be out in the summertime on Black Records. The recent single ‘Underground’ is followed by ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ in June. You can also catch them out on their headline tour and playing The Camden Crawl.

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.