Haken Show Off Their Personal Metal T-Shirt Collections
A metalhead’s t-shirt collection contains some of their most prized possessions. Sweaty, stained and torn, our shirts are chronicles of our lives, physical markers of a past time and place that we pridefully put on our bodies every day. They have a clear pecking order: there are those shirts you wear only when all the best ones are in the laundry, there are the absolute favorites you wear once every couple of weeks, and there are all the shirts in between, each with their own clear rank. To a metalhead, T-shirts are EVERYTHING.
Haken are the latest band to share their most prized threads for our series My Metal T-Shirt Collection. The band’s new album Vector comes out October 26th via InsideOut Music; pre-order here. Haken head out on tour in North America with fellow prog paraders Leprous later this month; dates underneath the embed!
Richard Henshall (guitars/keyboards)
We did a tour of the U.K. with Leprous a few years ago and they were kind enough to give me this t-shirt as a closing gift. They astounded me night after night with their intense passion and precision in their performance, which certainly kept us on or toes. They truly are one of they greatest live bands out there! I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with them again on our U.S./Canada tour.
In my teens I had a bit of a thing for U.K. hardcore music, and Knuckledust were always one of the standout bands of that scene. I saw them supporting Hatebreed and Stampin’ Ground around about 18 years ago (which makes me feel old!) and to this day I still don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such raw passion from a crowd and band at a show since. I recently went on a nostalgia trip and I saw them again supporting The Filaments at the same venue along with the same friends who joined me at the gig 18 years prior. On one hand it was a little disheartening to see that they hadn’t really progressed a great deal in terms of popularity, but on the other hand it was extremely heartwarming to see them inject the same raw passion that enthralled me in the past, which for me encapsulates the spirit of what music is all about!
Ross Jennings (vocals)
I have my older brother to thank and to blame for my unashamed obsession with Aerosmith. When 15-year-old Ross went to the Toxic Twin Towers Ball at Wembley Stadium on June 26, 1999, the affinity was complete and I could finally say that I’d been there and got the t-shirt! As with most of my shirts, I like to adapt them into sleeveless tank tops and although the material has begun to perish, it is still frequently worn to this day! Memories of that day were all too fond with support from 3 Colours Red, The Stereophonics, The Black Crowes and Lenny Kravitz, topped off by an unforgettable performance from Aerosmith that rocked my world. Eight years would pass before I would get to catch the Boston bad boys live again in the U.K. and although repeated experiences were special, no concert ever had such a profound effect on me.
The first time I caught Dream Theater live was at the London Hammersmith Apollo on January of 2002 during their World Tourbulence run. Dream Theater were a major influence on the formation of Haken (especially our initial output) and this performance showed us what was possible, even though the skill level seemed impossible to us at the time. Little did I ever imagine that 15 years later I would be performing “The Glass Prison” and other Dream Theater favourites on stage with Mike Portnoy himself! Being a part of Mike Portnoy’s Shattered Fortress was a major deal for me and a career highlight I don’t think I will top for some time (if ever)! For the very last show we did in Melbourne, Australia Charlie (Griffiths) and I shared our Dream Theater shirt collection with the rest of the guys to wear on stage as a tribute to our favourite band… Mike wearing Haken, of course!”😉
Conner Green (bass)
Not only is Catch Thirtythree my favorite Meshuggah record, but I just feel more masculine when I’m wearing a Meshuggah shirt. Also, the material on this shirt is particularly uncomfortable.
This shirt was given to me years ago by my wonderful mother. NASA references aside, Between the Buried and Me are simply one of the best bands out there, and their bass player Dan Briggs was one of the reasons I started playing progressive music.
Ray Hearne (drums)
For those of you who don’t know (which is probably all of you), Michael Rough is one of our biggest fans over in Germany and, after meeting him on several occasions at many of our shows, he surprised us with a copy of his album that he’d made in the very early ’90s. We often receive CDs on the road from fans who’d like us to check out their own music but, to this day, we’ve never received anything quite like this. From the moment that disc started spinning in the tour van CD player, we were hooked! Michael Rough may never get that break he so badly deserves, but to us he is one of the untold heroes of pop music and I for one am honoured to have met Germany’s answer to Rick Astley.”
Charlie Griffiths (guitars)
Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans was an amazing tour that happened in 1990 and I was lucky enough to be around for the Wembley Arena show. It was Slayer, Megadeth, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies. Looking at this shirt really takes me back to that magical era for thrash metal. Rust in Peace, Seasons in the Abyss and Practice Watch You Preach are still three of my favorite albums ever!
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness
I remember being right at the back of Wembley Stadium for the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert, but the energy coming off the stage was still amazing. There were so many collaborations between artists who all obviously shared a love for Queen’s music. Where else would you see Bowie, Metallica, George Michael, Guns n’ Roses, Spinal Tap and Elton John on the same bill!? If I had to pick a stand out moment, James Hetfield singing “Stone Cold Crazy” with Tony Iommi on guitar would have to be my favorite.
Diego Tejeida (keyboards)
Bohren Und Der Club of Gore
Got this tee from this dark ambient, funeral jazz band called Bohren Und Der Club of Gore the first and only time I’ve seen them live, in London. The ethereal atmosphere created by their sluggish-paced sounds and their playing in the dark hiding under very dimmed lights made it one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced.
Haken and Leprous on tour:
October 30th – The Crofoot Ballroom, Pontiac, MI
October 31st – Opera House, Toronto, ON
November 1st – Astral, Montreal, QC
November 2nd – Underground Arts, Philadelphia, PA
November 3rd – Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
November 4th – The Sinclair, Boston, MA
November 6th – Soundstage, Baltimore, MD
November 7th – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
November 8th – The Orpheum, Tampa, FL
November9th – Revolution, Fort Lauderdale, FL
November 10th – The Plaza Live, Orlando, FL
November 11th – Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
November 13th – Gas Monkey, Dallas, TX
November 14th – Barracuda, Austin, TX
November 16th – Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
November 17th – Glasshouse, Pomona, CA
November 18th – August Hall, San Francisco, CA
November 19th – Hawthorne Theatre, Portland, OR
November 20th – The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
November 21st – Rickshaw Theater, Vancouver, BC
November 23rd – Metro Music Hall, Salt Lake City, UT
November 24th – Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
November 25th – Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS
November 26th – Delmar Hall, St Louis, MO
November 27th – Exit/In, Nashville, TN
November 29th – Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
November 30th – Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
December 1st – Bottom Lounge, Chicago, IL