June 20, 2018

Artist Of The Week: Kevin Haskins

Kevin-Haskins-with-Bauhaus-Undead-book-photo-by-Pamela-D
Photo by Pamela Dompe

This week we choose Kevin Haskins as our Artist of The Week here at Noise Journal. Why Kevin and not Pete, Daniel, David, or simply their band, Bauhaus? Not only is Kevin Haskins a legendary drummer (who else would think to bring bossa nova drumbeat into the world of rock to invent the goth post-punk tones of Bela Lugosi’s Dead), but so too is he the founding member of three iconic groups that stand as hallmarks to millions of music lovers and tens of thousands of bands to emerge in the past 4 decades and apart from Bauhaus, Haskins also played with Tones on Tail, as well as Love and Rockets. Haskins releases his memorabilia work on Friday in the form the Bauhaus – Undead coffee table art book via Cleopatra Records, the book is packed with memories and valuables kept locked in the dark for decades, only now unveiled by Haskins, like an Englishman who knows when a good malt is ready to see the light.

Book inside Bahaus
A scene from inside the book

Bauhaus, my friends, was a band that–without design, and without any specific agenda–forever altered the direction of new-wave music, steering it toward a more artistic, alternative, and avant-garde nirvana. They did this with few peers, and even then from the same generation of visionaries. The calendar said Siouxsie, The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus…will change forever rock music, and you’re gonna love it ultimately.

Bauhaus - badges
Badges

I do not have or follow any idols in my life, I only love what sheds my skin for good and what surprises me to tears, and Bauhaus is the tattoo inked on my soul forever. Why? I was only a teen dude and already comfortable in the hard sounds of amplifiers, black leather, darkness, and attitude when I accidentally discovered my soulmates from Northampton. 16 I was. 28 years later they make me feel exactly the same–I am constantly in their trance and still (and always) feel stunned like the first time they introduced themselves to me and my lads sitting on that sofa, looking at that cover art as the needle slashed the vinyl and our cosmos for good.

Do you remember the first time you heard that song with the striking 6 first words “I dare you, to be real”

Nobody understands what Bauhaus’ music and art exactly means in the first place–nobody–no one. Harsh new-wave, artistic, avant-garde, theatrical, give me more definitions please…The drummer (Haskins) plays busy stuff–way beyond the “established” 4/4 rock drumming–under Daniel Ash’s minimal/wicked guitar riff and fills, David‘s basslines (experimental to dub to punk to jazzy rings), and Murphy‘s magnetizing voice…the man is an urban poet on the microphone.

Bahaus 2
Photo provided by Shameless Promotion PR.

Their unique heritage was at first published in a short four years: In The Flat Field (80)Mask (81), The Sky’s Gone Out (82), Burning From The Inside (83)…..and then, in a different century, they reunited with Go Away White (08). “Critics” wanted a flat field reborn, they didn’t get it, legends don’t care.

Bauhaus – Undead features everything from short stories to DIY flyers, sketches, vintage gear photos, letters, and even a Bauhaus comic strip.

May I have She’s In Parties written on a paper please guys?!

Hi, we’re Bauhaus for a couple of years now, and we Ziggy with you ’cause we love the artist and his song and we proudly present it to you! Some bands play covers like the song is theirs…

I was chatting with a 50+ year-old friend the other day, reminiscing about live gigs that stained us for good, and when I said proudly “Ramones–two times,” he simply smiled a bit to the youngster (me) and nailed me: “Mike, my friend, [insert long prologue here], my best was from that very special act, Bauhaus at Sporting Basketball venue on May 14, 1983“……..Bella Lugosi’s Dead, Undead, Undead, Undead, and here is the original from vinyl, the first song to be recorded as a band just a few weeks after they decided to be Bauhaus together:

An anthem which brings to the surface their restless character, improvising their personalities for more than nine minutes–a song that stayed for good on the decks and the souls in us, the alternative tribe!

When you’re a music journalist lucky enough to cover the bands you adore most, those that have most marked you, the bands with which your character developed, it is hard to resist asking “why did you end?”

Dry your and don’t forget that Quincy (Jones) said that bands are all made to break up (Ok–The Rolling Stones are an enterprise, AC/DC are the next maybe, GnR Lies, etc, etc).  I read last year somewhere an interview with Bauhaus, ok? When the guy asked him politely that why man…he put it clear and honest, I believe: “Well, we had no purpose going on as a band, we offered our souls to the band and we knew how to do it again, but the same records?”

…and later on, Murphy, the singer, moved on with his solo project, and Bauhaus “transformed” into Love and Rockets or Tones on Tail who were mostly accepted in the US rather than in the European snake-pit (it was the age of the ’90s and Mancunians would conquer the globe).

But we are Bauhaus in life and in this article right? And we see the Bauhaus story collected by their drummer, Kevin Haskins, Nerves I’d say and a glass of Porto in the glass. Why not Cognac or Absynthe? Kevin, bro David, Daniel, Pete, are all still alive and no one left us behind in our death-wish/like in the mood that we are all used to saying bye-bye hearts…

Couldn’t neglect to mention at this point Tones On Tail with Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins and Glenn Campling on bass & keyboards and their Pop LP in 1984, this musical offshoot which became the psychedelic and pop antithesis of Bauhaus’ fame. Let’s listen again Lions!

 

…..and Love and Rockets of course who brought together again three Bauhaus members, Haskins, David J, and Daniel Ash, a fusion of underground rock music with elements of pop which provided an early catalyst for alternative rock, and who didn’t dance to So Alive?…a massive hit from the late 80’s!

 

 

p.s. #1: check Poptone

p.s. #2 and IMPORTANT: Kevin Haskins is donating a rare poster from his private collection (!!!) also featured in his book to raise cash for charity Funds will go to Mercy For Animals. This was a promo poster for when BAU played at the Metro in Chicago on Pearl Harbor Day: The poster utilizes the name of one of their songs, Kamikaze Dive, and is said to be in very good condition for a poster in its thirties:

As you may notice, it is Mercy for Animals!

 

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About Mike D 82 Articles
Hey people I'm Mike D from Athens GR (43). I'm a sound engineer, radio producer, and certainly a music "freak." I couldn't be anything else, you see: I grew up in a musical home (my father was a composer), and wanted to be a rock-star but wasn't patient enough to study music. Instead, I studied the technical stuff and went really "nuts" when I started writing articles about the bands and artists I love. It all started back in 2002 in a printed magazine (Sound Maker - RIP) and I still do it because I really like sharing my libraries, discotheque, info, connections, knowledge, and all. I'm involved in all "waves" music (new wave/darkwave/post-punk/shoegaze), punk, industrial, EBM, alternative rock, indie, electronic, avant-garde/ experimental/ freestyle...but on the other hand I can easily throw a classical CD in the player, or a jazzy tune, or...ok you get it: Music! I'd like to read your comments on my writing because you know how it goes, and you all know the glorious song by Placebo,"Without You I'm Nothing"...Thanx and enjoy Freedom and Music, Loud!
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