Old is new 

Catching up with The Old Haunts

Everything old would appear to be new again for The Old Haunts. First, there’s the fact their original drummer, Curtis Phillips, has rejoined the band for the first time since late 2001. Then there’s the release of The Old Haunts’ first full album, Fallow Field, which includes tracks from their two previous EPs as well as newer recordings. And finally, there are the very fundamentals of the band’s sound—a salute to ’60s garage rock captured by a mildewy, country-bashed punk band.

“There’s kind of a lineage that leads up to us, just going back through lots of punk rock, ’60s music, and continuing back to rockabilly and country and blues,” says lead singer and guitarist Craig Extine. “You kind of incorporate a slew of genres, but we’ve developed our own kind of niche.”

Extine and Phillips started the Olympia, Wash.-based band (with bassist Scott Seckington) after their former group, The Serum Greys, broke up. Phillips never recorded with the group and was replaced by a string of drummers—Chris Sutton, Natalie Cox and Danny Sasaki—over the next four years, all of whom are featured on Fallow Field.

“They each brought their own style to the band, but then again there’s a certain style for The Old Haunts that they all fit into,” Extine says.

For the new release, Extine says, the band recorded the six most recent tracks (with Sasaki) in the mold of how they’re used to playing live: simple, high-energy, sometimes sloppy rockers with “flourishes of complexity.” Along the same lines are the two tracks from 2003 (with Sutton) and three of the four tracks from 2002 (with Cox). The one exception is “The Old World,” a slower ballad that includes piano and organ, with Extine crowing, “If I had known what I know now I would have never left this life so slow/I was getting old, a child that’s grown cold/I shut my mouth and did as I was told.” It’s a song the band approached with a completely different vibe, almost abandoning it numerous times as they got lost in the seriousness of the composition.

“Yeah, we don’t play that one live,” says Extine. “We tried it once and it just never worked. Too weird.”

Audiences may miss out on “The Old World,” but for The Old Haunts’ first-ever Missoula show it matters not—it’s all new here.

The Old Haunts stalk the MARS Satellite Room Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.

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