These Haunted Worlds is a musical partnership born of the pandemic. Early in 2020, lifelong musicians and friends Michael Haase and Sean Larson began sending song ideas back and forth to one another as a means of connecting during the worldwide quarantine. The creative exchange soon grew to a recording project, and a band was born.
The duo has released three tracks to date. Each draws on the multi-instrumentalist strengths of Haase and Larson as well as their shared love of Classic and Alternative Rock. These Haunted Worlds’ latest single “To The Sea” pairs an acoustic Americana groove with visual lyrics and an engagingly cinematic short film video.
“To the Sea ” opens with Haase’s acoustic guitar and soulful vocals as he introduces a tale that uses the imagery of an ill-fated sea voyage as a metaphor for our passage through this troubled world. Soon they expand the horizon with the 6/8 waltz of Larson’s drums and some really nice melodic bass. Like a slowly building ocean storm the track grows in intensity as it progresses, culminating with a powerful Blues-soaked slide guitar solo.
The video for “To The Sea” applies the doomed voyage theme to a pair of would-be modern highwaymen. In the Hollywood-quality short we follow the two as they rob a convenience store only to find themselves in an early morning high speed chase with police. Spoiler alert; they lose. The expertly executed film is a brilliant interpretation of These Haunted Worlds’ deep, dark message.
Watch the “To the Sea” video below. You can also hear the song on both the Deep Indie Dive and Deep Indie Songwriters playlists. We had the opportunity to chat with Michael Haase about the song, the project and the future. Read his answers to our 8 questions. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with These Haunted Worlds. Get in the loop on all of the music they have in store.
8 Questions with These Haunted Worlds
Where are you from?
I (Mike) am from Cleveland, and Sean is from Indianapolis. We exchange recordings back and forth.
How long have you been making music?
Sean and I met when I was in middle school and he was in high school. We were both mainly guitarists but played around with other instruments, and the natural thing to do when you’re a teenager and play guitar is to start a band. We’ve been through a few different projects over the years, but the two of us have always stuck together. For These Haunted Worlds, we’ve been writing songs and exchanging them back and forth for a little over a year now.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Sean Larson is the main instrumentalist. He takes care of a lot of the guitars, bass, drums, and other keyboards and noises. I play most of the guitars and sing. I add the occasional odd keyboard or percussion piece to the mix.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
Radiohead have been a strong influence over our musical lives, but we’ve always had an affinity for what are now kind of the “old days” of rock: that amazing time in the sixties and seventies when musicians just jammed out and joined in on each other’s songs. We grew up during a great heyday of rock in the nineties, as well, and would love to see a scene like that emerge again. Currently, our favorite band is King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Those guys are just astounding.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
We both love the writings and works of Carl Sagan. We love dreaming about outer space and what could be. Our name, These Haunted Worlds, is a little play off Mr. Sagan’s book, “The Demon-Haunted World.” The man was a national treasure, the way he would always study and share in such a brilliant and altruistic way.
What inspired you to create this project?
Oddly enough, the pandemic. Sean and I live in different states with our families, but we would still get together and play from time to time, as well as exchange the occasional recording back and forth. When the world shut down, he and I reacted by drawing closer in a way. We communicated more, exchanged more recordings, wrote more songs, and just generally put the pedal to the floor creatively.
It was a great way to cope and within a month or two we had ourselves several songs to work on. We didn’t want to keep our music to ourselves, so we spent time polishing it and have now started releasing it to the world. No matter how many people listen, it just feels damn good to make something we’re proud of and have it available. This has ended up being our favorite music we’ve ever made, so we intend to keep it going for as long as we can.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Full disclosure, we are perhaps a little older than the majority of indie artists out there, but this is a great thing. Now that we’ve found a rhythm that matches with our family life and feel confident releasing songs, we are just going to keep doing it. If enough people listen and are interested, we will definitely gather some friends together to practice and put on shows, and we’d love to have enough support to justify putting this music onto vinyl, but we aren’t in a place to just tour arbitrarily in hopes of stirring up a crowd. We’ve lived through those days and don’t plan on returning to them.
This project was born virtually, and will probably continue to stay that way most of the time. But this means that we can just keep churning out music and videos and art, and keep it alive at a steady pace. Would I love to put on a bunch of shows? Oh, absolutely. And maybe we will get there. Until then, I think we have an opportunity to connect more directly with any fans we earn.
We are going to start a podcast to talk about music. We are putting up videos of us working on songs at home. It’s all more personal now and I don’t see any reason to stop anytime soon. Finally, after years of trying to impress other people, we are truly writing and recording for ourselves first. Great music is ahead.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I want to thank any of our listeners out there. I hope you enjoy this music as much as we enjoy making it.