The Haunt: Talented Brother-Sister Dynamic Propels Band Higher

The Haunt features (l. to r.) brother and sister, Maximillian and Anastasia Grace Haunt, Nick Lewert, and Nat Smallish. (Photo: Hostmaster)

The Haunt features (l. to r.) brother and sister, Maxamillion and Anastasia Grace Haunt, Nick Lewert, and Nat Smallish. (Photo: Hostmaster)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a lovely and mostly tranquil beach community. However, there is a gathering musical force that has been steadily rising out of that town—the alt rock band, The Haunt. Composed of the talented, visually appealing, and goth-like brother and sister team of Anastasia Grace Haunt and Maxamillion Haunt, the band rocks hard with a melodic richness. After performing together for a couple years Anastasia and Maxamillion released The Haunt’s first self-titled EP in 2017. Its success led to a tour, as opener, for the fashion-rock band, Palaye Royale. In 2021 they released their sophomore EP, Social Intercourse. They have also supported The Struts and The Hu on tour.

Entertainment Central caught up with Anastasia and Maxamillion from The Haunt recently, when they were taking a little downtime in the wilds of Wisconsin. Asked how they would describe the band, Maxamilion replied, “That’s a pretty loaded question, but I think the name describes it better than anything else. I think that’s the best way to put it. It’s alternative rock with some kind of hardcore, Nine Inch Nails industrial vibe in there too is the best way to describe it.” The answer implies a certain fluidity to the music.

This year The Haunt signed with Nettwerk Music Group and has been releasing a steady stream of hot, new singles including “Shake,” “This Won’t Go Over Well,” “I’m Done,” and “More.” Each song has been accompanied by a slick looking and well-produced music video. Their latest single is the just released, “More.” Maxamillion said, “More” is the happiest song we’ve probably ever made. It’s a summer song. We’re going to be playing it on tour.” The Haunt, which also features Nat Smallish (bass guitar) and Nick Lewart (drums), is on tour and opening for Starbenders at Preserving Underground in New Kensington on July 1.

Music Writing Process

I commented that I thought that The Haunt’s music was hard, but also had some good melody to it. Maxamillion said thanks and continued, “The hardness to our songs usually comes secondary. Either Anna writes a ballad on the piano or I’ll write a song on the guitar and most of our songs start that way. So the hardness factor usually comes in much later when we’re in production. We really, really focus on writing good songs before anything else.”

I asked how the brother-sister dynamic was working. Maxamillion replied, “Usually pretty good, sometimes it’s a little hectic, but never too long.” Anastasia agreed with his assessment and Maxamillion added, “There’s nothing quite like it.”

In asking what guitars Maxamillion plays, he said, “The white one that I play is a Reverend Baritone guitar. I love that thing. That’s my most recent acquisition. I love that fucking guitar! When I’m playing standard I play a PRS P-22, which I also love.”

Another high quality instrument in the band is Anastasia and her voice with which she delivers strong, yet crystalline vocals. I asked her about composing her songs and she replied, “I use piano, I always write my songs on the piano as ballads mostly. And then I’ll give them to Max and he’ll produce them in a very rock and roll style. Maxamillion chuckled, saying, “Rock and roll-ish.” 

Maxamillion said they were looking forward to the tour with Starbenders, “We kick off in Cleveland (June 19) and we’re super, super hyped about that one, cause we’ve been running with a thirty-minute set for the last two runs that we’ve done. We have an hour-long set prepared for the Starbenders run, so we’re going to play all our favorite songs. We kind of had to pick and choose for the last few so this is going to be like a full headlining set, so we’re excited about it.” 

What’s Next

When asked if there was an album in the works, Maxamillion said, “Currently right now we’re releasing singles for our EP, but we have a ton of music ready to be released. So we don’t plan on stopping releasing music anytime soon, we’ve got a bunch of stuff coming out over the next year. We don’t want to drop it all at once so anything gets forgotten. So we’re trickling out these songs at our own pace.”

On what’s next for the band, “Tour with Starbenders, releasing some new singles, some new “bop,” and then we’re going home for a few weeks. After that we’re doing a tour, we can’t announce it yet, but it’s with two unbelievable headliners. It’s going to be a ton of fun,” Maxamillion said. Anastasia added, “Come see us on tour.” 

Indeed, see them on tour. The Haunt has the talent and music to make a deep run on the charts and in concert venues.

Rick Handler is the executive producer of Entertainment Central.

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