MIKE HAGGITH AND THE DIN [2013-2015]
S A U L T S T E M A R I E , O N
Mike Haggith - Guitar, Vocals, Bass
Curtis McKenzie - Bass, Vocals, Guitar
Daniel Horton - Percussion
James Watterworth (Not Pictured) - Saxophone
Brandan Glew (Not Pictured) - Percussion
While this group would lay the foundation for what would eventually become The Din after a series of lineup and genre shifts, Mike Haggith And The Din was an acid jazz improv group known for taking Haggith's existing solo material, and expanding the songs exponentially with extended jam sections. A frequent sight in underground shows and the occasional obscure multi-band concert, this group, originally consisting of Haggith, Horton, and McKenzie, was best known for its version of Haggith's 2011 single Limb Coast. While the original single spanned three minutes and fifty-five seconds, the improv group managed to record a 27-minute version of the track in a single take, eventually finding its way onto their debut album Perpetual Musings. While subsequent live performances of the track frequently only clocked in around nine minutes, this was the embodiment of what the group set out to do; stretch songs out to seemingly absurd lengths, and never rehearse a performance beforehand. The band recorded two full live-in-studio albums within weeks of each other, those being the aforementioned Perpetual Musings, and Chaotic Symphony. During the sessions for Chaotic Symphony, a friend of the band in Watterworth happened to be in the studio practicing his newly-acquired alto saxophone. Seeing an opportunity to add more "din" to the sessions, he was invited by the group to participate in the recording experience, and became the group's de facto saxophonist. He would later join the band for a handful of live performances to limited audiences throughout 2013 and 2014.
While 2014 was a relatively slow year for the group, things began to change in early 2015. Seeking a new direction, the group shifted toward the alternative and power pop sphere, with more cohesive renditions of Haggith's original material and a handful of 80s pop rock covers for good measure. In the process of shifting focus, the group also saw turnover in the lineup, with the official departures of Watterworth and Horton announced, and the addition of percussionist Brandan Glew. Although Haggith had so far been the band's guitarist and McKenzie the band's bassist, the two switched instrumental roles and Haggith would go on to man the bass for the group's eventual successor project. Though the band enjoyed limited local success throughout the first half of 2015, by September the decision was made to relieve McKenzie of his duties and hire Tammy Hill in his place. In doing so, this group would become The Din.
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