Seymour Duncan Underground – Blake Havard

Posted on by Kat King
Seymour Duncan Underground

At Seymour Duncan, we are all about the players and their quest for the right sound. For every band that has achieved critical mass, there are thousands more who are putting in their dues at local bars and coffee shops. Seymour Duncan Underground is a new continuing series to showcase unique musicians and bands that have not quite reached the mainstream. Today, we sit down with rocker Blake Havard from Vancouver, Canada.

Blake Havard

Blake Havard at age 2

Blake grew up in Alberta, influenced by the music of his parents, where it was not uncommon to hear Motown, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, and Elton John playing on the record player. His older brother had started a band and Blake quickly took to starting his own group. Blake set his sights on the local Battle of Bands and won. He took off to Vancouver and started playing shows, recording and living the life of a musician. Blake can currently be found touring around doing solo acoustic dates and will soon be working with Canadian guitar legend Bill Dillon.

As a musician from Vancouver, Canada – how would you describe the music scene and the challenges for an artist?
“Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot of talented and creative people. The challenge being an artist in this town (maybe like a lot of towns) is that it is an expensive place to live and there are not a lot of places to play. It’s hard for small venues to make a buck which makes it hard for the working musician to survive. Having said that, there is a big open mic scene where you can keep your chops up and test out new material in front of great audience! You can always go visit your massive fan base built up all over the world on Myspace/Facebook!”

Blake Havard

Blake Havard

Your music has been described as storytelling – where do you draw your inspiration in the songs you write?
“As a kid, listening to music would take me on a journey. I could identify with a song like it was my own story. I was hypersensitive to all these wonderful nuances of emotion and sound. I remember busting moves to ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ in my parents living room or starring off into space listening to Ziggy Stardust or the Beatles White Album. My songs usually come from a real life emotion triggered by an event that affected me deeply. If I am lucky, that emotion makes it to the iPod stage and the listener can identify with it.”

“If I am laughing, crying or dancing during the songwriting process I know I am on to something! Storytelling seems to be a dying art in songwriting these days. I am humbled when I listen to the great storytellers Dylan, Cohen, Hank Williams etc. I just hope a little bit rubs off on me! Don’t get me wrong though, I like to bang my head to AC/DC or get down to KC and the Sunshine Band too!”

What kind of gear do you currently use?
“I like the twang and funkiness of old school Fenders, Gretsch, Gibson, Rickenbacker guitars. You can’t go wrong with an AC-30 or a blackface Deluxe. I do have a Pensa/Suhr Strat with a matched set of Duncan’s that sound sweet! For my acoustic shows these days I rely on a Gibson Rosewood J-45.”

Has the life of a musician always been the path you desired?
“I remember seeing my Grandpa rocking boogie woogie on the Vox Continental organ. It changed my life. Since then it’s been an ongoing love affair with the mystical magical world of music. For better and for worse! I grew up in Northern Alberta so there was a time I dreamt of playing hockey for the Edmonton Oilers. Sometimes, I still have that dream skating on the ice – but for some reason my stick is a guitar.”

You mentioned meeting Seymour, what were your impressions on meeting him?
“Years ago I went to a small guitar shop in my home town to see Seymour Duncan do a seminar. The place was called ‘Mothers Music.’ I was blown away that he was actually going to be there. There was only a handful of us in the room and I was a little nervous. It was like going to see Santa Claus for the first time! He played some stingingly fine Telecaster riffs and was a laid back down to earth guy. I got to shake his hand and introduce myself. They did a draw for a pickup and I won! I still have it! I think I was 17. Good times!”

For more information on Blake Havard, please visit:

Written on November 3, 2011, by Kat King

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  • Hi am a friend of Blake and would very much like your having a listen to our Artist
    Cynthia Leigh-Ann, We are very interested in her performing at your location as part of her up coming BC tour in the spring of 2012. I will look forward to hearing back from you, and hope you enjoy her music.
    Note the article/interview is very good. Thank you for supporting the BC artists, muchly appreciated.

    Attention Seymour Duncan

    Good Morning Mr. Duncan:

    We would like to introduce to you a very talented young Canadian Pop Country Artist.

    Charismatic, Creative, Original and hard working are just a few words to describe one of Canada’s up and coming country/pop artists. Born and raised in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Cynthia Leigh-Ann has made music, her chosen career in life. A 2011 Juno nominee, Cynthia Leigh-Ann works hard for her dreams and producing amazing music is on the top of her list. Her debut album Daddy’s Girl was released in January of this year (2011). And her new single `How Could You` is made it the 11th position on the XS Indie Spotlight Charts on CKXS FM of Wallacebury, Ontario. This along with the Merritt Mountain Music Festival and her days at the Armstrong IPE Fair are among her favourite shows. Writing and performing are moments where she shines.

    Writing every song on the album, excluding the last two, she has told stories of love, heartbreak, and friendship. This young star is going to make it big in this world as a known Country Singer.
    Cynthia Leigh-Ann’s has just released her new Christmas Single Christmas Memories”. We have attached a link to the wav file for Christmas Memories. It is a zipped wav file and is apx 32 MB in size. Please let us know if you have any issues downloading the file.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to have a listen to Cynthia Leigh-Ann.

    For more info on this incredibly talented young artist, please check out the following links:!/CynthiaLeighan

    Stacey Bjalek

  • Blakehavard
  • Haniafuri kayla agni

    You’re rooooocccccckkkk !!!!!

  • Anne S

    Hi Blake all is well with us Cynthia Leigh-Ann is up for Juno this year and has been confirmed to play the Calgary Stampede for the second time, I hope all is well with you Anne and Cynthia