Arts & Entertainment

Rock, lyrics combine for positive message

Procrastination no longer has a grip on this Pasco band. Hiz Haven is using a positive message in their alternative rock/hip-hop sound to help people get off their feet.

"One of our songs we made recently was called Procrastinate," said lead singer and bassist Alex Mendez. "It's actually about us. We've been playing together for 2 1/2 years as a band and we just let our time go by -- we were wasting time. We just wrote about what we were doing: We were getting together and practicing, but never writing music."

In their defense, the four-man band didn't always have instruments or a place to practice.

"We've been playing for a few years now and finally got our equipment and theater," said keyboardist and bassist Kevin Romero. "We've been wanting to make a band for a while and finally got our stuff and started doing it."

Meeting in a church, the band was initially called Impact Hazard. A friend suggested calling themselves Hiz Haven, but it wasn't until after the group broke up and reconciled, that they took his advice.

"The name has a meaning," said guitarist Carlos Enriquez. "It's a place of sanctuary, a place where you can go and relax from out there if you need a break or something. So when you listen to our music and hear the lyrics that can relate to you and maybe touch you or something."

The band mixes hip-hop and rock, comparing themselves to the likes of P.O.D.

"We have a message in our music and it's positive," Mendez said. "It's basically reflecting all the things that people shouldn't be focusing on: The way you look, the way you are -- those things you try to get away from. You should be the person you are, you shouldn't be judged by how you look or how you dress and things like that."

The group worked with Rainmaker Studios in Kennewick for their self-titled EP and plan to pass them out at shows. They are currently looking for venues to perform at for free in order for people to hear their music.

"We're basically trying to see what kind of response we're going to get, playing, and if something good comes out of it, we'll definitely come out with a lot more material," Romero said.

These longtime friends are no longer putting off what they want to do and have found what direction they want to go in.

"What we want to reach to is more the younger people," said drummer Obed Menera. "We're still young and we kind of know what we go through, young people go through, so pretty much just a positive influence; that's what we're trying to be. If we can change somebody or make somebody feel a bit better about themselves, then we know we've done a good job."

-- For more, go to myspace.com/hizhaven

*Bethany Lee: 582-1465; blee@tricityherald.com

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