By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Inspired by acts like Elvis and AC/DC, Tim Haverman purchased a $20 guitar and amp at a garage sale and formed his first band in the early 90’s after seven years in the military.
When said band separated a few years later, Haverman decided to take a hiatus that lasted all the way through 2017, when he suddenly had the urge to write music again.
The result was the metal/hard-rock project SD17, where Haverman took on duties of guitarist/central songwriter. He was set to seek out new talent to help his vision, but the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic halted his plans.
It wasn’t until he saw quarantine-styled videos from Sammy Hagar And The Circle that he followed through and used the internet to reach out to gifted musicians. SD17’s most recent single “Last Chance” explains Haverman’s struggles within his hiatus and brings his story full circle.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with the New Mexico-based Haverman about “Last Chance” and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe New Mexico to someone who has never been there before?
Tim Haverman – New Mexico is a beautiful state. The high desert offers some amazing landscape visuals and the further north you go, you are in the mountains. It’s a great state if you like being outdoors.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Tim Haverman – I really like creating music that has aggressive tones and feeling to it, but to me, it’s just rock-n-roll and rock-n-roll should make you feel good. I don’t really try to define it more than that.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the band name?
Tim Haverman – The band name SD17 is actually a combination of two music-defining moments for me. The SD comes from the band I was in – Steel Dawn – from the early 90’s. I wanted to pay tribute to a great group of guys and the music we created. The 17 comes from the year 2017. This was the year where I got inspired to return to music and once I made that decision, the creativity just came back so strong.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Last Chance’ as a single?
Tim Haverman – “Last Chance” was the single I felt we should push more, as it really defines what the sound of SD17 is. If you listen to the previous releases, you can definitely tell I have a wide range of influences, but “Last Chance” is really the direction of SD17.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tim Haverman – Musically, Covid made me have to think outside the box to get this project moving. With everything shut down, there was no way to go see local talent to get a band together. I instead turned to technology and the internet to find the right team to help create SD17 music. It’s actually amazing what modern tech has done for the indie artist.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Tim Haverman – There are actually too many to name, but aside from the classic bands I grew up with – Motley Crue, AC/DC, Metallica, Ozzy, Van Halen, I like to listen to Volbeat, Ghost, Black Veil Brides, Amaranthe and Nightwish.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Tim Haverman – Anywhere outdoors. I was actually out gold prospecting not long ago. There’s nothing like swinging a pickaxe and working a shovel to clear the head. I also like the open road. I’ll jump in my ’69 Firebird and go for a cruise.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Tim Haverman – “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” by Abraham Lincoln.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Tim Haverman – Admittedly, I’m still learning about the impact social media has on musicians and the industry as a whole. A considerable positive is the worldwide exposure an upcoming artist can get and the ability to connect directly with the fans. That was an impossibility back when I first started, as you needed a label that was willing to put big money into marketing or trying to find a publication that would be willing to do a write-up on the band. I think where it can hurt an artist is overexposure. It’s still good to have a little mystery.
Music Bugle – What are three of your favorite all-time albums?
Tim Haverman – That’s a tough question to narrow down to three. It has to include the first two albums I ever purchased, which was AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’ and REO Speedwagon’s ‘High Infidelity.’ Different, but equally amazing and the album that made me want to be a musician and get up on stage was Motley Crue’s ‘Shout At The Devil.’ I think that record scared the hell out of my parents and I blew up quite a few speakers listening to that one.