“I was studying,” says Haußels. “I started out studying something because I didn’t know what to do. So I chose a place that was beautiful and where you could do a lot of sports. I didn’t choose it because of the university itself.”
Haußels’ university pick rapidly proved fortuitous. It was while studying that he met the eventual bassist for Mother’s Cake, Benedikt Trenkwalder, and before too long the pair were making music together, eventually joined by frontman Yves Krismer. “I hadn’t even played drums for long,” Haußels says. “I had only played for two years before I met them, and I just played AC/DC and stuff. So we all just started jamming, and then we just went, ‘we should start doing more, we should go up onstage.’ And then it took two years for us before it turned into a profession.
“That’s when I cancelled my studies,” says Haußels. “I just wasn’t intelligent enough to do rock‘n’roll during the night and then still hit the scores for the tests during the day.”
So the world lost itself a biologist and gained a drummer – and a fine one at that. Haußels’ powerful, heavy metal-inspired style is apparent on all of the tracks Mother’s Cake have so far released, but particularly their lauded single ‘The Killer’. The song, a mishmash of cock rock and power pop tropes is held together by Haußels’ work, and his drumming stops the piece from ever slipping off into pure, over-the-top extremity.
But Haußels is too modest to take much praise in this respect. For him, playing music isn’t a way to elicit international attention, or to boost his own ego – it’s simply the only thing that has ever managed to truly sustain him. “Music is the only thing I am able to do 14 hours a day,” he says. “It is the only thing where I don’t have to force myself to get things going.
“I guess for me that was the thing that was always so hard with everything else in my life, whether it was school or university. I always had to force myself, or make to-do lists. But with music I just did three hours in a rehearsal room, then the boys would come in and do two hours, and then I’d get up the next day and do it again.”
Not that it’s always been necessarily easy, mind you. The path the band has taken over the eight years since their inception has been a twisted one, and they have had to overcome a range of hurdles both self-inflicted and external. “We’re doing the third record now, and it’s the one I’m most proud of,” Haußels says.
“The first record is so easy to do. You don’t even really know you’re a band yet and you end up with ten songs. And you know, there’s no critique. Then you do the second record and the second is tricky,” says Haußels. “It’s the first time you have the sense that there is expectation. And in our case we also set ourselves a deadline, which was pretty strict. It pushed us. It’s the first time that you experience how fame changes how you play together, and how you write songs together. But with the third we took all we had learnt from the first and the second and made a record that from the start to the end always felt good.”
That said, though Mother’s Cake might currently be hitting their stride, Haußels isn’t so deluded that he believes the band will always work so fluidly, and so well. Chance got him to where he is with the band now – chance and healthy dashes of talent and perspiration, of course – and so as far as he is concerned it is out of his hands from here on in.
“Right now it feels good; we have a good label and there’s a lot of media attention. It feels healthy. But there’s always this other thing when you can tell people [in the band] are struggling. It’s been a lot of pressure, you can tell that it’s all taking its toll,” says Haußels. “It never feels like, ‘okay I can be sure for the next ten years we’ll be this band.’ It’s always like, ‘We’ll see what 2017 brings’. It’s the truth with music and how a band is; it’s not something that you can honestly be so sure about at any time.”
No Rhyme Or Reason by Mother’s Cake will be released independently on Friday January 27. They will be touring Australia in February through Wild Thing Presents for more information head to wildthingpresents.com.