I caught up with the Jackson and Rohan for some wholesome banter and to talk about their debut EP Dark Matter. Unfortunately Eddie couldn’t join us, but we got to see his face thanks to Jackson sharing a toilet selfie Eddie had sent the group chat….
How good is that EP boys!
Jackson: It’s a bit shit to be honest.
Rohan: Yeah shit!
That’s not what I have been hearing from people. I’ve had people messaging me about it.
Rohan: Na it’s been pretty wild.
And then we lost Jackson’s video link…. And all we could here was ‘What the heck.’ Rohan and I continued on without him……
I actually had Ryan Mickan send me a text message about the EP. Funnily enough I had the same reaction to their EP White Rabbit last year as I did to Dark Matter.
Rohan: It’s interesting because, especially after I read your review, and you listened to the first song and you were like wait.. what’s happening here? And then you get to Ark, which is completely different, you wouldn’t expect that on a metal EP. That was what we set out to do. We wanted to do more, I guess unconventional, bringing genres together.
I remember you telling me that last time we spoke. I didn’t think it was going to be this unconventional though, in a good way.
Jackson: We were kind of worried because when we released the first three singles, I guess bar Eclipse they were all the most sort of normie, what you would expect from a djent band. So Eddie and I were having a bit of a freak out, being like what if we should have warned people with one of the songs. So they knew it was going to be a bit weird. Maybe we should have put out Apathy as a single or something. I think peoples surprise ended up working in our favour.
I have had so many people comment on how good Ark is.
Rohan: That’s pretty good. That obviously has Alex from Artisan, we pretty much wanted a rap on it and our producer Nat was like yep Alexis good, so we got him. I remember being there and his work flow in the studio, Nat fell asleep on the couch and I was sitting there watching Alex write lyrics. He was just powering through it. The whole Ark song with him rapping is all one take, he didn’t stop at all. He waws pretty impressive. He is a really good vocalist and he absolutely killed it on that. I couldn’t be happier with how it came out.
I love it. It came on and I was like WTF, where did this come from. Jackson had prewarned me it was different. I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it other than Eminem and Deftones having a baby!!!
Rohan: Hahaha. That’s good. I like the fact that a few posts have had people saying WTF, this is on a metal EP. It’s funny.
It’s definitely generating interest then!!
Rohan: Yeah exactly. It’s surprising. Actually out of all the songs on the EP Kronos has got a lot of attention. I’m personally surprised, I didn’t think that would be a big one. I don’t know what you think about that Jackson.
Jackson: Kronos is probably one of my favourites if I am being completely honest, but I didn’t expect it to be others. It was written and designed to be an end track, so I wasn’t expecting people to be treating it like a single and going out of their way to listen to that song exclusively.
I just love how Kronos ends. Like its just done. That EP is done and its finished.
Rohan: That’s how I wanted that to end and it’s also like how Hypnosis ends as well, it’s such a fast paced and aggressive thing that I just wanted it to stop.
So you’ve had awesome feedback?
Rohan: Obviously people that don’t like it haven’t voiced their opinions!
That’s always a bonus.
Rohan: I mean we like feedback, but everyone seems to be enjoying it.
Jackson: I’m really surprised because the biggest response we have got so far is the EP drop as opposed to the singles which is really weird. Usually that is the sort of stuff that, you know you drop the singles to get traction and sort of say hey we are here. The EP or Album that you drop is sort of for the people that are already following you. If you are trying to get someone interested in a band you aren’t going to say hey listen to this album, you’ll show them a song. Our Spotify stream shot up by 6K in 24 hours.
Oh that is so good but also 3K of that may have been me!!!
Jackson: Ha we will take all the help we can get…
Rohan: We have found the culprit.
Jackson: Usually you generate all that hype with singles, and I don’t know how that has happened. We checked and we aren’t on any particularly big playlists on Spotify. Usually if we get a big bump its because of that. I don’t know where this has come from, but we aren’t complaining.
I think it might be that people have got on the hype train.
Rohan: I also like the fact that from Eclipse all the way through to Kronos they all kind of blend together. Eclipse to Ark is a good transition but Ark to Deadbeat is a transition and a half. The fact that Deadbeat ends on the big note and rings out for a bit and there is no gap and then Kronos comes straight in as well. It kind of keeps the person wanting to listen. Well that’s what I think anyway.
Jackson: By the way I think it was my cousin who messaged me a couple of days ago, she said she had noticed that Eclipse was track 3 on the EP and the song is 3.33. That was not intended but cool! We didn’t mean to do that.
Rohan proceeded to type away to check this fact!
Rohan: Is it actually?? Oh shit yeah it is.
That’s freaky. That’s a good sign.
Rohan: And its half of 666 as well…
Jackson: It’s a sign from the gods.
Half the devils number. That will make you happy Jackson.
Jackson: Yeah that’s pretty metal. And why me, why am I the weird one?
Rohan: Cause you make those weird voices with your mouth!
Yeah that’s why. Cause you make the weird noises.
Rohan: Jackson can do Mongolian throat singing too. He’s pretty good at it.
Jackson: And we have the Armenian war trumpet on Eclipse.
Rohan: There are parts on the EP where Jackson was doing the Mongolian throat singing and we used it as background ambience, its kind of funny. It worked out well I reckon.
Jackson: The problem with doing that is when I record it everyone has to be out of the room because they all keep laughing at me. We are all serious to do the take and I open my mouth, and everyone starts laughing.
I can understand why! (Jackson actually treated me to the sound and I can see why they laugh)
Jackson: It’s a pretty funny sound. We laid 7 of those tracks on top of each other and it sounded pretty cool.
Rohan: It sounded pretty huge.
Jackson: Yeah thanks man
Rohan: No worries, you’re welcome.
So have you played your first gig yet?
Jackson: No, we were meant to but then Covid happened.
Rohan: it was pretty saddening.
Jackson: it was meant to be this weekend I think. That was a shame. We kind of went into it knowing there was a good chance it could be cancelled so let’s not get our hopes up to high. As far as I know they are going to reschedule it once there is more certainty.
Was it Artisan you were playing with?
Rohan: No it was Inertia, Teeth and Infinite Illusion. It would have been a really good show.
I just want to hear Absence live.
Jackson: Yeah so do we.
Rohan: I have listened to that song so many times it’s ridiculous.
Me too. It’s so damn good.
Rohan: Oh we also got an email from a guy in Russia. All it said was “Hi guys I’m from Russia I really like your music, but I didn’t like the mixing of the music what does this have to do with.” That was all he wrote. We sent it to Nat, and we were like “Hey Nat what does this have to do with.”
Jackson: We took a screenshot and sent it to him and said Nat sort your fucking shit out! You’ve let us down for the last time.
Well I thought he did a great job.
Rohan: Yeah he did he killed it.
Jackson: I can’t see us working with any other producers in the near future.
He gets you guys, and he gets what you are trying to do.
Jackson: He is so good at pushing you to be the best you can. Like when I talked about how we had no writing process the last time we spoke, I meant it. Almost every song was written in a completely different way, but he is just so good, when you have an idea, he either pulls out exactly what your vision of the song was in your brain or gets you to see it from a completely new perspective. Which is just insane, he’s just so good at pushing you to be as good as you can be. When we took the songs in, a lot of it we would take apart and rewrite sections and restructure it. There were a lot of times when we would be stuck on a section for hours and it’s because he doesn’t settle for anything that is like that will do.
He made you write all those riffs everyday didn’t he Rohan?
Rohan: Yeah everyday for 2 weeks. That’s pretty mush how Hypnosis and Kronos was written. It was a bunch of riffs that I had written.
Jackson: We just stuck a bunch of Rohan riffs together. It was crazy, Hypnosis was literally a bunch of random riffs that we pulled from Google Drive into the session and we just switched them around. I had a demo and Nat decided we should use the breakdown from that, and we used the synth from that. We worked on putting transitions between the sections. He got us to re-record all of it and we put on some bells and whistles and made it flow as a song instead of a riff compilation. Kronos was sort of the same thing except it was all Rohan riffs.
When I did the review I said Apathy was my favourite, but now after having more time to listen I think it’s Ark or Kronos. ( Back story: The guys sent me the EP at 10pm at night the day before release to do a review for that day.. they are lucky I love them!!!)
Rohan: Ark is insane, I really like it. Actually Ark was going to be a lot different, Jackson specifically wanted really cyber punky. What’s that Northlane song?
Rohan: Yeah Rift. He wanted it to be more synth wave and really syncopated and stuff. It just didn’t work. I mean we’ve got kind of a trap influence and hip-hop with Apathy so why don’t we just do that. We kind of used some of the synths and drum patterns to build off that and that’s how that song was created. It was fun.
Jackson: Ark was weird because the was the last song we recorded before Ark was Kronos. We were like cool the EP is pretty much done now and Nat walked in and said, “I’m thinking we have an electronic interlude between Eclipse and Deadbeat” We thought that sounded good. So it started off meaning to be a 1 minute song, sort of interlude transition.
Well that’s what you told me. It was an interlude. I started listening to it and I thought no it’s not it’s a fucking song!
Jackson: Well that is sort of what it was designed to be, it was always designed to bridge those 2 tracks. It just kept growing from 1 minute to where it ended. We were listening to it in the car and Nat was like I think this needs vocals over it. At this point we had been writing and recording for 1.5 years and I just wanted to get it out. I didn’t want to add more shit, we needed to get to the point where it was done. Nat was like nope trust me, get Alex on this and we’ll get it done like that. We got him to do it in that one take. I’m always hesitant about hip hop and stuff but Nat just does it in such a weird and unique way. He knows how to push our strengths into it. I’m genuinely surprised that not only do I like the song but how much I like it. It went from an interlude to a song. We wouldn’t release it as a single for obvious reasons but it’s basically a full blown track now.
It’s so good.
Jackson: Thanks I wrote all of it! Na I did one thing on that. I wanted a synth on it that made a specific sound (which Jackson demonstrated) and Rohan put it in and that is about all I contributed.
Rohan: You also did the backing vocals at the end of it as well.
Jackson: Oh yeah I did didn’t I.
So when is the next EP out???
Rohan: Haha tomorrow
Jackson: So the plan at the moment is that we are probably going to do 2 or 3 stand alone singles before we do our next EP. We already have an idea of the direction that we want to go, we have some ideas but nothing solid as yet. A few singles to get our name out there.
Rohan: While we get ready for shows.
Jackson: Absolutely. I think in general EP’s are what we will be doing. I know a lot of bands do the album every 2 years release. I think for us we are going to try for an EP or a short album every year, something in that vein, with a smattering of singles in between. Just so It keeps a constant output of music from us. If we start touring heaps and we have to go back to that classic format then we will but in the foreseeable future I just see us putting out a consistent stream of singles. We will be going in to the recording studio as soon as Rohan has a weekday free. We have a song written we just need to get into the studio to record it then hopefully that will be out soonish.
Rohan: We still have a bit of pre-pro to do on it but either way I think it is going to be pretty fun. Especially what we have ideas wise for it.
Jackson: We always want to be surprising people. I can only speculate at this point, but I think that is why the EP has done well, because we saved our most experimental tracks for last. Now everyone is like ok this is actually something unique.
I’ve been telling everyone for the last couple of months to get on Ghost Complex! Now I’ve got people saying ‘Oh have you heard these guys’! Yes, yes I have.
Rohan: Haha yeah I heard this before you even heard it!
Jackson: That was me when Singularity came out by Northlane, people where asking me if I had heard of them and I was like YES!
Rohan: It’s good to know that people are sharing it between themselves. We only see what the comments are on social media or if people message us. We got a message the other day from someone in the Netherlands saying that he liked the EP a lot. That’s insane.
Jackson: It’s pretty wild.
Is your Spotify telling you that you are in a lot of different countries?
Jackson: We are bigger in the US now than we are in Australia.
Russia is really good for Australian music too!
Rohan: Yeah and the US and also Germany is our third place.(Rohan got up their Spotify stats) Russia is the fourth. The songs will go well with the vodka over there! UK, Canada, France, Japan, Ukraine, Mexico – shit there’s a heap. Even Peru!
I’ve got people from Nepal that follow my blog.
Jackson: I was talking to my step-dad and my dad the other day, actually it might have been my dad not my step-dad, I don’t know. Anyway he loves following the numbers, he’s really into it so he is constantly refreshing our Instagram and Spotify and checking numbers. I was saying it’s really weird us seeing all these numbers going up, the streams and the views. We are getting the nice comments and messages. But its so weird doing that in this time because we’re not playing shows because the world is a bit fucked at the moment. It’s just this weird disconnect, we are seeing all this happen and usually you would be playing shows and meeting people. It’s just hard to imagine that 41K people have streamed our music and that some guy in the Netherlands is asking us for merch.
Rohan: I also think a lot of this to do with numbers is because Jackson and I were in Vestige previously and both our releases were self-done and at the moment they are sitting on 3K plays each on Spotify and they have been out for 2-3 years. Considering the fact that we did a little bit of promo for our first release and a bit more for the second two and then the EP dropped and its been like boom and just blown up. The numbers may not be high for a lot of other bands but for us its huge.
I think they are pretty good numbers for a week.
Rohan: I guess that’s true.
For one week they are sick numbers
Rohan: We are pretty happy with them; I don’t think we could have asked for any better honestly.
When you look at Facebook and you have about 400 followers and you have had over 40K streams that’s pretty insane.
Rohan: That’s true
Jackson: I’m going to check what the number is.
Rohan: Saturday I think it was, it was 26K in the morning and by the end of the day it was 34K. It was like WTF!
Jackson: It was 29K before I went to bed and when I woke up I checked our social media and there was a bunch of messages and stuff we were tagged in. I pulled up Spotify for artists to see if we had been added to a playlist because our streams had gone up from 29K to 36K overnight. I was like oh that is not normal what the fuck!!!!
Someone is botting us…..
Rohan: Yeah. Don’t tell anyone Jackson, that’s our secret!
Jackson: It’s just my dad and my step-dad working together combining their power haha.
Rohan: The Dad Power
Jackson: I’m still half worried or convinced that they are bots or a fake number or something.
I doubt it. They would have picked that up by now.
Rohan: I think it’s real and I think it’s pretty cool. We very much appreciate everyone who is listening to it.
Jackson: By the way we are going to start acting like pretentious dickheads now!
Haha yeah. Not to me though…. You can to other people but not me!
Rohan: Oh no
Jackson: How much are we getting paid to be on here by the way????
Nothing, like me!!
Rohan: Watch soon we will start a twitter account and posting really weird tweets.
If you had a twitter account that would be amazing…….
Watch this space apparently!!
Jackson: If you do it Rohan then I’ll set one up. We don’t have a social media person at the moment. I just end up doing most of it because I’m the fucking best.
Haha you keep telling yourself that Jackson!
Rohan: He’s a vocalist now so he has to have an ego…
Jackson: We all have our jobs in the band. Rohan is really good with setting up our live stuff, he does our backing tracks and works on the transitions between songs for our live shows. He knows how to do that. I do a lot of the little promo videos when we are hyping up the songs. I also do the social media posts. Eddie is also in the band…
Haha omg poor Eddie! This time he’s not even here to defend himself, at least last time he was. Not that he did but..
Rohan: He would have been ‘Hey that’s true, but still..”
Jackson: Yeah so Rohan does the live stuff and I do the social media, I didn’t sign up to do it but I like it. Rohan tells me to post stuff and I’m just like okay.
Rohan: I think because at the start I was organising a lot of that and I was just like you know what, fuck it, Jackson can do that! It worked out well because I got to be able to figure out that technical side of things.
Anything else you want to get out to the world?
Jackson: If anyone wants to donate to Rohan’s haemorrhoid problem there will be a number at the bottom of this page!
Rohan: What the fuck hahahaha! Okay… thanks Jackson.
Jackson: If you or anyone you know, like Eddie, has short man syndrome there will be a number at the bottom of this page.
Rohan: The number is **** *** *** (which was Jackson’s!!)
Jackson: NO its 000
Rohan: The number I said specifically..
Jackson: Yeah Eddie’s number
Haha that was your number!
Jackson: Was it? Oh!
Rohan: Okay to pretty much to sum up what we have planned:
There is some sick music coming soon, I’m not sure when but it’s coming. We will be getting some sick merch out soon; we will keep you posted about that. In the meantime we will be getting ready for live shows and writing some sick djents.
Jackson: So basically if anyone wants to book us for shows please fucking do that, we need help! The take away is that people can expect a constant stream of music coming from us.
Rohan: Also Eddie is a good man, but he needs to shave his beard urgently. Like urgently.
He has Covid beard?
Rohan: Yeah he has beard happening.
Jackson: No he has lazy man beard happening.
Rohan: Eddie knows that he needs to shave it as well but he’s just keeping it for the
Jackson: There was that one time that he shaved, and he looked fucking terrifying! He just needs to trim it.
Rohan: Okay, Jackson you are not going to boost his confidence that way man come on.
Jackson: Don’t put that in the interview!!
Rohan: Yeah cut this part out!
Maybe Eddie and I will do a one on one interview and he can respond.
Jackson: He can talk shit about us.
Rohan: Yeah, fuck yeah that would be good. I’d be keen to see that – The Roast of The Ghost Complex Boys by Eddie.
On that note we ended the interview….
If you haven’t checked out Dark Matters yet hit the links below and take a listen.