Boy Queensland just keeps delivering in the goods in the Prog scene with new comers Mercurious delivering their first single Revelation. With an 80’s vibe to it Revelation is such a funk and groove filled tune and I am all about that!
‘Blending some of the most talented Australian artists MERCURIOUS had ONE goal – To write without any creative restriction and that’s what you can expect from their dynamic new single ‘Revelation’ This genre-transfiguring track blends healthy doses of rock and funk vibes with technical yet melodic fretwork, groovy bass and bombastic drumming efforts.’
Guitarist Raouf introduced me to the band and what they want to achieve musically.
So how have you been?
Good thanks. It’s been a busy couple of weeks preparing for the release. It’s very exciting to have it all out now and hearing peoples feedback. We’ve started recording more singles for the future as well, so we pretty much went straight into that right away.
That is so good to hear because I love Revelation. I love that you guys have a little bit of everything in this song.
That is so good to hear. I’m so glad you like it. You saying why you like it in that way is affirming to us. I grew up being a massive Michael Jackson fan. I love that kind of 70’s – 80’s thing, obviously now I am quite a big metal head and rock listener, but I just always wanted to try to so something that would be a direct nod to that influence. When Nick, the keyboardist, and I started writing that song we just were referencing a lot of Michael Jackson, especially through the verses. We really wanted to create something that was rocky, a little bit heavy and just that fun, funky 80’s inspired music.
I said to my housemate it almost sounds like it should be in the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.
That’s cool. Awesome.
That was the vibe I got from it.
Brilliant. That is very, very cool. It’s really interesting hearing peoples interpretations and what they think when they hear it. Things like that I would never have thought of so that’s very cool.
I had it cranked in the car and I was just like yeah this is a theatre production worthy track. I think because there is so much happening in the song. Every time you listen to it you find another easter egg.
That is so good to hear.
So there is more music on the way?
Yeah. That song definitely stands out a little bit compared to the rest of our music that is coming out. We recently tracked drums for four more songs that will come out. So the idea is that we will release some singles over the next six months. The next song we are working on is a little bit more melancholic, a little bit sadder. You might think of bands like Muse or Karnivool, that kind of inspiration.
I’m a big Muse fan.
This one is quite I suppose Muse influenced, a lot more synth, less funky. Overall it’s a little bit more darker and sombre. Hopefully people enjoy it. I would say a lot of our songs can be quite different from one another. We sort of have this seasonal thing. We have summery songs and then we have the winter ones.
So how did you guys all end up coming together?
Nick and I were in a metal band called Dark Symphonica which was completely different to what we are doing now. It was very much inspired by bands like Nightwish and Epica. We released an album in 2016 and then shortly after we disbanded. Nick and I just wanted to continue writing music. We were also not only symphonic metal fans, and metal fans in general, but we were really big prog heads. So we love bands like Leprous, local bands like Caligula’s Horse. We had no expectation, we just wanted to have fun with it. That was the end of 2016, start of 2017. We wrote four or five songs which we are only now finally releasing. We felt really good about the songs, we wanted to get a band together and start playing them live. Starting to think we should actually release this. We got some members together. So Michael Bates our bassist I play with in a band called Seraphic. Since I was already working with Bates in Seraphic I thought let’s get him in. He was super keen; he is similar to me as well in that he likes this kind of music too. We had a hard time finding a stable member for vocals. We had someone else temporarily on drums before we found Scotty (Wade), that was a really easy choice because he is a fantastic drummer. Finally we found Rhys at the start of 2019 and then a lot of that year was just spent preparing to learn the songs. Start of 2020 hit, we launched as the band and then everything happened with Covid.
Everything went to shit.
Exactly. We have had to play a bit of catch up, but I feel like this year is going to be the year that we wanted last year. We finally started recording Revelation at the end of last year. It’s long in years when I think about it, 4 years, it’s been a very gradual process. I’ve obviously been quite busy with Seraphic so that has filled a lot of my time. That is how the band has sort of been put together.
There is so much in Revelations musically, so I need to ask, who influences you?
I think it is very personal down to each member. I would say our broader influences, we all love bands like Karnivool. I think every single one of us is a big fan of them. Tool, there are definitely Dream Theatre fans: like these big prog bands. For me personally my tastes have changed somewhat over the last 10 years to being a little bit more melodic focused. I used to listen to a lot of Death metal, and I will still put it on occasionally, bands like Cannibal Corpse. Over time that has changed to more melodic and progressive and I think that is where prog metal, and prog rock in particular, you can find some really great experimental bands. One band I absolutely love is Leprous from Norway. They are a phenomenal band. I really love funky songs, as I mentioned Michael Jackson. Even people like Rick James, they just have such great tunes. I particularly love how artist like Childish Gambino’s production is so layered and lush. I think there is so much to learn from those sorts of artists. I think I will always write rock in some way, but I think there is so much there to be influenced by. Of course there are the classic rock bands like Muse, The Killers those kind of bands are also a big influence on us.
Any plans to play shows?
We have one lined up for May, details of that should be out soon. We are trying to line up another one before then hopefully. There isn’t a whole lot I can say about shows other than there will be some coming up soon. Probably not in huge abundance just because the availability isn’t always there.
Keep an eye out on Mercurious socials for new tunes and hopefully some live gigs. These guys have really piqued my interest with their first single which is below:
With a new single ‘Eleventh Hour’ and an announcement of a second album ‘Kaleidoscope’ I had plenty to talk about with Brisbane based prog band The Stranger.
First off guys we better do the old raise your hand and tell me your names!!
Tom: I am the singer, vocalist and songwriter.
Kalen: Singer and vocalist????
Tom: Yes and I have the longest hair haha
Kalen: I am one of the guitarist and also a songwriter.
Drew: I am also a guitarist and songwriter as well.
Linc: I am the bass player and funnily enough I am also a songwriter!
Tom: Lucky Dan wasn’t here because he would have just been I play drums!
Kalen: He wrote some stuff too. Also I produce and mix everything we do.
Cool so Covid wouldn’t have stopped you guys then.
Linc: A tiny bit. We did record a lot during lock down.
Kalen: Yeah we did but it was still an unbelievably stressful time. I have two jobs. I produce bands and I drive Uber when I am not booked up in my studio. When Covid hit I was working with bands, but they had to pull out obviously, so I was driving Uber, but no one was going anywhere. I worked for 12 hours a day driving Ubers, came home and tracked guitars for 6 hours and then slept for 6 hours. It was just that on repeat. So it was stressful, but we still got stuff done.
Drew: The rest of us were feed grapes on leather bound couches….. we were fine!
Kalen: Did you make it through Covid alright?
Yeah I am in Adelaide, so it wasn’t so bad here. We had a couple of smaller lockdowns, then we had that one with the pizza wanker.
Kalen: Wait do you guys know about that? What happened?
In a nutshell they traced a dude back to a pizza bar that had Covid and he lied about what he did there and sent the state into lock down. Wouldn’t have bothered me so much but it fucked up my plans to go to Melbourne for gigs!!!! They shut everything down pretty quick.
Kalen: Pandemonium for a couple of hours.
It was insane. We were in the chemist when it got announced and by the time we got out there were lines at every store and cars banked up for miles. They even locked down McDonalds!
Kalen: Wow that’s hardcore.
Okay so tell me all about The Stranger.(Everyone looked at Kalen!)
Kalen: So we are The Stranger, We are a progressive metalcore band. We have been kicking around since 2013-2014. It originally started with myself and Daniel who isn’t here. We used to play in another band together and when that one fell apart we decide that we didn’t want to stop. We wanted to keep writing music, so we started The Stranger. The general idea was that we came from a band where we were pretty pigeon holed sound wise. We were doing the female-fronted metal thing and that kind of had a very distinct scene. The rule for the new band was anything goes as long as it is good. Very shortly after we found Tom.
The vocalist singer guy!
Tom: Ha yeah. I originally joined on bass, but I have been singing since I was 11-12 years old. After awhile the bass was to hard to keep up with so I started singing to them and we went from there.
Kalen: It worked out really well and then we recruited a couple of other members who have since left and we now have Linc and Drew in the band. We released our first album in 2017 which was very well received. Like any absolute no name out of nowhere band from Australia, the publicity we got was very good but there wasn’t a tonne of it. We were still very proud of that album. We put a hell of a lot of work into it. We recorded it with a guy called Adam Merker who has done some really great work for bands like Disentombed and Lagerstein. We had it mixed in Sweden by a guy called David Castillo who has done Opeth and Bloodbath and mastered by Jens Bogren who is one of my personal heroes. He has done everyone big in the metal world.
Since then we have had a couple of line up changes and we have basically spent the last couple of years refining our sound. That’s what it is like for any band who moves forward, you’re always working on trying to become a better version of yourself. You find yourself more and more as you go along. One of the things that we were able to do with this new album which we lacked a bit of on the first album is write with more intention. The songs are a little bit more to the point. On the first album we have 9, 10, 11 minute long songs, they are great, its cool having your big prog epics. This time we were a little more to the point and kept them song length which is good. That is that ongoing process of finding how you write.
Yeah and like you said you have had line-up changes. Its also everyone becoming used to how the other band members write.
Kalen: Absolutely. You know the writing process is continuing to evolve. Typically the way things have worked is that I have come up with the bulk of a song idea, or Tom will come up with the lyrics and then Tom and I will work together. On this album Drew wrote a whole song which is sick.
Drew: I did a song!
Kalen: Drew did a song… Linc wrote the bulk of another song as well which is really cool. I think the more we go along we will hopefully increase this collaboration as opposed to mostly coming from one person.
So how does your process go? Just lots of back and forth until the song is finished?
Kalen: Do you mean between us?
Drew: It’s pretty different for each one.
Kalen: The basic thing is that one of us will bring in, if not a whole song then at least a substantial chunk to inform what the song is going to be. So it will be like ‘I have this much done but I’m not sure where it is going to go’ and then we might work on it from there or it might be ‘Hey here is a whole song’, which we just tweak and refine. We all have our little riff graveyard folders too so something might come from there.
That graveyard file is a common thing!
Kalen: That’s the thing. Inspiration is tricky. It’s very difficult to have inspiration on command. Sometimes you get really lucky and an idea so strong falls into your head that you can follow the whole thing to a full song in a few hours or a couple of days. Sometimes you have an awesome riff that you sit on for 2 years because you have no idea what to do with it.
Linc: We have examples of both of those on the album. The title track Kaleidoscope took Kalen a night to write the whole thing.
Drew: The song that I wrote I came up with the original idea I think 1.5 years after I joined the band. So its been around for like 3 years now.
Tom: I was writing lyrics to that right up to the recording process.
Kalen: That one was very tricky. The thing about Drew’s song, which I think is probably his greatest strength as a songwriter, is that he is really good at bringing in complex chord structures and chords with a lot of depth and nuance. It meant that the music was so interesting on its own that we found that when we tried to come up with vocals it was a case of how do you add to it without taking away from what is there.
Dan joined us at this point.
Kalen: So we all have our own strengths and weaknesses as songwriters. This is just one ongoing journey of learning each other and learning the process and refining it. Working off each other’s strengths to write bitching songs. One thing we always really try and go for in our songs are hooks. Especially in vocals. I really love when something we have written gets stuck in my head for a week.
Tom: A lot of that vocally is inspired by Voyager. They are a really catchy hooky band. Leprous as well with there intense proggy approach to music. That very easy to get into vocal style. You want to attract people and have them interested in the melody before they go and read the lyrics.
I’m a real lyrics girl. I like to listen with the lyrics in front of me.
Kalen: Have you listened to the first single yet?
I have indeed. I have listened to it a couple of times now and stuck it in my playlist. It’s really good.
We digressed and ended up on the Voyager band wagon and the guys mentioned they had played with them before which led me to ask who else they have shared the stage with.
You have played a few shows then!?
They all laughed.
Kalen: We’ve been around for 6 years now so we have played a few.
Have you travelled interstate much or just Queensland?
Kalen: Off the back of the first album we toured the East Coast. We basically been everywhere between here and Melbourne.
Everywhere but Adelaide!!
Tom: Yeah sorry!
Kalen: We haven’t made it to Adelaide yet. We will get there!
Tom: One positive that has come out of lockdown is that the distance between our first album, it was 2 years before we got another song on the ground. This one we are already rolling into new material. That sense of momentum. Creating new things and expressing ourselves in new ways and collaborating and editing ourselves. The way we are as a band now, pre Covid lockdown is so different to how we are now. We are so much more in touch with each other’s preferences and style.
Linc: We are finding how we are writing is changing as well due to Covid.
That has been the greatest thing about Covid I think. Bands changing up how they write and not worrying about the “genre” label by adding different elements to their songs. I am all about that shit.
Kalen: The title prog is so broad, and it means that we don’t have to worry about genres.
Linc: We’ve progressed!
Kalen: Exactly. It’s like we do what ever the fuck we want and it’s all “prog.”
I have heard that heaps lately, ‘We are just playing whatever the fuck we want and if only a handful of people listen we don’t care.” I suppose you can have that attitude when you haven’t played for 12 months. It’s probably liberating for bands tbh.
Kalen: As far as writing whatever the hell we want, that being said the feedback we have had from this first single has been overwhelmingly positive.
It’s a damn good song.
Kalen: Thank you.
Tom: It’s more than that. We got a positive review to our first album but this one it seems that people are actually excited for it. When we released the first single off the other album everyone was like yep that’s good. But with this one everyone is like fuck when can I get more. It’s really heartening.
I think people are starting to appreciate prog a little bit more now too.
Kalen: I think so too.
Bands like TesseracT and Periphery are becoming bigger.
Kalen: We are all fans of those guys.
So Periphery are my all-time favourite band.
Kalen: Right on
Tom: They built the road that we are now driving down.
Kalen: It’s like the plans were laid in place by Karnivool and then Periphery came along and built the road.
Drew: I feel like they have cemented themselves as a timeless legendary band. They are like proper legends of the music world now. Because it is music for musicians and for listeners. The bar has been well and truly set, it has been for many Periphery albums now, so now everyone is shooting for something beyond that.
When I talk to young bands and they say they don’t know what to do band wise I always tell them to go and look at Periphery, not their music but the way they run their band as a business.
Linc: There documentary is so good.
Tom: Look at their progression from their first album to P4. They didn’t start out where they are now, they refined and honed their craft. They started simple and have just launched off on a trajectory.
Kalen: We are also really big fans of Caligula’s Horse. Adrian, the second guitarist does all our music videos. Dale does the lights at our shows.
Your like one big family.
Kalen: It’s a cliché but a rising tide lifts all boats and the more we can all help each other out and be involved the better we off we will all be.
That is absolutely correct. I only started Recurrent Verse in April. Let’s start a music blog in the middle of a pandemic!! The support I have gotten has been amazing.
Tom: Our Spotify stats have been rising in the US, they have shot above Australia now.
What about Russia?
Linc: Yeah Moscow is the 5th most popular.
It’s weird because a lot of the bands I have spoken to lately have Russia and the US pretty high up.
Drew: I feel like it might have started with, obviously Karnivool, but more so with 12 Foot Ninja the US kind of picked up the Aussie larrakin theme. That blossomed in to Caligula’s Horse and few other progressive metal bands. Now there is a keen eye on the music, but I feel like 12 Foot opened that up.
Kalen: Yeah. That’s a band I don’t think about much these days, but I think they have a new album coming out. They did a huge amount for the Australian scene. Periphery had a lot to do there too because they were friends and Periphery promoted 12 Foot a lot. I think you could safely say that without 12 Foot we would probably be a few years behind were we are now as a scene.
Dan: Its funny because I was talking to some of the guys from Caligula’s Horse and they were saying that whole Australian larrakin thing isn’t really accepted anywhere else in the world except by Aussies. We have just come to be known as people who can act like idiots on stage and people are cool with that.
Tom: We have this license to be ourselves but also be taken seriously which when we are screaming at the microphone ‘Get ya tickets’ and then we play something like Kaleidoscope and people actually take you seriously and listen to it and that is really 12 Foot because they are the same.
Kalen: On that note, just to bring it back to us.
Haha oh yeah!! See this is what happens…. Who are you guys again????
Kalen: We ask ourselves that every day! One thing I really like about this new album compared to the first one is that this album feels more personal. The first album we did a lot of storytelling, there is a song about Robocop, one about Warcraft lore. There’s a bunch of random shit. This album we have actually written songs that feel relevant to our lives, things that we care about.
Tom: Not just the songwriters lives but things we can all relate too.
Kalen: I don’t want to go as far as to say the album is a statement because it’s not. I mean the first single is. Eleventh Hour is a statement, like I have said in other interviews that is our first hippy, climate protest song. It kind of sucks because that message these days is starting to feel like a bit of a cliché or a meme if you are talking about climate change. It’s talked about so much in the wrong kind of way that it almost feels like a platitude now. The thing is it is still a ridiculously fucking pressing issue that some people hope gets swept under the rug or will be dealt with by somebody else.
That’s what has been happening for years. Let someone else deal with it. You know. And now look where we are.
Kalen: Too hard basket all the time.
Tom: look at what we’ve got on our hands now. That is almost exactly the point of the song. ‘We are waiting in wounds, that have been left by this wasted time’ we are now dealing with it and it is time to change.
Kalen: Those are the last two lines of the song. It’s quite poignant Tom.
So how many songs are on the album?
Kalen: There are 9 songs one of which is an instrumental interlude kind of thing. We kind of cover all the bases in this album mood wise. This first single is the big, serious face, heavy, dramatic song. The next one is heavy but with a more upbeat vibe, there’s also some funkiness. The next single we release, which is also the title track, is very personal for Tom. That’s very introspective, very..
Kalen: Yeah its sad.
Tom: Sad boy Tom. It’s just something that I think everybody feels. Loss of the sense of meaning and purpose in life. There is a resolution in all of us to break out of that. I just wanted to relate to people in the first albums lyrics, but I feel like maybe the closest I got was ‘In The Mire’ and that is 11 minutes of relating to yourself. So like trying to bring that personal experience into each song, at least in some way, is really important now I think. I think it makes the music more effective and it means that people will be able to listen to it over and over again.
A better connection with your audience.
Tom: Absolutely, and I want people to be able to feel the same catharsis that I felt when I was writing that song. As soon as that song came out onto the paper, I read it back to myself and I was like ‘Jesus that’s really how fucking upset I am?’ So that is the intention.
Kalen: The funny thing is there was another song on the album that is actually a similar one by me. A few years ago I was going through an insanely painful breakup and it was one of those times where the whole fucking song dropped into my head really quickly. Having that release in the form of music it really is catharsis.
And all you guys write songs like that, which in turn have helped me (and plenty of other people) get through some pretty heavy shit.
Kalen: Do you have any songs that you can point to as being really valuable to you?
Beartooth’s entire Disease album. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t be here. That pretty well kept me going.
Dan: Its crazy that, I don’t know, it makes you feel so connected to 5 or 6 people that are making this album.
Linc: Vibrations in the air.
I saw them in Brissy, and we went back to Crowbar after the gig. Caleb turned up there and I actually go to tell him how that album saved me. It was pretty surreal to be able to do that.
Tom: if anyone is ever nervous about trying to say that to a band, you shouldn’t be because that will completely validate their entire existence. Never be shy about going to tell a band how much their music has helped you.
I actually get paid out a LOT because I’m always telling the bands I love them, and I love their songs. You gotta tell them so they feel the love!
Tom: Don’t do what I did the first time I met Jim from Caligula’s Horse. I was a tad drunk and hugged him while telling him I loved him!!
Been there, done that haha.
Kalen: Well you know it’s all part of the experience!
It is. I think to because the Australian bands are so approachable.
Kalen: That’s it. It goes back to what I said before. There’s no rock stars everyone is just cool.
Last words before we end this?
Drew: I just want to go back to the lyrics. As much as this album is taken more seriously lyrically and it’s a lot more personal it’s so much more fun than the first album. And the lyric content is more fantastical which I had nothing to do with so I’m not boasting about my own achievements here. It is so much fun, there are songs on there which are incredibly personal and can help people on the level that we all just talked about, but its also really fucking fun. The second song on the album is easily my most favourite song that we have ever written. I still listen to it on a daily basis.
Kalen: The second song ‘Gemini’ was a fun one.
Oh I like that already because I’m a Gemini!!
Kalen: Nice! There you go. That’s a fun one for me because it’s another one I wrote really quickly but then I totally fucking forgot that I had written it. We were going through ideas one night a band practise and I played that one and the guys were like ‘What! It’s done, print it, it’s finished!!’
Tom: I love that music so much. I put almost the entire lyrics and melodies together in 2 hours on a train. I don’t think we ended up editing anything from it. It was just done. It felt right.
Kalen: That kind of leads me to your question. I think what I would really like to say about this album is that every song on the album really has a very unique personality unto itself. From a birds eye view they all sound like us but they are all very different songs. There are no songs on this album that are filler and that is something we always work really hard to achieve. I feel that whatever side of the heavy thing you are into we probably have something for you on this album and it’s really worth exploring. We are also really happy to be working with Bailey Graham at Octane and also Wild Thing records as well. Wild Thing are such a presence here in Australia.
They picked up Growth too which surprised me.
Linc: Very left field from what they usually focus on.
It’s such a good album. I brought the vinyl. I collect vinyl. That was another Covid thing, I thought I would start to collect vinyl and about 150 later……
Strangely the boys all laughed!!
Tom: Are you collecting or just buying them all?
I’m just buying everybody’s! Well only the ones I like…. Which happen to be most of them..
Kalen: You know that’s the best thing in my mind about the heavy scene in Australia. Especially prog. Everyone that listens to it is a fan of music. They may not be a musician, but no one listen to this stuff casually, they all really put focus into it.
I find that I will sit and purposely listen to vinyl whereas if I Spotify the same album I will just have it as background noise.
Kalen: Vinyl is like a conscious active experience.
Tom: Like wine tasting instead of just getting sloshed!
Kalen: Do you guys have anything to add.
Linc: I think you’ve pretty much said everything I ever wanted to say.
Tom: I just want to say Dan’s glasses look great
Kalen: Yeah Dan’s glasses do look great. You know what? Dan looks great.
Tom: Yeah he does.
Drew: I think a great way to sum it up is that we are very grateful for the reception we have had so far. And that comment starts back at the first show we played after Covid. Everything from that point up until now
Linc: Which was a ridiculous show. We played 2 hours straight. The same set twice. It was exhausting.
Drew: We were very tired, but it was just the best way to catapult ourselves back into things.
Do you have a date for the album?
Linc: The album comes out on the 9th April and the next single will be dropping on the 26th of February. And there will be another single somewhere between those two dates.
Kalen: We have a bunch of content coming out in the next couple of months all leading up to the album release.
Linc: It’s already a stressful!
Kalen: It’s cool though, that feeling.
It’s a good stressful.
Eleventh hour is the first single off the upcoming album. Listen to it and then listen to it again because there is a bit to unpack in it which is a good thing in my books.
Bad Moon Born are in a phase of re-birth. The Sydney-based five-piece have released their newest single, ‘The Heart From The Hollow’, the first taste of an EP to come in the near future. A shift in style and pace, the new single heralds a whole new era for the band!
A large portion of 2020 was spent working on new material, diving into a totally new genre and exploring new-found personal depths in their lyric writing. ‘The Heart From The Hollow’ plays with the idea of losing oneself in anger and forfeiting your capacity for compassion in doing so.
Vocalist Jordan Von Grae says that the single ‘…is written to represent the inner monologue one might face when dealing with extreme bouts of pain and anger. In essence, The Heart From The Hollow is an ode to the dichotomy of rage and reason, explored through an introspective lens. This idea of heightened self-awareness with an attention to inner turmoil is a recurring theme throughout the course of this EP.’
This is a new direction for the band and hot damn I am digging it. Very keen to see where Bad Moon Born take this!
After a turbulent 2020 and the disappointment of delaying not only their debut album, but their maiden European voyage, no pandemic is holding Australia’s most genre twisting hardcore band back in 2021! Brisbane’s high-octane punk/hardcore outfit, who signed worldwide with Sharptone Records in 2020, have just announced their debut album ‘Help Me Help You’ out Friday 26th March. Produced, mixed and mastered by Callan Orr of Avalanche Studios (Dream On Dreamer, Young Lions, Hands Like Houses).you can pre-order/pre-save it here: http://stepsonpunk.com.
Along with that announcement Stepson have also released a new single ‘Deeper Sleep.’ Available to stream here:
Bassist for the band, Jayden Ridley lamented on the year that was 2020, while also realising the positives in waiting for the right time to release this album. ‘We were so bummed last year when we had to push back the release of our debut album due to covid impacts, so much of ourselves went into this album and we’ve been saying it’s coming soon for so long it started to feel like it would never happen. Thankfully it’s all been worth it, we have a physical release that we are so proud of and can’t wait to finally put it out into the world. To anyone who has ever connected with our band. this record is for you. We hope you love it as much as we do!‘
There is something for everyone on “Help Me, Help You” in what will undoubtedly serve up one of 2021’s most versatile debut albums. Stepson are ready to take on the world!
In a statement from Brock, he said that “Deeper sleep is about insecurities that can carry over from past, abusive relationships. The inner turmoil experienced every day from past trauma can affect present and future relationships to the point where even dreams feel real. Insecurity is contagious and unfortunately can be transferred from person to person. This song is a helpless plea to help someone they love and care about from their own mind.“
“Musically it’s the most outside the box track to date and we tried to do a lot of different things technically, like dance beats, more staccato guitar work and a solo toward the back end that makes for a really cool crescendo. What we love about Deeper Sleep is that it’s a toe tapper, a track that carries a genuine sense of motion that makes you want to break out into a boogie at any given moment.“
“We are so proud of “Help Me, Help You” for many different reasons, but the main focus is the diversity and range of genres and influences we have been able to capture across the 11 tracks. We are all inspired by different musicians and artists and to have that represented in our music is really exciting! We’d like to think that everyone; mums and dads, emos and lads, can all find at least one song they dig musically or connect to lyrically and we can’t wait to hear what everyone’s favourite songs are!“
“Help Me, Help You” was created from a shared passion of heavy music in all its facets, with an amalgamation of melody, ferocity and angst that sets each of the 11 songs apart in their own unique, fresh way, whilst still bearing the trademark Stepson sound.
There is more depth to the musicianship on the band’s first LP compared to previous releases, with some of the 5-piece’s most adventurous riffs and intense drum fills to date, meanwhile long-time fans of the band will recognise the familiar lyrical themes having new life breathed into them by front man Brock Alan Conry
Stepson is: Brock Alan Conry – Vocals Jayden Ridley – Bass/Vocals Nick Bennett – Guitars Robert Suthern – Guitars Jordan McDonald – Drums
Adelaide’s Ovtsider have just released a cracker new single ‘Coward.’ Vocalist Tom Drizners and I had quite the chat about the new single and what is on the horizon for the band.
I was just looking at all the gigs you have supported, and I didn’t realise I had seen you play so many times!! Pridelands, Alpha Wolf, The Gloom in the Corner, Life Pilot, No Zodiac…..
We played a lot of decent shows really, really quickly and then have just floated along. We lost the new band hype, so we had to go okay now we need to make an impact to get noticed. We’re not just that new band that pulls at shows, which is now Signals!
Off the back of a demo.
Yeah exactly. An interesting demo that isn’t even in the right tuning but that’s another story.
Na it is, at the time we wrote and recorded it in a certain tuning, but we have never ever played it in that tuning. Even when we were playing it live. I don’t know why but that’s what happened.
Okay tell me all about this new single. And where is the EP????
Well Jake and I wrote an EP about this time last year, when I say EP we wrote 6 songs. They were very much just demos. We sat on them and sat on them and then I decided I didn’t like any of these. Then Jake wrote what is Coward. We sent it off to Sam and Sam said it was good, but it was lacking some stuff. So it went back and forward a bit. He messed with it a lot, with the very Dregg vibes that it has. The weird guitars. I know you love Dregg, so if you know Dregg enough you will hear it and go that’s a bit of Sam in there. We think that is really cool. We love Dregg and we have been doing all our songs with Sam since Ache. He backed it and said just ditch the EP and we will start again. He suggested doing some single releases, so that was the plan after doing this so its in the works but kind of, I don’t know, floating around.
So it will be singles that will eventually go onto an EP?
Yeah that’s the plan at this stage I think. There is nothing official set in stone. We were going to do 6 singles over the year and them go hey this is an EP, but we have just all started throwing around new ideas. We have a couple of shows lined up in Melbourne so do we want to just go hey we are that band that just does singles, or do we want to go hey here is a chunk of music which is what Starve and ATLVS are doing by releasing EP’s. Or do we want to do single, do a bit of a tour, single do a bit of a tour if you know what I mean.
Works for Redhook!
Yeah exactly. We got a message on Instagram the other day saying, ‘I love the single, can’t wait for the album.’ And I was like Album!?! I was like bro we can’t even pull the money together to do an EP! It was funny.
So this song. Basically I locked Jake and I into a room together and wrote all those songs and then Jake wrote it, Harry does his drum stuff and Coen is there for good bants and being Coen. Going nope I don’t like that or yep I like that. It’s good, he has been a good fresh set of ears. Funnily enough its actually the first song that Jake has fully written for us. So Tristan who is in 23/19 now did Ache, then Jake wrote Blood and the week before we recorded it Joel rewrote the whole thing and went nup we are rewriting all of it. Then we went to Melbourne and Sam rewrote more of it so it is kind of the first time we are hearing Jake do what Jake does which is cool.
Lyrically it stems off the back of what Blood was about. I’ve had some people ask what it’s about and I’ve had other people say that is clearly about a pretty personal topic isn’t it. Which it is so I can only be as cryptic as possible with one song before I go fuck it I’m just going to say what I’m feeling again in a cryptic kind of non-cryptic way I guess. Blood did what it was supposed to do. The person that it is about messaged me within 3 hours of the song coming out asking if it was about them and I said yep. So they didn’t change what they were doing, they didn’t except what they were doing and kind of went Oh well instead of airing out your laundry why not talk to me. I was like I did, and you didn’t really listen to me. It sort of stayed how it is and I went you know what I’m just going to keep writing songs about it because it is pissing me off and I’m not an overly aggressive person, so I have to pick something.
I’m going to go back and listen to both of them a little bit more carefully.
I tired to throw a couple of, I don’t know, innuendos in I guess. Things that people can just grab onto as a whole, which was what Ache was written like. Ache isn’t personal, it’s a concept. Where as Blood and Coward are very, very personal. My partner sat me down after we did this one and said okay that’s enough, it’s time to write about something else. I was like I don’t know; I don’t know if I am done yet.
You’re on a roll.
I’ve got more. I can say things more black and white if I have too. I think I wrote a couple of different versions of lyrics, then as you do when you are tracking some of them actually sucked so I rewrote them. Then you stand there and go I don’t have anything! You want me to freestyle some lyrics? Haha
So that is kind of it. Sam had a good part in that again as he always does. I’m really good friends with Caleb who did our music video, he did the Agapanther Vacant video. We got talking when we were doing the Vacant video and I fill in for his mixed basketball team sometimes. I pitched an idea to him about having a really small room and flashing lights. I want people to feel what is going on. With Blood, before the world shut down, we planned on doing another video with him for that which didn’t happen so we thought we would just run with this one now. We are really happy with it. We have heard some really good things which is nice, it wasn’t expected. A few people that I have never spoken to before have hit us up going hey that was really cool. We are getting the vibe that you are setting and stuff like that. I just wanted it to be as much in your face as it could be. Caleb really ran with that and grew the story. He bounced a couple of ideas off of me and stuff like that. It is a completely different concept to what we originally had. The boys shut me down and said it was too much and to wait until we actually do something big. We have a couple of other story lines for videos sitting in the back of my mind. But we just went okay lets punch someone in the face in a video if we can do that.
Get your message across.
Yes again trying to be as very ‘Hey I don’t like what you are doing, you need to stop what you are doing.’ I hope that is what has come across in the video, that was the whole point.
I haven’t gotten around to watch the video. I’ll be honest. I’ve listened to the song heaps!
That’s okay. Haha that’s because you have been holidaying it up!
I’ve been so busy galivanting around the country side that I have a heap of catching up to do!!!! I have a shit load of emails to go through….
You’re just nonstop. You’re always putting stuff out which is awesome because everyone is obviously always talking to you.
Now I have bands sending me their new songs that are coming out later in the year and asking my opinion! Like what the hell. I’m not even musical haha.
That’s the best though. Like you say not being musically inclined but actually having a decent set of ears.
I have had people say that if I put up a song and say go listen they will because they know it will be good.
Exactly. Your ears are worth gold, that’s the thing. You listen to so much stuff and you see so much different stuff. Yeah its only your opinion on something but you always back what you say, if you don’t like something you are probably going to say, ‘I don’t really fuck with that.’
I’ve been extremely lucky that every piece of music that has been sent to me has been of such an awesome standard. We are so lucky to have so many good musicians in Australia. I’m sure the day will come when I get something I don’t vibe with. I think like you said, I listen to so much stuff and it’s so varied that I can vibe with most music.
I think it’s really cool how the scene, over the last couple of years, has really grown. With the UNFD Social Club and Anti Vinyl Vinyl Club type groups. The Backbone boys, we love those boys, and the What We Did On The Weekend boys. Guys like them, and you as well, are people that we need.
I think its been great watching bands sharing the shit out of each other’s stuff too when there have been releases. Covid has been shit but it definitely has brought the scene closer together.
There has been a lot of that which has been really cool. Sam hit us up after we released the song, I sent him the video before I posted it. He was so stoked that we are just pushing through the shittest time ever for music and just giving it a crack. We are more or less a nothing bands. We are a speck at the moment but while no one is able to do much why not hit the ground running. It’s not like we are going to be able to tour so we may as well try and make the most of it and make a splash.
Get that traction happening now for the band so when things do start to pick up you are ready. You guys have a few gigs coming up with Anticline don’t you?
Yeah we do. I tried to book a couple of shows earlier this year but everywhere is either booked out or not doing shows. I have had a few bands on my mind for a long, long time to play with and having that gender diversity which is something we really want to do. It’s actually sick that some places are now making that a prerequisite.
You guys also got on the Heavy SA bill for this year.
Yeah that was really cool. It’s going to be different for us because it’s a very different crowd to what we usually play. We’ve played with a bunch of bands on there before so that is going to be cool.
Have you ever been to one?
It’s the best day. One of my favourite days of the year.
I keep hearing that and I cant actually wait to play it, especially as it is sold out. I’m keen to just get out there and say, ‘Hey this is what we are, and this is what we are doing.’
So regarding us that is where we are at. We are writing new music, the standard line! Trying to book shows, working out how and when and where and who with. We tracked ‘Coward’ in about August at Jake’s house, which was cool. We did the video the week before Christmas, then its been flat out getting everything like the art work and shit ready. Now it’s about keeping the momentum going.
With the constant lockdown/no lockdown that momentum is becoming pretty hard for bands to ride, and I admit I am probably biased because these are hometown boys but go give Coward a listen because it’s a bloody good tune.
Having bands I haven’t heard of flick across my desk makes me happy. These guys made Monday morning a lot more bearable that’s for sure. The melodic hardcore outfit from Wollongong recently announced a new EP ‘Kingdom’ which will be released on Friday March 19th. The band says, “The EP as a whole is just a reflection of life in all forms through the year of 2020, the emotions, the highs and lows written as genuinely as possible and communicated the same.”
With that announcement came their latest single ‘Wilted’, a song about hurt, the hurt experienced by so many people the world over – pain of loss, the pain of not knowing, and the pain of change.
Their no-compromises attitude towards their music means that no sacrifices are made in the intensity in their sound from their electric live show to the recording studio. Proposal have maintained their appealing melodic hardcore vibes, while bringing influence from the heavy culture that surrounds them.
The Kingdom EP was Recorded and written by Proposal, Mixed and Mastered by Evan and Ash at Loud Noise Estate and the video was Filmed and Edited by the band themselves during COVID lockdown.
Proposal have a gig with Teeth and Karma at The Burdekin Hotel coming up in a few weeks.
First off is the name of the band pronounced To-rizon? I think I have been saying it wrong!
That’s okay a lot of people do. Its Torizon – like Horizon with a T.
What’s been happening for Torizon?
It’s been busy behind the scenes. Last year we released our single ‘Find My Way Out’ and since then we have a whole body of work. A whole bunch of songs that we wanted to release. We were meant to be going to L.A. and touring Japan but Corona… I had planned the Japan tour around my birthday but that’s fine, I’ll have another one next year. It was supposed to be a big year for us, but I think it worked in our favour because we could knuckle down and make ourselves more self-sufficient. Half of the band lost their jobs, like a lot of people, so we were able to put our heads together and write music but at the same time set up our own private rehearsal/recording studio. Between all of us we do have a few studios but this one was dedicated just for us. It’s treated to our sound and we keep modifying it to suit us as we get better and for different kinds of sounds we want to get out. We also all learnt a lot about cinematography because Sarah actually has a degree in that and has worked on Pirates of the Caribbean, Narnia and stuff like that. She’s a badass. She showed us how to do all that kind of stuff so we could help her make ourselves as self-sufficient because we didn’t have the same budget anymore. I did some courses around social media and we all have formal education in music theory. We just went a whole new level of music theory and wrote a whole bunch of music. We can make our own merch as much as possible. Obviously we out-source t-shirts and the like. We make the majority of our novelty items; we do our own video editing and all that stuff, graphic design and recordings. So that gave us the time and the ability to write new music. Burning Away happened, I had it pretty much straight away as soon as 2020 happened. You knew it was going to be a bad year. There was just something about climate change, obviously it’s been in the fore front a lot more, but something changed when I turned 30 and I felt that nobody waws doing anything. I found myself living in fear, not fear-fear but sub-conscious fear, for a couple of years. Like what’s going to happen, nobody is taking care of this. The people that should be taking care of this, that have the power too, are not. It was an odd existential way to live. I was like ok I need to write a song about this because it needs to come out of my system. So it started with the bushfire crisis, which is obviously the metaphor, but at the same time literally. It turned more into a metaphor when Corona virus hit and it just felt like all the creative people, like yourself and everyone else, were just cast aside and it made me really angry.
It blows my mind how artists have been treated throughout this. If anything The Arts probably turn over more money for Australia than anything else.
Exactly. The Arts generated all that funding for the bushfire crisis and then on the back of that to just be like nope.
Yeah, I was like come on man. So that is where it took it onto a metaphor of; Its desolation, you don’t care about anything and then climate change as well. It’s an angry song, it’s a mix of everything I was feeling in a very existential time. It was like well here you go everybody I hope you like it!
Yeah, so that is what we have been doing. Just working very hard, writing a lot of music. We do have an EP coming out later this year too, but we wanted to get this song out because it is so angry and so perfectly timed.
I just watched the clip for the song. You guys did that yourselves then?
Yeah. What did you think of the song?
I really liked it. I listen to Find My Way out a bit too. You’ll like this – I’ve been wracking my brain trying to work out who it sounds like and it sounds like the Last Martyr, that’s what it reminds me of.
Oh excuse me! I love Mon, she’s a phenomenal vocalist. That is so good to hear, thank you. She is such a lovely person too.
She is amazing and she is so positive. I am loving that there are so many more woman in the scene who are being really vocal and playing a really big part in it. That is what excites me.
I’ve definitely seen a shift in that. I say this but then we are so used to micro things happening all the time in the scene that you just think its normal, I personally haven’t had anything that is very bad happen, I know people that have had worse for sure. But there have been times where there is that power thing and I’m like just because I am a female. If that’s the mentality it kind of puts you in a place as a female where you freeze. I can’t describe it any other way other than a power move, I’m holding power over you. But I can see a big shift in that, especially like you said with all the women being so vocal. Being taken seriously, especially being a lead singer too. I get the female fronted bands thing; I get it but..
I hate that term. That grinds my gears. The whole “female fronted” thing. It’s a band.
Exactly. I get it, I wish I was a dude, trust me! No hormones!!! Imagine that haha.
It’s way more acceptable now. I have found nothing but support by so many people on so many different levels. I think that is because of all the women before me, I got to ride on their coat tails basically. It’s been a very positive shift and I am really happy for that.
I have found that the majority of the males in the scene, especially Melbourne and Adelaide because that is where I am the most, won’t put up with that shit either anymore. I love that they are becoming so vocal around the treatment of, not only females, but of everyone in the scene. At the end of the day any form of shitty behaviour is not okay in our community.
It’s the same in Brisbane. I’m from Victoria and moved from Geelong to Brisbane 7 years ago. I loved living in Victoria, but I definitely found, and this is from my own unique perspective of being a musician coming to a new place where I didn’t know anyone, there was so much positivity up here and so protective. I have had very minimal poor experiences like that.
I am the same. I came up for Dead of Winter in 2019 and hardly knew a soul apart from some band members, a few Facebook friends I had made and the girl I stayed with. I had the best time, made new friends and never once felt unsafe or worried. A lot of the band members would check up on me if they walked past which was so nice. I love that about the community, personally I have never been anywhere that I haven’t felt safe and I go to a lot of gigs by myself.
100% and I definitely feel that. We have had security guards who have been so good at keeping an eye on things and will do things like walk you to your car. I think that the shift has been big and personally I find myself very lucky that I haven’t had a lot of those awful experiences. Know a lot of that is coming to light, less and less of it seems to be happening or is tolerated.
So now that you can’t get to LA to record what is the plan?
Robb Torres is our producer, and he is based in LA. He has been our producer for awhile now, pretty much since the inception of Torizon. We write songs and send it to him; we catch up with him monthly and he guides us from a production perspective. Producers know what they are doing, and it is very valuable to listen to them. He is also so sweet; he is just a genuinely wonderful human being who just wants to get the best out of your music but preserve the uniqueness. He pushes you but never makes you feel like you are not enough. He is a wonderful teacher. That is why I say he is our mentor because his influences have made us level up a lot. As the songs come out you will notice that they are getting better and better. The EP that is coming is very progressive influenced. It’s been really awesome to go and explore all those things. Rob works with us remotely, so we are basically going to release it that way now. We were meant to stay with him and record, it was going to be amazing. But the music is still going to come out, we can still write. Also if anyone wants to check Rob about his band is called Robbery Inc. and I really rate them.
Let’s take a back step to ‘Find My Way Out’ because I saw that you said it was about gaslighting and emotional abuse.
I’m pretty open about it on my socials, I have a history of complex PTSD that comes from childhood trauma for a long period of time. Everything- sexual assault, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse so your getting a laundry list. That’s what I went through as a child, pretty much until I was 16 and I moved out. It just wasn’t a safe place for a child. When you grow up in that environment it becomes a part of your belief system that you are not good enough, you are not worthy of love and for me the big one was sexual assault because I viewed my body as bait so I would hide myself a lot. My responses used to be freeze, just freeze. That’s not very healthy, you need to change that. So consequently, obviously when I moved out when I was 17 until like 21/22, you have those tumultuous relationships because you feel that you don’t deserve any better.
Yeah like you don’t deserve anything else.
Logically your brain just goes oh that familiar so that is what it was mostly written about. Particularly for people that, I’ll preface it with this: anybody who psychologically abuses or is narcissistic, it all comes from a place of deep insecurity but that doesn’t justify it. That is what it was written about and one of the references I made in the second verse was when I was groped by a band member, not this band. It was some time ago. I’ve been playing in bands since I was 18 and I’m 32 this year. It happened in my early 20’s.
I can totally relate to that. I was in an abusive relationship for a long time and it affects everything that you do in life down the track, the choices you make and your reactions. I also ended up with a narcissistic asshole when I first moved to Adelaide and I now have serious trust issues. My PTSD was triggered after working so hard over the years to overcome that.
I’ve been in a place like that before. I’ve been in therapy for a while now, it just doesn’t go away. You don’t just wake up and your are fixed. It’s having an understanding of your patterns. Like for me I found that all these shitty things happened, but I am so resilient because of it. That is what I wanted to highlight in that song. I know it sucks but find your way out, you are so worth it. The resilience and the compassion, like the good part of coming out of having been through and having Complex PTSD or PTSD is the compassion you have for people. The understanding from a psychological and physiological aspect, you can see their intention isn’t bad. And the kindness to yourself. They are the virtues that I think came out for me that I have held onto. It has been amazing. I am very proud to go from having Complex PTSD to having a history of Complex PTSD. I used exposure therapy which is pretty intense but really worth it. The particular one I used was Narrative Exposure Therapy and that was for a while, it really reset my brain completely. You know what is amazing, your brain is like you can just update software. You can update your iPhone; you can update your brain. It is the most empowering thing.
I found the most empowering thing for me was learning to love myself for who I am. It has given me a new found freedom. I tell people all the time that until you learn to love yourself for who you are you can’t move forward.
Yeah, you have to bring yourself to a whole level. Especially with trauma, parts of yourself are fragmented and your body has learnt to disconnect from it for a certain reason, in different levels obviously. It’s to bring you back together, to be integrated as a whole person has been phenomenal. It has improved my self-esteem to a ridiculous degree. When I was growing up it was all a particular body type, everybody went through that right, they are still going through it. For the longest time I had this really massive almost body dysmorphia. My mum did a number on me with that, so thanks. Then you have the media reinforce that. But when I went through my exposure therapy it made me go OMG look at how much my body has done for me to protect me. Now I’m like ‘Your not fat, it’s okay.’
I’m the same. I have some bad scars and stretch marks and for years I covered them up. I have a scar from when I was younger and had my appendix out, but I also had peritonitis and the tubes they had to use to drain the poison left a terrible indent in the scar. So my entire life I never wore a bikini to the beach until 3 years ago when I changed my mindset. Fuck I have had 5 kids and that horrible scar probably saved my life. It’s all about changing your perception of things.
That inner critic.
That inner critic is worse than anything anybody else dishes out to you I think.
Absolutely. I think particularly people that have been through traumatic early childhood stuff your inner critic is super strong. Your self-love is puny, and the inner critic constantly beats the self-love talk out of you. That’s what really helped me with my therapy, all the negative talk was actually my parents and I had just internalised it. So it has got me to a point where I can trust people, I feel like I value myself, I can set boundaries, and everything has excelled. The trajectory has been really amazing since I got therapy which made me go yes I am worth it and its okay. Even working with Robb, I used to listen to his band when I was 19 so to be able to do that, 16 year old me is cartwheeling.
32 year old me is like “Hey what’s up dude!’
I would probably say it is the thing that got me into music. The thing that I related too; music was my therapy before I understood therapy, or I knew therapy was an option. It’s definitely why I am here and its definitely why I want to keep making music for people. If somebody feels a bit icky it’s there, if I can do that for one person then that would be amazing because that’s what happened for me.
I said the same to someone the other day. I don’t know where I would be without music. I know I wouldn’t be here that is guaranteed. Like you said earlier, when Covid hit and the music industry was snubbed with help, I don’t think some people realise how big an impact music has on people, especially around mental health.
I was definitely suicidal when I was 16 years old, how can you not be when you have experienced such extreme early trauma like I did? I literally heard a couple of songs on MTV, that is what got me through I would always watch MTV. SO I saw a couple of different songs and was like ‘Oh there it is, I am seeing in them what I am feeling in myself, ok so I am not by myself’. I was always a choir kid; I knew I could sing but I didn’t have any confidence in myself. Then I started writing my own stuff, not great but it was something to get out what I was feeling.
It’s a good form of therapy.
100% and I still do it. Even when we were filming Find My Way Out I really just got to a point where Sara said to me write the name of the people that were hurting you as a child on some paper and burn it. It was so therapeutic and even though I had overcome that in therapy I was like hey I can do that in my music video too.
I’ve done a lot of that over the years. It’s a good release. That sort of trauma effects every part of your life whether you realise it or not.
Absolutely. The trauma gets to a point where it makes up a part of you at a cellular level. With my therapy I was finally able to allow my body to process things and I was becoming aware of all this chronic pain that I had but my body couldn’t register it because it was always in that fight or flight mode. I went from doing weights twice a day to not being able to get through a work day. There was nothing physically wrong with and I ended up having surgery. That is how I found out about the sexual assault trauma from when I was a child. When I had that information that was tangible it allowed my brain to resurface that memory. I went through pain management to be able to literally retrain my entire body because I would just be in constant pain everywhere. Even rolling over was hard. I went from a fit person to someone who couldn’t do anything, it was awful. The pain is real and is definitely there, but it is very psychosomatic at the same time. It’s that whole being thing again. My GP was amazing, she organised a whole health care team for me who specialised in trauma. After a few years of that I am back in the gym again and I am at a typical level of pain now.
Let’s talk about the band’s name.
I wanted something that wasn’t to wordy or had something with 5 words. Something catchy that was original. Every piece of music that I have worked on personally myself is always a combination of empowerment – this is cliché, but I will always write about what I am feeling because I think that is the most important thing. I like authenticity in that way of expressing myself. I thought my values lie in mental health awareness, being a survivor and all that sort of stuff. It was very important to me that the name represented what saved me. When I found music there was always that light at the end of the tunnel so I could hold on a little bit more. So that was a mix of all of that. I think we made it happen. The space metaphor worked really well; we are all space nerds. I really like that black hole, like the black hole of life and the literal black hole. And then seeing the horizon at the end of it.
When I read that I thought that is a very well thought out band name. I really like that. It’s something that has meaning not just a random name pulled out of thin air.
What about your influences? Who inspires you?
Oh man, okay. There is a bunch. I love everything. There’s a throughline in my taste in music, there is a little bit of darkness in it. It doesn’t matter what genre it is. When I found music it was through Evanescence and Linkin Park, the cliché of my generation. Slipknot, that’s what sort of got me into okay cool these guys are feeling the same things I am feeling. I went through a big phase of Amon Amarth and Gorgoroth, it was weird. Not weird I mean I it’s just very odd for me to see myself as a 17/18 year old and into that. I appreciate the skills and the song writing but it’s just not me. Then I found the pop side of things I really like. Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morrisette. Flyleaf was also around at the time I was 18/19 and really getting into music. I was so lucky that I had a lot of these females to look up to.
Absolutely, there were some awesome women around in that era.
Lacuna Coil was a big one. The rest of the band bring their own influences so Sarah is very into TesseracT, Baroness, Haken and you will hear that in the newer stuff that is coming out. Jeremey is very similar to Sarah, but his favourite is Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I really like Aaron’s taste is slightly different from the rest of us. Basically he likes the same, Gojira and all that sort of stuff but he is also very eclectic. He grew up listening to Aerosmith and that was one of his biggest things, also Ghost. They are his kind of influences.
Up until 4 years ago I didn’t really know this whole scene was a thing! All these bands like Lacuna Coil and Gojira and the local bands that we have. I had Spotify on, listened to a few of the suggestions that were Australian bands and here I am!
I love that we have so much talent here in Australia. It’s ridiculous. Like Mon from Reliqa – she works with me and the power in her voice is amazing.
Oh I am a huge Reliqa fan.
I was like you guys have no idea how talented you are. It makes me so happy when you see these younger bands who are so damn talented. Being a musician comes with those massive insecurities about your music and its easy to get caught up in that. Seeing these younger bands and just thinking you have no idea that you are already so ahead.
I remember the first time I heard Reliqa. Browny shared them after Big Sound and I’ve been a fan ever since. After I interviewed Mon I sent her a message telling her how hard I had fan-girled being able to talk to her!! She was like What??? She is on a pedestal for me, she just blows me away with her talent.
When I’m working with her I am always saying to her that I am intimidated by her. She is the sweetest person and so talented.
Okay I’m throwing it over to you. Anything else you want to say.
Hang on while I plug in! This is my time now haha. No I’m kidding.
Music and Merch is on our Bandcamp. Spotify the hell out of our music, chuck us on your playlists. We have some Burning Away limited edition novelty items such as USB Chargeable lighters, ceramic coasters and the Burning Away skull is featured on everything.
We are on YouTube as well and Burning Away is up there.
We are very proud of this song and we really hope you guys like it. There is a whole lot of music coming from us during the rest of the year so thank you for supporting us so far. Being such a young band and being given the opportunities we are, we are really like ‘What I am a girl from Geelong!’ It still freaks me out, but we are all very sincerely appreciative and and as much as we do a lot ourselves, our management team at Hard Drive Agency makes all our visions come to life. Robb and Ian make our music come to life. We definitely couldn’t have done it without these legends in our life.
The whole package
So thank you so much. We are really appreciative of you interviewing me as well.
I’ve actually been waiting since we first “met” on Facebook. I thought I would wait to see if you released anything then I got the emailand jumped at the chance.
After talking about her role models I think Mish is well and truly a role model for the younger generation and I am extremely grateful to her for allowing me to share some of her story. Go and hit up Torizon’s socials and like Mish said add their tunes to your playlists.
Adelaide’s Ouroboric released their second full length album back in November. With a new line-up and a slightly different sound Dead Boy: Zero is an album you should definitely give a listen too. I caught up with Mitch for a quick chat a few weeks back.
I was just looking at some of the song names on the album!
I don’t write them! I just write the music and bring the bagpipes out.
There are some interesting song names..
Yeah that’s our singer. One of his favourite bands is Japanese and he grew up with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, so he gets inspiration from there.
Tell me about the album
This album is a lot more melodic for us. It was what we wanted to do on the first one but didn’t due to cost. We are all working now so we have been able to achieve it this time. We’ve added keyboard, synth and bagpipes into Dead-Boy: Zero.
You’ve added a bit of everything!
Yeah. It was a mission and a half to learn the bagpipes.
So you learnt the bagpipes to play on a song?
Yeah. We tracked a bass solo for something different too, the song got more credit than I though it would to be honest. It’s a groovy song.
It’s a good album, I had a listen to it this morning. I’m digging it. It’s metal but it has a groove to it.
The whole line up is new besides myself and the vocalist. I play lead guitar and bagpipes and a bit of keyboard. With the new line up we hope the new album gives fans a taste of what to expect.
I was trying to work out earlier if I have seen you guys play before. Have you played at any of Adelaide’s metal festivals?
We played at Metal Down Under in Port Pirie and we are on the line-up for Heavy SA. Covid has pushed that back a few times now so we are looking forward to playing it. We also have a gig with the Hidden Intent boys In Port Pirie soon.
We did a sold out gig in October and it was so weird due to it being a sit down gig. Sitting down to a metal show is strange.
Yeah I went to the Hidden Intent gig in December and I agree with it feeling weird.
So will we see a headline gig for the album release?
The album came out in November last year but because of the whole Covid thing we couldn’t really do anything for the release. Port Pirie will be our album launch now. There are 3 album launches on that day. Us, Hidden Intent and Shattered Hourglass.
Has the writing process changed for you with the new members?
Yeah it is. It’s tricky getting together because some of the guys have families and side projects so we only get 2 hours of practise a week. Sometimes one of us will just bring a structured song and we tweak it together. Trying to write and practise in that time is difficult. We have to choose what we are going to do, whether its practise or writing songs for the next album. We are only 3 songs in at the moment, so we nearly have enough for an EP. We just work around everything the best we can.
We’ve been really lucky over the years, being in the right spot at the right time to get noticed. We were lucky to have Ian Miller from Melville Recording Studio record and mix our album. The album came out sick.
Our latest single out is Electric Pantomime, and we are working on a film clip for that. Hopefully we will be playing a few more gigs around Adelaide in the near future. Our new album Dead Boy: Zero is on Spotify if you haven’t heard us before, hopefully people enjoy it.
Like I said I’m digging the new album, it’s metal but its more.
We don’t even know what we are to be honest, we are still trying to figure it out. Our first album was a big mix as well but if you listen to both you can hear how we have added the extra elements, including the bagpipes!
I like that you guys have done that. Bagpipes in metal!!!
I don’t think there are many metal bands around that have bagpipes. And like they say you don’t have to master an instrument you just need to be able to play it!!!
A big welcome to Brisbane’s Mercurious who are releasing their debut single Revelation today. I have played this track countless times since it hit my inbox and the more I listen to it the more excited I get. This is one groove, funk-filled track and if you are not moving to it then there is something seriously wrong. Melding genres is not always an easy task and Mercurious have some how managed to do this and it not sound disjointed. From that 70’s funk, to some sick riffs, to moments that have a big band sound along with some good old rock/prog vibes. Every listen leads to a discovery of something new. Keep a close eye on these guys because I think we are going to be treated to some damn fine tunes in the coming months.
Blending some of the most talented Australian artists MERCURIOUS had ONE goal – To write without any creative restriction and that’s what you can expect from their dynamic new single ‘Revelation’ This genre-transfiguring track blends healthy doses of rock and funk vibes with technical yet melodic fretwork, groovy bass and bombastic drumming efforts.
Raouf, Guitarist, explains ‘This is a song I’ve always wanted to write. As a massive fan of artists like Michael Jackson, and other 1970s and 1980s icons, I had always dreamed of fusing those influences with prog rock/metal. Out of that desire, Revelation was born. The song’s funky, jazzy, and energising riffage is polarised with Rhys’ passionate lyrical content. The lyrics touch on the growing wealth inequalities that we see globally, and the knock on effects it has on the rest of society’s ability to prosper’
With more new music in the works MERCURIOUS are showing no signs of slowing down in 2021!
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!!!!
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.