Brisbane’s Prog-Metal Sensations Sunset Junkies announced their sophomore album ‘Darkness Visible’ and released their crushing new single ‘Pentagram’ on Friday. Mixed by Grammy Award-Winning Heavyweight David Bottrill (Tool, Muse, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) and Ryan McCambridge, this composition showcases soaring melodies and rich choral arrangements, courtesy of dual-vocalists Ellie Jane and Byron Short, underpinned by energetic riffs and complex rhythms, maintaining accessibility through brilliant songcraft and daring, experimental production.
‘Pentagram’ introduces itself with a pensive high-energy riff, before kicking into full gear with extreme vocals bolstered by a groove metal-inspired bass and drums rhythm section. Verses highlight the juxtaposition of Jane’s & Short’s respective vocal ranges, textures as well the personas they inhabited in the creation of this offering. Anthemic choruses herald an impeccable contrast to the rest of this fiery track with hook-laden vocals, brimming with a cocktail of vibrancy, warmth and cold darkness, sitting atop methodically curated and sophisticated instrumentation. The crescendo further propels the song with chants of ‘Turn The Pentagram Upside Down’ becoming ever-present before inevitably fading out.
Vocalist Byron Short had this to say:
‘I wanted ‘Pentagram’ to be the first taste of Darkness Visible. It’s perfectly indicative of our development since Cosmos and it lets fans know what they’re signing up for if they choose to follow us further down the rabbit hole. ‘Pentagram’ is a big, bold behemoth of a track, a declaration of artistic intent and a deep philosophical exploration of what it means to be free, to cast aside society’s constrictive expectations and embrace your true essence, dark as it may be’
Incorporating influences such as Tool, Opeth and Devin Townsend, Sunset Junkies have forged a respected name for themselves in the Australian Metal Scene with their eclectic mix of progressive metal, modern rock and groove metal. Building on the grandiosity and scope of their debut album ‘Cosmos’, their new record ‘Darkness Visible’ explores the depths of the soul rather than the expanses of the universe and the result is a progressive metal masterpiece. With the release of ‘Pentagram’ from their much-anticipated upcoming album ‘Darkness Visible’ due for release in August 2021, the band is set to make a mark on the Australian Heavy Music World and beyond!
TRACKLISTING 1. Let It Out 2. I Wanna Be The One 3. Lily 4. Dark Dreams 5. Pentagram 6. Love & War 7. Godless 8. Darker Still 9. Divinity
With only two released singles to their name, Fallout and Blackened Crown, Adelaide’s SIGNV/S (Signals) have gained a steady following very quickly. They have also scored some pretty cool support slots with bands like Inhibitor, Nicholas Cage Fighter, Relapse, Ovtsider and Life Pilot.
The SIGNV/S boys took me out to lunch a few weeks back so we could get to know them and regaled me with tales about Calem……
Calem: Tell Suze the metronome story!
Dylan: We went and recorded with Jarred Nettle at the House of SAP and Calem was having trouble with hearing something.
Calem: This was my first professional recording; I’d never done that before
Dylan: So Jarred was like maybe just turn up the metronome or the music so you can hear it. He did another take and it was better than the last one. Jarred was like yep that was better did you turn up the metronome or the music. Calem said nothing.
Calem: I didn’t know what a metronome was!
Dylan: Jarred was like Yo! And asked him again. Calem said nothing again. Just nothing!!
Calem: You live and learn…
Dylan: Pleading the fifth on all of it!!
So there are lots of stories like that??
Kynan: Yep especially with Calem because our first time recording we hadn’t even played a show because it was during covid. It was all new to him.
Calem: I hadn’t recorded anything; I was very fresh.
Kynan: He was also really nervous. At warm up he just kept apologising.
Calem: Even when I didn’t need to record for like three days I was upstairs doing warm-ups.
Dylan: We would take a break from recording and all you could hear was Calem upstairs.
Kynan: The one that made me laugh the most was half way through the second day recording he asked Jarred if Sleep Talk recorded their album in the studio. Jarred said yep and Calem just got up and left and just went into the stiduo with this look on his face, like he hadn’t been in this room before (Laughs)
Calem: Oh God no. No, okay.. I have this friend who is a huge Sleep Talk fan so I sent a snap to show them, something fun!! I’m not a fangirl.
So did you record some songs or an EP???
Kynan: Back them it was just two songs that we have released, so Blackened Crown and Fallout.
Dylan: We were going to try and go for a music video for Fallout but we couldn’t find anywhere.
Kynan: There were so many issues with getting access to places and stuff that eventually we just dropped the song.
Dylan: Hopefully with our next lot of releases we will actually be able to plan something, have a few more options.
Calem: We are already trying to piece things together.
You have a gig Friday night with Inhibitor.
Dylan: Relapse recommended us. They are the headliners. The contacted us and told us to get in touch with Inhibitor. So thank to Relapse we ended up getting the slot. I’m pretty happy we got on that with Inhibitor. Abhorrence is such a good EP.
Kynan: I had no idea that they knew we existed. The fact they thought of us is pretty cool. They are a sick band.
Who did you play with back in January?
Kynan: We played two shows. One with Mersey Sports Club.
Calem: It was not a heavy show.
Kynan: It was all Indie bands.
And you guys.
Calem: Wolf and Chain played too. That brought a bit of the ‘emo’ crowd I guess.
Kynan: It was pretty weird , but it was actually cool. It was a sold out show, but with restrictions so I think there were about 300 tickets. It was strange starting the set, there was a lot of parents and stuff in the crowd.
Dylan: Lot of grandparents walking out after the first song!
Kynan: The second one was with Plague Keeper for their EP launch with Higher Ground, The Fifth of June and Forest Avenue.
Well when did I see you guys? I didn’t go to either of those.
Dylan: That would have been with Life Pilot. Ovtsider and Those Left Behind.
Calem: That was our first standing show. Our first two shows in October were all seated, which I guess with Covid you took what you could get.
Kynan: It was a weird way to start but it’s fun playing shows.
It’s only going to get easier for you.
Dylan: The funny part was we had put out the one song without any shows. At least with our next lot of songs on the EP we have actually taken it to a crowd to see how they react so we can change it to that. The other ones we were just like lets do it.
Calem: So this show on Friday is going to be our first show with dancing and moshing and stuff so that is going to be cool. We are the opener so not everyone gets crazy for the opener but…
Adelaide seem to be pretty keen from the get-go at gigs these days. And we haven’t had moshable gigs for a while!!
Calem: it’s a sweet line-up.
So what’s next?
Kynan: Mmmmm I don’t know how much we can say!
Calem: We are recording new material. It’s not finished but I like it. I reckon it sounds pretty cool.
Kynan: We are pretty proud of it. It’s zeroing in on the best bits of the last two songs. And I think having played a few shows now we are getting to know what we like and what we don’t.
Starting to find your groove.
Calem: Even the last song we released doesn’t feel like something we would normally write now.
Yeah. Is this the first band you have been in Calem? I know the other boys have played in different bands.
Calem: Yeah it is.
Kynan: You played in that band when you were 10 !
Calem: Oh yeah, I played in my school orchestra! That’s what got me into it. We used to play assemblies and stuff. I was a really bad 10 year old shouty singer. I convinced my teacher to let us do a punky cover version of One Direction which we played at our school fete. I just jumped around screaming haha.
Kynan: There’s a video somewhere of him just jumping around on stage.
Dylan: I was in a band called Sweet Anarchy and we used to work with Dale Taylor from Music SA. Turns out he was also Calem’s music teacher.
Did you guys all go to school together? Is that how you all met?
Kynan: It sort of started with Dylan and Tyler.
Dylan: Tyler is my brother and we have been jamming riffs since day one.
Kynan: They had the other band Sweet Anarchy for a while. I moved schools in Year 10 and met Dylan.
Dylan: He was in my class at Marryatville.
Kynan: Maryatville is a music school. We played a lot of jazz and stuff.
Dylan: We didn’t quite nail the jazz!
Kynan: Then Calem was friends with Tyler.
Calem: They had been jamming for a year without a vocalist and Tyler messaged me on Instagram about something else and he started talking about how he was in a band and they needed a vocalist. I was just at home doing yells by myself, I didn’t really know what I was doing but I told him I was a vocalist! I rocked up at practise and did some pretty cringe worthy takes. And they still let me join!!!
Dylan: It was a slow start. Remember when you would come over after school on Wednesdays and we would workshop the songs. I helped him with timing, he already had tone.
Calem: I wasn’t band ready.
Dylan: You got it really quickly.
So how long have you been a band then?
Calem: We first jammed together in August 2019.
Dylan: We probably rehearsed for six months before we put a song out.
Kynan: I think we have changed heaps as well. I really like thrash and death metal, I hated core music.
Oh you were one of those…..
Kynan: I was one of those. Calem rocked up and we started doing things like In Hearts Wake covers. I hated it but then it grew on me.
Calem: You’re welcome.
Kynan: It was a bit weird at first.
Calem: I didn’t even know your name!
Kynan: Ha yeah every rehearsal you’d be like ‘Hey’and then mumble. He didn’t say my name!!!
What would you guys class yourselves as genre wise?
Calem: I just say metalcore. It’s a pretty blanket thing.
Dylan: Big massive.
Oh yep absolutely Big massive boys. Keep your eyes on SIGNV/S because I think they are going to be talked about quite a lot over the next few years.
Like most band members, music is their life. Brisbane’s The Lost Knights are no different. They’ve been a band for 7 years now – and have given it their all in the hopes that one day they may achieve their dreams!
Their new single and video Paper Skies, is their tongue in cheek single written in frustration about the fact that their dreams and the dreams of thousands of other musicians the world over, may never come to fruition.
The lyrics hover around the band’s frustrated mindset, take the piss out of themselves a little and echo sentiments felt and heard all around the world.
“Songs take mountains of effort but they’re a drop in the ocean that is billions of unheard worldwide music releases. This song takes a trip down memory lane and we reminisce about our failed & separated previous bands and their respective band members who have said goodbye along the way. Finally, we want to acknowledge the heart-felt songs written by aspiring musicians who desperately want the world to hear their stories.“
This new single was written and performed by The Lost Knights and co-written, produced, recorded & mixed by Jackson Deasy at Dark Polar Collective and was mastered by Matthew Gray Mastering. The slick and hilarious video was directed, filmed & edited by Jackson Deasy at Dark Polar Collective.
Over their time as a band, The Lost Knights have performed alongside artists such as This Wild Life, Awaken I Am, The Comfort, The Getaway Plan, Young Lions, Far Away Stables, Stateside, Slaves, Against The Current, Secrets, Skillet and Valhalore.
As a young actor and musician, Nicholas took the plunge and moved from his home in Byron Bay to Los Angeles. As an actor he has starred alongside Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving and Jessica Chastain to name a few, and has an ever-growing list of successful films under his belt, including roles in global blockbusters such as It, It: Chapter Two, Captain Fantastic, Strangerland and more. Nicholas has returned to Australia to promote his other passion – music. He released his third single In Line last month.
In Line is modern pop but with a slightly retro twist that feels perfectly unique to Nicholas Hamilton. There’s plenty of room in this expert arrangement for Nicholas’ voice to soar – and it’s that voice that takes centre stage even as the beat ramps up and the chorus fills out. Written alongside Ben Kuhl and produced by Arthur Pingrey (Sia, Karen O), this track is expressive, emotive, and it feels appropriate for the subject matter as Nicholas explains, “I wrote this song just after I moved to the US. It’s all too fitting, as the song is about how I felt before and after getting on that plane to come over to the States and start my independent, adult life. I was battling my own headstrong decisions about making that leap and leaving my family, friends and childhood behind. The whole track is me singing to my brain, which was something I didn’t lean into until later on in the writing process.”
Your obviously still in quarantine. How much longer till your able to leave?
Yeah I’m still in quarantine. I think I have three days left after today, today is day ten and its supposed to be the hardest day.
If you have interviews all day you should be right.
The single came out this time last week so it feels like I’ve been doing that ever since I came in.
I did a 14 day quarantine at the beginning of Covid and by day four I was climbing the walls.
I have a massive window here but I’ve never not been outside for ten days. That’s not what human beings do but it doesn’t feel like I haven’t been.
I admit I had to google you!! I’m not really a movie person.
You’re a music person.
I am. I’m really liking your song though.
Thank you I appreciate that, that’s the main aim of the game here is to get people in the music world to know me.
Is music something you have always done or wanted to do?
Not really. I mean music has always been in my blood but I have only been making music for about two years and I’ve only been releasing stuff for about three or four months. It’s very new. The whole goal of this is not to gain any new fans or anything, obviously that’s a plus, but being able to have this bit of expression of these songs that I have been writing for the last few two years. Having them being able to be out in the world so people can hear how I have been for the last two years. That is really exciting to me.
I read that ‘In Lines’ is about you actually getting on that plane and heading off on your big adventure to America.
It’s the same thing with my other songs, pretty much every song on this new EP, they are just like little diary entries of things that I have experienced and people I have experienced those things with. It’s all very raw and candid and honest. I’m just trying to make them as catchy as possible.
You have achieved that, I’m more into the metal scene but I’ve been humming it.
Thanks you I appreciate that.
You have two other singles out as well. Different Year and noRoom. I really liked both of them too. Savs collaborated with you on noRoom, I haven’t heard of her either but she has a beautiful voice.
She is brilliant and very unknown. She’s an artist out of Versailles which is about three hours out of LA. I met her while we were writing In Line actually. Her friend recommended her to me and she came over and we had a jam session. She is just stunning; her voice is just incredible. She deserves way more than she has gotten.
Are you home long enough to be able to play some of these songs live?
It seems like it. It takes fourteen days to get here and it takes a big bloody form to fill out to leave here. I love The States, and I am going to go back but the main goal to be here is to gain a music team to rep me over here. Australia is such a smaller market. It’s where I am from and I feel that it is where I need to begin. I did the same when I started acting when I was eleven. It took three years until I went to the US. I started doing stuff in LA . I think I skipped that with music and it just didn’t feel entirely me. Being able to be back here and possibly doing shows and build my fan base here is a big goal. It makes me a lot more comfortable.
You are from Byron Bay, which has a good music scene.
A hub. I grew up in a small town about 20 minutes out of Byron so I was never really in the centre of it all. We just knew that once you turned 18 that was the only place you could go, that was nearby, for fun. I turned 18 six months before I moved to The States so I feel like I haven’t had that Byron musician experience. I did a few open mics there with my guitarist and that’s really it. I am excited to be back there and be like an Australian Byron musician and play some shows there, even if it’s just busking.
I have to ask this, have you had people say that you are riding off the back of your acting career?
As in using it. Kind of, no one has really said it but I felt it myself. I guess I see it as a positive. I am incredibly grateful for all the acting experiences I have had with IT and Captain Fantastic and all the ones that I have gained a fanbase through. Those people who like me from that stuff and people who like music, which is a small portion of that group, I can use them as guinea pigs for my music and hopefully they can take my music to more people. I am incredibly grateful for them. I am still acting, I still love acting, I would like to think that I can do both. I’ve always said both music and acting share 50% of my brain each. If I had to give up one in order to make the other one more successful I don’t think I would be upset.
Who influences you music? I read about the music you listened to on your car trips with your family when you were growing up.
I guess that really fuelled my love of music in general. That’s where my passion lies. It feels like my whole life I have been listening to music but never really kind of doing anything with it. Those car trips with my mum and dad, and my brother even, they all have wildly different music tastes so I dipped my toe into each of those genres which helped me learn what I like. With that I was able to form my own music opinion with the people I listen to now. Like Lewis Capaldi and Quinn XCII, people who just tickle a little thing in my brain that makes me happy. I feel I write very similar music to what I listen too, it’s very chill bedroom pop. I’ve always said it means something to me if someone take something away from my songs. If people can relate to it and feel a certain thing towards it. At the end of the day if it is someone just thinking its catchy and bopping there head along to it then that is my job done.
It bopped my head!
The producer Arthur Pingrey is incredibly skilled at that. He does two things really well. He can make every happy song or sad song I have brought to him; he has always flipped it on its head. Making a song like Different Year or noRoom even and In Line, they are all quite upsetting subject matters or trepidatious, but he makes them sound really boppy by turning them on their heads. He also has this skill of putting little easter eggs in every song that just tickles a part of your brain that people like. It just makes it catchy and really nice. It was his idea to put the little post chorus in In Line, that wasn’t in it to start with. He thought it needed something else so Ben(Kuhl) and I came up with that. It’s my favourite part of the song. The pre-chorus is so wordy and it’s a lot to take in, its where all the meaning of the song is. To really let the listener relax during the post chorus is really important and integral to the song I think.
Anything else the world needs to know?
Just the fact that I am going to be out of here in four days! So expect to see a little bit more of me. I’ve got a few convention appearances across the country and a few radio appearances that I am excited about. I’m just trying to get my name out there. I believe in my songs and I believe that they have the opportunity to be bigger than they are now and I am doing everything I can to get them to that point.
India and Alex from Brisbane’s Tragic Me sat down and had a chat about their latest single Dance’s Alone and how their new sound came to be.
I was listening to your old EP Young Hearts the other day. It is a different sound to where you are at now.
Alex: Gee that was a while ago now. Yeah, basically we were doing a bit of a pop-punk thing and then we had a couple of line up changes. Nothing was really working for us and we were considering calling it quits. Ben and I were talking to our producer Josh and he suggested the two of us do something different. We thought we would give it a go. We recorded a few demos which eventually became the songs that are out now. We didn’t really want to be a two piece because we didn’t want most of the song to be on a backing track . India had been coming in and playing bass with us for a while, I was always asking her to join the band. She’s a busy girl but one day I messaged her again and she was keen to have a jam and see what happens.
India: Something just switched and I was like yeah lets jam. I think especially after Covid and everything. Something just changes inside of you and you know it’s the time. It’s all about timing and this was the right time to join for me. I was filling in on bass for quite a few shows, rehearsed with them and knew all the songs.
Alex: Then away we went as a four piece again. I would say this is the strongest the line-up has ever been. We are just trying to take it to a higher level, it was more a hobby previously but now we are trying to take it further.
I think being in lockdown has changed a lot of bands perceptions around what they want out of the band. Taking their music and pushing it as far as they can.
India: It made everyone realise how important 1. Live music is and 2. being out there and playing shows, networking and being with friends. I reckon there will be a big surge in albums any time now.
Every week lately there have been large release numbers on Fridays. Its so good.
India: That’s awesome. It is good to see.
Dance’s Alone is your latest single.
Alex: I wrote the basics of Dance’s Alone on my couch with my acoustic guitar. I was thinking about a friend I had a while ago, who every time I saw her out she had a different boy but she was unhappy. I thought that was the state of love with a lot of young people, there are a lot of quick relationships because often times one person wants more than the other. They are searching for someone to complete them when they should be looking to complete themselves. That is the inspiration for this song.
On from that I guess is who influences you?
Alex: We have quite a variety but with these three songs we were really looking into the band Camino, The 1975 and a band called ARIZONA. Introducing synth was a big part of it and stripping back layers as well. Up until this point we had been all about the guitars so we have tried to increase the dynamic variation in the songs.
Do you guys have anything else in the works?
Alex: Yeah. We have three songs that are going to be an EP which is called ‘Overthought’. We have released two of the songs, Dance Alone and For The Night, we will release the third one as a single in June and then call it an EP. It just keeps content flowing with people’s attention spans being so short these days. I am about to get back into writing again and try and get some more demos together. I’ve gone through a bit of a faze of not being able to write, I’ve had massive writers block, but I am back to feeling like myself again so I am keen to get back into it.
Have you guys started playing gigs since restrictions have eased?
Alex: We played a really good show in December, it was almost a last minute thing because we weren’t actually going to play until we had released new music. India and Joseph had joined the band at this stage and we got offered a show at Greaser, we have played there a few times and have a really good relationship with them. I was like let’s just do it. Covid screwed us over, it screwed over everything, lets just go play and have some fun. I’m glad we did it because it was a really good show. It was sold out, there were no tickets but it was at capacity. Everyone was loving it; you could see people where so happy to see live music again.
Who did you play that one with?
Alex: Nightspring. They were really cool. We have a couple of shows coming up in June and July. We have a headliner at Tom Cat to celebrate the release of ‘Overthought’ which I think is the 25th June. Then we are supporting The Joy In Motion with In Eyes and Deadnerve on the 8th July at The Brightside (Tickets Here) At this stage we are just trying to get on shows with other artists. We want to open for bigger bands and become a part of the community and grow from playing alongside other bands.
There are so many great bands coming out of Brisbane.
Alex: It’s pretty good. There are a lot of heavier bands, we don’t really slot in with them. There are a couple that we kind of could overlap with on a show that would work.
India: So many. Brisbane seems to be either super heavy or its very Indie/rock and we are very much in that middle ground. Maybe we can start a new thing!!
Mixed bills seem to be making a come back too.
India: Yeah everyone wants the variety these days. Especially with attention spans, a four band line-up of the same genre can sometimes get a bit same same. But having say an acoustic act, an indie band, a rock band and then a heavy band – most people listen to a few different genres so why not.
I loved a section in your bio that says, “Tragic Me loves to create music that is both catchy and diverse., focusing on each song individually, avoiding genre boundaries”.
Alex: Expanding on that genre boundaries thing, we say that because we come from that pop punk background. But even then I remember when we were recording our older stuff, Josh our producer said that he loves pop punk but even then our stuff was quite unique because we blended genres even back then. Going forward we are still going to have that energy, because that is inherently what is within the band, that energy of pop punk, but we want to explore it so we can have songs that you can dance too, some slow songs, groovy songs and if we want to we can come back and write a heavy song. Just for that energy that we had at the start.
It’s funny you say that because when I listened to Young Hearts I had actually written pop punk with a touch of My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy!!
Alex: That’s exactly who the influences were back then. So yeah, we got it!!
India: I think this EP is a perfect mix of the three songs. They are very much in the same genre but they are so different to each other. It really shows where we could go next and not just release an EP that sounds exactly like Young Hearts. Just mixing different sounds and saying hey here is what you can expect.
I am a huge supporter of letting a band be able to grow, which means growing their sound. I know a lot of fans get snarky about that. Don’t bad a band that is taking that risk to better themselves.
Alex: I think a lot of people who are passionate about music, this is my theory anyway, they identify with bands and it is part of their identity. ‘Oh I listen to Neck Deep’ – they want to be associated with that pop punk edgy stuff and then they release a happy, bubble gum pop song out and the persons identity is suddenly challenged.
That’s actually really insightful, I never actually thought of it like that.
Alex: That’s just how I see it.
India: That is so true.
People seem to forget that music is art and as such it is up for interpretation.
India: Very much so.
Alex: I think it is authenticity, as long as there is authenticity in the music you can’t really go wrong. It’s when something is forced that it becomes that little bit not so great.
That is 100% correct. At the end of the day you can’t compare songs because everyone is an individual piece of work.
Deathcore newcomers Chaostate were born online during a pandemic. The anonymous band have quietly released two extremely good singles in 6ft. and Obituary. I reached out to the band in an attempt to gather some info!! Vocalist MG sat down to fill me in on as much as he could about the band.
How did Chaostate come about?
It all started during Covid. We all met up online and started making music together. I personally haven’t met any of the band members.
That’s crazy. How many members are there?
We are a five piece band.
So have any of you met up at all?|
I’m unsure if any of the others have met. I got connected to them through my brother who is in a band so that is how I came into the mix.
I take it then that you guys haven’t been in a studio seeing as you have never met!
Yeah everything is done ourselves. I record my own vocals and send it off.
Being that you are anonymous are you going to be playing live gigs?
I don’t think that is the plan at the moment. We are just going to keep in online and anonymous for now.
Do we have more songs in the works? Both releases so far have been damn good.
Yeah. Obituary is our second single and I believe we are going to be working on an EP next. We are working on a few tracks at the moment. As a band we are this real cryptic deathcore. As you know we are keeping things anonymous at the moment on who we are. We have a real angry front with the music as you can obviously hear in the songs. That’s why we are in this genre, we are angry and we just want to scream and yell at things.
What are you screaming about in your songs?
When I was writing Obituary I was thinking of all the things that were getting me down at the time. I was thinking of ways to express that in to words really. There is a line in the song ‘It’s Armageddon in my head, I’ll paint the walls red’. At that time I had so much going on in my brain that it just felt like explosions going off. I tried to put that into the music. I think it is an outlet for all of us to let loose on everything that is built up inside.
I guess after the last year there is a fair bit to let loose.
Have you been in bands previously?
Yeah I was in a band a fair few years ago and I do other music outside of this. I cant really say what I do!
Haha this is the most difficult interview ever (laughs)
(Laughs) It’s not even in the same genre, it’s completely different. I played a lot of metal growing up before I branched off into other stuff. Now I’ve come back into with these guys, I believe they are all in other bands too. We have all just come together from our different styles of music and have joined to make this Chaostate.
Who would your influences be around deathcore? Or even just in general.
Me personally, I am a die hard fan of Asking Alexandria and that’s what really brought me up into screaming when I was younger. That lead to bands like Thy Art Is Murder, Whitechapel and Brand of Sacrifice. I know a few of the other boys like Intervals. We are just inspired by all these different genres of bands at different times. We all come from different areas of metal I’m pretty sure. Everything we have blended together just seems to have come together really right.
Who put forward the idea of this project in the first place?
I can’t say who started the entire thing as I was the last person to come into it. One of the songs was already written and recorded and I just put some vocals over it. We went from there. We have released the two singles, 6ft. and Obituary, and there is more coming, At the moment we are sticking to being anonymous. We were born out of a pandemic and we have used technology to put all of this together. I guess it shows people that even if you don’t know someone near you, and you are passionate about the music, you can get online and connect with people. You can still end up making the music that you want to do. Like I said earlier Chaostate is an apt description of not only this idea but our mentalities and society at large.
So now we know a little bit more around the mysterious Chaostate!! If you’re into deathcore I would be keeping a close watch on these guys as they release more music because so far they are ticking the box for me.
Get your calendars out and lock this one in. The brainchild of Andy (Grizzlyshark), and in conjunction with the team from Deaf Cult Initiative, PolarFest is coming to you Brisbane. PolarFest will be held at The Brightside in Brisbane on 14th August and the line-up is huge!!
PolarFest is an all day festival bringing the best in local hardcore, punk and alternative music to Brisbane. Here at PolarFest, our aim is to showcase the best up-and-coming Brisbane hardcore, punk and alternative bands, alongside the most epic of our Australian scene. PolarFest will be at Brisbane’s one and only The Brightside. As an endeavour in conjunction with Deaf Cult Initiative, we look forward to bringing Brisbane’s scene back to it’s A-game and beyond. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or want to meet some new alt mates, come join us in the Valley on August 14th. Welcome to PolarFest.
Andy and Luke from Deaf Cult Initiative swung by via zoom to spill the beans.
What are you guys up to now??? You just don’t seem to stop!
Luke: No rest for the wicked.
Andrew: Apparently not!
Now you are running a music festival.
Andrew: Yeah so it seems!
How did that come about?
Andrew: Honestly it came about at The Bavarian drinking a tonne of apple schnapps two years ago. It was meant to happen last year and a week out from us announcing the festival covid hit.
God damn covid.
Andrew: I am sure my students that were in my class as covid hit saw me go from happy Mr Taylor to grumpy Mr Taylor and had no idea why! I was sitting there thinking ‘I have to cancel the festival; I can’t go to Download’. They were like Mr Taylor are you okay??? Noooooo, I want to go home, I’m done.
Luke: It was pretty bad to have Polarfest and Download cancelled in the one swoop. No My Chem, no Polar it was really sad.
Andrew: It was not a vibe. Having to move Polarfest back once and then we tried move it again and a bunch of bands were like nope we are out.
Luke: I remember last year when we were chatting about, the line-up looks a lot different now.
Andrew: Oh yeah, way different.
When is it happening?
Andrew: It’s going to be on August 14th. So Polarfest kind of started with me and a mate who is a sound engineer talking. He wanted to know how he went about getting into sound engineering and providing his own gear at shows. I said every good venue has their own tech and audio engineer so I don’t know what you are trying to do. His reply was ‘What if we put on a show’. I used to do shows way back, sone good some not so good! It took over from just being this little thing to help a mate out to this idea of what if we turn this into a yearly festival.
More festivals is always good. You can never have enough!
Andrew: That’s the power of Apple schnapps, it just builds ideas. The idea of Polarfest now is to take the smaller bands and that next tier of bands and get them to network together and bridge the gap a bit. I’ve kind of noticed in the local scene right around Australia there is this kind of jump up from small fish to big fish and then another jump up to ‘people actually know you around Australia as a whole’.
Luke: It took a lot of work to brainstorm a line-up that met that sort of criteria while we are trying to marrying those bigger bands with a lot of the smaller ones to build that network relationship. The idea is that they tour together long after Polarfest is done, it opens up some opportunities for them.
Something similar has been happening here for a while with some of the Melbourne bands teaming up with Adelaide bands and playing both states.
Andrew: It’s weird, five or six years ago everyone would have said Adelaide had no scene and out of nowhere Adelaide has come back and been like Yoooo! We Back!
Absolutely we are. And its right across all genres too. We have some damn fine bands over here.
The Brightside is the place to be to see all these amazing bands?
Andrew: Yeah we managed to get the two stages for it. Inside and outside and because it is Polarfest they are aptly named The North Pole Stage and The South Pole Stage.
So are Aggies and Anticline part of the line-up seeing as you have put them out on vinyl?
Luke: Unfortunately neither can play that date. We just couldn’t quite make it work.
Andrew: There were a few bands that were like that. We had some interest from some big bands, they were like this sounds sick when is it, but the date didn’t work for them. If this year goes well there is huge potential for the following year. We have had a lot of interest in it. We have managed to get Take Us To Vegas to come back and play one more show for us which is amazing.
You also have a new addition to your team.
Luke: Yeah we do, I was hoping that she would be able to join us but unfortunately she couldn’t. Jacqui has joined our team which is really cool. She has been with us for about two months but she has been moving down to Melbourne so she’s been a bit busy. We are giving her some time to settle in.
Luke decided that he would take over the interview for the final question.
Luke: If you could have any band in Australia headline Polarfest next year who would it be?
That’s easy The Gloom in the Corner. I don’t even have to think about that.
Luke: That was quick yep! What about you Andy? Kisschasy?
Andrew: Yeah ( with a massive grin on his face) I want Kisschasy.
Luke: I’d kill for Kisschasy.
Tickets for PolarFest are available HERE from next week.
“Delivering an eclectic musical concoction, Sunset Place twist influences from a wide range of artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Erykah Badu, Jeff Buckley, and Joni Mitchell. With soulful harmonies and groovy rhythms which contrast their brooding, powerful lyrics, Sunset Place brew a unique sound that continues to captivate audiences.”
Listening to Neo-soul newcomers Sunset Place is like having warm sunshine beaming down on your face. Already having performed around Sydney and gaining a following it is now time for the rest of us to sit back and have the glorious sounds of this band wash over us.
Jess, Ethan, Ben and Cat sat down with me to introduce us to their unique sound.
Cat: I joined over a year ago just before lockdown and Ben joined in October. Ethan and Jess have been working on this project for about three years. I just went in to play with them to see if our vibes fit and they said they would love to have me but due to covid we couldn’t see each other or rehearse.
Jess: Ethan and I started this project around the start of 2018. We met in another pop band, I was playing bass and Ethan was playing lead guitar. We both went to see a Hiatus Kaiyote gig in Parramatta, we were so amazed that we wanted to start our own band. One that wasn’t pop but a bit more experimenting in music harmony and rhythm. Would you agree Ethan that’s how it sort of started?
Ethan: I don’t really remember!
Jess: We both decided to start studying sound production at TAFE. We studied together for two years and during that time we were writing songs and recording demos. Over Covid we found Cat and Ben and that’s how we became a four piece.
Is it just you and Ethan doing the writing still or is it more collaborative now?
Jess: A bit more collaborative now. I think we spent a lot of the first half of this year just working on recording. We have been writing though, we have one new song that is finished that was collaborative. Cat wrote the lyrics and we all came up with parts.
Cat: We were just jamming and came up with the chorus. We just built around those two chords, every time we rehearsed we would add a bit more until it became an actual song. It was a really cool process, I actually enjoyed it. It was a bit different to how the other songs were written.
Ben: I think we are going to do songs like that for a bit aren’t we. It’s a good way to write songs.
Phone in the middle of the room to record!
Jess: Pretty much. In saying that if any of you guys want to write a hit song I won’t say no!
Have you been able to play together since restrictions are easing?
Cat: We have had quite a few support slots and then we also had our single launch last week. We have a few more support slots lined up and then another headliner show.
Jess: We have been pretty busy despite Covid.
Sounds like you have been really busy. I know some bands are still trying to find places to have show’s due to the backlog of postponed gigs.
Cat: One of the perks is that local bands are getting more space because we don’t have international bands coming in. I think that might be what is also helping us.
Ben: I feel that is a major thing actually. A lot more people are going to see local bands now just because they can’t go to see the international acts. I’m noticing a lot more people at local shows.
Jess: Also because in clubs and stuff there hasn’t been dancing due to restrictions. I feel that watching a band seated is still a lot more fun than going to a club seated.
‘Still Mourning’ is you debut single; it must be great to finally have it out.
Jess: This is one of the songs that I wrote while I was studying at TAFE with Ethan. When I wrote it I was going through a rough time but I had someone close to me that was going through a rough time quite publicly. I was trying to write a song describing my experiences hoping that it could help them in a way. Trying to have a conversation with them while talking about themes that are quite universal. Like people always being there to be supportive and help you out when you are struggling. For me personally I wanted to record this song as our first single because I think going through Covid, the universal meaning of the song was quite relevant. Even more so maybe because of everything that has happened to everyone through the pandemic.
What sort of musical background do you all come from?
Ben: I grew up listening to a lot of punk and metal. A lot of 80’s punk like Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains and stuff like that. I was also really into Hip Hop so I listened to a lot of 2Pac when I was a kid and Biggie Smalls. I wasn’t really into Hiatus Kaiyote and the bands that these guys listen to before I joined, I have just recently started discovering that stuff. Which is really cool for me. I was kind of into it because I feel like Hip Hop and Soul are kind of related.
Cat: I grew up with 70’s rock, from my dad especially, he is British 70’s rock. That is always going to be close to my heart. I am all over the place, I have loved everything from the 60’s onwards. I get really into musical theatre. Funk and disco has been a huge influence for me, that is always a constant,. That’s what I love about the genre we do, I only really started listening to neo-soul when I joined as well so I am similar to Ben. I love soul, but I didn’t listen to much contemporary music, I listened to classic soul and funk. It was a nice discovery.
Ethan: I grew up listening to a lot of R’n’B from the 90’s and 00’s, like Neo and Usher. I then go into a lot of pop punk- Paramore, Fall Out Boy through my emo faze. Then I tried to get into metal, I got really obsessed with one particular band and that somehow got me into neo-soul.
Ben: Which band?
Ethan: I would say when I was getting into metal, Bullet For My Valentine.
Ben: I was really into them too.
Ethan: And Avenged Sevenfold. Then I got more into the classic metal like Metallica and Megadeth and then somehow I ended up getting into neo-soul through Hiatus Kaiyote and Erykah Badu. That’s around when I met Jess and I introduced her to that sort of stuff. She showed me Jeff Buckley and that sort of genre. Shortly after we started the band and that’s how we got our sound.
Ben: It’s really cool. I feel like all those genres are connected in some way. I remember going from genre to genre as a kid and it was super interesting to me how all these different music scenes connect to each other. They all take influence from each other.
A lot of the metal bands are really pushing boundaries with adding other genre influences.
Ethan: Yeah I have noticed there is a lot of EDM influence coming through in the metal now.
Jess: I have been singing since I was seven and I learnt the acoustic guitar to avoid having to dance on stage because that is what my singing teacher expected me to do. I really got into doing solo folk music, my parents introduced me to Joni Mitchell, Tracey Chapman, Joan Armatrading and Jeff Buckley. I got into female front women like Grace Slick, Stevie Nicks, Chrissy Amphlett and Sara McLeod. I spent a lot of time, maybe until the end of my music degree, just focusing on learning alternate guitar tuning and doing solo stuff. Just really enjoying music that was focused on lyrics, the voice and one other instrument. I was always very passionate about harmonies and modal music but there wasn’t a lot of that in the folk music that I was listening too. I think when I was introduced to Hiatus Kaiyote it was like a bridge to the lyric writing and the folk that I enjoyed and the passion that comes from the folk music, to being able to experiment with different types of harmonies and rhythms. For me, a lot of the songs that I am writing, it’s fun to be able to write the music that I was always interested in folk wise but also experiment with the harmonies. I just get super interested in the whole theory side of things. So yeah that’s me.
Is there more new music coming soon from you guys?
Ethan: Yes there is, we have quite a few. I am studying audio engineering at the moment and throughout my time there pretty much every major project in regard to studio work I have gotten us in. So there are a few things there. I don’t want to say to much because things always change. It took us so long just to release this one song, its probably two or three years old. We are aiming for one more release, either a single or EP, this year. It’s all stuff that we play live so people have definitely heard them in one form or another. We will see how things go but it would be great to release some more stuff.
How has Still Mourning been received?
Cat: We have had heaps of positive feedback from people. It’s been really nice actually.
Jess: My mum really likes it. It’s been better that what I thought our first release would go to be honest. Especially when we are not that well built on social media. It seems to be reaching people that I wouldn’t expect and we have already been played on the radio twice. One of the people that played it on the radio did so because they walked past us busking on the street.
Wow that’s so good.
Jess: The random opportunities that we have been given have been really nice and really encouraging. Even all the extra gigs we have been offered since the single release has also been quite encouraging as well. How are you guys finding the single release so far?
Ben: It’s been good. I was going to say I feel like we have a lot of friends between us all who have been super supportive of our work. I feel like that has been a major component in the success of the single so far. We are trying to step up our game on social media and learning all the ins and outs of promoting yourself. It’s been a big learning curve as well. I think a lot of bands don’t realise how much work it is. Cat’s been doing a lot of stuff for the single release.
Cat: It’s a lot of work. We are very mindful of taking care of each other too and our own mental health so we are trying to really work as a team. We all have our own strengths and I think we do a really good job of dispersing the work load. I just wanted to add that we are really proud of our single and we are excited for all the stuff that is coming up.
Ethan: We would love people to listen to our single and support not only us but all local musicians and venues. Help out the little guys because it has been such a tough year for everyone.
Ben: Definitely please come to local shows, please buy band merch, please buy anything that bands release. Try and support local bands any way you can. Let’s see if we can get this scene up and going again.
Jess: And also support women in music.
A big yes to that Jess.
Jess: One thing our band will be mindful about is the amount of women that walk onto the stage of a gig that we have control of. When we had our single mixed we kept in mind that we wanted Antonia Gauci to mix it because we wanted to support more women sound engineers. Women are just as talented as men and it shouldn’t be normalised to have a gig where all the crew and supports are men, or the bands are all men. Honestly its not a talent thing its an experience thing. I personally think that the reason why there are more men that get further is just because they have been given more opportunities. That is where you gain your experience, so the more opportunities we can provide for females the more chance they have to get further.
DRUID are a new breed of heavy music – a twisted, mashed- up nu-metal/metalcore machination that brings anger, complexity, emotion and brutality to new levels and beyond. The latest divination from DRUID is their new single ‘DTHBLW’ – a fast-paced, dual-vocal track that hits harder than a brick and sharper than a blade. ‘DTHBLW’ dropped today.
The band had this to say about DTHBLW:
“Itplays an integral part of the overarching story told throughout our upcoming album ‘The Beauty and The Decay’ as it’s the moment when our character comes to grips with the atrocities he has committed. Whilst exploring themes around depression and self-loathing it’s also a commentary on how people will do what needs to be done to get ahead in life and that we’re all not that different from each other.“
“The music video depicts the same characters from our previous single ‘Room 44’. In DTHBLW we find our male lead in a black void, where he is now in an endless cycle of death. He is trying to escape his demons whilst coming to grips with the passing of his partner.“
Each of the singles’ cover art brings the viewer/listener one step closer to the final view – with each piece of art stepping through a new door, bringing the final image and full view into focus.
This new track, as was previous single ‘Room 44’, was written by Druid & The Loud Noise Estate. Evan Lee and Ash Daws from The Loud Noise Estate also produced, mixed, and mastered the track. 2021 will see the band release more singles and collect them into a release entitled ‘The Beauty and The Decay’ later in the year, with more info on that to be revealed in the months to come.
DRUID began their heavy music journey in 2018 and the following months produced their first EP Semblance, with the Loud Noise Estate – which in turn, paved the way to play shows alongside BLKLST, Wither, The Weight of Silence, The Motion Below, Superheist and more.
Visioner’s new single Psyche comes from a dark place. Vocalist Robbie Wilson had this to say about the song:
“Once I heard the dark instrumental vibe for Psyche, the idea for me was to write about something I had struggled with in my past. The song touches on a time of insanity that I had dealt with from making mistakes lead on from drug abuse. I went against all my morals from being in an altered state of mind, feeling paranoid that I was hated by all of those who I had held close and called friends.”
“Realising that all of it was just in my head I pulled myself out of what was a horrible experience but came out strong-willed and knowing not to put myself in that place ever again. I really just wanted to share my experience and try to help anyone who has struggled with or is struggling with drug abuse and the horrible state of mind that it can sink you into, knowing that you are not alone and you can come out of it stronger.”
Bassist Jesse filled me in on what the band are up too.
You guys have just put out a new single ‘Psyche’.
Yes indeed we have.
And you have a new singer?
Our last singer left pre-covid, we played a show with Northlane and then after that he was ready to depart because he wanted to go and do other things like travel around. He couldn’t do that while he was doing stuff with us because it wasn’t viable coming back to play shows. We found Robbie who had already filled in for us when Dan was unavailable, we have known him for years anyway from our local music scene. We had already recorded the songs prior to him joining but with Covid it kind of complicated everything. We ended up getting the opportunity to go back and finish recording the final takes for the songs so we got Robbie on it and tracked his vocals as well. Robbie seems to have fit straight into the part, he’s a bit of a multi-instrumentalist like a couple of us in the band so that is an extra plus for us.
I saw that the beautiful Mr Lalic did all the mixing and mastering for you.
He did indeed. He is a lovely bloke.
It’s a bit of a family affair because Jackson (Bentley) and Indey (Salvestro) jumped on as well with the video clip.
Yeah that’s right. We have known those boys for years, we used to play shows with them back in the day. Some of those boys are from Wagga. We are from Albury/Wodonga but I’m based in Wangaratta which is only 40 mins from the other boys. Having known them all for years it was very comfortable to work with them. It definitely makes a difference.
There are quite a few bands from around that way.
Yeah the music scene has always been really strong there compared to other places.
Psyche is from a pretty dark place.
Yeah basically it’s about fighting the dark side of yourself, fighting your inner demons. That is portrayed in the video with a darker entity looming over Robbie. It’s a challenge of life, battling your demons. (Make sure you check out the film clip for the single below!!)
How is the year looking for you guys? Gigs, new music?
We are working on planning the next couple of years at the moment. We aren’t focusing on gigs to much right now, we have one with Nicholas Cage Fighter on 11th June (TICKETS HERE), that’s the only one we have lined up at the moment and then we are knuckling down in the studio.
You have just played with Thornhill and Bloom on Thorny’s Australian Tour.
Correct. That was very nice, both are spectacular bands. They killed it.
As a band who do you guys look up to in the Australian scene?
It’s hard to say. I think we all listen to different things so we all have different influences. I like the fact that we don’t have everyone vibing to the same stuff. When it comes to writing we are coming from different points of view.
Who do you look up to?
The bands that I am into? Definitely Northlane, they are one of my favourites 100%. There was a band that went pretty good. I haven’t listened to the too recently, but they were definitely a cool game changer that I really enjoyed called Currents. I really enjoyed their stuff, it resonated with me nicely. Polaris is another one, that’s kind of what I am into.
The more djenty side of metal.
Yeah I guess that’s what it is, the djenty side.
Has the way you write changed much since Robbie joined?
It’s been a bit different. Normally our guitarist Jayden, who is the main founder of the band, will come up with the main idea and then we take it into the studio and all add our ideas. Lyrical ideas may come in at that point otherwise they come later. Now that we have Robbie there as well we are doing a bit more demoing and lyrical stuff with ourselves before we go into the studio.
Robbie has probably brought different ideas into the band too.
Yeah that’s right. It’s always good to have another opinion in the mix.
Psyche is a killer tune with a pretty freaky video clip to go along with it!