After the release of their self-titled debut album in 2018 and their highly successful cover of 5 Seconds of Summer’s ‘Youngblood’ Melbourne’s Colour and Shade are back. The boys have been busy working on a new sound and if their new single ‘Therapy’ is anything to go by we are in for a treat.
This is a song with an important message behind it. Even though it is based on a relationship breakdown the underlying message is so very important. Of not being afraid to ask for or offer someone help when needed.
This song is about trying to help someone confront issues in their life. Things that make them think lesser of them self. The video clip puts forth the idea of a relationship that breaks down due to cheating/seeking affirmation that they have worth (but in one way, physically). And the partner not wanting to break up but work through this, seeing value in their partner and seeing value in the relationship. But ultimately in the end it doesn’t work, and the relationship does break up.
‘Therapy’ is a song that I think most people can relate to at some stage in their life. Instrumentally ‘Therapy’ takes you on an emotional ride starting with a whimsical intro, that quickly turns into an angrier, heavier blast before the melodic pleading chorus kicks in. This only adds to enhance the lyrical content. Tim Greenwood’s poignant vocals on this song grab you from the first note , Zak’s angry raw vocals only adds a full blown punch to this emotional ride. By the time the breakdown hits I’m so caught up in the moment that ‘Therapy’ hit’s home hard. I’m loving the new direction that Colour and Shade have taken and am keen to hear more from the boys.
Watch the clip here:
Hit the link below to follow Colour and Shade’s social and pre-save ‘Therapy’ when it hits all platforms on Friday:
“The Kids On The Ground” is the second single to come out of the Paperweight camp and is accompanied by a colourful, fun filled music video clip. The Melbourne pop punk band are kicking goals with their high energy tunes. I caught up with the guys (and girl) to see how lockdown has been treating them.
How has Covid been treating you guys? Actually, we’ve been quite lucky – we had a lot of our projects finalised just before Covid hit, so we’ve been able to stick to our release schedules, even during lockdown. We filmed our music video the week before that first lockdown was put into place – phew!
You’ve just dropped a new single – what can you tell me about it? Our new single “The Kids On The Ground” is a bop! It’s all about the bittersweet reality of growing up, moving forward and embracing a place in time. It’s a celebration of good memories that are no more, and thus was written with the intention of being upbeat and happy with an undertone of bitterness.
What has been the toughest thing for you guys through Covid, being that you are a new band?
Not being able to gig! After all, nothing beats the experience of a live show… we were so ready to get out there and smash it – but best believe, when we’re able to, we’ll be one of the first back on the stage.
Who are your biggest influences? Haris: The Beatles, Twenty One Pilots, Blink 182, New Found Glory, Green Day. Luana: Sum 41, Heroes For Hire, Simple Plan. Basil: Led Zeppelin, Blink 182, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine. Tom: Blink 182, Ben Folds, The Beatles.
What made you decide to become musicians? Was it from a young age, parents/family influence or a band you heard and that made you think ‘yep, that’s what I want to do?’ Basil: I started playing drums when I was 13. At age 10, I’d play on my older cousin’s kit – it was the one thing I looked forward to every week! Luana: I do come from a musical family, but my real lightbulb moment was when Joel Little from Goodnight Nurse gave me his guitar pick at the first local show I ever attended – that was all I needed to pick up a guitar! Tom: School of Rock! Having a family full of different musicians helped broaden my music taste and I now appreciate all kinds of music. Haris: I don’t come from a musical background, but I don’t have any memories of any time in my life where I wasn’t completely enamoured by music/creative storytelling. I guess it has just always been there.
What is on the horizon for Paperweight? We are always writing and creating. The hardest part is being patient with our release schedule – all we want to do is show everyone everything as it happens! But rest assured we have plenty of things lined up that we truly can’t wait to share.
Your dream line up to tour with? Haris: Cannibal Corpse, Baby Metal and The Wiggles would go off. Luana: Sum 41, Simple Plan, Zebrahead Basil: All the bands I’d have wanted to tour with don’t tour anymore… Tom: Blink 182, New Found Glory, Sum 41
Top 3 favourite Aussie acts at the moment?
Haris: With Confidence, Between You & Me and The Dead Love Luana: Between You & Me, Drastic Park and Terra Tom: Children Collide, Stand Atlantic & Down For Tomorrow
Catch Paperweight’s ‘The Kids On The Ground’ below and jump on their socials to keep up to date with what they are up to.
After releasing two singles last year Perth’s Make Way for Man had a bit of an unplanned hiatus. That’s all about to change with the band announcing that their latest EP ‘RITES’ will be heading our way on Sept 18th.
Guitarist Drew Shepherd says that the EP “…explores the idea of not overcoming fear by succeeding always, but knowing there are bound to be ups and downs in life – and having to be ready to handle them the best way you personally know how to.“
I caught up with Drew to see what MWFM have been brewing for us.
It’s been awhile between EP’s, Evolve and Repair coming out in 2016
Yeah it’s been awhile due to line up changes and life. Things took a lot longer than it should have unfortunately. Now we’re all set so we’re going be pumping out music a lot quicker.
Is there another single dropping before the EP?
It’s kind of worked out a bit odd. I initially planned two singles and that was all. We released the first one ‘Ideations’ (featuring Sean Harmanis of Make Them Suffer), in 2019 and then we released a second one and then we had a big break because the EP was still being finished. Then the EP stalled so we ended up leaving it a few months with nothing, so we were like ok now we need to release another single. We’ve released the title track ‘Rites’ this week.
Our new EP Rites comes out at the end of September and we have a few more things to release in the leadup to it. We also got quite a few new songs too, well new for the fans! We’ve sat on them for a while plus we’ve got a whole lot of new material that we are doing right now so things should happen quicker once the EP is released. There’s no slowing down this time, no three-year break.
Because you guys are Perth based it’s probably a good time to be releasing as so many people are using social platforms to suss new music due to covid
Yeah I hope so. It’s weird, I can’t see any real trend with what we’ve released so far. Some have hit, and some haven’t had the traction what we thought they were going to. Then we released Fireflies. It was just going to be a mess around, we thought we might get a few thousand views or something and it had 400,000 odd hits. It’s hard to predict it, with what people want to hear as far as what we are doing.
Where do you guys get your inspiration from? I saw that you’ve supported some stellar bands.
We did a really nice run of shows supporting some of the bands that I grew up loving like Meshuggah and Periphery. We met all those guys so that was pretty cool. The down side to that is that because Perth is usually the last on the tour they’re all really tired and don’t really want to party!!
All the guys have pretty varied taste to be honest, seeing as I write all of the riffs I guess a lot of those come from what I like to listen too. Our vocalists don’t listen to the same thing, they’re listening to completely different types of bands so they put their spin on it which for me works out well because we get a bit more of a unique spin rather than being a Periphery copy!!! We get a bit of variation on it and some new ideas even from different genres to mix it up a bit.
That seems to be the way a lot of bands are heading at the moment which I’m loving. It means bands are recording the music that they want to play instead of worrying about being able to slot into a genre
That’s always been a big thing with me which is why I never really thought we would ever get as far as we have. I want to play the music that I want to play. I don’t really care whether people really love it or not, it’s great if they do but I always thought let’s just play whatever we want to play. To actually get somewhere with it to the point where we have was pretty surprising and I was like wow people actually like what we are doing and I don’t have to sacrifice the style of music I’m playing. I can play what I actually want to, and people will listen. That was good for me as a musician.
I think the true music lovers appreciate that, that a band is willing to not compromise or conform
That’s another thing I think with us is I always thought to mix it up as much as possible. Like even on the EP I would say once it’s out and people hear it, it’s pretty varied. Ideations is very deathcore in its sound and the latest single is techier, I’m not sure what you would call it!! I hope to keep going with that varied sound, the latest single even has some rap on it. I’m happy to grab stuff from every genre and try and incorporate it and make it something a bit different. You have to be a little bit different these days to stand out.
Have you guys all been in bands before?
Yes and we’ve had a few line-up changes over the time. The main guys that have been around the longest were all previously involved in their own projects. We played shows together a lot in different bands and it just worked out well at the time. Everyone was either in between bands or were bored with what they were doing. We all sort of came together pretty quickly. It only took a couple of weeks and everyone was like yep let’s do it. We just jumped on and decided to do one track to test the water and it did really well, so we thought okay let’s just keep going with this. The guy I started the band with, our original drummer, he was from a band called Saviour and then he ended up leaving and going to drum for Make Them Suffer. We got another drummer, the bass player and I were in an instrumental band together and both singers were in their own bands We just wanted to see how it would go and it turned out that people wanted to hear it so we kept going.
And your writing process is that a collaborative thing with the whole band?
For this one all the music was probably me really, the drums was mostly me as well. I actually play drums as well. The vocals I’m terrible at so I leave that up to the vocalists because they work well together. They bounce ideas off each other so it’s pretty much just me and the vocalists and everyone else plays their part once the music is written.
Finally who are some of your favourite aussie acts
I haven’t been listening to much music lately, mainly just my own while we get the EP ready!
There’s a band called Patient Sixty-Seven, another Perth band and they’re pretty cool. I like what they are doing its definitely something I’m enjoying
East coast wise I’m a bit out of the loop. I mean Polaris obviously we did a few shows with them before they blew up. Circles are another one, we’ve played with them a few times too.
Rites comes out on September 18th and you can pre-order it here :
Perth’s industrial metal band Sparrow have just released a new single ‘Machina’ and I am totally digging their sound.
I recently had a chat with Clint, Sean, and Rob about the new song and what else they have planned for us.
Hi Guys thanks for taking the time for a chat. Who are Sparrow?
We’ll give you the short history of Sparrow!!
Clint: Sean and I first met about 15years ago. We were in different bands at the time. Sean’s brother asked us to do a soundtrack for a TAFE film which was kind of grindy dirty pop stuff. We did that and from there we figured we’d start a band together at some point. Jase got involved and another guy Tristan who was the old bass player and we were called I Said The Sparrow. We were very much a pop rock kind of band at that stage.
Sean: Yeah think Good Charlotte crossed with Amy Meredith with a little bit of a dark edge!!
Clint: It was a combination of sounds, but it still had a heaviness about it. About that time all the metalcore bands were around and we just didn’t fit in at all. They were looking at us like ‘what the hell is this about’!! We played with more intensity than they did live so that was the one redeeming factor for us. We released an album at the end of 2013, and we got a bit of traction from that, but we wanted to change up our sound. Sean and I have always been fans of bands like NIN, Marilyn Manson and an Aussie band called Jerk who unfortunately aren’t around anymore.
We started to experiment with some more industrial stuff in about 2014. We released an EP in 2018, Digital People. That took some time for us to put together. We didn’t really do much with that – we played a few shows. Then a few of us had some personal stuff happening and we didn’t get together again for well over a year.
From there I started jamming with Rob and another guy Anthonywho I have known for a long time. I asked them if they wanted to join Sparrow because I hadn’t done anything with it for a while, luckily they were all keen to get into it and that was how these new songs came about. That’s the short story!
So there is all new material. Not stuff that you had previously written?
Clint: The songs we have coming out now are all less than a year old. We do have some older material that we will release I imagine but it’s all been refined and updated. Now Rob is involved he’s really good with the synth. Jacko is a really good bass player and he has brought something else to the table with that. It’s all coming together well. We are stoked on the new single.
Sean: Basically all of us are song writers so its definitely been a bit of an adjustment to work like this since the new guys came on board, but in the same breath all of the songs are really different from each other. We were just like fuck it there’s no rule, we can all contribute to whatever songs there are and however they come out they come out! The way that we have been working everyone always contributes once the song is there, so it all sounds like Sparrow in the end anyway.
Its been really refreshing to see bands experiment and record what they want
Sean: I think that’s the important thing, you can never try to double guess the audience or the market that you are heading in to, so you just have to put something out that hits the spot for you. We sometimes have tracks where we don’t really know how they are going to fit in, but it ends up finding its way. You just treat each track like its own beast.
So what’s the story behind Machina?
Sean: I don’t like to go too deep into the songs because people can take away their own meaning from it. On a surface level it kind of sounds like a really sci-fi spacey track. I like to write lyrics metaphorically so its not really about a space thing its more around Machina is like a machine. Things are on auto pilot so on a deeper level its more around how our lives are almost on like a train track if we don’t actually sit back and look at how we think about things. That all kind of stems from experiences in our childhood and stuff. If you take a step back and look at how your thinking you can see where your life is going.
So you have some material to release. Are we getting an album or an EP?
We’re sitting on close to 20 tracks that we are sort of chewing on. I think our plan is to just keep putting out as much music as we can. I dare say eventually it will be released as a full-length album, that’s what we are aiming for. We literally just keep writing, fortunately each of us has our own studio set up so we go away and tinker and then come together and keep working the songs. We are lucky in that we have a lot of resources so that we can keep creating at a high level really. So far we have been doing all our own production, even down to the video, we work on that all together as well. It’s looking at every part of the art work as it hits the audience and controlling every part of it that we can to keep it all cohesive and a good representation of the band and what we are doing. I think it will probably be more than an album, we will have a lot of video content and different things coming out along the way.
Who are your influences?
Clint: Its really varied. Sean and I have always like pop stuff and Jase our guitarist likes metal and I’m not really sure about Anthony he just loves everything! In terms of bands I discovered a band called Nightclub a few years back. They’re a really simple synth -pop band that are based in LA and they’re really cool. Another band called 3Teeth are a newer industrial band that have been doing really well the past couple of years. Powerman 5000 just released a track a few months ago that was really cool.
Our sound isn’t going to remain industrial. The next track that we release sounds nothing like Machina at all, it’s completely different. It will still sound like Sparrow because of the way we produce our own music. Like Sean was saying earlier because our influences are so varied it’s going to come through in our sound and we don’t want to be put into a specific category. I think in 6 months’ time once we’ve got 5 or 6 tracks out people are going to go ‘well what the fuck kind of band are they?’
It’s good to bring all the influences into your sound and have no limitations of what you should sound like. It’s like someone just wrote a piano melody – great that’s new song or someone just wrote some kind of hip-hop drum beat that’s a new song. That’s where it’s going for us at this point. The influences are many and varied
So who did the art work for the visual video?
Rob: That was me. We are a complete DIY band. Everything is done in-house. It keeps the whole vibe authentic too. The artwork is born from the recording process. This static video came from an idea that Clint and Sean had about animating the original artwork. We put that together and it means that we can work quickly and keep it all in that one discourse, that one conversation.
You guys have supported some pretty cool bands too!
Yeah that was a long time ago. We haven’t actually played a show since 2018. Our last show that we played in May 2018 we had two different band members. During a period of time between 2013-2017 we scored some pretty sweet gigs. Also they were very varied. We supported Amy Meredith, Dead Letter Circus, Tonight Alive, Kisschasy and 12 Foot Ninja. we did the Rock the Bay festival in Melbourne and Hyperfest in Perth. Rock the Bay was such good fun. We’ve been pretty fortunate in that regard to play with some cool bands.
I asked the guys if they could tour with three other Australia bands who would they be?
The first response was Jesus Christ…. Not due to Sparrow wishing to play with him just apparently it’s a hard question…..
Clint: Sean and I would just want to play with Jerk!!
After some discussion around where they would fit into a line up due to their varied sound, and some silence….. the guys finally decided on Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus and 12 Foot Ninja
Keep your ears out for more from Sparrow as I think we are in for an exciting musical journey!
Sean Hendry – Vocals
Clint Gatter – Drums
Jase Shaw – Guitarist
Rob Buratti – Synthesiser and Guitar
Anthony Jackson – Bass
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Machina or the visual clip to go with it click on the link below!
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the universe works its magic. After having a really bad week I got a message from Ionei asking if I would like to listen to something the Ocean Sleeper guys had been working on. What I got was the beautifully reimagined version of Six Feet Down.
I’m a pretty big fan of these guys and Six Feet Down has always been one of my go to songs to lift me when I’m down. I’m not ashamed to say that I sat in my car and cried on hearing this version.
I absolutely love this and if the boys were to continue to put out this style of content occasionally I would be very happy.
I caught up with Ionei to see what’s been happening in the Ocean Sleeper camp.
What made you guys decide to do a reimagined version of Six Feet Down
So we actually started with the idea 2 or 3 years ago. Karl and I were messing around with some of our stuff. I make a lot of electronic stuff, beats and pop music, in my spare time and for work so its where my main passion for music lies I suppose outside of heavy stuff. It’s a good crossover for me. Karl and I started working on this song around 2 years ago, so it’s been in the works for a really long time. Due to this covid stuff we finally had the time to sit down and finish it. It was in a very rough state for a long time. Just like the chords and the vocals, then about 2 months ago we sat down and fleshed out the whole song. We did all the instrumentation to it again and made it into an entire song. The weekend after it was finished we did the clip for it.
I self-produced and mixed the song and then we sent it over to Kris Crummett. He did our album when we went over to America and recorded in 2018. We got him to master it, so we had a second set of ears on the project which was really good. Our friend Martin Wood did the studio section of the video clip and Jaydon Colvin did our tour video, so he did all the live footage side of it.
It was good just watching back through all that old footage and seeing it come together because we played some pretty awesome shows in our last touring cycle. It was fantastic to be able to properly showcase them inside a video clip.
When I watched the film clip I was like omg I miss gigs so much
Absolutely! It’s such a throwback clip, we miss being able to play shows. We’ve actually got heaps of gig footage that we’d love to make into a documentary but we’re not sure if we are going to do that yet or not. All the footage is so good to watch.
Do you think that you may do a whole reimagined/acoustic EP down the track?
Yes I would absolutely love too. This song had a bit more production going on but entirely acoustic is something that we have also thought about and demoed out before. We are definitely keen on that. It’s pretty exciting because it’s just a new spin on our music.
We do have a vision to do a lot more music like this because a lot of our songs do translate really well into acoustic versions. Some of them are written acoustically before they became full songs. We’ve played around with the idea since the band started and obviously we enjoy that sort of music and we are passionate about it. It’s just finding out whether our fan base is also passionate about it and can relate to it in the same way.
I think you’re onto a winner with this version of Six Feet Down because as you know it reduced me to tears!
That was a good response!! I’m really glad you like it.
It’s exciting because we haven’t released a song in a while, not since last year when we released the album. It feels good to be able to release something again.
Have you guys been working on new material as well?
Yes we’ve been slowly chipping away at that too. We’ve had some songs finished for a while but we’re just sort of figuring out what to do and how we can all get together. Because Stan lives in Brisbane right now he can’t actually come down. We were meant to have a writing session this week and Stan was going to fly down but due to the lockdown happening again that’s not possible
Covid has made life tough for artists but by the same token it’s made people look outside the box
It’s been great seeing bands adapt to get stuff out and to keep the wheels moving. For a second there everything stopped. It’s also hard to get to a wider demographic without the newer bands having those support slots to play. Having shows where you can expand your fan base.
Did you guys have any tours or stuff planned
Yeah we had a bunch of stuff planned. One got postponed and then a lot just got taken off the table entirely. It was a bit rough; it would have been a pretty good year for us, but stuff just didn’t pan out because of the lockdowns and everything. I suppose for bands like us we have stuff happening in the background. It’s all planned around singles and tours. I feel like for a whole part of the industry we don’t know what will happen because the way we used to function – release a song – plan a tour – that sort of thing no longer works right now. I feel like a lot of people are just scratching their heads and asking, ‘Well what do we do’?
I think once covid ends the way the industry works is going to be different
Yeah definitely I mean I can’t see things even going back to normal until next year at the earliest. It’s scary because for us we try to plan 12 months in advance with what we are doing or at least have a vision for a year in advance.
It’s been that long since I spoke to you how did the album go for you guys?
It went amazing. The tour we did for it was awesome and then the other day we got nominated for AIR Best Heavy Album. That was pretty crazy to see. Everything was going pretty good and then covid happened and then everything turned into “oh we don’t know what to do “
My vision since the covid stuff started has been to keep going because it would be easy to say that we can’t do anything but if we did that potentially we could never tour again if you know what I mean
Yeah you fall off people’s radar!
Exactly and I don’t want that to be the story. People like us because of our live show but they also like us because of the music. So we were like we can’t do a live show let’s give the fans some more music
I’m highly doubtful that Ocean Sleeper are going to fall off anyone’s radar anytime soon!!!
Six Feet Down is available now on all the usual platforms.
Perth’s progressive metalcore scene is producing the goods at the moment. Make Way For Man’s latest EP ‘Rites’ will be released on 18th September. Having never heard of these guys apart from the awesome cover of Owl City’sFireflies they released mid-way through last year I’m pretty mad with myself for not digging deeper back then!! They previously released ‘Evolve and Repair’ back in 2016, which I have been spinning since finding it!
‘Rites’ is full of djenty heaviness which I am all for. The guys really don’t slot into any genre as they combine so many musical elements into each song. Captivating guitar intros, leading into tasty riffs and hooks which are hefty in their delivery. Every song on ‘Rites’ delivers something different sonically. Strangers could quite easily slot in to a Periphery album, Dylan and John’s vocals ricochet off each other to add depth to the song. MVP has a more poppy, fast paced vibe while still retaining the heaviness, I’ve spent quite some time bopping around my house to this!! The drums on MVP are a stand out and really give the massive tone to this song. Ideations has such a deathcore feel to it and Make Them Suffer’s Sean Harmanis guest vocals on this this banger. Make Way For Man at this stage of the EP seem to be doing no wrong in the delivery of every song. Victories starts and the Tool vibe is strong with the intro which quickly flows back into the beefy riffs and soaring/raw vocals that I’ve come to expect 3 songs in!Victories is a slower but no less powerful song. Rites slams you next. This is my favourite song off the EP, I actually love the whole turmoil filled vibe this song gives off instrumentally. It just melds together so well. Angry raw vocals, technical guitar elements, the rapid fire drumming and then a surprise rap section that honestly does not feel out of place in this song at all. Finishing off with their cover of Fireflies, which I actually love more than the original, is a perfect way to end the experience of this EP. It lets you catch your breath briefly before you are once again pummelled by what this band does so well, the melding of the genres to create their own sound.
This EP is a breath of fresh air and I am now a massive fan of Make Way For Man. Make sure you go and have a listen to the singles already released off of Rites before the EP is released on September 18th via all the usual platforms.
After a bit of a hiatus Melbourne’s Colour and Shade have returned with a brilliant new tune ‘Therapy.’ I caught up and had an epic chat with Zak Knight and Mat Purcell
For those new to Colour and Shade can you give us a brief history
Zak: We were a full line up in 2017 and we did our album in 2016 so we’ve been doing stuff for a while. The band was originally started by me (Zak) and our other vocalist Tim Greenwood. Mat joined not too much longer after that. Tim and I had both been in other bands previously and we basically decided that we were going to do a whole album straight away, before we even had a full band. We managed to pull off doing the whole album between the 3 of us. Through some connections we ended up getting in touch with Troy Brady from The Amity Affliction, so we went up to Brisbane and did the record with him. That was an interesting and pretty good learning experience. When Tim actually joined with me initially he was actually just going to be on guitar, he’s a really good guitar player.
Mat: Tim used to teach me guitar He was showing me all these demo tracks to this band and I remember, maybe a couple of months before that, I was seeking out a band and then Tim just said let’s do it join my band and were all sorted so that’s what happened in the end
Zak: Interestingly enough Tim and I were working on some songs to come up with an idea of what sound we wanted and for a bit of fun I showed him that I was learning how to play some Pierce theVeil songs and he started singing along I was like um hold on a second you’ve got the high vocal range your not playing guitar anymore mate!
You just lost your job!
Zak: So I asked him if he wanted to be the singer. He’d never been the singer in a band before. He was like ‘Fine Zak I’ll learn how to sing if you learn how to scream!’ When we went into the studio neither Tim nor I had ever recorded vocals, as in like lead vocals for the style that we were doing. It was definitely a challenge, but we were very lucky because we had somebody who had a lot of experience producing us through it. I also got a lot of insight into how he did all that kind of stuff which became very useful for producing Tim in the future. Through Tim’s friendship circle we found Graham (King) who is our drummer. Graham basically said, ‘Oh yeah you better get my mate Chris(Heyward) to come and play bass, he’s a jazz bass player!’ So that’s how Chris came into the band. Graham and Chris are both jazz musicians
I always assumed that what you played would be what you listened to or preferred to play; I’m finding that I was so wrong on that assumption!
Zak: Yeah. If Mat has his way we would just be playing Metallica!!
It’s funny we are an eclectic bunch! Mat started off with classic metal and rock mostly. Tim and I kind of gave him an insight into the world of hardcore
Mat: It opened my eyes to a lot of different bands and new sounds
Zak:, I was a nu-metal kid through and through. My favourite band is Deftones. But also Living End, SOAD, Limp Bizkit and also older pop punk like Blink 182, The Offspring and Sum 41, stuff like that But I didn’t really get into emo or hardcore until I was 23 when I had a band with Alex Reade from Drown This City. She was actually the person who introduced me to Parkway Drive.
And your new single Therapy…
We’ve released ‘Therapy’, but this is the first song off of an EP that we have done. In terms of the music side of things previously the majority of the music was spearheaded mostly by me and supplemented by Tim. This time around I specifically took a step back because I’m very good at just taking control and it doesn’t feel very collaborative to the rest of the guys!! I consciously decided that I wanted this to be as collaborative as possible. When it comes to the music side of things the person who had the biggest hand in that beside me would be Mat. Mat came in most days when I was writing or demoing so that he could help guide the sound in a way he thought that everybody else would enjoy as opposed to just doing the “Zak thing”
That’s a bit of a phrase is it “The Zak Thing”
Zak: In our band it is!!
Mat: Not only that, it was very much a learning experience for me. I’d never had experience with music production or writing my own music on a serious level, so it was very new and exciting for me. It still is really. There’s so much more I want to learn and get better at.
Zak: It was a pretty wild time for us making this EP. This particular song was interesting, I had a day on my own and came up with the chorus and the verse musically and then I showed it to Mat. Tim had already written the lyrical component. Mat thought it was pretty good, even though I thought it was okay. So Mat and I worked on it a bit more.
Mat: I remember one day I came back with a bunch of ideas and one of them stuck. It’s a big part, which is the breakdown in this song
Zak: Yeah I had this idea for it. I had this whole build up, a sort of groovy beatdown kind of thing and Mat literally turned to me and said, ‘No it’s got to be metal.’
So you’ve converted him?!
Zak: Haha yeah. Mat was very steadfast on that. He literally said, ‘No the breakdown has to have as many fast chugs in it as possible Zak!’
Mat: Yes I feel I said that!!
Who do you look up to?
Mat: The biggest one for me at the moment is While She Sleeps. It’s not just their music, I watch all their YouTube videos and their little documentaries. The work that they put into everything is what I want us to get to. It’s very much inspirational for me.
Zak: I have a really cool While She Sleeps story. I got really lucky I went and saw House vs Hurricanes album launch for the Crooked Teeth album. While She Sleeps was on the bill. It was their first Australian appearance for their album This is the Six, and Northlane fortheir album Discoveries. It was probably one of the best heavy music shows I’ve ever been too. Every band dominated. It was cool because here was me trying to get into and embrace metallic hardcore. When While She Sleeps came on I was like this band is probably going to be my favourite metal band for the next 10 years! And they are!! So While She Sleeps in regard to their work ethic. The people I look up to aren’t artist but producers. The three biggest ones are Tyler Smith he produced the latest I, Prevail record. He is incredible. He’s my biggest inspiration as an artist and producer. Close to him are two others that most people would know. Kris Crummett, who mastered our record and also does all the Dance Gavin Dance albums. He’s a lovely dude. The other person I look up to, who is actually one of my mentors, is a producer named Jay Maas.
Finally who would be your top three aussie acts at the moment?
Zak: My top 3 Australian acts right now, in no particular order….. Shit I’m gonna have to think about this for a minute Mat, you go!!
Mat: I can’t help but go to the big ones if we’re allowed to. It would be Parkway Drive because that is something to inspire to. Polaris, they haven’t been big for long but the way I’ve seen them is they are tracking to be this huge Australian band. And a third one I don’t know; I couldn’t tell you.
It’s actually a tough question! Someone asked me the other day and I couldn’t answer it. The only one I had was The Gloom In The Corner!
Mat: Oh actually I might say them for number three. We’ve played with them a few times and they are so much fun. I remember doing a Sea Shepherd gig with them and Mikey broke one of the tables from jumping around on it.
Zak: I’m going to be very controversial with my choices. My top artist, even on my Spotify, is someone that you probably wouldn’t think that I would suggest but It’s 5 Seconds of Summer.Parkway Drive is another, just for Reverence alone. The third one is hard because I mostly really enjoy just listening to all the smaller local bands. I’m going to make a really bold over the top statement here. I would say that, specifically in one particular song – Glitch, that Josh Flint, the vocalist from Elements, is in my opinion is going to be the Sam Carter of Australia. He is incredible. I would say he is one of the most talented vocalists I have ever met in Australia.
After listening to Therapy I am keen to hear more from Colour and Shade so stay tuned and follow their socials to keep up with what’s happening!
For fans of Blink 182, Boxcar Racer, Violent Soho, Sum 41
It’s no secret how much I love these guys you only have to check my socials for that!! So for them to have continued to churn out and release music during lockdown has made me very happy indeed!! Lockdown hasn’t slowed Drastic Park down at all, in fact it has done quite the opposite!. Taking matters into their own hands the boys have written, recorded and self -produced their second EP ‘Imposter Syndrome’ without even being in the same room!
Drastic Park have created their own distinct sound even though its Obvious that Blink 182 are a heavy influence for them. This three-piece from Melbourne are heading places and I can’t wait for gigs to resume to watch them rock these songs live.
With this being the first release with new drummer, Joe Larwood, Patience Wearing Thin was the first song the band wrote together. ‘Is this one big weekend or a never ending week?’ takes a brief look at how the COVID-19 lockdown actually feels. The intro flows into Feels Like Forever, the first single released off the EP. Written at the beginning of lockdown the tongue in cheek song sums up the feeling of those first few weeks when indeed morality and sanity seemed to be forgotten things. ‘It just goes on and on’ is something most people can, unfortunately, now relate to.
Work of Art, features Cassie Sutton (Terra) which was a damn fine choice! Work of Art, even though it still has that upbeat vibe, takes on a more serious tone lyrically. Feeling like you disappoint people or not live up to expected standards takes its toll. Especially when the standards don’t sit with your beliefs or values. Often painting ‘a mona lisa smile’ on for the outside world is the easiest way to deal with what is happening internally.
Ever meet someone, like them? Wonder if they like you too? I’m Trouble is the tune for you! Taking us through the feels that accompany the early start of a relationship. That uncertainty of where it’s all heading! The upbeatedness (is that even a word??) of the song belies how our thoughts often take over to the point of causing us to pull back and potentially destroying something before it even starts.
10 Years could easily slide into a Blink 182 album and I’m not sad about that! This is one of my picks off Imposter Syndrome. The back and forth vocals of this tune and the lyrical component made me reflect on the battles in my own head, and I’m sure other peoples, of that feeling of not quite being enough, fitting in and the dialogue that goes on in your head. About how the circumstances of life that have happened to you in that ’10 years’ have shaped you into being the person you are today and having people not actually care or actually attempt to understand. Whether that was the intent from the boys I’m unsure.
B+ should actually get an A! A slower paced song for the boys reflecting on how we need to come together and stay strong. Assuring us we are all going to be fine and get through this strange situation that we are finding ourselves in. It’s a beautifully orchestrated tune……OR IS IT?????? I’ll let you guys be the judge of that…..
Imposter Syndrome, which is out tomorrow on all the usual platforms, is an upbeat pop punk EP but take the time to listen to the lyrics because there are some great messages to take away from them.
Conn. (otherwise known as Zak Connelly) has just released his debut single Through the Night. Incorporating a grungy sound with an 80’s vibe, Through the Night is a love song that so many people can currently relate to. The obstacles and distance that separates you from your loved one. The struggles that ensure from the emotional turmoil created. Conn. has managed to write a beautifully crafted sad song in a time when we need it.
Keen to see what Zac was up to we got together and had a chat.
Hey Zac, it’s been awhile since we’ve caught up! You have a new project happening ‘Conn.’? How did this evolve?
Hey! So I’d been thinking about doing my own thing for a while. Before I started playing with Rival Fire I was in a band called The Controllers which was kind of a punk rock band. We all went to high school together and it was a bit different to Rival Fire. I joined Rival Fire and kind of took the back seat to writing a little bit, which I really enjoyed to be quite honest. It was good to put your ideas in there but not have to feel like you’re the person that has to do everything.
Recently because of Covid I’ve been writing heaps of music. I’ve named the project Conn because that was my dad’s nickname when he played in bands. He’s the one who inspired me to play music so I thought that would be a name with some meaning.
Is Through the Night the only track so far?
I’ve only recorded Through The Night so far, but I have another four songs on the go at the moment. This song is a bit of a soppy song I suppose. My girlfriend Laura lives in Queensland so since April I’ve seen her once and that was between lockdowns. It’s pretty hard obviously. The whole song is about what my mind was going through as this was all unfolding and was just another way of dealing with some of the shit feelings I was having. I ended up setting up a studio in dad’s shed and I’ve just been kicking around out there writing songs.
At least you’ve got an outlet
Yeah that’s right. Just before the first lockdown happened I moved back in with my parents which I was stoked about because I had been living by myself. There’s a few of my family living here so it’s been good to have people around too.
So are we getting an EP seeing as you have a few songs on the go?
Yeah I think so. I’ve got the other four songs on the go that aren’t quite finished, oh actually one of them the structure is finished. The other three are ideas at the moment I suppose. They’re almost done but their definitely missing parts. The aim is to finish these songs while we are in lockdown. I’ve been listening to a whole bunch of different music too and I think I’ve been inspired to write different tunes than I have written before. The first song Through the night is a lot different to what I’ve ever written.
Yeah it wasn’t what I was expecting when I first listened to it. I couldn’t for the life of me work out who it sounded like until you said about the band.
Yeah. It was my mum who said that it sounded like Joy Division. I can’t say that I’ve ever really listened to them. After mum said that I went and listened to them and thought oh yeah I guess so! The singing is quite low in Joy Division and I sing pretty low. I just wanted to do something a little bit different. Rival Fire is very main stream rock I guess, which I love and it’s so much fun to play, especially live. When I wrote this song I just let it go in whatever direction it went as opposed to trying to make it go a direction.
I recorded this at Tim Smyth’s One Punch Studios. I love doing stuff with Tim because he’s a musical genius. It just happened that his wife Lisa was there when we recorded so I asked her if she would like to sing on the chorus with me. She was keen to luckily. I gave her the microphone and she just did what I asked, and we put it in there. I was like sick that sounds awesome! I was so stoked with it. The song has been mixed by a guy called Peter Holz. I met him at Sony in Sydney a few years back. He’s a really great guy. Technology has been really handy because even though I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze recording with Tim between the two lockdowns I couldn’t get to Sydney for the mixing. I was originally going to go and sit in on it with Peter. The fact that I can send him the song and he can send it back via email is just so good. So it’s off being mixed and mastered now.
The version I have is obviously raw then!
Yeah so the version you heard still sounds a little bit raw. The kind of vibe I’m going for is a little bit raw anyway. This is just me having fun really. I’m sure when this first single hits people are going to be WTF!! I’ve learnt that you would go insane trying to please other people, so this is just me. I’ve had so much fun writing this song, I’ve never had so much fun writing a song before actually. It’s the first time I’ve multi- tracked everything as well. I didn’t play the drums, Kieran Rafferty stepped in to do that.
Honestly why would you play the drums when you’ve got Kieran really!!
Well I’m not that good on the drum kit and Kieran is just amazing. We’ve been playing together since we were 13 years old. I said to him ‘Oi can you come play on this’ and he was like yeah! He rocked in and tracked two songs for me, including set up and sound check it took him under two hours!! He came in, smashed each song three or four times and then bailed!!
I’m really excited to see where Zac takes this project as this first single is so good. Go give it a listen below.
While some people have taken to chilling over lockdown Melbourne’s Drastic Park have been churning out music. Their single ‘Feels Like Forever’ was done entirely during the beginning of lockdown, and the clip was made with the help of some friends. They have released two hilarious covid related parody tunes that got their name out into the wider world with ‘Karen’s Song’ sitting at over 360k views.
To top that all off they have written and produced a new EP ‘Imposter Syndrome’ without even being in the same place. Learning all the processes along the way has been an interesting challenge for the boys and I think they have done a brilliant job.
You guys have been busy!!
John: Yeah we just wanted to remain active, so we thought lets just record a bunch of songs, we don’t have to do anything with them, lets just do it to develop ourselves. We got to the point were we though that they were kind of good. We showed them to Steve Cannatelli (Future ArtistDevelopment) and he told us we had to do something with them! It was a nothing that turned into something. On Last World I pretty much wrote all of it, but Imposter Syndrome has been a more collaborative process.
How did you end up with Cassie Sutton (Terra) singing on Work of Art?
John: I always wanted a female singer in the song when I wrote it. And we always had Cassie in mind. We went to Steve and asked what he thought, and he said yep Cassie. We showed her the song and she loved it and was more than happy to sing on it.
Influences? Although I can hazard a guess!
John: Last World was definitely influenced by one album and that was Blink 182’s self-titled album. I wanted to work on that sound, that in my opinion had only ever been done once. Imposter Syndrome still carries that, but we’ve definitely experimented with more pop punk sounds and another little experimentation at the end of the album. It’s still heavily influenced by Blink!
But you guys have created your own sound, if someone had put those songs on I would have known it was you
Joe: That’s good.
John: That’s cool. Steve always says that my guitar style is sloppy but in a good way. Lots of sliding and things guitarists don’t normally do. Where as Chris plays chords on bass which most bassists won’t play that kind of style. It fills out the sound for a three piece. Then you add Joe on top who is an insanely good drummer. That means we can do more strummy stuff, we don’t have to do so much lead crazy stuff because Joe’s in the background doing it all anyway.
What do you guys listen to in your down time?
John: I listen to a lot of weird stuff. Falling In Reverse and Escape The Fate, emo stuff. I like bands that have a lot of charisma about them. I’ve also been listening to BMTH’s weird new stuff. Other than that I listen to older stuff from the 90’s. proper punk stuff like Mellincollin, old school Greenday, Nirvana and Violent Soho.
Chris: I listen to a big mix too. I listen to lots of chicks, acoustic stuff. Amy Shark, Taylor Swift. I listen to heaps of soft shift! Anything from classical to Japanese anime piano soundtracks, rock, emo. I don’t listen as much heavy anymore I’ve drifted away from stuff that doesn’t have any clean vocals on it.
Joe: I listen to a bit of everything lately. Mainly hardcore.
If you could tour with anybody who would it be?
Chris: Any fucking tour would be a dream right now! Just playing a show would be nice. We’d have to find where we sat music wise. I’d 100% go on tour with Blink 182.
John: Wishful Thinking would be cool to tour with. Pretty much anyone ..
You just want to tour?!
John: I’m just trying to think with in reason cos to be fair bands want to tour with us!!!
Chris: I think if you’re probably looking at our sound or where we would sit from an Australian perspective Yours Truly and Stand Atlantic for me are the two bigger bands that I would love to play shows with for sure.
John: I reckon Violent Soho as well.
Fingers crossed that gigs are back sooner rather than later because I can’t wait to see these guys play.
We conducted this interview via zoom, a first for me, and John kindly recorded and edited it for me. The link for the full interview is below.