A few weeks back I interviewed The Stranger after they released Eleventh Hour. I have had that song on repeat for a few weeks and was so impressed that I pre-ordered their upcoming sophomore album on vinyl (http://lnk.to/KscopeSingle) Their latest single ‘Kaleidoscope’ had me spellbound from the first listen. If like me you have never heard of The Stranger you need to change that asap as these guys are destined for some bigger things if what I have heard so far from the album is anything to go by.
“As vibrant and immersive as its name suggests, the title track off of Kaleidoscope provides a stunning and satisfying conclusion to this ambitious anthology. Poignant, reflective acoustic passages give way to powerful, personal proclamations of raw honesty and vulnerability in a sonic odyssey that deeply moves the listener. The kaleidoscope turns and shifts in constant motion to bring new perspectives and brilliant bursts of colour and clarity. So too does this unique and passionate track that showcases the remarkable diversity that is characteristic of its composers and delivers in earnest the vital message that lies at the heart of each and every track on this monumental musical work.”
Vocalist Tom Frayne explains “Kaleidoscope was written during a small existential crisis I was experiencing a few years ago. I was in a job that I hated, my interactions were consumed with anxiety, and I felt desperate to bring meaning to my life overnight. On top of this I was clinging on to a previous version of myself that wasn’t recognizing my potential, and which dwelled in the negativity of my earlier life, stuck on other people’s perception and expectations of success. After a while, and with a bit of therapy and a great circle of support, I managed to break through this negativity and form a more coherent and positive view of myself. Kaleidoscope is about breaking through society’s definition of success and learning to value myself and laude my achievements, however small or significant. Ever since this song came out onto paper I have felt much more comfortable in my own skin, I have silenced the voice of my inner saboteur, and I can finally relinquish the negativity of past relationships.”
Incorporating influences such as Opeth and Dream Theater, the band has forged a respected name for themselves in the Australian Metal Scene with their eclectic mix of progressive metal, djent & funk. Following a successful release of their highly acclaimed album ‘The Stranger’, the band shared stages with Australian and International Progressive Metal Powerhouses such as Caligula’s Horse, Voyager, Ne Obliviscaris, Monuments, and The Ocean; including festivals such as ProgFest and winning Brisbane’s Wacken Metal Battle. With The Strangers’ recent signing to Octane Records & Wild Thing Records for their much-anticipated sophomore album ‘Kaleidoscope’, the band is set to make a mark on the Australian Heavy Music World and beyond!
Sydney based Prog-Metalcore dynamos Repriever are crashing into 2021 with the full force of a sledgehammer with the release of their blisteringly visceral new single ‘Grim’.
The ferocious and impactful track stands as a powerful follow-up to the cult success of the quintet’s debut EP Idle Minds and a testament to the band’s mission to push core to its upper limits and beyond. The fury, anguish and relentless defiance of ‘Grim’ reflects its highly personal lyrical themes that will linger in the hearts and minds of listeners long after the short and sharp track has ended. In ‘Grim’, Repriever dives headfirst into the depths of domestic violence that keeps families locked in their vicious cycles, underpinned by the band’s own personal accounts of suffering. Against this destructive backdrop, the band explores this chain reaction of violence and emphasizes the critical importance of forging a path of your own. ‘Grim’ conveys a vital message: that internal healing must be sought, lest you risk becoming the very thing that once kept you up at night.
After signing a worldwide management deal with Australia’s premier alternative artist management agency Hard Drive Agency, this fast-paced prog-metal quintet are showing no signs of slowing down in 2021!
Coming to a venue near you is a rollercoaster of a line-up featuring Clay J Gladstone (Sydney),Drastic Park (Melbourne) and Wolf & Chain (Adelaide) who are joining forces to showcase their angsty, bratty and high energy sounds across Australian cities this March and April.
While 2020 was write-off for most bands, it didn’t stop Melbourne Pop Punk trio Drastic Park from keeping busy. After supporting punk veterans Antiskeptic, Seraphs Coal and For Amusement Only at the renowned Corner Hotel In Melbourne, they recorded and released a second EP during lockdown, receiving widespread critical acclaim from Blunt Mag, Hysteria Mag and Wall of Sound – with each of their four singles being premiered on Triple J’s Short.Fast.Loud. Now with three sold out shows under their belt, Drastic Park is definitely a band to watch in 2021!
Hot off the success of their most recent single ‘SORRY’ which premiered on Triple J’s Short.Fast.Loud and added to Unearthed rotation, Clay J Gladstone are building some serious hype around the Australian Emo Punk scene. Triple J (SFL), Heavy Mag, The Faction and Idobe Radio (LA) are all calling Clay J Gladstone 2021 hot property – further backed up by a string of sold out Sydney shows (Crowbar/Frankie’s)!
Last but definitely not least, Wolf & Chain is a punk/emo band hailing from Adelaide, South Australia. With a shared love for the theatrical flair, the band seeks to highlight the emotional charge of the emo and punk scene that has felt forgotten, whilst incorporating modern and unique elements to their creative vision. Every live show from the band is full of energy and raw emotion which was highlighted at the bands recent sold out headline show at Lion Arts Factory celebrating the release of their stellar debut music video for single ‘An Honest Mistake’ leaving fans in awe of what is to come from this young band.
The Wolfstone Park Tour will be traveling through Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in March and April. Due to the nature of Covid-19 we will advise any changes to the tour if anything occurs beforehand or during the tour.
Massive congratulations to Sydney’s BOYSCLUB after they were announced as one of five winners of the triple j unearthed Collab Comp this morning. They will be writing a song alongside PNAU and Empire of the Sun songwriter/frontman Nick Littlemore.
On triple j unearthed’s website, Littlemore said of the prospect of working with BOYSCLUB: ‘I’m well keen to make some dirty rock n roll and I’m very interested to see how we can reinvent the sound of rock for 2021. ‘
If you aren’t familiar with BOYSCLUB yet, wise up! It’s now 2021 and the patriarchy is cornered, lashing out like a beast with nowhere else to run. It’s time to sound the death knell on misogyny, discrimination and bigotry. But rather than the dreary toll of a bell, we send off the patriarchy with a blast of furious, energised punk rock sent forth from the minds, and amps, of Sydney’s BOYSCLUB!
Armed with an unwavering sense of justice for women, non-binary & men for equality, hard-earned life lessons and the legacy of those to have waved the flag of equality before them, BOYSCLUB have tasked themselves with systematically dismantling the prevailing wisdom; to change perspectives on queer empowerment, speak truth to addiction and amplifying the oft silenced voices of the victims of domestic violence.
BOYSCLUB are on tour now through February and March and are hitting Sydney, Bendigo, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Canberra and Wollongong – see www.killtheboysclub.com/ for ticket details!
BOYSCLUB. Forever standing for something more than themselves.
Oh boy just when you think VoV can’t get any better!! Not sure who came up with the idea of re-recording ‘Decay’ and adding Ecca Vandal to the mix but damn they should be elevated to God status. This is absolute fire and will keep VoV fans extremely happy on a Friday.
Rumours have dropped their anthemic title track from their upcoming EP “If Only You Could Feel Something Too.” The new single is produced, mixed and mastered by Chris Lalic (Windwaker), who has added a new dimension to the band’s releases since jumping on board with the 2019 release, “Paralysed“.
The band explained that the writing process largely mirrored the content of the track: “It took longer than expected for this song to truly come together. There were parts that came with ease as if familiar and others that made us resent the process.”
“The subject matter became a reflection of this tension. The song is a bit of a dance between passion and self-loathing. Whether that’s in a relationship, an aspiration or kicking/fostering a habit. Touching on the inner turbulence you find when you love what could be harmful or, inversely, doubt what could be great. How do you communicate those more extreme feelings with those around you? Wouldn’t it just be easier if they could feel something too?“
Rumours is Jackson Bentley (vocals), Harry Coote (guitar), Dustin Bayley (bass) and Benjamin Canham (guitar). The four piece spent the last year solidifying a loyal following and working towards a release to be proud of. “MANIA” premiered late January on triple j Short. Fast. Loud and received post-release love from Unearthed, triple j Home & Hosed, Tone Deaf and made Music Feeds ‘favourite tunes of the week’ as well as appearing on a plethora of online media outlets. Home & Hosed host Declan Byrne praised the track on Unearthed with: “came here on the recommendation of Josh Merriel and of course I’m not disappointed one bit. It mixes a dark, coiled energy with some beastly moments and an impassioned vocal.“
Previous two singles “Paralysed” and “Incredulous” made waves with plays on triple j and RAGE, rotation on Unearthed, over 400,000 streams on Spotify (and counting), both appeared in The Faction‘s Hardest 100 countdown and featured in Music Feeds – who drew comparisons to the genre defying Ocean Grove. Music Feeds also commented with:
“Grooves like thunder. The eerie synth soundscapes, grungey, nu-metal inflected verses and soaring anthemic choruses make for one wild ride (that you’ll want to line up for again straight away).“
Drawing from the likes of Don Broco, Grimes, Halsey and Muse, Rumours have evolved to showcase a carefully crafted sound that appeals to pop lovers, headbangers and everything in between.
Without a doubt this is my favourite Rumours track to date. The boys have refined their sound and I think 2021 is going to be their year.
Boy Queensland just keeps delivering in the goods in the Prog scene with new comers Mercurious delivering their first single Revelation. With an 80’s vibe to it Revelation is such a funk and groove filled tune and I am all about that!
‘Blending some of the most talented Australian artists MERCURIOUS had ONE goal – To write without any creative restriction and that’s what you can expect from their dynamic new single ‘Revelation’ This genre-transfiguring track blends healthy doses of rock and funk vibes with technical yet melodic fretwork, groovy bass and bombastic drumming efforts.’
Guitarist Raouf introduced me to the band and what they want to achieve musically.
So how have you been?
Good thanks. It’s been a busy couple of weeks preparing for the release. It’s very exciting to have it all out now and hearing peoples feedback. We’ve started recording more singles for the future as well, so we pretty much went straight into that right away.
That is so good to hear because I love Revelation. I love that you guys have a little bit of everything in this song.
That is so good to hear. I’m so glad you like it. You saying why you like it in that way is affirming to us. I grew up being a massive Michael Jackson fan. I love that kind of 70’s – 80’s thing, obviously now I am quite a big metal head and rock listener, but I just always wanted to try to so something that would be a direct nod to that influence. When Nick, the keyboardist, and I started writing that song we just were referencing a lot of Michael Jackson, especially through the verses. We really wanted to create something that was rocky, a little bit heavy and just that fun, funky 80’s inspired music.
I said to my housemate it almost sounds like it should be in the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.
That’s cool. Awesome.
That was the vibe I got from it.
Brilliant. That is very, very cool. It’s really interesting hearing peoples interpretations and what they think when they hear it. Things like that I would never have thought of so that’s very cool.
I had it cranked in the car and I was just like yeah this is a theatre production worthy track. I think because there is so much happening in the song. Every time you listen to it you find another easter egg.
That is so good to hear.
So there is more music on the way?
Yeah. That song definitely stands out a little bit compared to the rest of our music that is coming out. We recently tracked drums for four more songs that will come out. So the idea is that we will release some singles over the next six months. The next song we are working on is a little bit more melancholic, a little bit sadder. You might think of bands like Muse or Karnivool, that kind of inspiration.
I’m a big Muse fan.
This one is quite I suppose Muse influenced, a lot more synth, less funky. Overall it’s a little bit more darker and sombre. Hopefully people enjoy it. I would say a lot of our songs can be quite different from one another. We sort of have this seasonal thing. We have summery songs and then we have the winter ones.
So how did you guys all end up coming together?
Nick and I were in a metal band called Dark Symphonica which was completely different to what we are doing now. It was very much inspired by bands like Nightwish and Epica. We released an album in 2016 and then shortly after we disbanded. Nick and I just wanted to continue writing music. We were also not only symphonic metal fans, and metal fans in general, but we were really big prog heads. So we love bands like Leprous, local bands like Caligula’s Horse. We had no expectation, we just wanted to have fun with it. That was the end of 2016, start of 2017. We wrote four or five songs which we are only now finally releasing. We felt really good about the songs, we wanted to get a band together and start playing them live. Starting to think we should actually release this. We got some members together. So Michael Bates our bassist I play with in a band called Seraphic. Since I was already working with Bates in Seraphic I thought let’s get him in. He was super keen; he is similar to me as well in that he likes this kind of music too. We had a hard time finding a stable member for vocals. We had someone else temporarily on drums before we found Scotty (Wade), that was a really easy choice because he is a fantastic drummer. Finally we found Rhys at the start of 2019 and then a lot of that year was just spent preparing to learn the songs. Start of 2020 hit, we launched as the band and then everything happened with Covid.
Everything went to shit.
Exactly. We have had to play a bit of catch up, but I feel like this year is going to be the year that we wanted last year. We finally started recording Revelation at the end of last year. It’s long in years when I think about it, 4 years, it’s been a very gradual process. I’ve obviously been quite busy with Seraphic so that has filled a lot of my time. That is how the band has sort of been put together.
There is so much in Revelations musically, so I need to ask, who influences you?
I think it is very personal down to each member. I would say our broader influences, we all love bands like Karnivool. I think every single one of us is a big fan of them. Tool, there are definitely Dream Theatre fans: like these big prog bands. For me personally my tastes have changed somewhat over the last 10 years to being a little bit more melodic focused. I used to listen to a lot of Death metal, and I will still put it on occasionally, bands like Cannibal Corpse. Over time that has changed to more melodic and progressive and I think that is where prog metal, and prog rock in particular, you can find some really great experimental bands. One band I absolutely love is Leprous from Norway. They are a phenomenal band. I really love funky songs, as I mentioned Michael Jackson. Even people like Rick James, they just have such great tunes. I particularly love how artist like Childish Gambino’s production is so layered and lush. I think there is so much to learn from those sorts of artists. I think I will always write rock in some way, but I think there is so much there to be influenced by. Of course there are the classic rock bands like Muse, The Killers those kind of bands are also a big influence on us.
Any plans to play shows?
We have one lined up for May, details of that should be out soon. We are trying to line up another one before then hopefully. There isn’t a whole lot I can say about shows other than there will be some coming up soon. Probably not in huge abundance just because the availability isn’t always there.
Keep an eye out on Mercurious socials for new tunes and hopefully some live gigs. These guys have really piqued my interest with their first single which is below:
With a new single ‘Eleventh Hour’ and an announcement of a second album ‘Kaleidoscope’ I had plenty to talk about with Brisbane based prog band The Stranger.
First off guys we better do the old raise your hand and tell me your names!!
Tom: I am the singer, vocalist and songwriter.
Kalen: Singer and vocalist????
Tom: Yes and I have the longest hair haha
Kalen: I am one of the guitarist and also a songwriter.
Drew: I am also a guitarist and songwriter as well.
Linc: I am the bass player and funnily enough I am also a songwriter!
Tom: Lucky Dan wasn’t here because he would have just been I play drums!
Kalen: He wrote some stuff too. Also I produce and mix everything we do.
Cool so Covid wouldn’t have stopped you guys then.
Linc: A tiny bit. We did record a lot during lock down.
Kalen: Yeah we did but it was still an unbelievably stressful time. I have two jobs. I produce bands and I drive Uber when I am not booked up in my studio. When Covid hit I was working with bands, but they had to pull out obviously, so I was driving Uber, but no one was going anywhere. I worked for 12 hours a day driving Ubers, came home and tracked guitars for 6 hours and then slept for 6 hours. It was just that on repeat. So it was stressful, but we still got stuff done.
Drew: The rest of us were feed grapes on leather bound couches….. we were fine!
Kalen: Did you make it through Covid alright?
Yeah I am in Adelaide, so it wasn’t so bad here. We had a couple of smaller lockdowns, then we had that one with the pizza wanker.
Kalen: Wait do you guys know about that? What happened?
In a nutshell they traced a dude back to a pizza bar that had Covid and he lied about what he did there and sent the state into lock down. Wouldn’t have bothered me so much but it fucked up my plans to go to Melbourne for gigs!!!! They shut everything down pretty quick.
Kalen: Pandemonium for a couple of hours.
It was insane. We were in the chemist when it got announced and by the time we got out there were lines at every store and cars banked up for miles. They even locked down McDonalds!
Kalen: Wow that’s hardcore.
Okay so tell me all about The Stranger.(Everyone looked at Kalen!)
Kalen: So we are The Stranger, We are a progressive metalcore band. We have been kicking around since 2013-2014. It originally started with myself and Daniel who isn’t here. We used to play in another band together and when that one fell apart we decide that we didn’t want to stop. We wanted to keep writing music, so we started The Stranger. The general idea was that we came from a band where we were pretty pigeon holed sound wise. We were doing the female-fronted metal thing and that kind of had a very distinct scene. The rule for the new band was anything goes as long as it is good. Very shortly after we found Tom.
The vocalist singer guy!
Tom: Ha yeah. I originally joined on bass, but I have been singing since I was 11-12 years old. After awhile the bass was to hard to keep up with so I started singing to them and we went from there.
Kalen: It worked out really well and then we recruited a couple of other members who have since left and we now have Linc and Drew in the band. We released our first album in 2017 which was very well received. Like any absolute no name out of nowhere band from Australia, the publicity we got was very good but there wasn’t a tonne of it. We were still very proud of that album. We put a hell of a lot of work into it. We recorded it with a guy called Adam Merker who has done some really great work for bands like Disentombed and Lagerstein. We had it mixed in Sweden by a guy called David Castillo who has done Opeth and Bloodbath and mastered by Jens Bogren who is one of my personal heroes. He has done everyone big in the metal world.
Since then we have had a couple of line up changes and we have basically spent the last couple of years refining our sound. That’s what it is like for any band who moves forward, you’re always working on trying to become a better version of yourself. You find yourself more and more as you go along. One of the things that we were able to do with this new album which we lacked a bit of on the first album is write with more intention. The songs are a little bit more to the point. On the first album we have 9, 10, 11 minute long songs, they are great, its cool having your big prog epics. This time we were a little more to the point and kept them song length which is good. That is that ongoing process of finding how you write.
Yeah and like you said you have had line-up changes. Its also everyone becoming used to how the other band members write.
Kalen: Absolutely. You know the writing process is continuing to evolve. Typically the way things have worked is that I have come up with the bulk of a song idea, or Tom will come up with the lyrics and then Tom and I will work together. On this album Drew wrote a whole song which is sick.
Drew: I did a song!
Kalen: Drew did a song… Linc wrote the bulk of another song as well which is really cool. I think the more we go along we will hopefully increase this collaboration as opposed to mostly coming from one person.
So how does your process go? Just lots of back and forth until the song is finished?
Kalen: Do you mean between us?
Drew: It’s pretty different for each one.
Kalen: The basic thing is that one of us will bring in, if not a whole song then at least a substantial chunk to inform what the song is going to be. So it will be like ‘I have this much done but I’m not sure where it is going to go’ and then we might work on it from there or it might be ‘Hey here is a whole song’, which we just tweak and refine. We all have our little riff graveyard folders too so something might come from there.
That graveyard file is a common thing!
Kalen: That’s the thing. Inspiration is tricky. It’s very difficult to have inspiration on command. Sometimes you get really lucky and an idea so strong falls into your head that you can follow the whole thing to a full song in a few hours or a couple of days. Sometimes you have an awesome riff that you sit on for 2 years because you have no idea what to do with it.
Linc: We have examples of both of those on the album. The title track Kaleidoscope took Kalen a night to write the whole thing.
Drew: The song that I wrote I came up with the original idea I think 1.5 years after I joined the band. So its been around for like 3 years now.
Tom: I was writing lyrics to that right up to the recording process.
Kalen: That one was very tricky. The thing about Drew’s song, which I think is probably his greatest strength as a songwriter, is that he is really good at bringing in complex chord structures and chords with a lot of depth and nuance. It meant that the music was so interesting on its own that we found that when we tried to come up with vocals it was a case of how do you add to it without taking away from what is there.
Dan joined us at this point.
Kalen: So we all have our own strengths and weaknesses as songwriters. This is just one ongoing journey of learning each other and learning the process and refining it. Working off each other’s strengths to write bitching songs. One thing we always really try and go for in our songs are hooks. Especially in vocals. I really love when something we have written gets stuck in my head for a week.
Tom: A lot of that vocally is inspired by Voyager. They are a really catchy hooky band. Leprous as well with there intense proggy approach to music. That very easy to get into vocal style. You want to attract people and have them interested in the melody before they go and read the lyrics.
I’m a real lyrics girl. I like to listen with the lyrics in front of me.
Kalen: Have you listened to the first single yet?
I have indeed. I have listened to it a couple of times now and stuck it in my playlist. It’s really good.
We digressed and ended up on the Voyager band wagon and the guys mentioned they had played with them before which led me to ask who else they have shared the stage with.
You have played a few shows then!?
They all laughed.
Kalen: We’ve been around for 6 years now so we have played a few.
Have you travelled interstate much or just Queensland?
Kalen: Off the back of the first album we toured the East Coast. We basically been everywhere between here and Melbourne.
Everywhere but Adelaide!!
Tom: Yeah sorry!
Kalen: We haven’t made it to Adelaide yet. We will get there!
Tom: One positive that has come out of lockdown is that the distance between our first album, it was 2 years before we got another song on the ground. This one we are already rolling into new material. That sense of momentum. Creating new things and expressing ourselves in new ways and collaborating and editing ourselves. The way we are as a band now, pre Covid lockdown is so different to how we are now. We are so much more in touch with each other’s preferences and style.
Linc: We are finding how we are writing is changing as well due to Covid.
That has been the greatest thing about Covid I think. Bands changing up how they write and not worrying about the “genre” label by adding different elements to their songs. I am all about that shit.
Kalen: The title prog is so broad, and it means that we don’t have to worry about genres.
Linc: We’ve progressed!
Kalen: Exactly. It’s like we do what ever the fuck we want and it’s all “prog.”
I have heard that heaps lately, ‘We are just playing whatever the fuck we want and if only a handful of people listen we don’t care.” I suppose you can have that attitude when you haven’t played for 12 months. It’s probably liberating for bands tbh.
Kalen: As far as writing whatever the hell we want, that being said the feedback we have had from this first single has been overwhelmingly positive.
It’s a damn good song.
Kalen: Thank you.
Tom: It’s more than that. We got a positive review to our first album but this one it seems that people are actually excited for it. When we released the first single off the other album everyone was like yep that’s good. But with this one everyone is like fuck when can I get more. It’s really heartening.
I think people are starting to appreciate prog a little bit more now too.
Kalen: I think so too.
Bands like TesseracT and Periphery are becoming bigger.
Kalen: We are all fans of those guys.
So Periphery are my all-time favourite band.
Kalen: Right on
Tom: They built the road that we are now driving down.
Kalen: It’s like the plans were laid in place by Karnivool and then Periphery came along and built the road.
Drew: I feel like they have cemented themselves as a timeless legendary band. They are like proper legends of the music world now. Because it is music for musicians and for listeners. The bar has been well and truly set, it has been for many Periphery albums now, so now everyone is shooting for something beyond that.
When I talk to young bands and they say they don’t know what to do band wise I always tell them to go and look at Periphery, not their music but the way they run their band as a business.
Linc: There documentary is so good.
Tom: Look at their progression from their first album to P4. They didn’t start out where they are now, they refined and honed their craft. They started simple and have just launched off on a trajectory.
Kalen: We are also really big fans of Caligula’s Horse. Adrian, the second guitarist does all our music videos. Dale does the lights at our shows.
Your like one big family.
Kalen: It’s a cliché but a rising tide lifts all boats and the more we can all help each other out and be involved the better we off we will all be.
That is absolutely correct. I only started Recurrent Verse in April. Let’s start a music blog in the middle of a pandemic!! The support I have gotten has been amazing.
Tom: Our Spotify stats have been rising in the US, they have shot above Australia now.
What about Russia?
Linc: Yeah Moscow is the 5th most popular.
It’s weird because a lot of the bands I have spoken to lately have Russia and the US pretty high up.
Drew: I feel like it might have started with, obviously Karnivool, but more so with 12 Foot Ninja the US kind of picked up the Aussie larrakin theme. That blossomed in to Caligula’s Horse and few other progressive metal bands. Now there is a keen eye on the music, but I feel like 12 Foot opened that up.
Kalen: Yeah. That’s a band I don’t think about much these days, but I think they have a new album coming out. They did a huge amount for the Australian scene. Periphery had a lot to do there too because they were friends and Periphery promoted 12 Foot a lot. I think you could safely say that without 12 Foot we would probably be a few years behind were we are now as a scene.
Dan: Its funny because I was talking to some of the guys from Caligula’s Horse and they were saying that whole Australian larrakin thing isn’t really accepted anywhere else in the world except by Aussies. We have just come to be known as people who can act like idiots on stage and people are cool with that.
Tom: We have this license to be ourselves but also be taken seriously which when we are screaming at the microphone ‘Get ya tickets’ and then we play something like Kaleidoscope and people actually take you seriously and listen to it and that is really 12 Foot because they are the same.
Kalen: On that note, just to bring it back to us.
Haha oh yeah!! See this is what happens…. Who are you guys again????
Kalen: We ask ourselves that every day! One thing I really like about this new album compared to the first one is that this album feels more personal. The first album we did a lot of storytelling, there is a song about Robocop, one about Warcraft lore. There’s a bunch of random shit. This album we have actually written songs that feel relevant to our lives, things that we care about.
Tom: Not just the songwriters lives but things we can all relate too.
Kalen: I don’t want to go as far as to say the album is a statement because it’s not. I mean the first single is. Eleventh Hour is a statement, like I have said in other interviews that is our first hippy, climate protest song. It kind of sucks because that message these days is starting to feel like a bit of a cliché or a meme if you are talking about climate change. It’s talked about so much in the wrong kind of way that it almost feels like a platitude now. The thing is it is still a ridiculously fucking pressing issue that some people hope gets swept under the rug or will be dealt with by somebody else.
That’s what has been happening for years. Let someone else deal with it. You know. And now look where we are.
Kalen: Too hard basket all the time.
Tom: look at what we’ve got on our hands now. That is almost exactly the point of the song. ‘We are waiting in wounds, that have been left by this wasted time’ we are now dealing with it and it is time to change.
Kalen: Those are the last two lines of the song. It’s quite poignant Tom.
So how many songs are on the album?
Kalen: There are 9 songs one of which is an instrumental interlude kind of thing. We kind of cover all the bases in this album mood wise. This first single is the big, serious face, heavy, dramatic song. The next one is heavy but with a more upbeat vibe, there’s also some funkiness. The next single we release, which is also the title track, is very personal for Tom. That’s very introspective, very..
Kalen: Yeah its sad.
Tom: Sad boy Tom. It’s just something that I think everybody feels. Loss of the sense of meaning and purpose in life. There is a resolution in all of us to break out of that. I just wanted to relate to people in the first albums lyrics, but I feel like maybe the closest I got was ‘In The Mire’ and that is 11 minutes of relating to yourself. So like trying to bring that personal experience into each song, at least in some way, is really important now I think. I think it makes the music more effective and it means that people will be able to listen to it over and over again.
A better connection with your audience.
Tom: Absolutely, and I want people to be able to feel the same catharsis that I felt when I was writing that song. As soon as that song came out onto the paper, I read it back to myself and I was like ‘Jesus that’s really how fucking upset I am?’ So that is the intention.
Kalen: The funny thing is there was another song on the album that is actually a similar one by me. A few years ago I was going through an insanely painful breakup and it was one of those times where the whole fucking song dropped into my head really quickly. Having that release in the form of music it really is catharsis.
And all you guys write songs like that, which in turn have helped me (and plenty of other people) get through some pretty heavy shit.
Kalen: Do you have any songs that you can point to as being really valuable to you?
Beartooth’s entire Disease album. If it wasn’t for that I probably wouldn’t be here. That pretty well kept me going.
Dan: Its crazy that, I don’t know, it makes you feel so connected to 5 or 6 people that are making this album.
Linc: Vibrations in the air.
I saw them in Brissy, and we went back to Crowbar after the gig. Caleb turned up there and I actually go to tell him how that album saved me. It was pretty surreal to be able to do that.
Tom: if anyone is ever nervous about trying to say that to a band, you shouldn’t be because that will completely validate their entire existence. Never be shy about going to tell a band how much their music has helped you.
I actually get paid out a LOT because I’m always telling the bands I love them, and I love their songs. You gotta tell them so they feel the love!
Tom: Don’t do what I did the first time I met Jim from Caligula’s Horse. I was a tad drunk and hugged him while telling him I loved him!!
Been there, done that haha.
Kalen: Well you know it’s all part of the experience!
It is. I think to because the Australian bands are so approachable.
Kalen: That’s it. It goes back to what I said before. There’s no rock stars everyone is just cool.
Last words before we end this?
Drew: I just want to go back to the lyrics. As much as this album is taken more seriously lyrically and it’s a lot more personal it’s so much more fun than the first album. And the lyric content is more fantastical which I had nothing to do with so I’m not boasting about my own achievements here. It is so much fun, there are songs on there which are incredibly personal and can help people on the level that we all just talked about, but its also really fucking fun. The second song on the album is easily my most favourite song that we have ever written. I still listen to it on a daily basis.
Kalen: The second song ‘Gemini’ was a fun one.
Oh I like that already because I’m a Gemini!!
Kalen: Nice! There you go. That’s a fun one for me because it’s another one I wrote really quickly but then I totally fucking forgot that I had written it. We were going through ideas one night a band practise and I played that one and the guys were like ‘What! It’s done, print it, it’s finished!!’
Tom: I love that music so much. I put almost the entire lyrics and melodies together in 2 hours on a train. I don’t think we ended up editing anything from it. It was just done. It felt right.
Kalen: That kind of leads me to your question. I think what I would really like to say about this album is that every song on the album really has a very unique personality unto itself. From a birds eye view they all sound like us but they are all very different songs. There are no songs on this album that are filler and that is something we always work really hard to achieve. I feel that whatever side of the heavy thing you are into we probably have something for you on this album and it’s really worth exploring. We are also really happy to be working with Bailey Graham at Octane and also Wild Thing records as well. Wild Thing are such a presence here in Australia.
They picked up Growth too which surprised me.
Linc: Very left field from what they usually focus on.
It’s such a good album. I brought the vinyl. I collect vinyl. That was another Covid thing, I thought I would start to collect vinyl and about 150 later……
Strangely the boys all laughed!!
Tom: Are you collecting or just buying them all?
I’m just buying everybody’s! Well only the ones I like…. Which happen to be most of them..
Kalen: You know that’s the best thing in my mind about the heavy scene in Australia. Especially prog. Everyone that listens to it is a fan of music. They may not be a musician, but no one listen to this stuff casually, they all really put focus into it.
I find that I will sit and purposely listen to vinyl whereas if I Spotify the same album I will just have it as background noise.
Kalen: Vinyl is like a conscious active experience.
Tom: Like wine tasting instead of just getting sloshed!
Kalen: Do you guys have anything to add.
Linc: I think you’ve pretty much said everything I ever wanted to say.
Tom: I just want to say Dan’s glasses look great
Kalen: Yeah Dan’s glasses do look great. You know what? Dan looks great.
Tom: Yeah he does.
Drew: I think a great way to sum it up is that we are very grateful for the reception we have had so far. And that comment starts back at the first show we played after Covid. Everything from that point up until now
Linc: Which was a ridiculous show. We played 2 hours straight. The same set twice. It was exhausting.
Drew: We were very tired, but it was just the best way to catapult ourselves back into things.
Do you have a date for the album?
Linc: The album comes out on the 9th April and the next single will be dropping on the 26th of February. And there will be another single somewhere between those two dates.
Kalen: We have a bunch of content coming out in the next couple of months all leading up to the album release.
Linc: It’s already a stressful!
Kalen: It’s cool though, that feeling.
It’s a good stressful.
Eleventh hour is the first single off the upcoming album. Listen to it and then listen to it again because there is a bit to unpack in it which is a good thing in my books.
Bad Moon Born are in a phase of re-birth. The Sydney-based five-piece have released their newest single, ‘The Heart From The Hollow’, the first taste of an EP to come in the near future. A shift in style and pace, the new single heralds a whole new era for the band!
A large portion of 2020 was spent working on new material, diving into a totally new genre and exploring new-found personal depths in their lyric writing. ‘The Heart From The Hollow’ plays with the idea of losing oneself in anger and forfeiting your capacity for compassion in doing so.
Vocalist Jordan Von Grae says that the single ‘…is written to represent the inner monologue one might face when dealing with extreme bouts of pain and anger. In essence, The Heart From The Hollow is an ode to the dichotomy of rage and reason, explored through an introspective lens. This idea of heightened self-awareness with an attention to inner turmoil is a recurring theme throughout the course of this EP.’
This is a new direction for the band and hot damn I am digging it. Very keen to see where Bad Moon Born take this!
After a turbulent 2020 and the disappointment of delaying not only their debut album, but their maiden European voyage, no pandemic is holding Australia’s most genre twisting hardcore band back in 2021! Brisbane’s high-octane punk/hardcore outfit, who signed worldwide with Sharptone Records in 2020, have just announced their debut album ‘Help Me Help You’ out Friday 26th March. Produced, mixed and mastered by Callan Orr of Avalanche Studios (Dream On Dreamer, Young Lions, Hands Like Houses).you can pre-order/pre-save it here: http://stepsonpunk.com.
Along with that announcement Stepson have also released a new single ‘Deeper Sleep.’ Available to stream here:
Bassist for the band, Jayden Ridley lamented on the year that was 2020, while also realising the positives in waiting for the right time to release this album. ‘We were so bummed last year when we had to push back the release of our debut album due to covid impacts, so much of ourselves went into this album and we’ve been saying it’s coming soon for so long it started to feel like it would never happen. Thankfully it’s all been worth it, we have a physical release that we are so proud of and can’t wait to finally put it out into the world. To anyone who has ever connected with our band. this record is for you. We hope you love it as much as we do!‘
There is something for everyone on “Help Me, Help You” in what will undoubtedly serve up one of 2021’s most versatile debut albums. Stepson are ready to take on the world!
In a statement from Brock, he said that “Deeper sleep is about insecurities that can carry over from past, abusive relationships. The inner turmoil experienced every day from past trauma can affect present and future relationships to the point where even dreams feel real. Insecurity is contagious and unfortunately can be transferred from person to person. This song is a helpless plea to help someone they love and care about from their own mind.“
“Musically it’s the most outside the box track to date and we tried to do a lot of different things technically, like dance beats, more staccato guitar work and a solo toward the back end that makes for a really cool crescendo. What we love about Deeper Sleep is that it’s a toe tapper, a track that carries a genuine sense of motion that makes you want to break out into a boogie at any given moment.“
“We are so proud of “Help Me, Help You” for many different reasons, but the main focus is the diversity and range of genres and influences we have been able to capture across the 11 tracks. We are all inspired by different musicians and artists and to have that represented in our music is really exciting! We’d like to think that everyone; mums and dads, emos and lads, can all find at least one song they dig musically or connect to lyrically and we can’t wait to hear what everyone’s favourite songs are!“
“Help Me, Help You” was created from a shared passion of heavy music in all its facets, with an amalgamation of melody, ferocity and angst that sets each of the 11 songs apart in their own unique, fresh way, whilst still bearing the trademark Stepson sound.
There is more depth to the musicianship on the band’s first LP compared to previous releases, with some of the 5-piece’s most adventurous riffs and intense drum fills to date, meanwhile long-time fans of the band will recognise the familiar lyrical themes having new life breathed into them by front man Brock Alan Conry
Stepson is: Brock Alan Conry – Vocals Jayden Ridley – Bass/Vocals Nick Bennett – Guitars Robert Suthern – Guitars Jordan McDonald – Drums