MODALITY

The Void’

If you haven’t checked out the new single from prog-metal outfit Modality then I suggest you go have a listen. The Melbourne based band have just released ‘The Void’ and I have had it on rotation for the last few days. I’m a sucker for anything with a djenty feel to it and this has it in spades. Nigel and Alicia’s vocals bounce off each other, backed by Adam’s intense drumming, to add emphasis to the message behind the song. The accompanying video clip just adds another dimension to the song. The colours chosen for the clip and the visuals really take the song to the dark places that your mind goes when you are in that depressive state.

Vocalist Nigel Jackson wanted to craft a song for people who are “…feeling helpless and searching for the light at the end of the tunnel, especially with the world being currently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the feeling of being depressed and empty inside, not knowing if there’s anything you can do to change it, and coming to terms with the uncertainty of things getting better or worse.

It’s also about the fear of becoming numb and desensitised to everything, and the fear of being reckless and destructive in the environment that surrounds you. The surreal visuals of the film clip amplify the feeling of abnormality that we are all experiencing at this time.

Keep an eye on these guys because if this single is anything to go by we are going to be seeing a lot more of them.

https://www.facebook.com/modalityaus

https://www.instagram.com/modalityaus/

SKYWAY

Daniel McMaster – Vocals

Rohan Chant – Guitar

Daniel Hawkins – Vocals & Guitar

Rupert Muir – Bass

Ben Hallett – Drums

After a long break Australia’s best pop-punk exports are back with the announcement of a new EP ‘Hope Floats, Love Sinks’ (out on 20th November)and a brand new single ‘Cut The Ties’. 

According to vocalist Dan McMaster, the song “…touches on the way we disconnect from the things that we know aren’t good for us, whether that means relationships, addictions, and the like. Sometimes it’s hard to let go even when we are in pain or know inside that something isn’t right.

For those new to Skyway (like me!) in their four active years as a band, they shared stages with an impressive list of acts including All Time Low, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive, Underoath, The Amity Affliction, Asking Alexandra, Frenzal Rhomb, Miss May I, The Wonder Years and Silverstein.

‘Cut The Ties’ is out now on all platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/skywaypunk

https://www.instagram.com/skywaypunk/

http://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/skyway/hope-floats-love-sinks

IRONSTONE

Dan Charlton – Lead Vocals
Edward Warren – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Aidan Kalms – Rhythm Guitar
Oliver Hosking – Bass Guitar
Jackson Whyte – Drums, Vocals

Ironstone is a progressive metal band from Bendigo, Australia. With influences coming from a range of modern metal genres, their music features the duality of clean and distorted vocals, djent driven riffs and breakdowns, atmospheric layers and catchy choruses. The result is a contemporary metal sound that is sophisticated, melodic and hard-hitting.

I had an epic chat to Dan and Eddie this week to find out a little bit more about Ironstone (who I will forever now call Wafflestone!) their new EP Prophecy and the latest single Hollow

Dan: I’m Dan and this is Eddie.

Eddie: I’m the guitarist and Dan is the singer. I’m the lead guitarist, there are two guitarists in the band. Twice as nice! 

And three vocalists?

Eddie: Yeah. So Dan is the lead singer and Jack and I sing harmonies.

Dan: So Ironstone started a long time ago when Eddie was a young kid wanting to play guitar with his friends in a band. I guess Ed should probably tell this bit.

Eddie: I was probably about 10 years old and I had played a bit of guitar before with bands doing covers. I just really got hooked on it and wanted to do it more. I gathered some friends together from school, we played covers in pubs under a different name. It eventually evolved to the point where we decided that we had to do original music. This was going to be something serious.  It then turned into Ironstone. I’m 18 now so as a band that I am in, this has been going for about 7 years. As Ironstone and our current sound its only been going for about 18 months.

I was assuming that Hollow was your third single and when I jumped on Spotify to have a listen the whole EP is up there.

Dan: Yeah so we released Prophecy on May 29th.  We released two singles before we released the EP and then Hollow which we dropped a few days ago. 

Eddie: Ideally, if corona virus wasn’t a factor, we would have released all of our songs as singles. We would have built them all up with launch shows and maximise the hype out of it and then go now we are dropping them all together in an EP.  A lot of discussion went into our decision. We had a lot of things planned. PR plans, we’d been talking about touring and all these wonderful ideas that we were going to do. It just never ended up happening. So we decided to put Prophecy out as a body of work because we had nothing out there apart from one single with me singing, which is a good song, but it’s really not indicative of our musicianship or skill.  We really felt it was important to get a good body of work out there so that when people listen to one of our songs instead of going ‘What have they got?’ they can go and look and listen to six songs. That’s enough to keep people entertained I think. Six songs is a good amount, they can become invested in the band and go ‘wow I really love how they sound’ instead of going ‘I really like this song I hope they can pull it off a second time’.

Corona has been interesting! But there is still so much good music coming out.

Dan: There has been a lot of good music coming out. And I think that people have had time to actually sit down and focus on their music as well. A lot of people would have had jobs and that would have been their main priority, but a lot of people have been sitting at home doing nothing. Instead they have sat down and said right let’s dissect this music and that’s what has made it a lot better.

Eddie: I think also when people go to write its kind of a scary prospect going underground for several months because you have that fear of missing out.  Like crap what show opportunities are going to pass us by while we are all sitting down trying to find the time to write.  You get creative, sometimes songs pour out of you fast and sometimes it can take months to wrestle a song out that’s mediocre. It can often be a frightening prospect. Now that we are all locked down there is no fear of missing out. No one else is getting ahead while you’re left behind. Everyone is taking the chance to write songs. Everyone has been very adaptive. Lots of outside of the square stuff. And bands don’t have that external pressure. Everyone is writing what they want to write and it’s producing some amazing stuff.

And Chris Themelco, of Monolith Studios, mixed and mastered Prophecy.

Dan:  Bound was about a year ago and that was well before the EP and we weren’t really sure where we were going with it, as in album or EP. All we knew was that we wanted a song out.  Again at that time it was all about getting a body of work out one single at a time. Bound was initially mixed by Chris Lilac and that sounded really good so there is a single version of that but obviously when we got the EP done we got Chris to redo it. And we are very glad we did; the EP version just sounds exquisite. It sounds amazing. Chris Themelco is a bit of a god.

I’ve actually learnt a bit from doing these interviews. I was always more interested in the end product but now I’m finding myself asking more about the process.

Dan: That’s a really interesting point with the engineering. There’s always more to learn. As soon as you think you have it worked out something changes. There’s always a bigger fish. More to it, a bigger band that’s taken it further, that have utilised more technology. We’ve really learnt a lot about our production and our sound at least during the process of working with Chris. We have a much clearer picture of what we are doing next time. I can guarantee that what comes next will be better because we won’t have all these false steps at the start while we try to figure out what we are doing.

It takes a while to work through that process too. It’s not something that happens straight off the bat.

Dan: We’ve definitely learnt by our mistakes, well not mistakes, but the going back and forth.

Okay, the cover of your EP where did you get the inspiration from?

Eddie: Well, that’s a brilliant question!

I have a reason for asking but I’m not going to say it until after you’ve answered!!

Dan: I think honestly as much as I would love to say there is really something conceptionally significant behind it and that it all ties into the theme it really doesn’t.

Eddie: We just thought it looked really cool. There’s no shame in that either.  We’d done a bunch of different designs and had gone for really whimsical stuff but then we realised that although our sound is progressive it has a raw, mean, in your face kind of sound. We ditched those designs but there were a couple of elements that we came up with that just evolved into what we have. The frosted look makes it look like there is paper on the top that you are ripping off and there is a label underneath. I just love that idea, I wanted it to look like it was a special edition cd, give it multiple dimensions so that is was interesting to look at. We’re quite pleased with it.

I love it. So now I’m going to ask you who are your influences?

Eddie: This is the thing we all have different influences and that’s what make Ironstone’s sound. Dan has a real pop sensibility and loves a lot of pop artists and I listen to what is fundamentally music for crack heads so when you combine the two you get our sound with this really pop melodic influence. The guitars and drums are very aggressive and unpredictable.

Dan: Mine and Ed’s musical range just goes from zero to one hundred.

Eddie: It’s kind of an interesting thing and I think that’s why in the writing process cos I write all the instrumentals, like the music and orchestrate that. I feel that because I don’t listen to a diverse range of music it’s probably the reason why I write such strange music. I listen to a lot of progressive metal, djent and math metal. Stuff that is so technical it’s almost unlistenable. Having to marry that to the pop idea in a way that works the two together. So I love Periphery, TesseracT, Northlane, and I adore 12 Foot Ninja. Those sort of bands, the more technical and aggressive the better.

Thank you that is the answer that I wanted to hear. The moment I saw the EP cover I thought Periphery!

Eddie: Yes it is very Periphery-esque. I don’t think that was deliberate even though we adore them. Jack and I are like two peas in a pod. We love TesseracT and Periphery. It’s kind of us writing the crackhead side and then Dan and I trying to write the pop side.  Dan comes in and really gives it that epic pop sensibility. The more epic tracks you hear it’s definitely a lot of Dan at play with the beautiful melodies. Tracks like Killed A Man and Better Unseen that are more like what the hell is going on, they are the ones that I have had more to do with. It gives a real eclectic sound. All the tracks are vastly different. Every song is a complete new experience and quite frankly we never know what we are going to write.

Dan: Yeah we have no idea. It’s like I’ve got this sick ass in your face riff and I’ll be well I came up with this nice soft melody, let’s make a baby and put them together!!

Eddie: Or I’ll be playing a riff and think this needs more sitar or oboe or something bizarre. It’s just indiscriminately throwing in elements that we enjoy. We don’t care if we are breaking new ground or reinventing or redefining something. If it makes us smile then that’s good enough for us. A good thing about Chris to was that he did things that we would never have even thought of.

Dan: All these little tricks that he has accumulated over the years of being an engineer and its really why it is so smart to go with someone who has that much experience. You can try and be a martyr about it, we could have does it all ourselves at home, but I have no doubt the result would not have been as spectacular.

Tell me a little bit about all the songs on the EP

Dan: The first song Downpour was written before I joined the band.

Eddie: Downpour was written quite a long time ago. I reckon I would have been about 14 when I wrote it. It was when I first had the ability to drop tune guitars and that changed a lot for me, listening to 12 Foot Ninja and Periphery and realising that you could go lower. The lyrics are all about its kind of a bit like Murphy’s Law that when it rains it pours. I ignored all the warnings. As soon as you ignore one problem all the problems suddenly happen at once. Its not that you get a nice even distribution of problems its that it feels like everything piles up at once. Obviously, I used the sitar and middle eastern elements along with some synth in the verse that was added last minute. This song has evolved so much its crazy.

Next song is Bound. That song is quite interesting too. Bound came into existence at a point in time when we didn’t have a singer. So that song was optimised for me to be able to sing it on my own hence the verse is singing with no guitar under it.  It was designed so that I could play and sing live at the same time. It makes it really unique in that it is kind of industrial, we had to rely on dub-step and backing track elements to stabilise the live show. It ended up being a favourite of a lot of people.

Dan: Then I came along!

Eddie: Haha yep you ruined everything! The lyrics to that one are around being in a relationship where one person is more aggressive and controlling that the other. How your are always tossing up saying something or leaving. How you feel physically and emotionally bound. It’s about breaking free from that.

Sorry if I’m waffling I’m trying to keep this concise.

I’m a firm believer in waffling!!! That’s how most of my interviews go. Waffling and tangents!!!!

Dan: We’re experts at waffling! 

Eddie: Good we see eye to eye.

Dan: Better Unseen is next. It was the second to last song we wrote for the EP and I felt we needed an absolute belter. One that makes you want to punch something.

Eddie: Yeah and I knew exactly what Dan meant at the time. Jack and I had been listening to a lot of power metal and if I’m perfectly frank we had been laughing about it in an endearing way, remembering the old school metal. I decided I was going to write the most power metal riff ever! 220 bpm is what we are going to do, and I tracked this super full on riff that has guitar harmonies. I don’t think I’ve ever been so inspired. When Dan came in he was so stoked, and we went straight to writing it.

Dan:  We deliberately tried to make it a juxtaposition between super aggressive old school and then really new school funk and djent.

Eddie: And you have that melodic chorus. The song itself is about letting your rage get the better of you. When you have that outburst and show your ugly side and people never see you the same again.

Dan: Its that snapping feeling once you’ve been pushed to far. And you’ve finally let it all out.

Eddie: Is that one moment of rage really worth potentially losing someone. It’s about kind of having a mastery over yourself.

I’m waffling so hard (laughs)

Waffle away because that seems to be when I get the best content!!

Eddie: Oh you want me to waffle…. You shouldn’t have said that (Laughs)

Dan: I have to get to work in the morning and I do need to sleep!!!

Eddie: Kill the Man was really interesting. That mostly came to me because the drummer and I were playing around with this synthy bouncy thing that you hear in the intro. We came up with this bouncy riff. After a few days I though how cool would it be to write a song about murder or something really dark but talk about it in such a trivial sense like ‘Oh no what have I done’ or ‘Oh he’s scratched his car’ I wanted to sing that in a really trivial sense. It’s kind of a sarcastic or humorous take on a similar thing to Better Unseen, keeping your rage under control. How one action can affect the rest of your life. That’s actually the overall theme of Prophecy, it’s about taking control of the present to manifest your own future.

Eddie: To the single Hollow; this one was the biggest pain in the ass ever. It really didn’t come together at all. It was jolty.

Dan: It was very hollow

Haha nice pun!!

Eddie: It was very jolty and none of the bits fitted together. It sounded really good until we played it live and the switching between the intricate bits sounded shithouse. It was really horrible. We were like how are we going to save this song. We gigged it once and it sounded okay, it definitely wasn’t a stand out song. It just had this kind of weird appeal to it, this disjointedness that we decided we were going to put it on the EP. There was a heap of stuff we added literally right before we sent it off the Chris. When it came back it just gelled together, and it became a real favourite of fans. I think its because its so quintessential Ironstone, like they have no idea what they are doing! Lyrically this song and Origin are where Dan had the biggest impact. Dan and I talked about this a lot and we really wanted to get something that was about ecology and the greater idea of the present affecting the future without it sounding like a lecture. We really wanted to say it in a different way so in the chorus probably one of the lines that stand out for everyone is “Feel free to gorge upon the bounty but it’s a lot to swallow’. It’s that thing of go on, do it, buy it don’t worry about it you won’t be here in the future. It makes you stop and reverse analysis and think oh my god. I was only 17 when I wrote this, and we thought that fans might not take it so well if we wrote it from the other perspective. I think it’s a beautiful ode to that and an ode to our generation who at some point are going to have to pick up the responsibility for the mess.

The next song Origin, once again a really big contribution from Dan. It’s very similar to Hollow in a lot of ways. Its kind of got that soft and heavy sound about it. As the chorus says, ‘being seduced by the great unknown’. Going off and thinking you want to explore the world but always understanding that at some point you will always come back home. It’s really about home, it’s a hard song to describe, that melancholy and complicated feeling that you can’t really describe unless you go somewhere for an extended period of time. It can be taken as trying to find your origin too by heading out into the world.

Dan: I’ve always felt that musicians would feel this song too. When you’re on a long tour, that pull to be back home.

Eddie: A lot of people have said this is the most emotional song for them. It came about organically because we were talking about something very genuine. I think that’s the beautiful thing about Ironstone. We feel no requirement to shoehorn our songs into any specific vibe or feeling.  We are really pleased that we ended up with Origin as our ending track. We wanted to finish Prophecy on a real reflective, philosophical note. It’s a bittersweet note that I think will leave people wondering about what the next chapter of Ironstone will be.

Any new material being written?

Dan: Yes we have still been writing

Eddie: We’ve been writing quite a lot. The writing process is so weird. The way it works is that I write all the music. Only recently someone pointed out that there is a distinct difference if Dan is with me when I write. Dan seems to steer me in a beautiful melodic way if he is with me while I am writing. When I do it without Dan’s direction it ends up going in a strange sort of musical direction. We have 4 tracks now that are very solid, better than what is on Prophecy. I think the more we are writing the more our character as a band is coming out. The songs are becoming more particular and we are becoming more progressive.

What other bands have you guys played with?

Eddie: Trigger who are another band from Melbourne. They are really great guys and have been really supportive of us. The metalcore scene is really strong in Melbourne. It’s a bit weird because we feel like we don’t quite fit in with the progressive bands and we also don’t have that raw screaming aggression which is the core of metalcore. So we are kind of in limbo between two genres. It’s hard in these teething years to find where we fit exactly.

I think the best show was when we got to play with Rhapsody at Max Watts they are an Italian act who were touring Australia.  

Dan: That was a big gig. I think there were nine bands playing.

Eddie: To say we played with Rhapsody is probably a little bit facetious. We were on a lot earlier than they were. We were long gone before they played because we legally weren’t allowed in there at that time.

You were on the same bill!

Dan: We were on the poster and we got to meet them. They were really nice blokes. We also picked up a lot of fans from that show.

You guys have nearly 5k followers on Facebook

Dan: We have a lot of fans in Bendigo

Eddie: Our fans are legends. And even when you consider that our family and friends like the page that still leaves thousands of people we don’t know. It’s not insignificant. The first 5k is probably more significant then the next 5k. It’s something we are really proud of. The engagement you have with your fans on social media is really important too.

Dan: Once we can start playing shows again hopefully we can build on that number.

Thanks for that guys you have waffled well!!

Dan: Yeah that’s what we are better know for, not our music!
Eddie: We’re not known for out concise nature.

Dan: Ironstone the Wafflers!!

Eddie: Wafflestone!

That’s gold.

Ironstone, for their age, have so much potential and I can’t wait to see what they continue to deliver.

Their new single ‘Hollow’ is below along with links to their socials.

https://www.facebook.com/ironstone.official

https://www.instagram.com/ironstone.band/

BIGSOUND 2020

Hello Tuesday!!! Massive mic drop from BIGSOUND 2020….

“Join me at BIGSOUND to talk music, activism, and how the guitar can be a divining rod for truth and justice. The world is at a dangerous crossroads and it’s time to feed the poor, fight the power, and rock the f**k out.” – Tom Morello

BIGSOUND LOCKS DOWN TOM MORELLO, KEV CARMODY, TONES AND I, AMY SHARK, NAT’S WHAT I RECKON, MUMU FRESH, RHODA ROBERTS & MORE

BIGSOUND 2020 has dropped the mic on its first (and hopefully last) ever 100% virtual program on October 21 and 22, bringing together a stacked first announcement of keynote presenters to lead a program to re-future a challenged industry with positivity, connection and reality.

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, Prophets Of Rage, the Nightwatchman) leads the first announcement with a presentation exploring his life as a musician and activist. BIGSOUND will also host a line-up of special in-conversation sessions with the legendary Kev Carmody and ARIA-award winner Amy Shark, as well as a keynote presentation from global superstar Tones And I. Rhoda Roberts and Ziggy Ramo will discuss the Indigenous future of the music industry while American Grammy-nominee Mumu Fresh will discuss career, community and survival in 2020.

BIGSOUND will also welcome Australia’s hero of COVID, culinary crusader Nat’s What I Reckon, who will present an exclusive BIGSOUND cooking show. I OH YOU’s Johann Ponniah will zoom by for a keynote, while globally respected tour and production manager and founder of CrewCare Australia Howard Freeman (Big Day Out, INXS, AC/DC, Eminem, Neil Young, Prince, Rolling Stones) will host a poignant session exploring the hard realities of life on the road, the impacts it has on mental and physical health, and creating a culture of help-seeking.

If you haven’t grabbed your ticket for this I suggest you jump on and grab one!!!

https://www.bigsound.org.au/

WE SET SIGNALS

Brisbane’s post-hardcore/pop punk boys We Set Signals are set to release their full-length album ‘ORDO’ on September 25th. Vocalist Nick Wilkinson and I had a chat about the album, the band and one of my favourite subjects Periphery!!!

You guys signed with We are Triumphant in 2017 how did that come about?

We had an album out and it reached 1 million hits on Spotify. We got an email from the label saying, ‘Hey we like what you are doing, its really popular would you be interested in signing a deal and we will put this album out again.’ So we signed on the dotted line and they rereleased that record which did very very well. They were also happy to do another record completely on their own backs this time round which was good.

Which is ORDO?

Yeah.

So where did the name ORDO come from?  

Ordo is Latin for order. The album itself is a concept album based around post-apocalyptic themes and we thought that name was quite fitting for where we were coming from with the concept direction.

Your latest single Meet Me at the Starlight Drive-in, how has that been received, because I’m actually loving it!

It’s been quite popular. It’s probably been our second most popular song since our first single Where Were You. It’s doing really really well. I think it’s just got that boppy chorus, its what we do. We really tried to branch out and experiment with the other songs on the album. But Meet Me At The Starlight Drive-in is classic We Set Signals. That’s our sound to a T, that’s what we do. I think that gained a lot of popularity with people and we really enjoy playing that sort of stuff. We want to write something that is easy to sing along to and easy to bop to.

I’ve done plenty of bopping and singing to it around the house!!

It’s just once of those songs that if you can tap your foot and sing along to it then I think you’ve got a winner song.

So what’s the story behind that song?

It can be really exhausting chasing your dreams when you’re in a band. You’re amongst a hell of a lot of other talent and you’re trying to get noticed. For years we’ve just been grinding and grinding and when the tables start to turn, and you start to get noticed by people, its not what you thought it was going to be in your head. You build it up into something that is probably unrealistic and massive, once you finally get there it’s not that. Its kind of just the same thing but you’re a little bit more well known. So this is about working so hard to chase your dreams or whatever you think your chasing but then you finally get there you realise how exhausted you are to even enjoy the little things. For so long I would sit there and be like that songs not good enough, or we need to try harder and do this when I really should have been celebrating the little thing. Otherwise why do you play the music?

I’m doing one of Monica Strut’s courses and that is exactly what we talked about today. Celebrating all the small achievements and milestones.

Yeah you need to. Especially in this world now. You just have to keep taking all the little wins and celebrating them. You take all the enjoyment out of it if you don’t. So that song in particular is me telling myself to stop taking it so seriously and enjoy the ride.

Otherwise you’ll look back and think we actually achieved all of this amazing stuff, but we didn’t really enjoy it when it happened.

Yeah 100%

So the songs all flow into one another on the album?

Yeah they’ve been structured in a certain way to tell a story. They also connect in the same way musically. It’s a little bit of a journey, it’s definitely the type of album that you want to listen to from start to finish so you can get the full impact of how we wrote it.

Who does all the writing

I primarily write the majority of the music. I’ll write the bones of the song and then we all get together in the studio to arrange it and get it right. I’ve usually got the melodies and hooks in my head and I know how I kind of want it to sound and from there we all get together. We find that it’s a little bit more intuitive than all of us sitting in a room looking at each other trying to come up with something. We’re inspired in different ways and inspiration hits you differently so we kind of take things away from each other and then bring them to the table.

Where do you guys draw your inspiration from?

Particularly for this record I’ve listened to a lot of BMTH and I, Prevail. They just recently in the last couple of years have brought out new albums that sounded completely different to albums they have previously released. I just think that is so cool when a band keeps coming out with fresh music. That really inspired me to try and do something along the lines of that with our new music. Incorporating a few different arrangements into it.

That I, Prevail album is so good. In saying that I’m not really a fan of the new BMTH stuff, I’m a Sempiternal girl, but kudos to them for doing what they have done because they have created a whole new fan base. I do like their latest singles, Parasite Eve and Obey.

Yeah how good is it. When I was first getting into music, well I’ve been into music my whole life, but when I was first really starting to decide who I was as a musician I was really into that rock vibe. That whole Foo Fighters thing. So when I had the gateway into metal, pop punk and all that, that kind of never left me. So every time I heard something in rock or metal or post hardcore that sounded real rocky and had that strong back beat to it I really liked it. I was one of those people when BMTH’s new stuff came out I was like this is so dad rocky and I love it.

I love metalcore but I lean towards the prog/djent side of it. I’m a massive Periphery fan.

Oh I’m a massive Periphery fan. Don’t even get me started! If I could write music like that I would love it! They just keep writing bangers. I feel like they can do no wrong

I don’t think they can!

When they first talked about the new album and how there was a 16 minute song I thought I don’t know about that! Then you listen to Reptile and your just like jeeze. Its such amazing musicianship.

I always tell bands that if they want to learn how to be diverse in marketing yourself they are the band to go study!

Yeah Misha with his studio and tutorials

And Matt with his drum stuff

He’s such a good drummer I could watch him drum for hours.

When they came out and toured last time that was pretty much my focus! Watching him on the drums.

He’s like a mathematician on the drum kit. The way he puts the timing signatures together is just insane.

Ok back to the interview!! How have the other singles gone?

They haven’t done as well as the last two we released but that’s probably because we didn’t have much publicity around the release of them.  We’ve had to really stretch the singles out across Covid because we wouldn’t been able to do anything else like play live shows. They were still well received but the first single and this current one are doing better because we’ve had the PR.

Like I said I ‘d never heard of you guys prior to hearing ‘Where were you’ The one bonus of Covid for me has been discovering all these new bands, even though some of you have been around for a while.

People have plenty of time to make music and put music out.

People have looked outside of the box to release stuff and man there is some good stuff coming out.

It’s been very refreshing. And if you write something and you like it why put a label on it. Just get it out there.

The other two EP’s that you guys released, Abandon Ship and Abandon Hope, are they connected with the titles being similar?

That was actually intended to be released as a whole album. But the label wanted to release it as two EP’s split. So we released six songs at the start of 2018 and then halfway through the year we released another six songs.

So how did you guys meet and actually become a band?

We were all from other bands that had broken up. We knew each other because we were all friends within the scene. Our guitarist and drummer got together and formed a pop punk covers band and they asked me to sing in it. I agreed, so we turned up to the first band practise and ran through some stuff. I was playing some music that I had recorded at home in my car and someone asked what it was. I told them it was some new stuff that I had been working on.  They asked me to play the rest of the album while we were there at band practise, so instead of practising we sat around listening to what I’d recorded.  Afterwards everyone said let’s just play this instead, why play covers let’s actually play this music that you are writing. So I said okay let’s give it a go. And here we are. The stars just aligned, and the timing was right.

And now you’re about to release your first full album!!

We’ve been a band for awhile now, and we have all this music behinds us but it’s kind of surreal.

Finally if you could tour with three other Australian acts who would they be?

It’s hard to narrow it down to three but probably Polaris, Northlane and The Amity Affliction.

Pretty sure that once ‘ORDO’ is out for the world to listen to this is probably not an unrealistic dream for the guys!!

Go hit up WSS’s socials and mark the 25th September in your calendar because you are in for a treat with ‘ORDO’

Check out Meet Me at The Starlight Drive-in below:

https://www.facebook.com/WeSetSignals

https://www.instagram.com/wesetsignals/

ALPHA WOLF

Watching Alpha Wolf play Akudama live for the first time in Adelaide on their tour with Polaris is always something that I am going to be extremely grateful to have witnessed. With the highly anticipated release of ‘a quiet place to die’ just around the corner the guys have released three more singles off the album – Creep, bleed 4 you (ft Lizi Bianco) and Restricted.

I caught up with Lochie and Sabian recently to talk about the album, the vinyl boxset and Metallica!

Firstly congratulations on 1 million streams of Akudama. How good is that?

Sabian: It’s wild. We have a couple of songs sitting on 1 million but that’s like way to quick.

Lochie: Yeah that’s just ridiculous.

I remember the first time you guys played it live in Adelaide. When was it that you guys toured with Polaris? Jan-Feb?

Sabian: Way to long ago

Lochie: It doesn’t even feel like it was this year. Feels like way longer. It’s fucked that its September already. And what have we done?

Fuck all!! Well I have! You guys have been busy…

Lochie: That’s debatable!

I at least got one quick gig in before it went to shit again! So tell me all about this album because Holy Shit it’s good!

Sabian: Glad you think so. What do you want to know?

Everything!! You obviously recorded it pre covid.

Sabian: We recorded it at the end of last year. And the very start of the year we did the drum recordings to finish it up

Lochie: We did the vocals at the very start of the year too.

Sabian: The whole album was self-recorded with our friend Lance Prenc. Scottie’s an audio engineer so he took care of all the vocals, so we didn’t have time restraints on the vocals luckily enough. We smashed out all the guitars and bass with Lance as well as drums They are all done in Scottie’s home studio and the drums in a studio with proper sound treatment because they are an acoustic instrument. The guitars you get these days are very digital so its just straight into a computer. We love the whole self-recording process. It’s very personal and its cool to get to work so closely together with that sort of stuff

Lochie: We are only using up our own time not so much a producers.  

Yeah you’re not forking out extra money for that

Lochie: Exactly. We just can’t afford that

It’s amazing the number of bands that are doing that now. Today’s technology helps immensely.

Sabian: 100%

Lochie: You can get decent sounding stuff with very little equipment these days.

On to the album, I see there is a part three of Golden Fate. What’s the story behind that?

Sabian: Golden Fate is a series of songs I came up with in relation to my experiences dealing with people’s suicide. I watched this documentary years back called ‘The Bridge’ and it was all about the Golden Gate suicide jumpers and I resonated highly with it. I guess I came up with the term Golden Fate in relation to Golden Gate Bridge. A lot of people are drawn to suicide I guess once they have hit that part in their life, you can kind of tell its coming sadly enough. I wrote a couple of songs to do with that, Golden Fate: Water Break being the act of suicide, like someone jumping off the bridge. Golden Fate: Gut Ache being the immediate feelings in friends and families. And now I have Isolate which is years on and how it’s still affecting me.

So it’s pretty personal?

Sabian: Yes. It resonates with a lot of people. I guess a lot of people are anticipating this song because of the previous one’s on Mono.

I can fully relate to that. Life can get pretty stressful and being in that depressive state can really affect you. You just need a time out.

Sabian: You need mental days. The best of us need mental days.

Lochie: Absolutely

What would be your favourite song off the album?

Sabian: My personal favourites, I’m always tossing between tracks 5, 6 and 7. Those three are on my high rotation of favourite song. Rotting Pieces being the heaviest, Acid Romance being the bounciest and probably closest to nu-metal we have ever been and bleed 4 you being the melodic one.  I’m a sucker for melody.

Yeah I am too! Lizi’s vocals on bleed 4 you are hauntingly beautiful and add so much to the song

Sabian: Once it was tracked we just fell in love with it.

Lochie: As soon as we heard it and Lizi threw out the first line we were just like ‘Yep fuck yeah we’re on now’

What about you Lochie?

Lochie:  Mine bounces obviously, it was Creep for a while, but it’s probably Restricted. Actually it bounces between Restricted and Don’t Ask. Don’t Ask was sick because I really had the least to do with that song. Obviously, I am singing on it but writing wise that was just handled by the other guys. At first I fully was not vibing it. I had a really difficult time recording it and then once it was together I was just like ‘Fuck yeah I fully trust you guys’

Your vinyl sales have gone well

Sabian: Yeah. Where are the vinyl sales Greyscale records??? Lol. The sales have been incredible for this record. I think we ended up with seven different variants which is just crazy

I think I have 2 variants coming plus the box set!!!

Sabian: God damn thank you! The limited ones are selling out really quick. We wanted to do something really special with the deluxe edition and the box set. I’m a sucker for a really cool boxset when I find one in JB-HiFi, so I was like let’s do our own. There’s some real cool stuff in it. Just to be able to do the deluxe gatefold edition, they are definitely a lot pricier to make but we are lucky that we have a real solid fanbase that are going to buy our products when we take a risk on them.

Lochie: I think we wanted to splash and do a bunch of really cool stuff for the Fault release, but it was an EP, it’s not a huge record, we sort of just gave it the appropriate amount of stuff to put with it. We went all out for this album

Sabian: We were really hoping we weren’t over our heads within our ideas, especially I guess with the boxset. But they have sold. We had 150 to start with and then Sharptone said they wanted 150 as well so now there’s 300 in total. Unfortunately because we couldn’t get together as a band we couldn’t take more polaroids, so they are an Australian exclusive. It’s only something small, a polaroid, but everyone gets their own personal one off polaroid which I think is kind of cool

That is special, that’s such a cool thing to have as a fan.

Sabian: If my favourite band was doing it I’d love it

The vinyl from the boxset looks sick. It turned out so good!

Sabian: We are very happy with it. I wish the others weren’t delayed but unfortunately we were told that freighting everything by plane was an astronomical price. So they’re on a slow ass boat!

I think the everyone understands that the way things are at the moment.

Lochie: Yes, there’s a lot more leniency with it which is good. Luckily, we still have something on release day.

Sabian: We’re not delaying the album release day, that still happens on Saturday 25th September which is sick.

I guess now it’s the big wait for release day.

Sabian: We have another music video dropping soon. It’s looking incredible, we got the second draft yesterday. It’s going to get some people talking I think!!

Lochie: Yes, should be a good one! I’ve been most excited for that this whole time.

Sabian: I think it drops a week before the album does as a final push. I’ll find whatever other quirky methods I can to release whatever else I can!

There has been some ingenious methods used to release stuff lately!

Sabian: This album is our baby and we want to do literally everything we can to promote it. We are doing really well with stats and social media but we’re still not as big as Metallica so there’s still room to move!!

I’d rather come and watch you guys over Metallica any day. I’ve never really gotten in to them to be honest.

Sabian: They are still the biggest metal band in the world!!

Lochie: Oh man!!! Sabian loves Metallica.

Oopss sorry Sabian!!!

Sabian: They are that big though

I’m more a Black Sabbath girl. I just pre-ordered their anniversary box set. They’re a band I unfortunately never got to see.

Sabian: I just brought the big Hybrid Theory box set that dropped the other day. I had to do it! I’m spewing that when I watched Linkin Park at Soundwave I had to leave their set early to get into the mosh pit area for Metallica and I regret that one

I regret not going to Soundwave the year Soundgarden played.

Lochie: I was at Soundwave the year Metallica played. I was sitting down eating a $14 hotdog listening to Metallica from 500 metres away!

Sabian: I was 3 rows from the front squashed by 1000 of screaming females and loving every minute of it.

Lochie: I think it was about 3 years later I was like fuck that was Metallica, I probably should have watched them!

This is why I go to so many gigs now. I’d hate to miss a band and then they break up or never tour again.

Sabian: Well you never know, is it going to be the last gig or what

If we never have gigs again it will kill me

Lochie: We’re all going to move if that’s the fucking case!

We can just go start our own community out in the middle of Australia!!

Sabian: Perth’s popping off, they’ve got gigs happening

Lochie: Perth are finally going to get some tours.

Perth have some damn good bands coming out of there at the moment

Sabian: Yeah they do.

Lochie: It’s weird, it’s the same country but it feels different over there. It so far away.

Sabian: I feel for them. We started off in Tasmania and it was easy enough for us to catch a $60 flight to Melbourne to play gigs. But for them to come over and do one show it’s $400-$500 one way.

It’s a big risk to take when you are starting out.

Okay back to the album! I love Scottie’s quote “Taking what works and putting it on steroids”

Sabian: That’s what we did! We toured Fault so much and we figured out exactly the parts that we love playing live and what the fans react to the most and we wrote to that. We enjoy that the most. I feel like these songs are going to be wild live, eventually….

That first night you played Akudama in Adelaide and I was like what the actual fuck was that.

Sabian: That song is kind of different now that people know it, it was fun when people didn’t know it but now its going to be crazy.

That first night of that Polaris tour in Adelaide was probably the best I had ever seen you guys play.

Lochie: That was such a fun show. It was one of my favourite shows of that tour.

Sabian: It was fun

Oh and you guys were waiting on your visas to get sorted that weekend.

Sabian: Yeah 6 months of stress to play 5 shows in America.

You at least got to play 5 shows I guess..

Sabian: We got a story to tell out of it.

Lochie: It was literally the last thing we did.

Sabian: The last time we saw Mitch was in Detroit.  He’s banned from Victoria. He’s up in Brisbane. He’s signed all the polaroids and then sent them down to us to sign and then we sent then on to each other. The same with this music video that is coming out he was filmed in Brisbane and we were filmed in Melbourne. We wish that he had been with us there, but he couldn’t be

Oh so you guys aren’t even going to be together on release day to celebrate

Sabian: We’ll be on zoom, in our moccasins, celebrating!!

After listening to ‘a quiet place to die’ Alpha Wolf have earned the right to party in their moccasins!! Mark the 25th September on every calendar you have because you definitely do not want to miss the drop of this album!! Better yet see if you can snavel one of the few vinyls that are still floating around. I’ve always said these guys were going to be big but ‘a quiet place to die’ will see them firmly stamp their mark not only in Australia but around the world.

The video for their latest single Restricted (18+) is below and comes with a trigger warning from the band.

Trigger Warning: The clip contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing, Including scenes of assault, violence and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised. If you wish not to view the clip it is available on streaming services. Wherever you are in Australia, you can call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for confidential information, counselling and support on sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.

https://www.facebook.com/alphawolfcvlt

https://www.instagram.com/alphawolfcvlt/

IGLOO ZOO

Shawn Mayer – Vocals

Joel Debien – Guitar

Bobby Oblak – Bass

Jack Barrueto – Drums

IM A PSYCHO I’m buried deep within your mind, I’ve caused pain; As a resulting collection of burden. I feel every little thought, whether sane, hate, love or pain; Kicking on cause there’s nothing else left to say”

Following on from the release of Light |Sound | Dimension last year Igloo Zoo are back with a brand new single Psycho. If you missed the boat with L|S|D you definitely don’t want to this time. There are some new members in the Igloo Zoo crew with Jack, Bobby and Joel joining Shawn. Igloo Zoo, which started out as Shawn’s brain baby now has four dads!

Pushing boundaries and taking their music on their own trajectory Igloo Zoo’s latest single Psycho is accompanied by an ‘out of this world’ video clip. That trajectory has produced the djenty, proggy, electronic, heavy vibe that I was expecting but the guys have taken it to the next level.

From the whispered beginning and almost tribal beat it switches to almost robotic vocals before the heaviness hits. Guitar riffs and hooks swirl amongst the fluctuation of the drum beats. Low growls and angry screams meld with raspy whispered vocals that lie underneath cleans. Every listen seems to uncover another hidden gem in this song.

Igloo Zoo have once again produced something really special. If you are new to these guys I highly suggest you go and take a listen to L|S|D after you have listened to this latest offering.

Hopefully, there is way more to come from Igloo Zoo and were not left out in the cold for too long!

https://www.facebook.com/igloozooaus

https://www.instagram.com/igloozooband/

WE SET SIGNALS

ORDO

2020 might be a write off for gigs but it most certainly hasn’t had any affect on what the Australian music scene is producing for release.

We Set Signals are the latest to join the line-up of bands putting out some damn exciting music. Their latest album ‘ORDO’ is set for release on Friday 25th September. The Brissy boys have produced an album that from start to finish is exciting and explosive. It’s hard to write a review when every time you put the album on you end up off your seat dancing around!!!!!

ORDO is one of those albums that you are going to listen to from beginning to end. The songs are structured to tell a story, not only lyrically, but musically and flow from one to the next with ease. You can hear moments of BMTH and I, Prevail influences but We Set Signals have stamped their signature firmly on these songs. From the big catchy choruses these guys write, to the technicality of the guitars and drums I think WSS are on a winner with ORDO.

Stand out songs for me are Meet Me At The Starlight Drive-in which is just so boppy. With a feature spot from Alex Pasibe of Osatia this just has everything you want in a song, and the breakdown just gives me goosebumps every single time.

Give Me A Sign has the biggest BMTH vibe which I’m really digging. War Never Changes is brilliant between Nick’s vocals and the drumming you literally feel like you are being pummelled with gunfire, a guitar section that sounds like an air raid siren and then your hit with another breakdown that feels like a bomb has imploded.

Aurora is the final single released and is also the final song on the album. It is fast paced and angry in its delivery vocally and musically. There is a determination in the feel of this song as if We Set Signals are letting us know that this isn’t the last we will hear from them.

We Set Signals have absolutely killed this album. Any song on ORDO could have easily been released as a single. Make sure you hit the presave and follow their socials because this is definitely not the last we have heard of these guys!!

Watch the latest single ‘Aurora’ here

ORDO track list:

Give Me A Sign

We Want You

Meet Me At The Starlight Drive0in

Where Were You

Just Say Yes

I Wish I Wasn’t Right

War Never Changes

Terminus

We’ll Watch The World End

Aurora

https://www.facebook.com/WeSetSignals

https://www.instagram.com/wesetsignals/

BOYSCLUB

Femme Punked Up Grunge is how Sydney’s BOYSCLUB describe their sound and I think that they have nailed the description. Not afraid to speak out, the band is using their platform to raise awareness and break down barriers.

There’s a movement that has been around for decades. A relentless, dominant, monumental movement that aims to capture the attention of the general public. To break down the barriers of misogyny, discrimination and violence. To stand for something greater than oneself.

BOYSCLUB is the result; the punk band; the voice; the change that they want the world to make. Influential with their words, BOYSCLUB stokes the coals of a fire that needs to grow and burn and transform, bringing the norms of society down and rebuilding into universal acceptance, tolerance and compassion for every human being.

For fifteen years, Sera Doll (lead singer / guitarist), Ava Noir (guitarist), Lou Harbridge (bassist) and Skarlett Saramore (drummer) have been an active voice in the Australian music community. Recently combining their shared passion – equality, their love of heavy music to create something powerful – and to stand for something more than themselves.

Focusing their music on topics from queer empowerment, domestic violence, violence against women and drug addiction, their shared experiences and skill sets create an equally impacting sound, a grunge-punk that they have made entirely their own. BOYSCLUB are preparing to release their debut album in early 2021, exploring the relationship between the band members and the society they live in.

I got to catch up with Ava and Lou for a really in depth chat around the first two singles that Boysclub have released.

First off let’s talk about ‘She The Atrocity’ obviously you wrote this one Ava

Ava: I actually really like Atrocity. It’s very different to Lovesickin terms of style, it’s a lot heavier.  Lovesick is very kind of polished and it is the ‘pop’ song. I thought we’d come out tits swinging with Atrocity and then Lovesick to just bring people in a bit more. The song name and the line in the song ‘She The Atrocity’ was actually Sera’s idea. The way we write, especially with lyrics and vocals, is we will jam and record that and whatever scratch vocals Sera does in the jam room is recorded. Whoever is working on lyrics just goes off the phrasing and melody that Sera is singing, and we write the words to that. It just so happened that I wrote the words for this one and it came out the way it did. I never write with any intention of subject matter, that’s just what came out. It was just a slab of self-loathing.

It hit 30k listeners in about a week!

Ava: Yeah it built massively. I don’t know what the deal there is. Like how do these people now about us!

Lou: More so than Lovesick I think. We got a lot of listens in the UK as well

Ava: Yeah the UK thing was really good. We reached out to a girl in the UK who has her own online radio show, Alex Holcomb, she played Atrocity over there, which was really cool. Its bizarre that global reach and how things spider web out into the world. Covid has actually been very beneficial for us. A lot of people thought it was strange starting a band in the middle of a pandemic and trying to build it. I think it’s working in our favour a bit in terms of we’re not jumping in and playing shows to early. Instead we are putting music out there and creating videos so when we finally do play a show people will be hungry for it.

You guys touch on some pretty heavy topics. I love that you are doing that.

Ava: I don’t like to shy away from that kind of stuff. I write very bleak lyrics. It’s what I feel. So obviously She The Atrocity being what it is, it’s a very trans heavy subject matter. But it’s not happy trans subject matter, it’s fucking miserable. While I’m transgender, I’m happier now than I was essentially pretending to be a boy, but at the same time it’s not the greatest thing either. I see being trans as some kind of shitty consolation prize. Making the most out of a shitty situation.  And with that there are still a lot of things I don’t fucking like at all. While I’m much happier in some respects in others its just a fucking pile of shit.

The whole mental/emotional side of it would be difficult.

Ava: It was quite easy when I went from realising I was trans and then going down that path. But it brought on a lot of body image and just not being happy in that. Being worried about going out and seeing old friends, just things like that. The fear of not being accepted. Dysphoria is pretty shit, it’s not there all the time but when it comes up its really bad. That’s the whole point of the chorus in She’s the Atrocity. It’s like “mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the vilest of them all”.

I tend to write very visually, so it all paints a picture. The same with Lovesick. I wrote the lyrics for Lovesick and what came out came out! I was like fuck I hope Sera is okay with this. Essentially it ended up being a song for her. Her struggles with addiction and stuff. She loved it and that was awesome. I didn’t want to romanticise addiction because it’s a horror story. A lot of addiction stems from mental health issues and lack of support. The system is so flawed. It’s waiting list after waiting list. If you’re already in crisis and you can’t access the help you need. A lot of doctors are happy to just throw anti-depressants at you, and while depression is a fucking massive problem a lot of times depression isn’t the cause of things it’s a symptom. Instead of trying to get to the root of the problem. So people tend to self-medicate be it through alcohol or drugs. The other side of it is fucking horrible.

Addiction shouldn’t be treated as a criminal issue. Yes people do turn to crime as a result of the addiction. But addiction itself is a health issue and it should be treated as such. The governments just let people down. The amount of times I’ve spent in emergency departments with friends when they have been suicidal, and the government just don’t give a shit. And if it’s not your first rodeo you can talk your way out. If you’re suicidal and know the right things to say to the psych you can get out of hospital. People are smarter than that system.

This is what I am loving about you guys. You’re not afraid to talk quite bluntly about all these issues.

Ava: I think people need to. Especially now with the world being in the situation that it is. I think people are sick of the shiny façade on things because that’s just not the way things are. You can live your life inside this bubble of happiness but if you look around you can see that shit is just fucking crumbling.

News, especially global news, is so accessible these days. That’s why you have all these massive movements, like the Black Lives Matter movement. It sucks, this is stuff that should be going on every day, that people should be aware of every day. But it takes essentially one event and people are like oh this has happened we need to support this thing. And then a week later its like ‘back to your scheduled programming’. Nothing has changed, there is still a lot of work to do.

Lou: That’s the thing you have one small victory, and everyone is like ‘oh we’ve done that cool’

Ava: A topic I can relate to as well is when we had the Same Sex marriage plebiscite. Everyone was support this, support this and the second it passed a lot of queer people like ‘We’ve got our right now the fights over’. No its not, there are still a lot of queer people out there struggling. Trans people especially, we are still fighting for certain rights. There are so many hoops that I have to jump through. I can’t even change my gender on my birth certificate unless I have surgery. That’s not something I care to have because I am pretty fucking happy with where I am at. But I have to have surgery and essentially butcher myself in order to appease some government rule. It’s fucking shit.

We are in 2020 you shouldn’t have to. It shouldn’t be like that.

Lou: I feel like we say that all the time though.

Ava: I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that religion is still so intertwined with politics. People are still trying to appeal to that very conservative base. Even the elderly base as well. I work in a nursing home and a lot of the residents I work with are pretty chill about the whole thing. Sure I get misgendered a lot, but they do accept me.

When we had the Lovesick premiere someone posted a comment on line just whinging about it saying ‘Boysclub’? but there all women! I thought you’ve just proved our point. The whole world is a boy’s club, so we get to have the name!!!

There is so much entitlement there. You’ve done something I don’t like so therefore I can assault you or you can take it in the much heavier direction of I find you sexy therefore I can rape you. It’s fucked. It’s not all men but if you’re not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

That’s what I love about the metalcore community. They call that shit out and they aren’t putting up with it any more.

Back in the day when I was a dude in bands and playing in those metalcore bands. The amount of horrible shit I would see and hear but just didn’t know how to do anything about it. The stories coming from some of the guys mouths, holy shit.  This shit has been going on in the scene as far back as its been around, as far back as Elvis even.

Yeah it’s always been there. I think the majority of people have just gone enough is enough. More people are starting to call the behaviour out and say it’s not fucking okay.

Lou: Yeah I think the ‘Me Too’ movement was very helpful for that.

Ava: Yeah it was.

I’m pretty vocal about this. I’ve made sure that all the younger girls know that if anything happens to them at a gig to come and find me. Or to make a scene so that the people around them know that something happened. I won’t tolerate that shit.

Ava: Even in situations like that some people go to the police but a lot of the time the police are hopeless anyway.  Sometimes they don’t do shit about assaults, its so fucked.

We just have to keep speaking out

Ava: As long as people are aware that shits not tolerated and there is nowhere for them to hide in the scene. People need to continuously call out shitty behaviour, even if it’s for something inappropriate online. If we don’t then they are going to think its okay and it’s fucking not.

I think a lot of stuff over the years has been swept under the carpet or made excuses for shitty behaviour. Which is not okay either.

Ava: Fuck that. Bring them down.

Okay what’s next for you guys?

Lou: Hopefully a show!

Ava: We’re actually working on the next couple of single now. We are about to shoot another video which is going to be cool. Our next single is called ‘Villains’ and I’m not going to say anything more about it. The video is going to be fucking awesome, hopefully that will be out by the end of October.

Lou: We’re just writing. That’s what we are up to this afternoon.

Ava: We’re just going to spend the arvo tidying up some songs so that we can hit the studio soon.

So you have an album on the way not just an EP

Ava: I’m so done with EP’s. What I would like, actually no I’m not going to say that!! Actually I will say, but I’m not going to tell you what it is exactly. I need to hold some cards to my chest apparently cos I say to much shit lol. I want to release an album and then an EP and then another album. I want to make them different things to each other.

Lou: The next ones a jazz album!!!

Ava: It’s just Frank Zappa covers!!!

Lou: Yeah I’ll get a double bass!

Ava: They’re just so big. It’s funny because Lou is actually a guitarist and I am a bass player.  I’ve always played guitar and written on guitar and I just got sick of being in bands and playing bass and writing on guitar. Then you have the guitarists change your song. I want them to be played how I wrote them! When we started the band it was just me and Skarlett and we were still in our old band. That went to shit and feel apart. On our last tour we were driving just listening to bands we love, like Australian bands. We were like this is the shit we want to do. This is the stuff we are passionate about so let’s just fucking do it. Let’s put together a band that’s all women just so we don’t have to deal with dudes anymore. So we got Sera in and we were going to ask Lou initially, but she was already in another band with one of Skar’s friends and Skar said she wasn’t going to poach anyone. So I was like fuck we can’t do that.  We went into the jam room because we couldn’t find a bass player, I was playing bass for the first couple of jams and we wrote a bunch of songs. Then I think it was around January and I saw a post on Facebook about Lou’s band doing their last show and so we got Lou in.

Lou: I still remember getting that text from Skarlett about lunchtime. I thought don’t reply straight away!! I gave it a couple of hours and just replied with okay send me some demos.

Haha don’t appear too keen!!!!

Ava:  We got into the jam room again. We have written so much shit and it’s all been pretty solid.  And we are still evolving as a band musically. The album is going to be really cool and the songs cover quite a bit of ground. Some stuff if quite poppy and I do use that term loosely, it’s pretty pop for what we are.  Other stuff is a lot faster and punkier.

So you guys wouldn’t have played a gig together yet either?

Ava: No. We’ve never played a show. We actually did a live stream from our rehearsal space.

Lou: Which we buggered up royally!

Ava: There’s some pretty good songs there and some even better ones coming in the works. Even being part of the band, I’m very excited to see where we go next. This band isn’t one where one person is sitting at home writing all the songs. All the songs are written in the jam room, so everyone is involved in the process. I usually take the recordings from the jam room because I record them on my phone, and I’ll start the demoing process. I’ll sit there and program Skarlett’s drums to what she is playing in the jam room.

Lou: She does a very good job with that process.

Ava: Then I put some guitars down and get Sera to come around and do vocals. It kind of expedites things but everyone contributes. Some one sparks the idea and it just goes from there. I’m excited to get this stuff out because we are just so close to finishing the next two singles.

Where do you guys draw your influence from?

Lou: All different places

Ava: We all bring very different things to the table. We all listen to such a wide range of music. Personally, I just see us as a rock band, and it is an extension of us. I could rattle off a bunch of bands that we love but none of that relates to how our band sounds. I’m really bad though if I haven’t picked up a guitar for a while and I’ve been listening to a lot of one particular band, which I do so much, I’ll pick up the guitar and write something that sound exactly like the band

Lou: I think we are all guilty of that though.

You guys have been around the scene for around 15 years in different bands.

Lou: Yeah we’re old! But this is the band that we have all always wanted to play in.

Ava: I’m having so much fun doing this. I like the fact that, while there is a lot of pressure in terms of people are actually interested in this shit, we have to keep it up!! And don’t fuck it up. Obviously when we released ‘Atrocity’ we were like how are people going to perceive this. What’s going to happen? People really dug it. Cool, here have a pop song next! With a lot of candy and shit as a metaphor for excess and addiction. The video for Lovesick was a lot of Skarlett’s idea and Ash, Skarlett’s girlfriend, who does our artwork and designs the merch. Skarlett also does a lot of the social media and business side of things too because she excels at that, she is so good. And we’ll just get in the way and annoy her, which I do anyway. I’m like the bratty sister.

So you’re the bratty band member?

Ava: Yeah. I’m definitely something…. I’m the seedy one in the band, everyone can attest to that!!

Lou: Yep!!!

Ava: There’s always some kind of trashy story about me. I’m the only single one

Lou: We’re all living life vicariously through Ava!!

So another 5-6 weeks and we can expect the next single?

Ava: End of October is the tentative release date. At the moment we are just getting this merch sent out to people. Our vinyls are finally ready too. When we got the test press I went to Skarlett’s and we listened to them at normal speed. Then for fun we dropped it down to 33rpm. You have to listen to the vinyl at 33rpm!!

Lou: It’s basically Silverchair.

Ava: Lovesick sounds like some weird Nirvana B-side and She The Atrocity sounds like Godflesh or something, some industrial doom thing.

Anything else we need to know guys?

Ava: There’s a lot more stories to come.  Topics that I have touched on with the lyrics that I have written are pretty heavy topics. Again because I don’t know how to write anything else. It’s just catharsis, it’s putting stuff out there so I’m not holding onto it anymore. I can’t really speak for Sera’s lyrics and where she has come from with things that she has written. While I’m happy to talk about my lyrics and the meaning, I’m happy when people put their own meaning onto things. The meaning that they put onto something if you tell them that it is wrong they can’t really relate to the song as much.

Lou: It’s always fun as a reveal later though once you have a set idea of what a song is about and then you hear what the writers intention was.

Ava: I’m just stoked that people are receptive to it all and are really enjoying it. I still giggle like a school girl reading the reviews and stuff like “oh they like us!!”

I like these girls too and am eager to see what Boysclub bring us next. Lovesick is out now on all platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/BOYSCLUBAUS

https://www.instagram.com/boysclubsyd/

www.killtheboysclub.com/

https://www.instagram.com/metoomvmt/

THE GLOOM IN THE CORNER

There’s concept bands and then there is The Gloom in The Corner. For the last three years I’ve been following these guys and trying to get my head around the storyline they have told through their music. I recently read Mikey’s ‘The Section Dimension’ a document to help explain the story line to fans. To read the line “I’m here to fill in all the blanks so everyone gets what the fuck is actually going on ” made me realise I am probably not the only person that is confused as fuck!!!

To finish off the arc and tie everything together Gloom are releasing three singles. The first two Violence and Warfare have already been released. We are just waiting for the final missing piece, which Gloom have nicknamed “Rec”, to drop which is said to have a plot twist we won’t see coming!!

Mikey and I had a catch up and I was finally able to ask some of those questions that have driven me nuts!!!

Okay so I’ve read “The Section Dimension’. Thank you for that because for 3 years I’ve struggled to get my head around the story!!! Mind you I’m still confused just not as much lol.

Even after that people are still confused so it’s okay if you have any questions.

Every time I think I have a grip on it, I’m like actually no maybe I don’t….

So Warfare and Violence.

Mmmmm

And then one more to come

Mmmmm one more to finish off that arc.

Then that will be it? You’ll go onto a different story line?

It’s still going to follow the same universe but not the same characters. There will be a few recurring characters that come back but they are more so side characters more than anything else. The main players in the current arc are very much done after this last single.

Well I guess that blows my thought out the window. Guess Rachel’s not coming back then is she?

Oh well depends on where we go… (laughs)

I always say there’s concept albums and then there’s The Gloom In The Corner because this story has gone on for so long and over so many EP’s. How does your brain work???

Basically at a million miles a minute just trying to come up with everything. I like to think that I plan things out somewhat methodically. That methodism, for lack of a better term, will either got to plan or it wont go to plan. To put it into perspective the Fear Me arc was just meant to be Fear Me by itself and then we move onto the next arc. It kind of just snowballed into the two or three more releases. I adapt it to where we can because it is such a broad universe and because music is kind of like one singular vessel if that makes sense. I kind of have the freedom to do whatever, to put it bluntly, whatever the fuck I want.

We are working on the next arc already, but we weren’t meant to start officially working on it. And that was meant to be the next roll out before these three singles came along. We were like do we need a little bit more of a push before we move into the next arc. We were like yeah we can finalise the Fear Me arc properly and we can spin it in a way that will make it work for the next arc as well.  

So there will be more people going what the fuck is happening!

Yeah pretty much. With the finalisation of the Fear Me arc going, we can edit the document and say this is everything you need to know about this arc. You can listen through the music if you want but if you listen through and you are still confused then at least you have literally everything here on the table. We’re not adding to this arc, we’re not taking away from this arc everything is on the table now. You can read through ‘The Section Dimension’ while you listen.

The best way to do it is start from the beginning, but you can start at whatever point you feel most comfortable which is why we have that playlist that puts all the songs in some what of an order. I think there is around 40 songs in the list now and they have been put in the proper order that they are told in the story, at least timeline wise. From year to year if that makes sense.

Yeah it does. So how long is the timeline?

To be quite literal the new song Warfare is set in biblical times so if we want to be really specific 2000 years. The actual arc itself is probably over the span of how long Gloom has been around for. So probably 4-5 years. Because Warfare technically happens at the same time as the last track.

It’s one of those things that will make a lot more sense once the last single comes out. As to how Warfare and “Rec” happen at the same time and how they both work together in conjunction.

We just need that missing piece! Your sound seems to have gotten a bit heavier too with these new releases

Oh yeah. I still think one of the heaviest songs that we have put out, if not the heaviest is still Bleed You Out from Flesh and Bones. I think Warfare has the heaviest breakdown but theoretically speaking I still think that Bleed is the heaviest song that we have. I don’t think we really go out thinking this is going to be the heaviest track that we have written. With that comes the expectation of it becoming the heaviest, and some people will think it is and other won’t. So out of the three tracks that we are releasing Warfare is probably the heaviest, but then that depends on what your definition of heavy is.

Now I have you on the phone, because I actually messaged Nic this when the single came out, have you put other sections of previous songs in Warfare?

I want to say yes because I like to do that, and I like to be really sneaky about it. I know the opening is like a super similar feel to one of the breakdowns in Bleed You Out. The verse riff after it we realised is super similar to the Villain breakdown. We recorded it and then went ‘Oh Shit’. We try to be sneaky about it and its all part of the story anyway.

Because these three singles are more stand-alone I wondered if this was your way of tying them in to the story.

“Rec” definitely has it. “Rec” has the Fear Me melody from The Funeral, Soul of Angels and I think it was in Walk as well. That melody is definitely in the track because “Rec” is the finale. It’s kind of like a theme song if that makes sense, so that’s why it is in it. There’s a few tracks on what we have written so far that have throw-back sections which are very obvious.

I love doing that little shit and I think we are one of the few bands that can kind of get away with it in that aspect because we do have the whole story. It’s like if we do have a throw back section it’s in reference to one character or one song.  That’s why I like to do it. Especially in “Rec”, now that the Fear Me arc is finishing, it’s fitting to have some of the melodies from that first record appear in the song.  But it’s going to be very more apparent in the new stuff.

Until I read ‘The Section Dimension’ I didn’t pick up in the older songs that you had used other names when introducing Sherlock.

Yeah. So Sherlock is one of the few characters that has multiple monikers to his name. It was kind of discussed in Warfare and in the little pre video we made for Warfare that built up the story.

As a quick run down for Warfare, its tells the story that Sherlock is actually a reincarnation of one of the big bad daddy Gloom back in biblical times.  He was one of his top lieutenants and it actually says in the video he has had many names in the past, but the one you guys know him as is Sherlock Bones. It’s reflective in the aspect that he doesn’t really know what his name is because he doesn’t have a full story behind him. At this point, or at least during Flesh and Bones, he is the epitome of all of Jay’s bad sides before he starts to grow his own personality and conscience. He doesn’t really have a name of his own and that’s why at least Sherlock Bones is the main name that he has now. Hence the names The Devil of the Sect, Fist of Doom, Devils Hellhound etc. When we first announced Sherlock back in 2018 we had a little segment at the Villain release show, which was a breakdown, but it was basically the build up to the breakdown was Sherlock saying I have gone by many names. I can’t remember what we encored with, but it was just a little live introduction to Sherlock where he openly states that he has gone by many names in the past but the one you will remember me as is Sherlock Bones. It’s probably because it’s the easiest and funniest to remember. Like Sherlock’s personality it’s meant to be a piss take. That’s the whole concept behind his name is just him taking the piss.

Okay now let’s see if I’ve got this right!! We first meet Jay and he’s in The Sect. Then Rachel is killed when Emily orders the hit on her. Ethan appears in Homecoming and subsequently dies. Flesh and Bones we get introduced to Sherlock.

Yes because Flesh and Bones is when Sherlock has his own personality and everything.

I’m actually going to go and listen to Warfare again closely and see if I can work out what this clue to the finale is!!

If you go onto our Facebook page there is three videos that came out before Warfare was announced. It’s a little text video that says everything. They pretty much cover the build up and the story of Warfare in a nutshell.

I’m sure I read that there is a clue in either Warfare or Violence that has a clue as to what the last song is going to reveal?

Yes that is correct. There is a clue as to what the last single will cover but I’m not going to give anything away!!

This whole concept of all the fans filling in that questionnaire and being allocated to either ‘The Sect’ “Redacted’ or “The Holy Order’, will that continue on into the next EP?

Well it kind of worked but it kind of didn’t do what we wanted, so many people ended up in ‘The Sect’.  

What does that tell you about your fans!!!

What it was meant to do was introduce Echo-Six. If you pay attention Echo-Six is the moniker for one of the other characters in the story. It was meant to introduce ‘The Holy Order’ because it’s the main faction talked about in Warfare, but they are also going to be a pivotal point in the next arc. Their leader Elias De Graver is also going to be a pivotal part in the next arc and that will be explained in the finale which is “Rec”.

It was meant to introduce the audience to him but it didn’t work because so many people got ‘The Sect’. (laughs) It was really weird because the Echo-Six one is dead in the middle. There was 11 questions and 10 of them count, there was one throw away question. If you got 50% right you would get the Echo-Six answer, if you got six of one or six of the other then you will get the other factions. I knew the one that would get the least amount would be Echo-Six because statistically not that many people are going to get dead on 50/50. It will either swing one way or the other. I was hoping we would get a nice even number and what ended up happening was 80% of people got ‘The Sect’ because they knew us, and they knew our storyline. They knew what to answer!!  Of the remaining 20%, 11% got Echo-Six and 9% got The Order. I was like “what?” We were just sitting there looking at the numbers thinking how the fuck did people get Echo-Six? This is not going according to plan at all. So The Order is now super niche because we have made it that you can’t retake the test once you’ve done it. For the people that did get the Holy Order I’m stoked that they got it because technically in my eyes that was supposed to be the answer that people got.

I thought wicked they are going to pit us all against each other, this is going to be fun

Yeah, then 10% of people got The Order and I thought this isn’t going to be a fair fight! I expected the majority to get The Sect but just not that big of a majority.

Congrats on getting a write up in Knotfest

Yes we did. That was super cool. Tim told us we were getting one done but we didn’t know about it until 2 day s before it happened. We were meant to post it the day before Warfare came out, but we didn’t take into consideration the fact that time differences would make a difference so Sept 3rd for them was actually the 4th for us which was the same day.

Congratulations also for getting on the Featured X roster.

How that came about was Jeff (Menig) is like our American manager. So he’s helping us out with everything on our side of things, like getting us over there etc. He introduced us to Tuck (O’Leary) which was super, super cool because I’ve been a fan of Fit For A King for a long time.

I nearly died because I thought Jeff was going to be answering my questions and they came back answered by Tuck!

The way I got into FFAK was because of Tuck’s vocals.

 I’m one of those people that is really bad to putting names to faces and we had a meeting with Jeff and Tuck. I didn’t realise it was him until about halfway through the meeting. The night before the meeting I saw that Tuck had put out a tweet that just said The Gloom In The Corner and I thought that’s cool. Then we had the meeting the next day and Jeff had just rolled into Zoom with this random guy with a bald head and a big, long beard!! I get half way through the meeting and I was like Oh Shit…..  I started nonchalantly doing stuff in the background because I was trying not to freak out. Matt got to the end of the call and he was like you were really quiet and really secluded that whole time. I said, “Dog it’s because I’m trying not to freak the fuck out” (laughs). I was sitting there like OMG you’re this dude, this is fucking weird.

Big fan girl moment!!!

Bit like me! Interviewing Mikey to pick his brain about the whole Gloom storyline has been up there on my bucket list since forever. Not sure if I have a better grip on the story now or not but I know that I am super keen for this last single to drop. I also can’t wait until the next arc starts so I can go through the confusion again!!!

If you haven’t ever been able to understand the story see below where I have added Gloom’s chronological playlist and the link for ‘The Section Dimension’

Warfare is out now on all platforms

https://www.facebook.com/tgitcband

https://www.instagram.com/thegloominthecornvr/

https://www.thegloominthecorner.com/

‘The Section Dimension’ :

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h60hdhpnda4iclr/The%20Section%20Dimension%20%5BPublic%20Version%5D.pdf?dl=0

The Chronological Spotify Playlist: