ALEX ANDRA

I recently had a super fun chat with pop punk’s latest goddess Paige Savill to hear all about her new solo project Alex Andra.

Alex Andra is my first solo project, in the sense that, I have kind of shared creative control in the past and it’s not really felt that I have been able to put my real fingerprints on the works even though it was a strong representation of myself and my music. This has been a real breath of fresh air to be able to go na lets just take this thing and run with it. I can feel myself thinking, even with this second single, how can we step it up. I just have so much fun exploring all the different ways that we can combine art to create something that is really fun and really moving and thought provoking. That’s were the lyrics come in but everything else I just want it to be a lot of fun.

When I first listened to the new single I fell in love with it. It’s got pop punk; it’s got heavier elements in it, but I can hear it being played on a commercial radio station. There’s not many songs in the genres I listen to that you would hear played on there.

Thank you. I’ve seen a lot of the artists that you interview and written about. It’s really cool, there’s a lot of emerging artists which I like to see.

Thank you. That’s my passion; metalcore and emerging artists. We have so much talent in Australia.

That’s awesome to hear. It comes across in your writing as well.

What is the story behind your latest single ‘Infliction’

Infliction is an ongoing story. I really wanted to capture this internal struggle that I have with social media and my role in it. Because I want to find a really healthy balance where my presence in it and my art in it is a positive impact on the community. Its really hard when you understand that you are still part of a system that is so damaging. Its such a fickle balance I find, and I don’t know where it’s going to go in the future in terms of musicians and stuff. Particularly musicians and how they are going to continue sharing their art and actually making money from it. How much have things changed in the last few decades. I used to save up money and buy singles if I couldn’t afford the album. And to think I’m even poorer now and I can only afford to stream my music and I feel guilty about it. So it brings in the whole social media and the way that it uses algorithms and you have to advertise and things like that. The engine itself is designed to suck all your money, it is a business and it is doing exactly what it was supposed to do under the guise that it connects us. And it does connect us, and it can be that vehicle.

That’s one of the positives, is that it does connect us.

Yeah. So it’s that constant how do we continue to engage in it and engage with one another in a positive way moving forward. And I don’t know yet!

Let me know when you find out please! I’m sick of calling people out on social media lately for inappropriate comments.

That’s a fulltime job…

I think because I am on it so often checking for new music and bands that I get to see the worst of people too.

Yes, because your having to consume that sort of material and for us we have to use these platforms for our work. I don’t know how involved I would be with it if it was just for leisure. Or for announcing my political views!! It baffles me.

The way social media is at the moment, if it wasn’t for the fact that I need to be on there I think my accounts may have been deactivated for a while. There’s not a lot of positives on there at the moment.

That can be quite exhausting. It’s a labour within itself to be on one of those platforms and you never know what you’re going to come across. Then you’re having to digest it and reject any information that you are like ’No I can’t deal with that’. Or like you said having to call people out. It’s almost like selling your soul. I don’t know if I did this to myself and I can’t beat myself up for it because I think I was about 19, which is considerably late seeing how young kids are getting on to Instagram these days. But I got Instagram and very quickly gained a few thousand followers because pages would share my images, so I’m sitting just under 30k followers now on my personal page. It’s been very difficult to transfer that to the music side of things because they just want to see me posing. I’ve sold my face pretty much. I’ve monetised my face, it is part of my income now. And I don’t know how that is going to go moving forward.  

It’s trying to now meld those two aspects into the one page

I’m very happy, I think my image and my sense of style is something that I do want to put at the forefront of my music and my presence online. But it has become a bit clear that a lot of those people that are consuming those images just want that and they don’t want a whole lot more which is unfortunate.

Well it’s unfortunate from them because at the end of the day it’s your page. So the content that you share is up to you. They’ll miss out on some fantastic music and there’s always the delete button!!!

Oh that’s true. I should use that way more!

And the unfriend button!! I’ve started to use both lately.  My personal page is private, but my Recurrent Verse and my vinyl page are public.

I kind of wish I did that from the beginning because I don’t actually have a private presence on social media. But then I’m like do I need one? I’ll just interact with people outside of that sphere and that should be enough for me.

The video for ‘Infliction’. Was that your idea? It’s such a good clip.

Yeah leading up to it, the couple of days before hand, there were so many things that I still needed to get in line. I was so stressed. I thought I’m not doing this again; I’m going back to simple music videos! Why have I done this??? But I’m very glad that I did commit to going to that extent. I wanted to keep in mind a budget, cos I don’t have any money! The videographer of course was the most expensive part, but we didn’t have to pay for a set. We were really fortunate that a friend of a friend had a house that was going to be demolished. I’m so, so lucky. I’m the luckiest person in the world. When he showed me the place I was like ‘Yes this is it, it’s the 70’s in here’. It was just this perfect vintage house and they hadn’t destroyed it to much before they moved out. That was a really big money saver. It worked out.

I’ve played it a few times now and every time I get so caught up in the music and start dancing and then think damn I’m supposed to be watching the video!

Haha I’ll allow it!

You’ve also gotten a few WAM awards is that right?

No just nominations. I wish I could include those eisteddfods from when I was a 12!

I let you include those!!

Yes my first experiences with the Wammies was a couple of years ago which was really cool. And I of course dressed really over the top and apparently WA artists love flanno, so I was slightly overdressed!!!! I loved it, it was a great night and I know Psychedelic Prawn Crumpets took out one of the awards we were nominated for. I almost want to say they got the other one as well. Not mad at all about that, such a good band. That was in the early days of that band, which is now a synth pop band, I Call Val.

You also have released another single ‘Not The Beginning’

Yes Not The Beginning. I really wanted the first that I released with this project to be like ‘this is what you can expect’. The irony of Not The Beginning was, I was talking about mental health in a sense because I’ve been on a journey so far and I know I’ve got further to go. But I also thought it was a little tongue in cheek as the debut to call it Not The Beginning. I couldn’t help myself. This song fits really neatly into pop punk. That was the sound that I wanted to put out there for that. That one was a lot of fun. I think most of the stuff we’ve got coming up is not the same, but it has that same energy. That’s the energy I want to put out. That’s the shit that had me up and moving when I was younger. It’s the same impact I want to have on the 14 year old’s.

Well you’ve had it on the 51 year old too!!!

I’m not limiting it. I would never. Even my mum says that. Every time I send her something she always says, ‘That’s a hit, I couldn’t stop moving to it!’

I get that. Your voice actually gives me goosebumps and I move so to me that’s a winner

That makes me feel really good because I’ve had like imposter syndrome with my vocals in this genre. I was like no own it, that’s your voice. Of all the things that’s your voice.

Have you had a lot of traction on the first single?

I was very proud of how ‘Not The Beginning’ went in terms of streams. That’s my most successful release to date. I think last week or the week before it crossed 90.000 streams on Spotify.

Is it just you with a backing band or are you actually a band?

I guess technically. I’m calling them my family for now. Until they have to bugger off I’m going to hold onto them. Matty on the drums, he’s just killer. He’s working all day everyday just drumming. He has a bunch of projects on the go. He’s just picked up a sponsorship which happened right before we started filming. I had sourced all these instruments that we could destroy, and he was like ‘okay but I can’t. He’s amazing. Lou on bass, again she’s just this ball of light. Whenever she is there you feel calmer and she just wants the best for you and the world. It’s just lovely being with her. Jay who is playing guitar in the video has been co-writing and he was helping me produce it. He did the mastering and recorded all the instruments because he is a genius. He’s also been doing a lot of the marketing as well. He’s a real legend. So yeah I will be holding onto them pretty tight.  

Are we going to see an EP, or will you just release singles?

So pre covid we did have a plan to release a few singles this year and then an EP next year.  I really wanted to tour; I just love performing. I feel really at home being able to trash about and make a lot of noise. The goal is to release a few singles and an EP still, so we’ll see how we go with that. It’s been interesting chatting with musicians with the whole streaming side of things. I know that so many people are leaning towards drip feeding their audience content. It doesn’t feel unnatural to just be releasing singles. It feels like so much work though doing releases that way. Making videos for every single you release. That’s why I was settle down on your next music video! Even the latest video I was going to go three ways with it. One including playing in public, but restrictions made it too hard to do. Then the idea for the video came to me quite last minute and I got the house to use. Who knows I might wake up in the middle of the night and there will be a very simple, very cheap, very good music video idea.

So who are your influences?

In this genre when I was a teenager and I was introduced to pop punk it was bands like Greenday, Paramore, Panic at the Disco, Fallout Boy that sort of thing. You know how those songs still bring that nostalgia. But around that time I also liked Avril Lavigne I felt really guilty about it!

I loved Avril Lavigne!

I had to unguilt myself, I don’t know what it was.

She’s like the Nickelback of pop punk!!

That’s exactly it. That’s what I always say. And the fact that she’s with Chad just drives that home

Haha I didn’t even think of that! That basically hits the nail on the head.

I’ve just come to appreciate her stuff so much more as I’ve gotten older. I loved pop icons too. I got into music because of Madonna. Then Lady Gaga and I remember being who is this woman and what are all these visuals. She just kept stepping it up and she hasn’t really stopped. I just admire that so much.

At the moment the sounds that I am loving, I think Yours Truly and Stand Atlantic.

I’m actually waiting for my Self Care vinyl to turn up today.

Have you listened to Self Care?

Yes. I’ve played Undersize so many times.

I love their music so much and they are really sticking to what I consider to be pop punk, like really at the heart. Stand Atlantic have been doing a lot more electronic elements, which again I really fucking love. Tonight Alive have always been huge for me.  I Call Val got to open for them when they came here a couple of years ago. I thought it was a joke message, that someone was pulling my leg. We had done one show so why would we open for Tonight Alive? And it happened! It was this weird little show and I lost my shit!

I’m not going to be one of those people that says they listen to everything because when I really don’t. I love when people do suggest music and there is not much I will reject. I think my playlist at the moment has nearly 4000 songs. Everything has a real pop edge to it. I really love that there is music that can be so widely consumed. I’ve always been drawn to that. I like that children especially are drawn to it. I love music that can be suitable for anybody of any age. I love it!

I’m still drawing inspiration from anybody that I can. Any little sound, any little production quirk, any little vocal inflection, different things that are done with releases or whatever it might be. It’s always so inspiring and I am blown away constantly by peoples creativity. I want to be able to contribute in my own way, to be able to push my own boundaries.

A band once told me that they wanted to put their own drop of water in the pool. I really liked that analogy.

That’s’ nice. It’s not competitive it’s collective.

What has Covid been like for you?

I found the three months that we were affected. I say three months because that’s how long we couldn’t gig for. That really spun me out and I think we had this real collective weight. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I remember thinking at the time this might be a good break for you. And I got hounded by people saying it’s such a good time for you to write music and you can create. I didn’t not create but I didn’t go above and beyond. I actually really welcomed a break.

It’s been really great seeing a lot more support for artists during this time. I’m fearful of that kind of dissipating as we return to normality. Which in WA we pretty much have. I hope that we can see a value in this work from non-artists and non-creators. We’ve done a great job supporting each other.

I think it will. It’s made everyone take stock. Like the carpet can be pulled out from under us at any time. We need to look at the whole industry I guess, as a whole, and work out what is the best way forward.

Yeah. Collectively hopefully.

I’m pretty confident that will happen. There seems to be a much greater sense of community in the scene

I’m glad to hear that. Your confidence rubs off on me ever so slightly because I’m terribly cynical.

Anything else that you want tell people?

I am nowhere near done. I know that bands come and go because I’ve had my fair share of that. This feels very right to me and I’m really excited to be able to keep pushing my own personal boundaries with this music. I’m excited for what’s to come. With this release I think I am the most proud. I have achieved maybe more than what I expected with it as a whole. I’m going to take that win into the next one and put all that energy back into the next song. I really want to keep exploring tough topics in my music. All my songs are just me going Hey I think I’m confused about this one thing. Anytime its just going to be me going ‘This is probably kind of fucked up so let’s talk about it’

Art has always needed to exist for the community. It can be something that comforts the community, but I also think it will benefit them. Sometimes the things that benefit us make us uncomfortable or make us have hard conversations. I really, really want to be able to do that. That’s not for everybody that consumes it, but I want there to be people that ask, ‘What does she mean by this’ and “What can I take away from this’ ‘How can I apply this to my life or my art’. That would be cool.

Infliction is out later this week. Go give Alex Andra’s socials a like so that you don’t miss out.

https://www.facebook.com/shesalexandramusic

https://www.instagram.com/shes.alex.andra/

https://twitter.com/ShesAlexAndra?s=20

CANYON

‘Insane’

FFO: Alice In Chains, Kyuss, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden

“Introducing Canyon from Australia and their unconventional but awesome approach of releasing five singles leading up to their EP, but with an artistic twist – each single will have an accompanying artwork from the artist Nate Hill (https://www.instagram.com/natehill/).”

New band alert!!! Melbourne’s trio Canyon have released their debut single today ‘Insane’. If you’re a fan of old school 90’s grungy rock with a twist then you need to check this song out. After repeated listens trying to work out just who Alex’s vocals remind me of it hit me… Scott Weiland. Not sure what it is about them, but it takes me back to STP days. ‘Insane’ has chunky, distorted riffs and a slapping hefty drum beat which I’m all for. If this first single is anything to go by I’m expecting exciting things to come out of the Canyon camp.

https://www.facebook.com/Canyonbandbooking

https://www.instagram.com/canyonbandaus/

https://canyon.bandzoogle.com/

https://canyonbandaus.bandcamp.com/

CARRINGTON

W.A is continuing to churn out good music. Pop punk boys Carrington have just released their latest single ‘Reverse’ so I caught up with them to find out about the single and what they have been up to during the pandemic. I also popped Carrington’s Zoom cherry apparently!!!

Hey guys thanks so much for the chat.  Carrington have been around since 2016 yet a lot of us are only hearing about you now. Who are Carrington?

Chris: Emmett and I are the only two original members left from 2016. We managed to pick up the other three guys along the way. Jordan joined in 2018 as the drummer and switched to guitar at the beginning of this year. Two of the original members only left last year. But I’m sure Emmett can give a better explanation about what we do..

Emmett: Yeah! We say we formed in 2016 because that is when we started collaborating our ideas and actually just hanging out with each other. But we didn’t release music until mid-2018.

Jordan: That’s when Apologetic came out

Emmett: So 2016 makes us seem like we have been around for ages but we kind of haven’t been doing anything for a lot of that. Especially when you are a new band.

And you’re on the other side of the country

Emmett: Exactly. We’re all doing different stuff. It’s hard to start a band where you really want to focus on not playing covers. That was something we were super strict on from the start. If we were playing covers there would only be one or two and the rest would be original music. So coming up with 30 minutes of original music when you literally have no idea what you are doing is so much more difficult than it seems. It just took us a while to get it worked out and develop an understanding of what we are doing now.

You have a new single ‘Reverse’

Emmett: So we haven’t released anything this year. We spent a lot of time processing everything that had happened with Covid. There was a lot of uncertainty around everyone’s jobs.  We all hunkered down, on a personal level not a band level, for at least four months. Just working and trying to keep normality as much as we could as individuals. Towards the latter half of, I don’t know when it was, I sent the first demo through.

Jordan: June

Chris: The gym had opened back up, so I think it was June.

Isn’t that bad that we are using ‘When did that open up again’ to work out dates!

Emmett: Yeah its so funny like that

Chris: I was back at work when you sent the demo that’s why I remember it.

Emmett: From there it was just us really wanting to spend time focusing on what would become our sound and just really wanting to make it a release that counted. It had been so long since we had released any music that we wanted to give it our best. There were plenty of songs that were sent through that didn’t make the cut. We are really happy with how ‘Reverse’ turned out. We set ourselves a goal to put something out that would make us all proud.

I’m loving it and the film clip! You guys do all your own in someone’s house don’t you?

Jordan: Yes correct. Good times!

Emmett: We’ve had the approach from day dot where we wanted to be as self-reliant as possible. Mainly because a lot of us have been Uni students or working in not real high paying jobs. We don’t necessarily have money to throw around.

Chris: That’s probably what slows down a lot of young bands because they have to find the funds from somewhere and we didn’t have that going against us. We didn’t have be like ‘we’ll just have to wait a year and save to put the song out’.

Jordan: We’re lucky we don’t have to do that.

You guys do it all yourself then? The recording and mixing.

Emmett: Correct. I record the music side of things and then Jordan does the recording and directing of the videos. That’s the way we are able to put our content out when we want to. There’s not that limitation of that financial burden.

Jordan: We set dates. Deadlines to get it done.

Emmett: Its not a financial burden, but we also encounter different barriers because of that. We are learning heaps along the way and we are just basically making mistake after mistake. Eventually we get over the hurdle. We pass it off as all roses because it’s not a financial burden, but we certainly have hurdles.

Chris: I feel like it has made me grow as a person being able to deal with conflict and being disappointed with other people. Being able to talk it through and not just throw it all in the bin and walk away. Being able to talk through things when people are stressed out. Checking up on each other. Stuff you probably wouldn’t think of doing if you didn’t have, a selfish as this sounds, a direct interest in the end product. It’s something I’ve learnt anyway. Obviously, I can’t do much with directing or mixing because I don’t know to much about any of that. It’s important for the rest of the members to really support the guys.

Jordan: Stay in contact to see if there’s anything that Chris or the other members can do to help out along the way. Like social media and editing my photos. We’ve found its getting a tiny bit easier each release. We’ve learnt to stick to deadlines and try to outsource as much as possible, so different locations. We haven’t really got actors in our videos just ourselves. We’ve just stuck within the band for the videos, we have just found it works a lot quicker. And our communication has grown because of that.

So many bands are going down this path now because they just don’t have the money.

Emmett: Certainly for the most part. It’s definitely difficult for a lot of bands money wise. It’s kind of paying off for us now knowing that there is limitations on what we can do. That we are so self-reliant in that respect. We’ve struggling through releases to get to a point, like Jordan said, were we are just starting to hit our stride. Really understanding the communication side and like Chris said being honest and transparent.  

Jordan: In saying that we have learnt to outsource with Marz (Marienne Te Haara). She’s been amazing. And doing it all from New Zealand as well.

She is just itching to get over here.

Chris: She is a legend even outside of band stuff. She just checks up on you. I think particularly Emmett and I were nervous about getting a manager in the first place because this was our baby. But Marz has done stuff for us that we would never have been able to do. It was a great decision.

I see your working on a debut album not an EP

Emmett: Well we’re writing songs. I don’t know what we are writing towards at this point. We are writing as much music as we can, we’ll thin back the pack of songs if we think there are weak links.  We are just enjoying the process of writing songs. I don’t think we are necessarily focused on working on an album or an EP, more for the enjoyment of writing and to satisfy what we want to sound like as a band. It’s just good to have steady content in times like this and with the way streaming works. An album would be awesome to be able to release but at the moment we are just focusing on writing cool tunes.

Do you have a theme with your songs or is it just whatever is happening at the moment you write?

Emmett: It’s more what is happening at the moment than anything in personal experiences or what we observe. That’s primarily what we are thinking about. For instance what gives the genre ‘pop punk’ kind of the dirties is..

I hate genres!!

Chris: So do we

Emmett: It’s the whole pizza and skateboarding shit, that’s why we really don’t like that pop punk label. Being pinned in the genre. It has no bearing on what we are trying to do, we’re just writing about what we see and observe.

Jordan: And cool shit!

Emmett: Yeah cool shit to us and hopefully other people think it’s cool

Who influences you guys?

Chris: It changes doesn’t it. The overarching theme would be The Story So Far and Knucklepuck. Maybe the heavier side of pop punk. Boston Manor put out an albumin 2018 that was just so sick, that definitely influenced some of the stuff on Alter Ego. I guess it goes with the times.

Emmett: Yeah we all listen to completely different stuff. Chris listens to a lot of trap and that kind of music. I listen to a lot of metal and progressive metal. I’m not sure why we ended up doing pop punk/rock kind of stuff but its just what stuck. We like the vibe I guess.

Jordan: Yeah definitely the vibe

Chris: It’s fun to play

I’m a metal/prog/djent fan.

Emmett: Oh Make Way for Man would have been right up your ally then!

Oh yeah they sure were. I’ve flogged their new EP

Chris: Our bass player is actually a prog guitar player that’s what he enjoys doing. Same thing, he just plays in the band because he enjoys the vibe. He’s happy playing bass in a pop punk band when he is a super talented technical guitarist.

Jordan: He has a solo project as well called Half Light. Emmett also produced that one as well.

Emmett: Plug central!!

Chris: It’s really good.

Jordan: It’s amazing. It’s just an instrumental EP. Emmet and Mason did everything on it and it sounds awesome. That was released about 2-3 years ago.

Emmett: Mason has been a cool addition for us. Like Chris said he comes from that metal/progressive kind of style of playing. He’s a killer guitar player and got great feel. So when I kind of joked that he would play bass I thought he might be resistant because he is so prolific at guitar, but he just jumped straight in and was so stoked to be playing like one note the whole time and just swinging his hair around. He just loves it!

Chris: I don’t think he realises how much it drove me to become a better guitar player as well. I was so stressed out about him joining the band originally. I was like OMG he’s going to be judging me the whole time!!

Emmett: He is so far from that. He is such a good dude.

Have any of you guys been in bands before this?

Emmett: None worth mentioning!

Chris: I was in a deathcore band in high school and we played the community fair in Kalgoorlie. We played an eclectic mix. Pretty sure we played Chelsea Grin and Parkway Drive and Papa Roach!

Emmett: Actually funny story how Jordan and I met originally. I played in a high school band and we were terrible. We played at a skate park for a youth event, I think we played like A Day To Remember style stuff. Jordan’s brother Regan was playing in another band and that’s how we met. Jordan was about 14 at the time. Fast forward 5 years and he’s in the band!

You guys obviously haven’t made the journey over to the eastern states yet?

Emmett: No we have never left the beautiful state of W.A.

It’s a massive thing for a W.A band to come across.

Emmett: It’s definitely something we want to do as soon as we get the right opportunity.

Chris: There have been opportunities in the past, but we’ve just thought it wasn’t it.

Emmett: We could have pushed to book one off our own back and we might still do that but we’re still finding our stride. We’re really playing the waiting game now until things return to normal. Just trying to be proactive during that waiting time and releasing music. Hopefully, people get more stoked on our music so that when we get over east it’s a really worthwhile trip.

Its so far to come and only have a handful of people turn up to watch you.

Chris: We will probably jump at the first opportunity after Covid if it comes across as the right one. I’m really keen to get over there that’s for sure.

You have Beanies for sale with the profits going to Beyond Blue.

Emmett: Yeah credit to Marz for that idea and something that we obviously fully back. The song was about some of the emotions we and others have experienced during Covid. Those relationship problems and how being stuck in environments with the people you love doesn’t necessarily bring out the best in people. So with the beanies Marz suggested we partner to give all the proceeds to Beyond Blue. We just thought that idea was awesome, we loved it. We love to support any network that supports mental health.

Chris: If you’re in a position to help in any way you should regardless of how big or small you are.

Big shout out to Marz because the boys reckon she’s the best mum they have ever had!

Carrington’s new single ‘Reverse’ is available on all platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/CarringtonAUS

https://www.instagram.com/carringtonband/

GHOST COMPLEX

Jackson Kingsmill – Vocals

Rohan Bertinat – Guitar

Eddie Granger – Bass

Sometimes you randomly come across a band. Ghost Complex popped up in my newsfeed earlier this week (apparently I had already liked their FB page at some stage!). Pretty happy that I did because their debut single ‘Hypnosis’ is an absolute belter. I hit the boys up to find out all about Ghost Complex and what we can expect from them in the future.

Hey guys I think you better tell me all about Ghost Complex. I’m still not sure how I had liked your page in the first place!!!

Rohan: We’ve hacked everyone’s computers!

Jackson: We’ve got Zuck forcing people to like our page!!

We only just put out our first single on September 4th.. I have no idea how people would know about us, but we are just watching the numbers grow. We are just starting to get a following.

I made my housemate like your page this morning! I told her she needs to get onto you guys and have a listen because you’re really good.

Rohan: You legend

I know how you came up on my newsfeed this morning. A friend had commented. I actually think that friend may be how I came to like your page in the first place.

Rohan: Thank you

Jackson: We are happy you reached out because this is something we wanted to do.  It’s good to know that you are doing well. I had a look at some of your interviews and they are really good.

Thank you

Jackson: Your one with Alpha Wolf was bloody good

Okay so you guys have only been around for a little while?

Rohan: Jackson and I were in another band in 2017-2018 called Vestige, we released a few songs and then we were kind of in a spot where we weren’t sure what to do. Our other guitarist McKenzie joined Artisan and basically from there Jackson and I decided we were just going to keep going. We kept on doing stuff and working with our producer Nat. One day Jackson said I know this guy I went to uni with, he’s a bit weird but we’ll bring him in the band!!

Jackson: Perfect description

Eddie: That’s probably the best way Jackson could have even said that to Rohan! I’m not surprised he said it.

Rohan: No he didn’t say that… Eddie I’m only joking we love you. So we got Eddie on board. We started working on stuff last year and we pretty much did everything to do with our songs then. This year has been more about getting ready to release it all.

Jackson: We started writing and recording at the beginning of 2019. That whole year since it was just Rohan and I, it was a lot around trying to get members in, getting the money to go into the studio and sort out what the hell we wanted to do with the sound. The only thing we have recorded this year was the vocals.

Does that mean there are more songs coming?

Rohan: Yeah we do. We’ve got quite a few songs ready to go.

Eddie: We are trying to space out the releases.

Jackson: We have a general plan for it which I don’t want to say right now because we’ve had plans in the past and they have turned out differently either because of Covid or whatever. But we do have a collection of songs ready for release.

Rohan: We definitely have enough stuff that we can keep pushing out. There’s more coming. We are really excited for it. ‘Hypnosis’ is a great song. We love it, it’s really aggressive and fast. I think what is coming will mix people’s opinions quite a lot actually.

Jackson: We really tried to get as weird with this collection of songs.

Eddie: We tried to break the genericness of what a lot of other bands are doing.

Jackson: There’s some bands doing the same stuff over an over again but don’t do much to change that. Nat Sherwood, who is our producer, was really helpful in pushing us to do whatever it took to achieve a good song. So it’s not necessarily that we are just throwing weird sounds and weird ideas out there for the sake of being weird and experimental. We are just doing whatever it takes to get a good song. Whether that means putting a synthesiser through a guitar pedal or adding dubstep into a song.

Rohan: Which was in ‘Hypnosis’

Jackson: Or just trying to get the weirdest sounds out of the guitars and drums possible.  It’s just whatever it takes to become a good song. It ended up being a really weird experimental EP which is something we are really stoked about, and I think we’ll attract people that are looking for something new and refreshing but at it’s heart and soul it is a metalcore/djent album.  There are two songs that come to mind that are really weird and experimental and hopefully, we kind of want to split people’s opinions on it. We want to challenge what the genre is.

Rohan: I like the idea that we are doing some of this because when you release it everyone is like “What the hell did I just listen too?”

I have three experiences like that already this year!

What’s the story behind Hypnosis?

Jackson: Lyrically, in a broader sense, it’s a bout people who are so easily brainwashed by what people are telling them. It’s about people ingesting stuff and not being able to think for themselves. Acting solely on what they have been taught. The song has the underlying message of trying to break out of that and saying hey think for yourself.

Who would be your influences?

Eddie: I know who Jackson’s are. Number 5 Northlane, number 4 Northlane, number 3 Northlane…..

Jackson: I was talking our friend who does our promotion and she said you should do a top 5 influential albums and I said they would just be all Northlane!! What is cool about Northlane is that we are all influenced by different areas of it. I love all of it. I tend to lean towards the Marcus era, but I still love the first two albums to death.

Eddie: I was introduced to Northlane in the Marcus era.

Rohan: I’m into the Adrian Singularity era. I like the instrumental work better. I like the brutality of the vocals more too. It’s just more metalcore to me. I appreciate Northlane still and I think Marcus is a really good vocalist still.

Jackson: Silent Planet and Thornhill

Rohan: Silent Planet are really crazy.

Yeah they are so good.

Rohan: That album starts off really strong and then its get heaps ambient, more rhythmic and melodic towards the end of it. Garrett is just a really great vocalist.

Jackson: He is a big inspiration for me as a vocalist.

The first time I saw them was with Make Them Suffer.

Eddie: Oh yeah that was a ripper show.

All: Thornhill

Eddie: The way that went from having two EP’s to having an album that sounds like a band releasing their 8th or 9th album. And how strong and unique and different it is, it’s very inspiring.

Jackson: And just the fact that they weren’t pressured to be heavy or anything.

Eddie: The way they released opened up the doors for them. We can do this or this, we can go from softer to heavier and no one will care to much.

Rohan: I think the one thing about Thornhill that appeals to us as well is the riffs. They are so bouncy and energetic. Especially Coven, one of the songs on our EP has a very Thornhill inspired riff.

The boys then talked in code around the names of the songs on their EP so as to not give anything away!

Rohan: We have really weird working titles.

Jackson: We come up with the most stupid working titles. Now we are trying our best to use the actual song titles because ‘Hypnosis’ had a rather unfortunate working title. When we were in the studio we finished writing the instrumental and our producer Nat was like what are we going to call this one. I was looking through lyrics on my phone and I look up and he has just named it bukkake!! So ever since we have been trying real hard to call it ‘Hypnosis’ otherwise I will end up going on stage and saying this next song is called bukkake, and no one wants that!!!

Haha what a name.

Eddie: The day that happens I will love it!!!

Rohan: Yeah so that’s one of the biggest inspirations, Thornhill. I think we can all agree that We’re We Go When We Die is probably the best song by Thornhill.

Eddie: That is a masterpiece of a song.

Jackson: Also our friends in Diamond Construct are a pretty big influence. I like putting a lot of weird high pitch noises into my riffs. Every time we send a riff into our producer to be like what do you think of this, he’ll be like Jackson wrote this didn’t he!! When it has all those high pitched noises and stuff in it. But yeah they are a big influence and something we all like different eras of.

Eddie: One last one for me, I don’t know about the other guys, but In Heart’s Wake are definitely a big one for me. They are one of the bands that got me more into the Australian side of metalcore. Every time I have seen them live they have introduced me to another Australian band. 

Rohan: Yeah here as well.

Rohan: Us as a band, we are like children to anyone we ever work with. When we were getting promo shots taken with Breanna Vane she was just guiding us like crazy. Jackson was just acting like an idiot the whole time!! Also, spoilers, with our music video we are shooting for our next song, the videographer had to lead us as well. We feel so useless but we’re just here to djent!

Jackson: We just play 1’s and 0’s and people just have to put up with us (laughs)

What about international acts? Are you guys into Periphery? (Notice how I bring up my favourite subject yet again!!)

The guys responded with a ‘Oh yeah holy shit’ unanimously and that was all I needed!

Jackson: Oh hell I don’t know how we forgot that one.

Eddie: I think because we were keeping it local.

Jackson: And my brain just going Northlane

Rohan: Periphery is a big influence but the thing about them, compared to how we went about writing is, Periphery is very complex, and they actually use a lot of theory more than we did. We just wrote whatever sounded cool. I guess they do too, but they are more complex with the writing process. I don’t really compare us to Periphery that much. Periphery has definitely been one of the biggest inspirations.

Eddie: I feel vastly inferior when listening to Nolly play base. They are kind of the pioneers of djent.

Rohan: I first heard of Periphery when I heard the All New Materials instrumentals with Katy Perry’s Fireworks vocals over the top. I was like who the hell is this band and why are the instrumentals so cool. And then I found Periphery! It was a weird crossover.

I was a late comer to the party; it wasn’t until they release Select Difficulty that I discovered them through a mate.

Jackson: I started with Periphery II. There were some cool songs on that. Then Clear dropped and I thought that was alright and it wasn’t until Select Difficulty that I really loved them. I think Hail Stan upped it even more. They are one of those bands that gets better with every release.

I don’t think they have a bad song.

Rohan: No I don’t think so either.

I could watch Matt Halpern all day!

Jackson: He’s a machine

Rohan: I was watching the drum cover of Lune, that’s one of my favourite things to watch

Lune is my favourite song

Rohan: The emotion he plays in that song is just crazy.

Eddie: He has the best drummers face. He always look so happy.

Do you share the writing process?

Jackson: Rohan and I share the writing duties and there is not much of a process! Every song we have has come together differently which I think is really cool because the songs wouldn’t have ended up they way the did if we had just stuck to the same formula for each one. Hypnosis for example was just a bunch of riffs that Rohan wrote, and we got into the studio and Nat helped us structure them and to form an actual song. I wrote some leads and the breakdown but the rest of it is just random riffs Rohan had lying around.

Rohan: More of the songs Jackson wrote, which is interesting because he is the vocalist. He has a lot of ideas and what Jackson and Nat made me do for the whole riff compilations, adding it together to make a song, was they made me write a song a day for a week or two.

Jackson: Or a riff a day. The first two songs that we went into pre-production with were my demos that we had done. Those two songs we sort of had the same process for. Rohan was saying I wish I could write riffs; I wish I could be as cool as Jackson! I wish I was as talented!! (all laugh) Rohan wanted to learn how to write songs because he had never really done it before, so he asked Nat what to do. Nat told him to write a minute of music everyday and send it to him. He did that for 2-3 weeks and ended up having a bunch of random riffs. Two of the songs we have ended up being compilations of Rohan riffs.

Rohan: Those last two songs we wrote in the studio because we weren’t sure what we were going to do with them. One ended up being Hypnosis. We wrote that in about six hours.

Eddie: That was pretty well written and done in a day or two.

Rohan: We basically wrote two songs in one day. It was pretty good

Eddie: A good adventure

Rohan: The other one came from a piano melody I wrote back in 2016.

Jackson: That song was a mother fucker to write.

Rohan: Yeah it’s a weird song.

Jackson: It’s probably our most experimental song. Seeing as it’s quite out there we really had to get it right. We pulled it apart and restructured in 3 or 4 times, we switched around all the synth parts and melodies. That song took 3 days I think. I think its one of the best songs we have got. Then the next song that we are planning on releasing came together in 3 hours.

Rohan: You’ve had Hypnosis which is a really fast aggressive style song with a lot of stuff happening. The next song we are releasing is a little more anthemic. It’s big.

Jackson: It’s still very heavy so people won’t be disappointed by lack of breakdowns. Its more melodic with some clean vocals.

So there is only the three of you in the band?

Rohan: Yeah well we are kind of in the market for a drummer

Jackson: We don’t know where to buy them!

Rohan: Sydney based drummer; 20-25 years old preferably has a car as well…. We’re kind of not really worried about that as much at the moment because we have a few people that can fill in if there are going to be shows.  We are more focused on getting enough music ready to make sure that we always have stuff to release.

Eddie: At least when we can play shows there will be one or two songs out there for people to listen to, to get to know us and have something to look forward to.

People are listening to and discovering more music at the moment. Going through back catalogues of bands and searching to find out more about them.

Rohan: The only back catalogues that we have would be when Jackson and I were in Vestige. Eddie was in The Winter Effect which did release an EP earlier this year #hashtagplug!! But as for Ghost Complex – who the hell are they..

Jackson: We put out Hypnosis because we thought it was a good song and people would enjoy it. What’s really surprising is that everyone who has listened to the song has really enjoyed it.  We are getting a lot of lovely messages and comments.

Rohan: I think the next release will appeal to a lot more people.

Jackson: It’s more of a dynamic release. There’s cleans, breakdowns and angry sections, some very lovely guitar work for people who are into that, there’s some cool bass lines for the 2 people that will appreciate that (laughs) and some cool synth parts. It has something for everyone.

Any last words for the people?

Jackson: We have new music on the way. We’ve got a good range of songs already to go and we will be releasing those over the coming months.

Eddie: They will all have a distinct sound, but they will all be different in their own way. They all have the Ghost Complex sound to it, but they are all very different in terms of how they portray a feeling.

Ghost Complex’s debut single Hypnosis really caught my attention as it has so much happening in the song. The guys have taken so many elements and created their own unique sound. I am super keen to hear what is coming next after chatting to them.

https://www.facebook.com/GhostComplexau

https://www.instagram.com/ghostcomplexau/

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/ghost-complex

https://linktr.ee/GhostComplex

IN MALICE’S WAKE

Shaun Farrugia – Vocals/Guitars
Leigh Bartley – Lead Guitars
Karl Watterson – Bass
Mark Farrugia – Drums


Australia’s savage thrash/death veterans In Malice’s Wake have announced their latest album, The Blindness of Faith. The album takes a look at the darker side of religion. I caught up with vocalist Shaun Farrugia to find out all about the album.

Your new album ‘The Blindness of Faith’ is out on November 13th?

Yes. We are actually putting out the first video for it tomorrow, it’s the title track called The Blindness of Faith. We are pretty pumped. It’s our fourth one. This one had taken us a long time; I think it’s been coming on to 5 years. We generally write slowly any way but there has been a heap of kids between us in the band. It’s not only that we do write slow, trying to get things right. We are pretty fussy. You have a heap of trail and error until it sounds good. The recording process took a year this time which just sort of blew out, I’m not really sure why because we got the drums done in a week.

Kids!!

That’s it you just get busier! We tried to do a lot more in-house this time too. I’d painted all our cover art up until the last album, but I took it back on for The Blindness of Faith. I was trying to learn how to oil paint at the same time and it just took forever. I reckon I took 1.5 years in the middle of that process with different versions. Even the video, I’ve tried to cut it together. I have all these little skills but I am also a bit of a perfectionist as well so everything took longer than it probably should have. It just blew out in a whole heap of ways.

I think people will find it worth the wait. It’s sounding pretty special and it has been really hard to sit on it for the better part of a year. It was finished in January. We also tried to do the label hunt and put a pretty solid looking press kit together. We sent it out everywhere, but it was going out just as Covid hit. I don’t think that helped, it’s not really the time for labels to be signing new bands.

Yeah. Who knows when bands are even going to be able to tour.

Exactly. I figured they are hard up enough maintaining the bands that they have and surviving.

We just got to a point where we gave ourselves until August, we sent out a second round of emails to the labels. I thought if we hit August and it looks like Melbourne is going to open up we would wait another couple of months and organise a tour. We had already decided that we were going to DIY the release anyway. We hit August and things were going down south really fast, so we said fuck it we are just going to release it. People siting at home wanted to hear new music.

This year has actually been really busy just getting things ready for the release. It’s taken a lot of work. We haven’t been able to rehearse because of restrictions but most nights I’ve been on the computer working on bundle art, merch designs. It’s been really hectic so it’s nice to have timed it so that we are still busy. If we had of been half way through the recording and had to stop for a year we would have been gutted.

There has been a few bands that were lucky that they finished their recording at the beginning of the year.

That’s us too. I know a few friends who have had to cancel tours that were already booked. It would just be the worse thing. So much thought and organisation goes into such a large tour. We were actually beginning the planning for a small two week Asian tour that we were hoping to do in July, that got stomped on early this year.

It’s been a really long time coming, it’s a pretty full on sounding album. We are really proud of it. This is our fourth album and I feel like with the last album ‘Light Upon The Wicked’ we really kind of hit our stride. On that album I feel like we hit a bit of a sweet spot, it’s still had that predominantly thrash sound but there is quite an influence of Death metal in there too. I’ve always been interested in that dark sounding atmosphere, and a good dose of melody in there too. I think we were so happy with the direction of the last album that we continued down that path with this one. We made a few things a bit more extreme and brutal and within that sound we just really focused on song writing. I just can’t wait for people to hear it. I’ve been listening to this album for the last two or three years. I’m really excited to have it out, we have our first release dropping tomorrow.

Your release date is Friday the 13th.  Any reason for that?

We have a really great publicist doing our PR who is Michael Lueders from Black Roos. It’s the first time working with him and he has been unreal. I’ve had a heap of friends who have worked with him before, I’ve been at a few parties with them and they’ve been like you have to get onto this guy. He’s just so on the ball, he’s awesome. I’ve always done the promo myself for the most part. I’ve worked with a few other people before and I always felt like I could handle it myself. But since getting him onboard, he just knows how everything works, he has contacts and he works really hard. For me it has been such a relief to be able to ship that off to someone who really cares. So we were looking at dates with him and I originally thought October. He suggested stretching out just a little bit more, give us a little bit more time for promo and Friday 13th just sounds a bit spooky. I think a lot of bands had the same idea because there are so many releases that day now.

The Blindness of Faith touches on the dark side of religion?

We touched upon a lot of that in the last album. I think the darker and more brutal the music has become the more the anti-religious theme has wanted to rear its head and it just felt right. None of the other guys or myself are about pushing an agenda but there is so much dark history and examples of human horror around the theme of religion, especially organised religion. Writing the lyrics for this I just had a field day, there are so many events. If you look into any holy text they are full of violence and mixed messages. It just felt that there was enough in that topic that we could almost base a whole album upon the blind nature of faith. If you have faith in something it needs to be blind otherwise it wouldn’t require faith. It’s been interesting to look at that. It’s never been about being offensive for offenses sake it’s more of an exploration of the dark side of religion. There are a lot of different angles for the songs. One song is on various cults and worship, ones on the way different ideologies can’t coexist. Just look at how wealthy the Catholic church is while people are starving.

For each song we wrote I did a lot of back reading and tried to take the lyrics really seriously. Lyrics are so important to me. I find if an album takes itself seriously lyrically I can always get behind it just that little bit more. Putting time and care into lyrics is really important to me too. At some point that title came through ‘The Blindness of Faith’. The guys really liked it and it tied what we wanted to accomplish with this album sound wise and lyric wise.

I feel like faith is a really personal thing. There are a lot of people that practise in all sorts of ways. It can be a beautiful thing, but the biggest thing is when people are trying to impose their faith on others.

And the abuse of their power.

Any sort of abuse to the power or the feeling where you need to push your onto somebody else. That’s when it takes on a bit of a darker shade. It’s very important that people have the freedom to have their own faith or beliefs. The album was never about denying people that right or that freedom. It’s more about the dangers and I guess the awful things that have happened in the name of religion over the course of human history.

This isn’t a concept album then, more a telling of different stories through each track.

It’s more a unifying theme, definitely not a story line. Each track does focus on a specific area. Unbound Sinful Light is the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve and the exchange of wisdom for that lack of innocence. Another song is about all the holes that are in the bible and how things don’t add up. One is around the Jonestown Cult massacre, that is a really fascinating story but also linked to faith. Each track looks at things from a different angle, but they all sit under the one umbrella.

Chris Themelco, the god, recorded and mixed the album. His name is popping up everywhere lately!

As it should be. The dude is awesome. One of the worse things about finishing the recording is that I don’t get to hang out at his place regularly. He’s a great dude, I’ve known him for about 15 years. I remember meeting him at some mates party and our bands (Orpheus Omega) were both just starting back then. He has built such an amazing skill set and business through Monolith Studios. We first worked with him when he engineered our live album, we did a live CD/DVD and he did all the audio. He did such a great job that we went with him with our ‘Light Upon The Wicked’ album. He was such an enthusiastic pro. He was able to get any sound he wanted but he was also really open to listening to what we wanted. We had heard a lot of his releases and it sounded very modern. That retro thrash sound and a lot of the releases had a bit more of a synthetic sound. We’ve always been a huge sound of natural sound especially the way Mark’s kit sounds so amazing in the room, so we wanted to keep that as much as possible.  Chris is just able to pull off any sound you want so we just communicated what we were after. He just tried different versions, we’d get emails from him during the night saying he’d been up trying this or that.  He’s an obsessed nutcase and I think to be good at what you do you need to have that obsessive level of passion. He just really does.

So we finished the last one with him and I was just so happy with the sound and the mix of that album, so it was never really a question of getting him in. I would have been happy with exactly the same sound, but I really do believe he has topped it. In four or five years we have learned a lot as well, we have all progressed as musicians especially Mark on drums. He’s more into his instrument than any of us. The drum sound on this album is just killer.

So to me it sounds similar to the last album, but the vocal clarity and power is 10 times better. This sounds angrier and cuts through, it rips your face off. It’s a really big, savage clear but natural sounding mix. He’s just the best.

I haven’t spoken to any one that hasn’t sung his praises

He’s also really good as a producer too. We always put quite a bit into thinking about how the songs are put together and rehearsing them. We have a pretty clear picture of what we want by the time we get in there, but he’s always got a lot of really good suggestions. I love working with him vocally too. He has ideas for layering, or he might throw in ideas for phrasing. He is just really great to bounce ideas from. He’s a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist himself so he really gets it.

That’s probably why he is so good at his job. He’s been were all his clients are.

Exactly right. He’s approachable and he makes the whole process fun. He pushes you but is really able to get the album to exactly what you pictured it to be and probably a bit better than that.

I’ve also been getting into video editing lately so the clip that is coming out tomorrow we have put together ourselves. I’ve been getting my head around it all. We’ve taken footage at every point in the recording process, so I am really keen if we get time over the coming months to make a short documentary of the whole album process.

A behind the scenes look.

I figure anyone in a band knows how It works but there are a lot of people that have never been through the recording process.

Before doing this I didn’t have a clue. The first few interviews I did they may have well been speaking another language!!

I remember when we were doing our first album and there are so many things that we would do different now. You don’t know what to expect that first time. Engineers are telling you stuff, and you just want to play your songs.

You mentioned vinyl before. We actually for the first time with this album we were going to get the vinyl done because we have always wanted to. We had budgeted for it and had it all ready to go. I’d made the art for the bundles and was half way through the vinyl booklets. We got the special master for the vinyl done and sorted and then we found out after that all that the album is a song too long to fit on. We were just gutted. We had everything ready to go and we were so excited. We tried different ways to try and make it work but there was just no way.  We thought we could maybe drop one track, but I wouldn’t but an incomplete album on vinyl, what’s the point. We will have to keep the length in mind next time around.

I only seriously started my vinyl collection at the beginning of Covid. I think it replaced gigs for me.

Our bass player Karl has the disease, he’s right into collecting vinyl too. I have a massive CD collection and it seems like a slippery slope, so I’ve just stayed right away from it.

Big tip: Do not start!!!

There’s something about the large scale, I love looking at them. I’ll go to a record shop and look at the cover art on vinyl because it looks great.

I just love the sound you get when you play a vinyl.

I’ve heard it makes quite a difference to the sound and I think even just the ritualistic experience of putting a vinyl on and sitting to listen to it. So much of what we do is while we are doing something else, listening through your shit earphones while you’re at the supermarket.

There’s a band called Triptykon, I’m a huge fan of their music. It’s really dense and dark and has so much layering going on. I just wait till my wife is out of the house, set it up through the huge speakers and just sit there in the dark and just take it all in. By the time you come out of that you feel like you have been on a journey. There’s something to be said for taking the time to listen to new albums properly.

I’ve had this discussion with a few people. People either don’t have, or make, the time to just sit down and listen to an album from start to finish. An album gets released and people tend to just grab the few songs they like and whack them in a playlist. They miss the whole experience of actually listening, especially when it’s a concept album.

Miss the cracking songs on the second half of the album or a great closing track.

The band has probably spent months working out which order those songs need to go in.

I reckon even just on this album I spent about a fortnight with that CD in my car with different orders and seeing what felt right. It doesn’t seem like much but when you think about well this song has an intro that is slow and the next one kind of sounds slow, I don’t want to put them next to each other. Then there is the feel of certain songs too. You want the first few to come and smash you in the face, there’ll be a bit of a dip in the middle and then finish with a strong song. There’s so much agonizing around where songs sit. I remember being so stressed over this album and then when we finally listened to the order that it is in there was just this relief. There’s something to be said for listening from start to finish and giving the album the time.

And we had to have a chat about Adelaide’s New Dead Fest and Jason North!

That fest is probably the best kind of social/metal fest that I know of. They are all great but there is just something about the way Jason runs it and the venue (Fowlers/Lions Art Factory). There’s something about the way that place is set up, the different types of bands Jase puts on. The last couple of years he has always put on these huge international acts. The day just has such a feeling of excitement about it. We are always pumped, it’s the best day. You get to see bands; you play to a really great crowd. The crowd is always a huge crowd and there is such a good vibe. Then you get to finish off your night watching massive headliners. The year we played when we finished up we got on the beers and Napalm Death played, we had a blast. Mark was crowd surfing that night and got dropped on his head. We just always have the best time and we are hanging to go again. Jason works very hard on the music scene in Adelaide and I know how much he puts in. He’s a top dude and really good at organise the day, looking after bands and just making a real show of it. He does it for the love and I haven’t got enough good stuff to say about him.

Anything else you want to tell the people?

Our music video comes out tomorrow. We hope people get a chance to watch it. We’ve really put a lot of work into the album and we are really proud with how it sounds. The album is out November 13th and it is a cracker and if people manage to check it out they won’t be disappointed.

The first single off The Blindness of Faith dropped yesterday and it is a cracker. You can pre-order it here: http://www.inmaliceswake.com/store.html

https://www.facebook.com/inmaliceswake

https://www.instagram.com/inmaliceswake/

https://inmaliceswake.bandcamp.com/releases

LETTERBOMB A.D.

Dystopia

Dominic Sutton – Guitars

Keegan McCleary – Bass

Garrett McMaster – Drums & Vocals

You wouldn’t expect extreme metal/chaotic hardcore to put you into a mediative state, but this is 2020 and anything is possible! I woke up Sunday morning and threw my headphones on, while still in bed, to check out Letterbomb A.D.’s latest single Dystopia.

My ears were assaulted on the first listen by technical guitars, that lead into some insane blast beats and vocals that made me want to punch something, all this and it’s only 6am! I hunkered back down and put it on for a second listen realising I had missed so much because my focus was on listening to Garretts vocals, which certainly pack a punch, as does his drumming. This got me to wonder how the hell can you drum so insanely and put out those raw growls at the same time…..

But it was Dominic (guitar) and Keegan (bass) that lured me into that mediative state. Closing my eyes to be able to feel the music I think I was on the fourth loop of Dystopia before I realised. Honestly in places you feel as if the guitar is actually speaking to you. Frenetic, technical and mesmerising is the best way to describe the experience.  

This is a band I have never really listened to, but you can bet that the rest of the morning is going to be spent in their back catalogue.

Put your headphones on and blast this one because damn it is good

https://www.facebook.com/letterbombofficialAus

https://www.instagram.com/letterbombad/

CANYON

Melbourne based Canyon are about to release their debut single ‘Insane’. Alex, Dave and Dalton sat down and had a chat to me so that we can get to know them better.

Dave: As a band we have been around a few years, but we have only just recorded our first lot of songs. I think it’s been roughly four years.

Alex: Yeah we’ve just been jamming together for ourselves. Last year we decided to do a gig and we also met Nik Pallet (Home Brewed Studios) around the same time. Nic came to the first gig and we started doing the recording with him. It just started to roll a little bit more from there.

Dalton: We always anticipated playing live but at the start it was more about getting together and playing good music. We had good chemistry straight from the start when we were jamming. You don’t throw that away; you just keep going at it. It’s all been pretty natural which is nice.  It’s exciting.

I’m loving seeing all the new bands popping up over Covid, and the quality of the songs coming out.

Alex: It’s probably because it’s more necessary over this time as well.

I think bands just don’t give a fuck about sitting in a specific genre anymore either.

Dalton: Yeah that’s so good

Alex: We’ve always struggled with that. When people ask us what kind of band is it. It’s a stoner rock/ proggy/ punky/ rock / grunge kind of band!! We don’t know where we fit. I was thinking it will be cool once our music is out because someone else will be able to tell us what genre.

Do you have more songs on the way after this first release?

I had three guys smirk back at me…

Dalton: We do. Many, many to come.

Alex: Yeah. We have four singles that we will release over time as part of the EP. Basically the five songs that we have recorded with Nic. Outside of that we’ve got couple more that are ready to record and then more that are still at the work in progress stage. We also have quite a number of snippets of ideas. Dave writes a lot as well. He will send us an idea that he has had, which is usually close to a demo when we get it. It has drums and bass and guitar. Dalton will send stuff that he has written on the computer and I might have a recorded acoustic section straight off my phone. Especially now when we are not jamming. Before Covid we would meet up and rehearse for about 6 hours and sometimes we would come away with a song.

Are they all in the same sort of vein as Insane?

Dave: They are all over the place.

Dalton: I’d say the most common theme would be heavy groove, that’s it!

Alex: That’s quite a simple representation. We got a little bit more involved on some of the other songs. A bit more proggy, quite a lot of riffing but like Dalton said we try to keep it that heavy groove.

Dalton: Another thing we like to do is if it feels like a solo is coming up it’s definitely not a solo!

What is Insane about?

Alex: I’m not going to go first.

Dalton: We’ll you have to, you wrote it!!!

Alex:  It’s about being dissatisfied with everything in our lives. The mundane thing that we just have to go along with every day. Everyone just going along with it because they don’t think they have a choice. How you feel when you are pushed into that box every day.

Dalton: Which everyone is experiencing at the moment.

Alex: Especially now, it’s accidentally a little bit relevant.

Dalton: To me Insane is being driven to the brink by everything around you. Constantly reminding yourself of reasons not to go Insane.

Dave: It’s just really insane how we wrote the songs months and months ago and just how relevant they have become over time is ridiculous.

Who influences your writing and sound?

Dalton: Baroness but there are so many.

Alex: We listen to so much different music. We are always sending each other music we discover in our group chat. Classic bands, the other boys are into Opeth and we all like Karnivool, Cog, The Ocean and Tool. There’s lots of local bands and weird stuff as well. I’m quite into 90’s pop. It sound really cliché to say we listen to everything, but we do.

I’m the same, I listen to everything from classical music to black metal!

Alex: It’s so easy to do that with Spotify these days. You find a track and you can send it to your mates straight away.

Dalton: I don’t know if I’m the only one here but I’m a massive fan of rap and hip hop.  

You guys have managed to play a gig then?

Alex: We’ve played two.

Dalton: The timing was a bit unfortunate. We went in to record everything, so we played some gigs. We had big plans and then Covid came.  At least it gives us some time to learn how to get our stuff out to the world. It’s nice to have that kind of breathing room as a positive.

Alex: Through Covid, because we can’t gig or play together, we have been focusing on how to release these five songs we have. So we are just working on them one at a time and getting them out there. We are doing it all ourselves, so we are always trying to suss out with each other now what, or how do we do this. Finding all the things that we need like a band page, Bandcamp or your socials.

I was talking to someone the other day about what it takes for the consumer to get the final product. There is so much involved that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of.

Alex: It’s been interesting to experience firsthand.  We got the masters earlier on this year and we were like sweet it’s done. Then it was “Now what? How do we do this?”  It’s easy in some ways because you can contact and connect with people quickly and easily, but also you are kind of expected to do everything yourself these days. It’s not as simple as printing a CD and giving it to someone at a gig. These days everyone listens to music differently, so you are trying to cover all the bases all the time.

Covid just makes it that much harder because you can’t go out and gig.

Alex: Yeah I mean the promotion side of it now is all online. Especially here in Melbourne, we are stuck here right now with restrictions. All three of us have small set ups to record as much as we can. When we did the actual recording of these songs we wanted to go into the studio. We went to Nic’s studio and recorded as close as possible to how we would play and sound live. That was our intention, we wanted to keep it old school. Nic was great. He said to us how did we feel about recording tape. We were like wow we’re going to record to tape. He explained that we would use pro tools like a tape machine and just take live takes of say Dave playing the song the whole way through on the drums. As easy as it would have been to do it at home on the computer we didn’t want to do that, you get a certain sound that wasn’t what we were after.

That’s what got us going in the first place. The three of us got together just for the sake of playing because we hadn’t been playing much music in bands or anything. It was a good release to get in a room and we just turned everything up seriously loud. I didn’t realise we were that loud until we started playing those couple of gigs and all the other bands were like fuck you guys are loud!

Who did you play with?

Alex: Our first gig we played with our friends Astro Elevator. They were doing a residency at The Old Bar and the other band was called Murfy.

Dalton: If you like different music check them out they are fantastic.

Alex: They have like a weird cool alt/Primusy kind of vibe.  Astro Elevator is a psych/rock band. The second gig, Dalton was in another band at the time Shapes Like Rapids. We were going to play with them, but the drummer broke his wrist. The bands we ended up playing with that night were Seven Margaritas and Gun Laws.

I saw Seven Margaritas play at Bombay Rock last year.

Alex: It was nice when we could play gigs. We were like right we’ll go and get the recording sorted and play some gigs in the new year. By March it was like nope…

The releasing of a stream of singles seems to be working well for bands.

Dalton: It’s a saturated scene at the moment. With so many bands around releasing stuff. You get lost in the sea very easily.

It makes it that bit harder for newer bands like you guys

Alex: Our first song ‘Insane’ will go live on the 1st October

And no one knows what it’s going to look like after all this. We might need to be a lot more locally and nationally focused. Touring and going overseas is going to be that much harder. We don’t even know what a gig is going to look like.  Unfortunately, some of the places that we had been looking at to play may not make it through.

So where are you going as a band from here?

Dalton: No further than 5km from our house!

Alex: We have four more singles after ‘Insane’ that we will steadily release. They will make our debut EP. We have enough songs ready to go for another EP that we are thinking about recording. We are just not sure whether we want to do another EP though or maybe put out an album. It’s hard to tell what the best thing to do. Some people are all for albums, while others say just do EP’s, so we are trying to work out what is going to work for us.

We are pretty geeky as far as our interest in music goes. That’s really what the whole thing is about, an outlet to release that energy that sometimes you can’t access or get rid of in other areas of life where too much other stuff is in the way.

I totally get that. I can’t hold a tune or play an instrument, but music is a massive part of my life. I basically eat, sleep and breathe it.

Alex: It’s interesting how necessary it is to so many people. It doesn’t matter whether you can play or not. If you play it just changes your view of it. It’s so important, it’s such a cool language in itself and everyone understands it differently.

It’s probably the only universal language that we have. Even if you don’t understand the language you are still going to get something from the music.

Alex: I just thought of Rammstein as soon as you said that. I love Rammstein but I don’t know German!

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us. We are just taking our first step with it and It’s been really cool seeing the response we are getting already, and it’s not even out for another few days.

Dalton: It’s also excruciatingly painful to know that we have a bunch more material that is in an evolved form. This is still very early before we found our feet of how we sound. That is our sound, but it has definitely evolved a lot. Me personally, I am dying to get to the point where we can release the next lot of songs because that is when it will make a clear statement of how different our sound is.

Canyon’s debut single ‘Insane’ drops on the 1st October. If you like your metal with some groove you’re going to love these guys! Go follow their socials and hit the presave button.

https://www.facebook.com/Canyonbandbooking

https://www.instagram.com/canyonbandaus/

https://canyonbandaus.bandcamp.com/

https://canyon.bandzoogle.com/

PAPERWEIGHT

‘Could I cut the ties I find are haunting all the demons that I left inside.

Could we tear all the paintings that were running dry’

Melbourne’s pop punk Paperweight have released a new single ‘Paper Anchors’. Once again the guys have come out with another catchy tune that gets you moving even though it touches on a more serious issue. Starting off slowly before building to the classic pop punk tempo we are used to from Paperweight they have produced another winner with this single After the release of their previous two singles the band have set their place in the local pop punk scene with this one.  

Lyrically this song is relatable with so many aspects of life:

PAPER ANCHORS is about being trapped in a vicious cycle that you want to escape. Being stuck in a routine that you’re struggling to break. Whether it be a relationship, a toxic friendship or just a much needed change. “Is this only temporary, are we too far in?”

This is the third single from Paperweight which begs the question….Is there an EP on the way??? Go follow their socials and keep up to date with what theses guys and gal are up to.

Watch the video clip for the song below:

https://www.facebook.com/paperweightaus

https://www.instagram.com/paperweightaus/

RESIDE

Yesterday I got to catch up with one of my favourite humans in the music scene Liam Guinane. It was so nice to be able to talk face to face over Zoom and we had a bit to catch up on!

Congratulations on your latest single ‘Fallen’

Yes we put out a new song which is very exciting. We have been sitting on it for a while too. It was supposed to come out around April, but we have been playing it live for the last 12 months. The Eat Your Heart Out tour was the first time we decided to start playing it. It feels very cathartic to finally have it out there for people to listen too.

Tell me all about ‘Fallen’

The song is called ‘Fallen’. It was a song that we wrote pretty shortly after the release of ‘The Light That You Saw’. It was the first time that I actually wrote something that wasn’t directly a life experience story. It came from an experience that I had but I tried to take it to an extreme. The idea of unrequited love and having two different people never being on the same page at any given point. That was the concept that I had in my head. I started writing it. I had the core progression and the music, but the lyrics came a lot later. We recorded it all ourselves as we have been known to do. The video we had planned to do quite a while ago and then it got pushed back because of Melbourne restrictions. Even when it relaxed a bit we still didn’t come in under the 10 person rule.  But we were really luck and found a little spot in between the two lockdowns. The video actually turned out as we had originally intended it to. It looked exactly how I had imagined it when we were pitching the idea. It was filmed and edited pretty much by us as well.

Does that mean we might get another EP?????

We are actually writing at the moment. We are actually working on an album at the moment that I am hoping is going to come out sometime in the first quarter of next year. I’m really looking forward to people hearing that actually. I’m excited about this song being out, because of the fact that we have been sitting on it for a really long time. The music that we are making now feels very different and exciting because we are kind of moving away from that sound. That was the big thing coming off the back of the last EP, it felt like we had done that sound. I know people know us for that, but now we want to show that we can be a little bit more than the alternative emo band.

So yes we are working on new music. I think that has been a blessing in disguise with the whole Corona thing. I haven’t had to go to work, so I have been able to literally focus on writing music pretty much every day. Which has been really cool and fortunate because now we have a lot of music. We also have something else that we are hoping to put out before the end of the year that is a little bit different. It’s not new music but its just something we are hoping to put out there.

I can’t believe I have been so busy seeing as there is nothing happening. And thank goodness for Zoom.

Zoom had definitely been a saviour for us in the band, doing the video call thing. That has probably been the biggest effect we have had, not being able to have that immediate response; being able to discuss things and do things together face to face. At the moment it’s been me and Dylan pirating the ship a little bit and keeping things moving. Particularly with this campaign. Luckily previously to that we were all able to do things together. That face to face talking has definitely had an impact on the way we have to make things now.

Has the single been well received?

I’ve been pretty happy with it. We’ve gotten the tip of the hat from Kingsmill and that is something that has been exciting to see. It’s reaching the places that I wanted it to go. I don’t think this song is the one that is going to break us or anything like that. It puts us in a good position that if people hear it they may go ‘Oh I’ve heard that name a few times I might go and check out what they are doing’.

I think what I have learnt during this lockdown is that my priorities have changed a lot and I realised that I wasn’t really doing it for the people that are listening, I’m doing it for myself. It is partly that I want to have that quality control a little bit and make sure that we are always improving for those that do listen to us. Starting from this song and beyond, going into what we are doing next, it definitely feels like we are doing what we want rather than what is expected of us.

I think a lot of bands have used this time to reflect on the direction they want their music to go. It’s getting harder to put bands into specific genres.

We are already seeing it now, but I think that’s were music is heading. You know when people ask what music will sound like in 10 years’ time, I think that is where things are headed. I think that pendulum of blending genres will see genres not exist. I think for younger people especially it’s all just music. The way I have chosen to look at it is more like, instead of it being genres, I like to think of it kind of like music is an exploration of different human emotions. Sometimes different styles are able to capture that a lot better. Humans are pretty complex. We don’t necessarily just feel happy or sad so being able to blend those different emotions creates something a little bit unique. I think we will end up finding that people will follow bands rather than styles of music and follow the way those bands execute the blending of those genres. I guess that’s how I see music in 10 years. And then probably 10 years after that it will swing back the other way again. We’ll find everyone wants to go back to the traditional sound because we’ve had the ‘whacky 2020’s’. It’s all music, it’s all an expression and it’s all art.

I guess that’s just coming from a point of view because a lot of the music that I try to make is to attempt to provoke an emotion or response.

You usually make us cry… but that’s ok!!

I’m actually very happy now. I don’t feel as sad as I used to do. I feel that the music is going to reflect that. Instead of making people cry I want to make them dance a little bit more.

You actually look a lot happier. Ophelia must be doing good things for you

She’s great, she is definitely helping. But even this lockdown, like we were saying before about the changing in priorities and refection. The way I spend my time now is a lot different. One of my favourite things to be doing is hiking and just enjoying nature. It’s been really cool just taking the time to appreciate the world that is around us. Not everything is great all the time but having the ability to do that helps. It started off as an exercise thing, but it also helps with the clearing of your mind.

I find that too which is why I spend so much time hiking in the National parks around me. Doing my page has been really good for me too because I miss that connection you get through gigs, and I miss seeing all you guys. So these zoom calls have been really good for my mental health and keeping that connection.

I’ve really been missing the going to gigs and I feel that as well with the connection thing. Even the last couple of months I hadn’t seen or spoken to the Windwaker guys. We’ve started playing Fortnight, so we started a group chat which was how I reconnected with them again. I was talking to the boys today and we are going meet up to have a show and tell once we can so we can see what we have all been up to!

Did you have tours planned for the year?

We actually have had four tours booked and cancelled; it was the same tour, but it just kept getting pushed back. It was a headline tour for us. Like I said earlier we were going to release in April and then we were going to tour in May. Obviously, everything happened so it got cancelled. We released the single and then had the tour booked for October. We made the decision pretty early that it probably wouldn’t happen, we also haven’t been in the rehearsal room together in over 6 months. The last time we played together was the boat party. I didn’t feel confident about getting a show together that would really be worth the ticket price. The venues we had booked had certain limitations and restrictions as well. In order to make the tour break even we would have had to charge more just to cover the costs. Then you have the travelling between states as well. It just didn’t feel right. We have some dates on hold for early next year for something a little bit different. We decided if the world is going to be the way it is for now let’s do a seated show, so it’s going to be something a little more chilled. Again it’s something to showcase that we can be a little bit more than just the one trick pony. Nothing is confirmed we will just see what happens.

What else have you been up to in lockdown?

I’ve been listening to a lot of older music. I have this belief that the music that you listen to manifests its way into the music that you write.  I’ve gone back and listened to some of my favourite bands from the 80’s, the albums that you would consider iconic pop albums.  I’ve been trying to go back and piece together what made those albums stand the test of time. A lot of the newer music that has been put out I’m super late to the party on!

It was so awesome to be able to chat with Liam and I am super keen to hear the results of what Reside have been writing during lockdown. Something to look forward to in the new year!

Their latest single ‘Fallen’ is out on all platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/resideband

https://www.instagram.com/resideband/

FAITH IN LIES

BURN ME

As my blood reaches boiling point

My lips blister as I scream in pain

Incinerated for my sins

Start the cleansing and burn me, burn me

Faith In Lies are:

Dan Greig of Lycanthrope – Vocals

James Greig of Path of Victory – Vocals

Hamish Unahi of Take My Soul – Guitar

Chad Ellis of From Crisis to Collapse – Guitar

Matt Stoja of Lycanthrope – Bass

Chris Hix of Take My Soul – Drums

Without gimmick or conformity to any musical genre, the Faith in Lies blend of thrash intensity and modern metalcore provides the platform to empower the notion of discarding the blindfold and remaining true to self

Knowledge is power, stand up and follow the truth – never fall for the lies

Following on from their debut release I Can’t Close My Eyes’, Faith In Lies have today released a monster single ‘Burn Me’. With members collectively coming from some of the metal scene’s better known bands I had high expectations for this single. Boy, were they exceeded!!!!

What was meant to only be a guest vocal spot for James, that has now become a permanent addition, the vocals of Dan and James Greig have taken Burn Me’ to the next level. I was assailed by the heaviness I was hoping for from these guys instrumentally, but the melodic chorus was an unexpected and welcome surprise! With moments of Killswitch Engage vibes in ‘Burn Me’ this is a mammoth second release from Faith In Lies. Keep your eyes peeled on their socials because this is not the last we are going to hear from this band!

https://www.facebook.com/faithinlies

https://www.instagram.com/faith_in_lies/