Interview: Colin Jeffs of Aversions Crown
By Kayla Schultz
Recently I had a chat with Colin Jeffs, vocalist of Brisbane’s Aversions Crown ahead of the release of the bands new album ‘Tyrant’ which is set to blow your minds!
Next month you will be releasing your new album ‘Tyrant’ which is sounding awesome by the way! What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
C: So the writing process usually takes place, starting with our guitar player. He puts a bunch of ideas down, riffs, not in any particular order, just basic ideas. He makes some basic drums up. Sends them to myself and our drummer and yeah we take it from there. I put down some lyrics and phrasing and lyric placement, stuff like that. Our drummer will start thinking about what he wants to do with the song and we just chip away at it like that, back and forth online before we actually have to meet up and bust it out in the jam room. We all sort of live a couple of hours from each other so if we try and nut it out as much as we can online before we meet up then it takes a lot of that work out of it. Our writing processes are a pretty fluent thing, it is never hard, it’s very organic and it just kind of happens which is good. The recording process, was strenuous and stressful. We had a big touring schedule, the guy we were working with had a big touring schedule so we were piecing this thing together like a jigsaw puzzle. It was recorded across three different studios with three different people and then it was pieced together by Mark Lewis at Audio Hammer which is an overseas studio who put it all together and gave it life. Yeah it was stressful. Glad it’s over (laughs).
Music and lyrical wise, where did inspiration for the songs on the album come from?
C: Aversions Crown is a band built on science fiction themes and concepts. Obvious themes are directly linked to alien invasion, enslavement and end of the world type scenarios. Growing up, these three concepts have always terrified me and to this day I still have a great interest in the concept of alien life. It’s about an alien species sort of exterminating the human race but if you look a little deeper into the themes surrounding these ideas, they actually bear a striking resemblance to some of the things that are currently already happening in the world. Things that seem so out of this world and alien in nature but they are happening everyday around us but the human race is so numb to them because we are constantly surrounded by them, that it seems perfectly normal. It’s not like a double meaning but it definitely does beg to question what is actually happening on earth is pretty alien itself.
You have already released music videos for a couple of songs from the album which have received some pretty good reviews and feedback so far. Is there any other songs of the album that you think will completely blow everyone away?
C: Definitely! I think every song is its own entity, definitely its own thing. We tried to write a lot of variety into it so I think there is something for everyone on the album. We wanted to keep it as diverse as we possible could so there is a lot of different vocal styles on there, there is different sounding songs and some really extreme drumming on the album and some really groovy stuff. We put a lot of different stuff in there. You’re not gonna listen to one song and think well this song is super-fast and technical and the next song will be the same, its actually going to be a completely different ball game so yeah I think there is something for everyone on the album.
So you guys are touring on the east coast next month. For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to see you guys live yet, how would you describe your live shows?
C: Heavy. Just very heavy. (Laughs) We try to make our live show sort of like a visual onslaught. We’ve got three guitar players so we utilise that as much as we can. We have everything fine-tuned so it’s all working and we are all in sync with one another. If you haven’t seen our band before, when you come to one of the shows and watch us, you will find that it’s heavy!
Recently you announced that you are going to be touring over in Europe and the UK next year. What are you most looking forward to doing or seeing over there when you are there this time around?
C: We are really excited because this time around we are playing a lot of different countries and venues that we didn’t get a chance to visit last time. We are playing shows in Italy, in Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, we didn’t get to visit any of those places last time so it kind of almost feels like this time we are going everywhere we didn’t the last time. By the end of the tour we should have logged some serious miles across a lot of mainland Europe which is a pretty cool thing. That is what im most looking forward to and just playing different places and to different crowds.
Plus you’ll probably gain a bigger fan base while you’re there too!
C: Yeah that’s right. Just getting different people involved and taking our music to people who have never heard/seen it before. It’s pretty exciting!
How do crowds compare over there to the ones at shows here in Australia?
C: I’m not gonna lie, European crowds are really into music. A lot more than in Australia. I think that music over there is just so much more of a big deal than what it is in Australia. I don’t know if im using the right terminology but it seems like everyone overseas and in Europe, music is just so big over there. The shows are bigger, the people are more fanatical, with the music they are more into it whereas in Australia, people are still into music but there is so many less people in this country but you just don’t get numbers at the shows like you do in Europe. People in Australia still love heavy music or any type of music but there is just so many people in Europe that are fanatics, they still buy CDs over there. We sold so many CDs over there. We took boxes and boxes over there and we had to order more! At Australian shows, we might sell a couple of CDs per show whereas over there we were selling hundreds. It goes to show that Europe is still really big on buying physical copies of music. I love playing shows in Australia and I love Australian people, im not burning them or anything like that but Europe is where it is at for heavy music, I will say that.
Yeah, I was talking to Mark from Suicide Silence earlier in the year and he said exactly the same thing, compared to the shows they play in America and other parts of the world, the European shows are just crazy!
C: Yeah, that’s it. They are just so big on it. I don’t know what it is but it is just a big deal like a big event over there. It’s not like ‘oh im not doing anything on Saturday night, I might go down to a show. It’s more like ‘ I am planning this show a month in advance and im going to take 30 of my mates and we are gonna have the best time ever’. Which I reckon is cool as. That’s how music kind of was in Australia when I was young. I grew up in a small town and if there was a show on in that town, it was a big deal. It was a ‘Wow! This band in playing in our town, we have to go and we have to make a really serious thing out of it’, every show over there is like that. It’s awesome.
We should definitely adopt their ideas and attitude! I too am from a small town and I travel into the city to go to as many shows as I can. I wish more people did the same because even the smaller local shows don’t get decent crowds sometimes which is kind of sad.
C: Yeah I know. It sort of sucks I guess but the bands that are probably playing those shows, they are just happy to be there and happy to be playing the shows. If there is five people there, they will still get a kick out of it. They may sell only one t-shirt but if someone walks away from one of those shows and says that band was awesome, I had a great night. Isn’t that what it’s about? Music is about passion, you do it because you love it. If one person likes what you are doing, then you’re doing it right!
Exactly! So on that, what do you think was the most challenging thing about going from being classed as a “local band” to something bigger?
C: It’s kind of weird. I was talking to someone about this the other day. ‘When you say going from like a local band to a bigger band’ I find there is sort of like a weird sort of stigma attached to that in this country. It’s called Poppy Syndrome. When a band starts to rise above the ranks, people tend to throw stones at them and try to knock them down because they are getting a little bit popular. It’s a really weird phenomenon that I’ve been experiencing for the past 12 months, where I mean it’s not just our band, but like any band that seems to get bigger, people want to hang shit on them, I don’t know I find it a bit weird. Wouldn’t people be the opposite and be like ‘how’s old mates band from down the street is starting to get kind of popular, that’s really good for them, lets support them’. It seems to work in the opposite way, that I’ve been experiencing it. It guess it’s because you’ve got more expectation riding on it, you can’t just do what you do because that’s what you do. You can’t just go out there and play shows and have fun and just be dickheads and stuff, you have to be serious and take it more seriously if you want to get further. I get it, it’s sort of a business where you’ve have to take it seriously but I kind of just miss that ‘do whatever I want, say whatever I want and not really think about the repercussions, now I have to think about it more and think that I might upset somebody by saying something that might be a little confronting. That is sort of what changed about it for me, having to think about what you are doing a little bit more instead of just doing it because you what to.
Yeah I’ve noticed that too hanging around the music scene and some bands and that and even just reading some comments and posts on Facebook and other social media between fan bases, that the whole dissing of bands is becoming more popular…
C: It kind of sucks a little. I am a positive person and if I see a band getting popular, I think well good on them, even if I don’t listen to their music or they are playing poppy rock or something and im not into that music but props to them. They are doing something that other people are into, that’s awesome. A lot of other people would be like ‘this is the worst f***ing shit I’ve ever heard’ ‘this band needs to break up because they are rubbish. It’s just like WHAT! (laughs) what are you saying, you’re just sitting on YouTube, burning people’s dreams, it’s just pretty f***ed up!
Yeah. I mean they could be out there doing something with their lives instead of writing things like that.
C: Yeah I know. I like to be positive and say positive things. It’s what I like to do.
Well it’s a good attitude to have! Do you have any advice to anyone out there who is in a band trying to break through that “local band” barrier?
C: Just keep doing it! Seriously stick to it. Don’t read negative comments on YouTube. Don’t let people tell you that your music is shit and that nobody wants to hear it because like I said, I grew up in a small town and it was a close minded sort of environment and people used to tell me ‘that’s rubbish’, ‘nobody wants to hear you sing like that’, ‘nobody wants to listen to shit like that’. But that is not true. There is hundred and thousands of people out there who want to listen to it. Metal is the biggest it has ever been right now and the most accepted it has even been right now, so just keep doing it and don’t listen to people who want to tell you different and want to be negative about what you’re doing because its art and there are people out there who want to listen to it.
After the album is released, what is next for you guys over the next year?
C: We are going to be touring a lot but we are committed to getting a new CD out within 12 months of this one. We have already written a bunch of songs and we really want to pretty much double our efforts of Tyrant, we want to get new songs out, get a new CD out and keep the ball rolling. We don’t want to fall into one of those slumps where you take three years to release a record which is what happened last time with us so we have dedicated ourselves to writing new songs and we’ve already got heaps of new material so we don’t want to slow down at all, we just want to keep speeding up.
Wow awesome! Well thanks again for taking the time to chat with me today. I really appreciate it and good luck with the new album and hopefully I will see you sometime at a show in the near future!
No worries at all. Thank you so much!
‘Tyrant’ will be released November 7th (Friday) via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. In the meantime, check out Aversions Crown’s latest music video for song ‘Vectors’ below