Interviews

Interview- Henrik Linder of Dirty Loops

Interview: Henrik Linder of Dirty Loops

by Kayla Schultz

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 In between their busy touring schedule as part of their ‘Loopified’ tour, Henrik Linder, bassist of Swedish pop/fusion band Dirty Loops found the time to answer some of my questions about their year and touring as a band.

For those who haven’t heard Dirty Loops before, how would you personally describe your sound and your live shows?

H: It’s a mash up between everything we’ve ever listened to. It’s edgy pop music that could go in any direction. Live shows are like that but we added even more. You’d definitely don’t want to miss out on it!! Haha

 

Your album ‘Loopified’ came out in August. What has the reaction been like so far for the album?

H: We’ve mainly had good reactions for the album. It’s been very cool to receive all the positive feedback!

 

What has 2014 been like for Dirty Loops in general?

H: Working and touring. There hasn’t been that much time for anything else. It’s been a lot of fun!

 

Biggest highlight of the year for the band?

H: I guess the biggest highlight was being the first international debut album to chart top ten on the Japanese charts in ten years was a highlight. But there’s been a lot of great moments.

 

Biggest challenge this year?

H: All the time we’ve spent away from home.

 

How does playing shows overseas like in the US where you are now compare to shows that you play in Europe and your home country?

H: There’s not that much of a difference really. The biggest thing is that people always understand what we say in between songs 🙂

 

What do you like to spend your spare time doing on and off tour?

H: Video games, sleeping and hanging out with friends. Maybe have a beer or five.

 

What do you hope 2015 has in store for Dirty Loops?

H: That we’ll keep developing and go new places.

 

The band are finishing up their last few tour dates in the US before making their way to Japan as part of their ‘Loopified’ tour. Find out more about Dirty Loops via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dirtyloopsofficial

and check out their video below for track ‘Hit Me’ from the band’s album ‘Loopified’ 

Interview: Colin Jeffs of Aversions Crown

Interview: Colin Jeffs of Aversions Crown

By Kayla Schultz

Aversions Crown

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

 

 

Feature Artist: Q&A with The Orphan, The Poet

Feature Artist: Q&A with Jake Floyd of The Orphan, The Poet

 

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Bassist Jake Floyd of this weeks feature artist ‘The Orphan, The Poet‘, answered some of my questions about the band and what their year has been like.

For those who haven’t heard of you guys before or are new fans of the

band. How would you describe yourselves and what you are about as a

band?

J: Hmmm. Describing your sound is never an easy thing to do as a musician. I

saw a review once that described us as a mix between Circa Survive, Jimmy

Eat World, and Thrice. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but those bands all

fall among our favorites, so I was very flattered. I’d say the easiest answer is

that we are a rock band that likes to jump around and challenge ourselves

musically.

What do you think makes The Orphan, The Poet unique and stand out

among other up and coming bands?

J: Our live show is something we take great pride in. We’ve gained some

stamina over the years of touring to maintain a certain level of energy

throughout the whole set. And that energy tends to feed off into the

crowd, whether it’s 800 people or 8. We enjoy playing our songs, so passion

has a lot to do with it.

So 2014 has been a pretty big year for The Orphan, the Poet. What has

been the biggest highlight/biggest achievement for the band this year?

J: 2014 has been so good to us. We started the year running with our single,

“Starlight”, and since then, it’s been non-stop. We’ve gotten the chance

to tour with bands we truly love. And on top of that, travel to places

we’ve never been and hear people sing our words. That is easily the most

gratifying experience. To show up to a city we’ve never been in and see

someone wearing our band’s shirt. We’ve even seen some people with our

band’s symbol tattooed on them, which is insane.

What has been the biggest challenge the band has faced in its career?

J: In 2012, we did our first full US tour supporting Dance Gavin Dance on the

Rock Yourself To Sleep tour. In those six weeks, we learned a lot on how to

operate as a band being out on the road. It was truly a pivotal moment in

our band’s career.

You’ve just recently released the music video for ‘Better Than This’. What

has the reaction from fans been like so far for the video?

Honestly, insane. We had no idea people would latch onto this as much

as they did. As a band, we put a lot of work into our videos. Typically, the

concepts are formed from outlandish things we think could be cool, and

then our dear friend/director, Roman Luck, is able to take these ideas and

run with them. He is really the magic behind making everything look and

feel the way it should.

Where do you hope to see yourselves and the band this time next year?

J: I have a great feeling about the next year of our band. Although there’s still

a bit to go in 2014, we’ve already started looking into our 2015 schedule.

We’ve been writing a lot. Hopefully the next year will bring a full-length and

a bunch of touring.

Check out The Orphan, The Poet’s new music video for ‘Better Than This’ on YouTube and keep up to date with the band on their social media sites!

Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theorphanthepoet)

Twitter (@TOTPband)

Q&A with Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid

ComebackKid_AlexeyMakhov_2

After releasing a new album back in March, Comeback Kid have had an extensive touring schedule, playing to fans across the globe. In just under two weeks the band will be hitting our shores for their 2014 Australian tour and vocalist Andrew Neufeld recently answered a few of my questions about the ‘Die Knowing’, touring and what Australian fans can expect in a few weeks time.

The new record ‘Die Knowing’ that you guys released earlier this year is a bit heavier than some of the bands previous work. How have the fans reacted to this?

A: The reaction has been really good! The new songs are getting as good reactions or even better than a lot of older songs which is encouraging for us. It is a heavier record all around. Kind of a throw back to some of the 90’s metallic hardcore we grew up on. But that is really just the front half of the album because if you head to the back half of Die Knowing the more melodic/ punk rock leaning side of our band shines through. We just kind of separated the album like that this time around.

So the band has spent a lot of the year touring, including many shows across Europe. How do these shows compare to those back in the US?

A: Well we toured the USA once on this album so far. We all live in Canada. We really have just done one round of each territory so far and did Europe twice because we came back for summer festivals. Shows around the world stay pretty consistent especially in the “western” world. I like the more crazy shows personally like SE Asia or South America. I have good memories of kids in Santiago, Chile stealing our towels and waters whilst getting ready to stage dive. That’s the kind of thing I get off on. Get in that mix!

What has been your favourite show or tour this year so far?

A: Probably our USA tour with Comeback Kid/ Backtrack/ Xibalba/ Downpresser/ To the Wind. That was a fun one but all the tours have been fun this year. Hellfest was fun this year. All the UK shows were sick, we were filming our video for Wasted Arrows so people were going off!

What do you like to do in your ‘down time’ on and off tour?

A: Down time is just about relaxing, hanging with friends. We all keep pretty busy off tour though. We all work on other musical projects or jobs. I am just in Norway right now finishing up producing an album for a band from here in Bergen. Stu has a new band called YOUTH DECAY. Jesse has been playing with NO WARNING again and yeah, there is a lot of stuff going on.

Now although Comeback Kid has been around for years, I’m sure like all bands, you’ve had your ups and downs and things that try to stop the band along the way. What do you think has been the biggest challenge so far?

A: Big challenges is just replacing members, but we usually do that pretty seamlessly. We’ve never had to cancel a tour or shows because of not having members. We keep the schedule going and its always worked out up until now which is awesome. We have a great group of guys in the band now.

What do you think has been the band’s biggest highlight so far?

A: I cant think of one huge highlight but the career of the band in general has been passed what we ever imagined. To be able to play / tour with all of our favourite bands growing up, to going to the most wild places. Playing in Tel Aviv Israel was pretty sweet. Things like that.

You guys are about to embark on your ‘Die Knowing’ tour here in Australia. What can fans expect to see from these shows?

A: New songs, a tighter CBK and we will have had a bit of time off so we’re all pent up ready to play. Just really excited for some fun hardcore shows in appropriate venues. Excited to see Rotting out and Relentess every night too!

What have been some fond memories of yours from your previous travels and tours in Australia?

A: Making some lasting connections for sure. Falling in love in Australia when I was a young guy, playing Wake The Dead for the first time in Melbourne 2005 before the album came out. Soundwave, meeting random rock celebs, trying a few things for the first time …funny shit like that. We are older now but we started coming when we were baby boys so you can imagine the trouble we would get up to.

With this year almost coming to an end, what’s in store for Comeback Kid in 2015?

A: More touring. We are probably gonna release a 7 inch with a some songs re recorded and a cover. That’s in the works now. But we have a few big tours we aren’t allowed to announce yet in N. America and Euroland so that’s on the horizon. Gonna start new material soon as well.

Check out Comeback Kid’s latest album ‘Die Knowing’ which is out now and be sure to catch them on their Australian tour (October 16-25)

 

Interview: Brett Kennedy of Sierra

Interview: Brett Kennedy of Sierra

By Kayla Schultz

I had a chat with vocalist of Mt Gambier’s Sierra, Brett Kennedy to talk about the band’s new EP ‘Reality Redefined’ which is due for release tomorrow (5th of September)

 Sierra Aug 2014 by K -web ieran Ellis-Jones

You’re about to release your new EP Reality Redefined which is out tomorrow. What was the writing and recording process like?

B: It was a bit different to the first one. Both haven’t really gone I guess traditionally. Our first EP which was in 2013, we recorded in 2012. The first lot was done in May of that year, with a different drummer to the second half of it, which was done in November. This time round it was the five of us, we did all five songs but recording wise, we all went up separately. So no one overlapped; I think there may have been some bass guitar overlapping a little bit as far as studio time goes but we kinda had to put faith in each other that, what we were recording, cause once you start, well the drums started and basically once the drums are down we can’t change anything in the songs. so writing wise it was different to the first time around recording because we had to make sure that we knew exactly what we wanted because once that first day of recording was done, there was no turning back but I think we matured in a song writing sense so when we got to the studio we knew what we wanted things to sound like and rather than spending time trying to say restructure something or add a bit in, we could just refine what we already had and also just experiment with adding different instruments or different layers into areas of the songs so overall it was probably a bit more creative.

 

Well it sounds great!

B: Thank you

 

So where did the band find inspiration for the songs on the EP?

B: Our two guitarists Logan and Jordan, do most of the song writing so Logan’s strengths are probably in his riffs so the faster, heavier songs on the EP come from him. Whereas the more melodic side is more Jordan’s forte. He writes a lot of melodic pieces, so it mainly started with those two, coming up with different riffs or different leads and from there, you know you add in the bass and drums and then finally the vocals. Inspiration wise, we have a sound that we are going for but it’s not a defined sound. It’s not like we are trying to emulate anyone. We just know what we want to sound like, so the boys just try to continue on in a more mature and stronger way than what our last EP was

 

How about inspiration for lyrics? Is it from personal experiences in life?

B: It’s a mix. It’s definitely some of my experiences and some of my views and thoughts from things, but it’s also a mixture of metaphorical and literal interpretations of that in the lyrics. So a lot of the songs, I mean I’ve already started to see a few people make assumptions about what the songs are about. They’re very much open to interpretation as none of the songs specifically relate to a certain thing that’s happened or anything along those lines. I try to be relatable, you can’t just make it all about yourself and I think I’ve achieved that.

 

You’re streaming the EP via killyourstereo.com at the moment. What has the reaction for the EP been like so far?

B: It’s been good! We’ve obviously had the two songs come out, the video singles but I think people are enjoying the three new songs that they haven’t heard. Some people have said that these other songs that they’ve only just heard for the first time are so far their favourite which is good from our point of view because it shows that we had depth in the record. We chose the two singles that we personally enjoyed the most but the fact that people are finding a favourite in these new songs means that we didn’t just write two good songs and the rest was just on the record. People seem to think that across the board that it’s a pretty solid release so we can’t ask for much more than that.

 

You had preorders for the EP online and they sold out in like less than an hour right? That’s a pretty good effort! Were you surprised at how quickly they sold out?

B: Yeah, it was. We worked out it was about 45 minutes! We had previously done a similar thing with our last EP and that sold out over a few weeks. We hoped that they would sell well but we didn’t think in under an hour. It was evident that from the moment we posted them that people had been just waiting for them to come up, which is pretty crazy. I’m glad they sold out quick because they are going to be the only copies of the CD that we do for public sale. There’s obviously a few extras for ourselves and people involved in the making of the record but there’s only ever going to be those 100 that were available for the public. The rest is all going to be digital now so it’s nice to know that people really wanted to get a piece of that.

 

You’ve said on your Facebook page that like your first EP, no two songs are of the same vein. Do you like to do this to keep things interesting?

B: It think it’s just how it pans out really. With the two different guys writing, we just always try something different. We originally wrote eight or nine songs and we cut three because they were just a bit too far outside of the five songs we ended up with. They’ve all got their different strengths and I guess different appeal but at the same time they’re all linked with a few similarities. They sound different but you can still hear the common link that it’s us. It doesn’t sound like there’s five different bands. It’s us in five different versions.

 

Touring wise, you’ve been part of some awesome tours in the past few months. I remember just getting in the doors to see your last couple of songs at the ‘Earthwalker’ tour. What has been your favourite tour so far this year?

 

B: The In Hearts Wake tour was definitely unreal! There’s very few things I can imagine that would top it purely because we’ve obviously toured with Being As An Ocean before so we are quite good friends with them and Endless Heights from Sydney have been friends of ours for a long time as well so just being able to share it with them and hang out with them for a couple of weeks was really cool. In Hearts Wake, we went to Tasmania with as well just before the mainland shows, so we formed a bit of a bond with those guys and the tour manager Pees, has been pretty important throughout our last twelve to fourteen months of being a band so just being able to spend time with all those people alone made it worthwhile and obviously all the shows sold out, well most of the shows sold out which was a big bonus to have those crowds. Also hanging out with Dream on Dreamer, getting to meet them for the first time, because they’ve been a well-known band for quite some time in Australia. Everyone was saying it on the last night, it was just a really good group of people and a lot of people said it was the best tour they’ve been on and I think we would all agree that that’s what it was, purely from the people in it and then the shows spoke for themselves with the amount of numbers and reactions so yeah we probably can’t top that one.

 

Yeah the atmosphere at those shows was just amazing!

B: Yeah it was rad!

 

What do you think has been the band’s biggest strength over the years?

B: I guess we’ve always just tried to be, I guess our biggest strength would have to be our motivation, in the sense of why we have been a band. For us, we’ve overachieved more than anything we thought would be possible. When we started, we didn’t set out to play these big shows or reach the profile that we have, and so we’ve never really taken it for granted. Since we’ve never expected it, every time we find out something new, it’s just always been a bit of a thrill. It’s really allowed us to just make the most of everything and by doing that it makes us perform better. We prepare better for things like that and it has really just kept us heading in a positive direction.

 

So what is next for the band for the rest of the year?

B: So the EP comes out tomorrow. Hopefully that will gain a bit of momentum and just build up the profile a little bit and then show wise it’s pretty quiet for the rest of the year because it has been such a busy year with international tours coming through and also some Australian bands touring that it kind of removes a lot of our friend’s bands that we would have like to have played with in say a tour in November or December because they are all busy. We are going to be holding off until next year to tour with the EP, early next year, just so we can involve more friend’s bands, it’s always good to catch up with them. We do have one show in November, on the 15th at ‘UnFun’ festival in Sydney that’s being headlined by Kisschasy and they are playing one of their albums in full for that. That’s a festival that gets a lot of pop punk, we will probably be one of the heavier bands on the bill and we’re not considered really heavy, it’s more of a pop punk, hard rock, kind of alternative festival as opposed to a heavy kind of festival so it’s something different and it is at a pretty cool venue too so we are looking forward to that one.

 

Thank you to Brett for taking the time to chat!

You can check out Sierra’s new EP ‘Reality Redefined’ on its release date tomorrow (5th of September)

 

Q&A with Neck Deep

NECK-DEEP-Photo-by-Alex-GregoryUK’s Neck Deep are a fairly new pop punk band to scene but they are already taking the world by storm! Now they’re back in Australia for a co-headlining tour with America’s State Champs which kicks off in Perth on September 3rd. Here’s what guitarist Matt West had to say about touring and what a big year 2014 has turned out to be for the band.

2014 has already been a huge year you guys! What has been the biggest highlight for Neck Deep this year?

M: It’s hard to pick one out really, but it was probably opening up for Blink 182 at a sold out show in London. This band wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Blink, so to have them acknowledge us and let us open for them was absolutely mind blowing.

 

Welcome back to Australia! You were here not that long ago. What can fans expect to see/ hear from you guys this time around?

M: Glad to be back! We’ll be playing some more recent stuff off of the album, which we hadn’t even released last time we were here, it’s crazy how much can happen in the space of a year!

 

How would you describe your live shows to people who haven’t seen you before?

M: Every band probably says it, but I feel that it’s fast and full of lots of energy. Between songs we normally just chat rubbish as well, tell awful jokes, stuff like that. So not only are you getting some sweet music, you’ll also bear witness to our dreadful sense of humour.

 

Do you have a favourite song to play live?

M: I really like playing Tables Turned as it normally gets people up and moving about, it’s also nice and diverse so it’s keeps it interesting to play.

 

What are you most looking forward to doing/seeing while in Australia?

M: We’re travelling around with our friends in State Champs so we wanna show them all the cool stuff we saw last time. One place that’s become a bit of a joke with the band is the dog on a tucker box. Our tour manager took us last time and made out that it was an essential tourist attraction in Australia, which as you probably know, it’s not!

 

You’ve recently finished up the Warped Tour in America, what was that like?

M: It was insane. It’s hard to say anything other than that about it really. Every day we played to a decent crowds and made really good friends with other bands and people whilst we were out there. The amount of organisation that goes into it is wild.

 

What has been your craziest or weirdest fan encounter so far?

M: I’d say the craziest fan encounter we’ve had so far was finding out that Travis Barkers daughter is really into Neck Deep, she sat side stage the entire time we played and sung every word!

 

How do you like to spend your spare time on and off of tour?

M: enjoy sitting at home, ordering in some takeaway noodles and playing copious amounts of video games. It’s rare that we get time at home now, so it’s just good to catch up with people and see family.

 

Do you or the band have any pre-show rituals that you like to do before you play a show?

M: None at all, we just make sure we’re all there and then play. We don’t do any wild stretches or anything like that. We’re normal and boring.

 

Where do you hope to see yourself and the band this time next year?

M:Just continuing to do what we’re doing now and hopeful we’ll see the band grow more and more. It’s already accelerated at such an extreme rate that it’s hard to imagine what we’ll be doing in a year though.

 

Neck Deep will be touring the country with State Champs and Sidelines this September, starting in Perth on the 3rd and finishing in Brisbane on the 14th! 

 

Interview: Mark Heylmun of Suicide Silence

Interview with Mark Heylmun of Suicide SilenceSuicideSilence2014c

I caught up with Suicide Silence’s guitarist Mark Heylmun recently to talk about their new album, ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ and their busy touring schedule.

 By Kayla Schultz

 

How’s your day going so far?

Today is going pretty well. I’m in London, we are doing a secret show today. We are playing a really small venue. I think it’s about 150 or 200 cap. Headlining the show. We parked really far away from the venue and had to walk. And so we’re just hanging out.

 

Awesome! So you guys are just about to release your new album ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ and you’ve already released a couple of songs from the album, what has the reaction from fans been like so far?

It’s been great! We’ve been in Europe for going on three and a half weeks. We played Rock AM Ring and Rock IM Park in Germany, the first two shows we played on this tour and we played Cease to Exist, a brand new song for the first time, at these festivals and it was unreal you know. It just went off! There were the most circle pits. We’re really excited to be playing new songs and it’s always really exciting to play new music. The reaction has been great.

 

Without giving too much away. What can be expected from the new album when listening to it in its entirety?

The record came out as a whole piece. It’s very obvious where it starts and pretty obvious when it’s over, I mean it comes out swinging and at the end, it resolves so it is very much a whole piece start to finish. All the songs are pretty versatile. I think we dug really deep into our influences and we really worked together to write music that sounds like us, like us as individuals and like us as a band and it’s something we’re really proud of.

 

How was the writing and recording process for yourself and the band? Did you feel any pressure going into the studio this time around?

The writing process was pretty much the same as it has always been. We make a little schedule and decide what time we wanted to get into the jam room every day. Some weeks were 7 days a week, jamming every single day, sometimes it would be 4 or 5 days like from 11 in the morning until we were done. We didn’t really put any pressure on ourselves so we would just get in and be like ‘alright we’ve got this many weeks to spend this much time to get this much done’. Get in, do what we do, if something comes out then it comes out, if it doesn’t then it doesn’t.

We didn’t really allow pressure to affect us if there was any pressure just because we were the ones that you know, we lost our singer. We got a new singer and we were the group to write new music and we made the decision so there was no one telling us what to do. If there was any pressure it was the pressure we were putting on ourselves and I guess it was what we needed. The only pressure we put on ourselves was to make something that we could be proud of, something that we could be happy about.

 

Of course Eddie brings new elements to the band, but listening to some of the new songs, the sound is very much like good old Suicide Silence. Were you planning to try something new with this album or did you want to keep the sound that the fans already loved?

The plan wasn’t to make it sound like old Suicide Silence but if there was a plan around that we all agreed on, we wanted the music to still give you the vibe, give you the feeling of Suicide Silence. I think it’s something we’ve adapted to. It has been this group of people minus Eddie writing together for a good little bit. It’s something we’ve all kept together to put out, not just one person writing it so it starts getting a familiar feeling and a familiar sound on the way the music takes you on a loop like a rollercoaster journey you know. The main plan was to retain that energy and that if you’re listening to it, of course it’s a new vocalist. There will be times that it resembles Mitch and there will be times where it is absolutely a new vocalist but if you listen to the songs, it should give you the same feeling that early Suicide Silence gave you. It should let out the aggression. It should be something you can really relate to. It’s something that’s going to get you worked up and still going to leave you feeling good. I think that’s what Suicide Silence has always done and that’s what we needed for this record.

 

So a few months back you were here for Soundwave. What was the tour like for you guys and were there any highlights?

We’ve heard so many stories about it being the best tour pretty much in the world and that’s why we wanted to make it our first tour with Eddie. Our comeback tour if you may. The biggest memory from that whole tour was playing that first show in Brisbane. It was Eddie’s first show with us, our first show with Eddie and our first time to be on stage together in over a year. It was amazing to be on stage and see everyone really losing themselves in the music, getting into that vibe and feeling that Suicide Silence does to us and our fans. We were all together there that day and it was something I really will never forget. Our first show of Soundwave, our first show back with Eddie, our first show seeing the fans stoked that we were back. We didn’t know if the fans were going to be as responsive as they were that first day and there were thousands of people going fucking berserk. It was a ton of fun, the whole tour was pretty fucking special!

 

Yeah! I watch your set at the Soundwave in Adelaide and it was great! One of my favourite sets of the day.

Thank you.

 

So you’re in Europe at the moment, playing shows and festivals. How do these shows in other parts of the world compare to those in America?

We haven’t actually played a show in America (for a while) but I think that everywhere has its quirks, there are things that stand out about them but the rules in Europe are different. Most people are legally drunk at the age of 18 or even younger over here so the crowd is a little bit different. The kids are a little more ready to party in Europe. I think in the US there is more of a younger feel in the fan base and people are tamer and a little more sober, but all in all I think everyone goes to the show with a similar outlook. They just want to have a good time, they want to get the relief, they want to see the bands and they want to shake their heads around and put their hands up in the air.  That’s the great thing about playing shows, when you’re there, no matter what, the crowd or audience are always giving us a lot to work with and that’s kind of why while on stage, we deliver it, we give it back and it’s all just a big synergy of just moving energy and aggression throughout the entire set. Everywhere is great but where you are is different depending on culture and rules.

 

Are there any places in the world that you and the band haven’t toured yet but would really like to play soon?

Japan! We’ve never been to Japan or South Africa and they’re two places that we would really love to go to. We’re trying to go everywhere we haven’t been like Far East of Russia, Khabarovsk, which is Far East of china, near Japan. We had never played there and just went there on this tour so yeah anywhere we haven’t played we want to go!

 

Do you guys have any pre-show rituals that must be carried out before taking the stage?

We are typical of most bands. We have our power-hour and what we do in that hour is whatever it takes to get us ready for the stage. Everyone has different rituals. Some people brush their teeth, some take a million shots, some people put on their special socks, (laughs) I sound like Dr. Seuss! We just kind of do our own thing, stretch, we always come together and do a hands in and yell at each other and say something stupid on three before we play the show.

 

Once the album is out, what is next for Suicide Silence in the months to come?

Headline! With this record we’re having a hell of a time putting together short sets. We have a lot of songs we want to play and get out there. We want a good amount of time and play a lot of our old stuff and a lot of new stuff. We can pretty much guarantee to any of the old school fans out there that are listening to or reading this interview, that if you come and see us live and we’re not headlining, we are definitely going to be playing a lot of old songs. We’re not gonna be the band just playing all new music but yeah I mean we’re going to be up there. Wherever you are, we will be and that’s what this new record is all about!

 

Great! Well thanks again for your time and hopefully we will be seeing you guys back here in Australia sometime soon!

Absolutely! Thank you.

 

Thank you to Mark for making to the time to chat!

Suicide Silence’s new album ‘You Can’t Stop Me is out now via Nuclear Blast Records!

Listen up Suicide Silence fans!

Suicide Silence just released their new album ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ and i was lucky enough to chat with guitarist Mark Heylmun a couple of weeks ago about the new album and their busy touring schedule!

This was probably my biggest and favourite interview to date! Tomorrow I will be uploading the interview for those who want to read it so be on the look out for the link!

Interview: Luke Vaessen of Save the Clock Tower

Interview with Luke Vaessen of Save the Clock TowerSTCT1

With their debut album ‘Wasteland’, just a week away from release, I caught up with vocalist, Luke Vaessen of Tasmania’s Save the Clock Tower to talk about challenges the group has faced and their new album that’s going to help this band from Launceston take the nation and hopefully the rest of the world by storm!

by Kayla Schultz

 

For those who haven’t heard Save the Clock Tower before, how would you describe your sound and what you guys are about as a band?

We call ourselves Post-Hardcore, with influences of metal, rock and punk. We are just about playing aggressive music with meaningful lyrics and trying to connect with each person as best as we can.

 

You’re just about to release your new album Wasteland, what has the reaction been like so far for the couple of songs you’ve already released?

Yeah, really good actually. We’ve been waiting for ages to release the album, even just to release a song from the album and we’ve released two songs now and the feedback received has been really good, so we’re super happy and very excited for people to hear the whole thing!

 

Was there any problems during the recording process of the album?

There were actually a few problems for us. We recorded everything last November and we ended up having to record the guitars a second time due to editing problems and then we ended up recording the vocals three times because there was editing problems…and then our former guitarist left the band, so I had to assume all his main vocal lines that he had done… so it was very challenging the vocals and then by the time we had actually finished, and sent it to Will Putney (who mixed and mastered the album) , which was at the end of February if I remember correctly, he was here in Australia, working on the new Amity record so we had to wait like a month and a half for him to get back and work on the rest of the album so it took a while.

 

Where did the band find inspiration for Wasteland lyrically and musically?

Musically, the guys had been listening to a lot of earlier Post-Hardcore stuff, like early 2000s, and lyrically all the songs are really personal to myself and the former guitarist. We all worked on the lyrics, I mean I worked on a lot of the lyrics myself but everyone helped with how to put them into the songs so you know, everything is really personal but it has been generalised somewhat so people can connect to the meaning.

 

What do you think has been your biggest challenge so far as a band since it first started?

It would probably be being from Tasmania. It might only seem like a small stretch of water but for us to get over (to mainland Australia), you know we either have to fly or catch the boat. We’ve always flown to wherever we play, then we’ve hired a van so that’s probably been the biggest challenge for us, is being from Tasmania, even though it has been a bit of a drawcard for us.

 

What has been your biggest strength as a band and what makes you unique and stand out as one of the most promising upcoming bands in Australia?

I think that our biggest strength is that we always, no matter who we’re playing to or the number of people we are playing to, we will always put in 110%. No matter what, that never changes and we are unique in the way that we write and structure our songs especially from the rest of the metalcore crowd I guess because we are metalcore to a certain degree. We have different elements to try and sound a little bit more than other bands.

 

What’s in store for the band in the next few months?

We have a couple of launch shows in our hometown of Launceston and I know that we will be going away and doing a few weekenders on the mainland and I think we will be visiting Perth for the first time which is really exciting. We’ve got a few other tours lined up for the rest of this year and that’s all we are going to do at the moment, play shows and get out to as many people as we can.

 

You’ve recently finished supporting Betraying the Martyrs on their Australian tour. What was touring with them like?

It was cool. The guys were really nice and supportive of us and I, Valiance from Melbourne were really good and super heavy. It was awesome to watch a band like Betraying the Martyrs because they’ve obviously played for ages in Europe and the states and it was their first time here and to be able to watch them play professionally and see how they play every night was really cool.

 

Can you think back to your first show as a band? Did you ever think you would get to where you are now?

No, definitely not (laughs). My first show with the band was at a football club with a black metal band and a death metal band. It wasn’t really an appropriate bill for us to be on but looking back to that, it really blows my mind about how far we have come and what we have been able to achieve.

 

Where do you hope to see yourself and the band in the next few years?

We really want to be overseas. I know we are looking at going over there sometime next year and hopefully we can get on the touring circuits over there. That’s our main goal at the moment.

 


 

Thank you to Luke for making the time to chat!

Save the Clock Tower’s new album Wasteland is out now via Bullet Tooth and Faction/Sony.

 

You can check out the band on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/savetheclocktowertas

INTERVIEW: Tommy Cooperman of Breathe Carolina

Interview with Tommy Cooperman of Breathe Carolina

 breathecarolina13

Last week I had the chance to catch up with Tommy Cooperman, guitarist of Breathe Carolina. Read below, my interview with Tommy about the bands new album ‘Savages’ and touring life.

First of all thanks again for making the time to chat with me today. I’m a big fan of the band.

T: Oh awesome!

How is your day going so far?

T: My day is going pretty good. I’m stuck in Los Angeles traffic right now. That’s always the worst but other than that pretty good.

Savages was officially released 2 weeks ago. How well do you think it has been received by critics and of course the fans so far?

Really good! It’s the biggest release we’ve ever had. It was number 1 on the Dance Billboard charts. Its still number 1 actually! People really like it. We were a little worried at first because of the change, losing Kyle and all that stuff but it doesn’t really seem to be affecting us as much as we thought.

Sellouts was the first single to be released off Savages and it’s a lot heavier than the rest of the album. Did you guys plan to have just the one heavy song with the rest of the tracks straying away from that into the more electronic dance style or did you originally plan to have more heavy songs on the album?

We weren’t going to do any heavy songs on the album really at first and David had wrote the guitar part for Sellouts. When we were doing it, we had gotten a hold of Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria, so when he agreed to do it, it kind of changed our whole vibe on it. We had to do it. For this album we wanted to the dance style but we wanted to make sure the fans that liked the screaming had at least one song to listen to. To keep them into it.

So not only do you have Danny Worsnop feature on Sellouts but you have Tyler Carter of Issues and Karmin also as guest vocalists on songs throughout the album which is a new concept for the band. What was it like working with them?

It was pretty awesome! With Danny, it was that we had the song pretty much written. He came in and wrote his screaming part and saw the singing parts he does while we were in the studio and we knocked it out really quick. He was only there for like an hour and we had a lot of fun. It’s always fun when Danny’s around. With Karmin, she had the song for like a year and wanted to do it. It finally came time to put it on (the record), so we brought her out and she was really quick on it as well. With Tyler, we actually wrote the entire song together, from the beginning to the end. That was really cool to do that. We’ve never really done that before with another artist, you know writing a song from start to finish. That’s like a true collaboration between us and Tyler.

For people out there who haven’t listened to the album yet, how would you describe Savages?

T: A lot of energy! I think if I had to narrow it down, if anyone has asked me, I’ve said ‘It has the most energy of any album we’ve ever had’. It’s kinda non-stop!

Yeah I found that it’s just so energetic. I listen to it in my car and at the gym. It gives off such a good vibe!

T: Yeah that’s what we wanted. Our producer said that it had to pass ‘the running test’, so meaning you had to be able to run with it on a treadmill. (laughs)

Before you released the album, you were playing some of the new songs in your live shows. Have there been any songs that fans have taken a huge liking to straight away? Any crowd favourites yet?

I think Collide. It probably goes off as much as ‘Blackout’ goes off. It really surprised us, it takes shape and goes off live. We didn’t know what to expect when we played the new songs on the upcoming tour and when we played Collide, it was just like the kids had heard it a million times which was super surprising.

What is your favourite song to play live?

T: Probably Collide. Right now, that’s my favourite song to play live.

Back in March, you played the Soundwave festival here in Australia. What was that like for you guys and how does it compare to other music festivals and tours at home in the US and other parts of the world?

T: It was really fun. I think we were kind of like the outsiders of it. We were the electronic band on the tour and everyone else was heavier and rock. We had a lot of fun and had a lot of friends on it but I think for the future we will be looking to do more stuff like Future Music Festival out there.

You are gearing up to play the Vans Warped Tour in a couple of months. Do you enjoy playing the smaller shows/venues or the larger music festivals like Warped tour more?

T: I think it really depends on the day. I mean obviously, it’s awesome to play the big festivals and playing to like 10,000 people a day but I really like the venue tours because we can have all our production and all of our lights and we get to play for an hour and a half as opposed to 30 minutes. I think for a band like us you know, the setting where we can have lights and stuff, it works a little better for us but we still have a great time on the festivals obviously.

What do you like to do in your downtime on and off tour?

T: When we’re not touring, we’ve been DJ-ing a lot, like non-stop pretty much and we’ve just started collaborating with some bigger DJs. We’re doing a collaboration with Candyland and the Disco Fries, so we’ve being doing that and a lot of remixes that we’re going to release in May. So we haven’t really had any downtime I guess, we’ve just been working from home.

If you weren’t in Breathe Carolina, what do you think you would be doing or what would you want to be doing?

T: I would probably be just a songwriter or a producer if I wasn’t in Breathe Carolina.

What has been your most memorable show you’ve played with Breathe Carolina to date?

T: We did Riot Fest in Denver, and again we were the only band like us on the tour. The band before us were playing and there was maybe 10, maybe 20 people at the stage. So we were worried that our fans weren’t going to come to it and so we were like ‘we’ll just make the best of it’. We were waiting behind and we walked up to play our set and walked onto stage, there was like 10,000 people there in Denver, just going absolutely crazy. I think that was probably my most favourite show so far.

What is one place in the world that you’ve never been to but would love to do a tour/play a show in?

T: I really want to go to Japan. The rest of the band went to Japan before I joined and I didn’t get to go, but I think we’re talking about it now, so I think Japan for all of us is somewhere we really want to go the most.

 Do you have any crazy fan stories or weird fan encounters?

T: I mean it’s always crazy when kids have our signatures tattooed on them and stuff. I think to see your signature tattooed on someone else’s skin permanently, I’ll never get used to that but other than that our fans aren’t very weird.

Does Breathe Carolina or just you personally have any preshow rituals that must be carried out before you hit the stage?

T: Yeah! Before we hit the stage we always put on somebody’s DJ mix, like on the last tour it was Hardwell. We put on Hardwell’s mix before we went on and we were just on the bus for an hour and we kind of kicked people off and got the whole crew vibed out and everyone was getting in the way, jumping around before we hit it.

Do you have any advice out for local bands out there, trying to break the barrier between being a local act and becoming bigger/ getting their name out to the wider community?

T: Yeah something I’ve noticed a lot, meeting some of the local bands on tour is that kids really hate on one thing or another and people on Twitter are always talking about this band or that band and how they are better. I think you’ve just have to support everybody who is trying to do music and keep an open mind. You never know who is going to be your biggest ally in the music world, so when you’re playing with someone or seeing someone, you have to bro down with them as best as you can and don’t let your ego get in the way. That’s when some of the bands are going to take you on tour, is when they like hanging out with you and you’re a positive person. So stay positive!

Where do you hope to see yourself and the band this time next year?

T: This time next year we really want to be breaking more into the EDM side of things. We would really like to play EDC and Ultra and some of the other stuff we’re working on and touring with more electronic acts as opposed to rock acts. That was more of our goal with this album.

Well that’s all the questions I have. Once again thank you for your time and good luck and have fun or the Vans Warped tour this year and hopefully we will see you guys back in Australia sometime soon!

T: Thanks so much!

 

Check out Breathe Carolina’s new album Savages, out now via Fearless/Shock Records!