Archive for the ‘Post-hardcore’ Category

The Amity Affliction are quickly becoming one of the most recognisable names in Australian heavy music. In the last 6 months they have crossed the globe, pulling extensive tours across Europe, the US and on Australia’s Soundwave Festival. They are one of few Australian metal/hardcore bands who have graced the Top 20 ARIA chart, with 2010’s Youngbloods debuting at #6. The band are due back into Australia to co-headline the Destroy Music tour with the revived I Killed The Prom Queen. I had a talk to keyboardist Trad Nathan about why punk rock is all about having a good time.

*This is a piece I did with Killyourstereo.com, check out the original article here.

Youngbloods

I’ll start off with an easy one, what’s your favourite beer?

I actually don’t drink beer. I know it sounds like the least manly, gayest thing you’ve ever heard. If I did drink beer it would be Coopers though, for sure. I do love alcohol though. I drink red wine or gin. I think I’ve just taken the next step to alcoholism *laughs*. Nah, drinking a lot of beer on tour, it definitely takes its toll on you I think. So I just stick to the spirits or the red. I don’t know how it treats my body better.

Speaking of drinking, how the hell do you get on stage night after night drunk?

We definitely drink every night on tour, but we don’t drink until we’re shitfaced. It’s just a little pre-gig ritual that we have. Our drummer Ryan, 90% of the time he won’t have a drink before we play. I dunno, drinkers drink, people who don’t drink don’t, it’s just what we do. We’re never fucking wasted so we can’t play. I think that was a big misconception of the band.

Trad Nathan live

Oh shit I’m gonna destroy your party image.

*laughs* Nah we love to party, and get us off that stage and we’ll definitely party as hard as possible. But y’know, with bigger shows comes more responsibility, and we kinda got over that shit five years ago.

Prom Queen was a big influence on The Amity Affliction in the early days,

Absolutely.

How does it feel to be now co-headlining a tour with them?

It’s ridiculous. I never thought I’d see the day. But at the same time they broke-up and went on hiatus. A lot of their fans have gotten older. I’d say their underage fan-base may have slipped from a couple of years ago, because the kids that were 16 then, are now 18. Amity’s had a really strong couple of years, especially the last year with Soundwave and the previous tours, our all-ages is probably stronger than it’s ever been. We’re probably sitting on par in terms of how many kids we’ll draw to the tour. Though personally we don’t give a fuck where we play. I’d rather open the tour to be honest, so I can party with everyone. Headlining is an irrelevant thing. That said, it’s definitely amazing to be co-headlining with some of your best friends and a band that influenced your band.

I was lucky enough to have a chat to Jona about it last week.

Was he stoked or was he being a dickhead?

He seemed pretty keen for it. Like you he said it doesn’t really matter to him who’s headlining, but if anything he’d want Prom Queen to put on a good show and keep you guys on your toes.

Like blow us out of the water or something? *laughs* Well you’ve got to work hard for the money. Seriously this last year, I think we’ve been in the UK for the whole of December, then Europe for the whole of Febuary, then we came back and had Soundwave straight away, then we went to the States and did 35 dates straight, and we’ve only been home for a week and a half, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine.

I don't think I can ever do a aussie metalcore interview and resist posting the cheesy early band photos. They are always so good.



They’re coming from the opposite place, having only two weeks to rehearsal for it all.

Yeah, when I last spoke to JJ he said they only started three days ago. But they’re all talented motherfuckers, I’m sure they’ll smash it.

What’s next in terms of releases for Amity? Have you started writing the next album yet?

There’s a few ideas being thrown around, but nothing on paper just yet. I think as soon as we get this May tour out of the way we don’t have much on until October, so there’s definitely enough down-time to start writing and start getting something ready. No-one knows for when or why, but we’ll definitely be doing something.

Party!



So you’ll be working on an LP?

Oh yeah for sure, I don’t really see the point of doing EPs anymore. Although, I would like to do a split with Break Even or any good friends of ours really, and just do something like that fun in-between albums. We’ll see.

Why did you choose to release a compilation album, Glory Days? Are your first two EPs still in print?

They are but they seem to be really hard to get a hold of. So, rather than re-press everything, we just got sick of kids asking us where to get them. The packaging was more of a label thing, I would have rather have kept it separate, and I think a lot of people thought it may have been a new record when it was just a couple of un-released tracks. That’s probably more of a label thing, I don’t know what they get up to, it’s pretty dumb.

How would you have released it differently?

I definitely don’t think it was viable to split up the releases and print them from a cost point of view. I don’t bloody know, I probably just wouldn’t have just re-released them *laughs*. I would have like to seen them go to vinyl, or maybe 7”, something a little more creative.

Just before we run out of time, who are your main influences in terms of your keyboard playing? Have you had lessons?

I haven’t, no. I grew up listening to The Get Up Kids. They had a keyboard player, and I don’t how it sat with me so well, but I was just so intrigued by the keyboards, I guess it was kinda like post-hardcore back then. Then I started collecting vintage sythns, and started learning songs, and I just went from there. It was a good ten years ago now. I haven’t really had to learn anything [formally], especially in punk rock and hardcore. If you think that you’re like a shredding musician, go fucking play in a symphony orchestra. This is just about a bunch of retards that came together and just started writing songs. There’s no point in being a rock star. Punk rock is about having a good time, it doesn’t matter how good you are.

The Amity Affliction on Facebook.

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That’s right, earlier this month I was lucky enough to have a chat with The Shred aka Jona Weinhofen from I Killed The Prom Queen, one of my favourite metal/ hardcore bands, through Killyourstereo.com, check out the original piece here, or read on below!

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Jona Weinhofen is a name you can’t miss in today’s heavy music scene. After starting I Killed The Prom Queen back in 2000, and subsequently playing in not one, but two massive international bands (Bleeding Through and Bring Me The Horizon), Jona is bringing it all back to square one by reviving Adelaide’s favourite sons I Killed The Prom Queen. The band are playing the Destroy Music tour in May with The Amity Affliction. Jona took a break after another hectic show with Bring Me The Horizon, to talk about new Prom Queen vocalist Jamie Hope, living in three countries at once and why you should never get agree to a game of soccer with Winston from Parkway.

Rock N Roll

After the Say Goodbye tour did you have plans to reform the band or is it something that only came up recently?

I wouldn’t say there were plans. But that tour was a moment of realization for everyone in the band, in terms of how good we had it and how good those shows were. It was an awesome tour that we thought ‘fuck, should we think about doing something in the future’. The Say Goodbye tour was the spawning of the idea of a reformation. That’s when we began talking about options and different ideas and timeframes and all that sort of stuff. Somehow it’s taken a period of three years to get everything set out straight and to a point where we are all happy moving forward.

Will you guys work on new material when rehearsing for the Destroy Music tour?

We’re going to have a hard enough time keeping things tight as a band. We haven’t played together in years. I don’t know whether at the rehearsal studio it’ll be like riding a bike again, or whether it’ll be like shaking off the cobwebs and trying not to suck *laughs*. But who knows, we have something like two weeks to rehearse before the tour starts, and some ideas might come about. But I don’t think we’re set out to focus on writing new material just yet. We’ve definitely set aside some time at the end of this year and the start of next year, when I have a break from Bring Me The Horizon’s tour schedule and JJ has a break from Deez Nuts, that’s when we’re looking at really getting together and collaborating on some new gear.

IKTPQ 2011: Back from the dead

I can imagine (new vocalist) Jamie’s voice being more suited to the Music For The Recently Deceased era material. Do you see the Destroy Music set focusing on MFTRD material or having quite a bit of earlier songs like the Say Goodbye tour?

There will definitely be a bit of variation. However, I think the Say Goodbye tour was in a way closing that chapter of Prom Queen. We did the tour with Crafter and we played some older stuff that he was featured on. But we’re moving forward. This is now three years on from that tour, and I’m not even sure how many of our fans that come out to see The Amity Affliction and Prom Queen are gonna know the older material. We’ll definitely bust out a few oldies for anyone there who cares or wants to hear them. But for us, it’s probably more important for us to play Music For The Recently Deceased, especially because we’re re-issuing that CD in time for the tour.

What has Sean been up to musically while Prom Queen has been on a break, apart from playing bass in Deez Nuts?

He’s dabbled in a few projects. But when Prom Queen decided to call it quits or go on hiatus, whatever you want to call it, back in 2007, he was happy to take a break and chill out a bit. He had a steady girlfriend at the time, and he just wanted to lay low for a bit. He did a few bands in Perth with some guys over there. He wrote some acoustic material that he never really did anything with. That was his time to chill out I guess, while everyone else wanted to start something new or join other bands and keep rocking.

The man they call Teh Shred


How do you find living in England? Have you been picking up English habits like drinking endless cups of tea and keeping tabs on the royals?

I definitely do drink more tea than I ever had before, it’s kinda weird *laughs*. But, technically I don’t live here, which is also very strange. I never actually moved here, I don’t have a place that I live when I’m over here. The only time I’ve ever really spent here was when we were writing the new album for Bring Me The Horizon, and that was only a period for about three months, and for a lot of that time we rented a manor and went up there to write. Outside of that, I’ve been staying with my girlfriend who lives in Norway, which is another obscure place. However it’s pretty central for me, in terms of being close to England and being close to the band, it’s only a two-hour flight, so I can easily get there and do any press or anything that I need to do. I’ve basically been living between Norway and Adelaide. And I don’t get to come back to Australia too often, so I wouldn’t even say I live in Adelaide. I’m more of a couch surfer these days.

Loud noises!

I saw Oslo on your Myspace and wondered what the deal was.

Yeah *laughs*. That’s probably where I’ve spent the most time off-tour in the last two years.

At the Bristol gig Bring Me The Horizon played some acoustic songs. How did that go down, how does Bring Me The Horizon sound acoustic? Which songs did you do?

It definitely wasn’t glamorous *laughs*. We had a power cut and the whole venue was evacuated and the venue basically decided to cancel the show. There was an angry mob of 1600 punters outside of our bus, and we’re like ‘shit, are they going to riot, or are they going to be cool, or are they just going to home and disperse’. There were a few kids yelling. Some police decided to show up and we’re like ‘holy shit, what’s going to go on here’. We just came up with this funny idea to jump on this cargo container that was out in the parking lot next to the venue and play some acoustic songs. A lot of Bring Me The Horizon is pretty heavy but there are a few melodic songs that can translate into acoustic music. We got up there and we thought it was something kinda funny that we could do for fans that missed out on the gig. It turned out we’ve rescheduled the gig for this Tuesday anyway, so they still get to see us. It was just one of those weird, one-off ideas that we decided to go with at the time.

Jona with Bring Me The Horizon

Jamie Hope’s vocal style in The Red Shore is obviously very death-metal influenced, how do you see it fitting in with Prom Queen? Do you think we’ll see a different side to his vocals, as he’s working in a more melodic band?

It’s been so long since we’ve written stuff that no-one really knows what anything new is going to sound like. Jamie’s fairly versatile as a vocalist. We’ve had one rehearsal with him a few weeks ago, when I was back in the country for Soundwave with Bring Me The Horizon. It sounded cool and we asked him to do a few different things, a few different sounds and styles. Like you said, his voice his voice is going to work really well with the material from Music For The Recently Deceased, but he’s versatile enough that he can change it around if we decide to write stuff which sounds crazily different, which I can’t really see happening.

Did you consider asking (In Trenches/ Day Of Contempt vocalist) Ben Coyte to do vocals for Prom Queen?

Yeah that was definitely an idea that came about, around two years ago. And he again has a really unique style of voice, and we weren’t sure that his voice would work so much with the style of music that we were playing more recently. He’s a good mate of ours and it was an idea that got talked about. He’s a bit older again, and he’s had his fair share of touring and doing bands and we weren’t sure that he’d even want to do a band like that

Jona back in the MFTRD Prom Queen era

How is Matt’s hand? How is the Bring Me The Horizon set going with Dan (Architects) on the kit?

*laughs* Yeah it’s not bad. It was a bit rough the first day. Dan only had about 45 minutes to learn our entire set. Matt’s been told he’s still got a couple of weeks before he can get his cast off, and it’ll be six week before he regains full mobility and can play the drums again. So he’s out, but luckily we have a whole month off after this tour. He might be out for the first few European festivals we have coming up after the break. Like you said, Dan’s filling in for us on drums, and he’s done a really awesome job. We played Brixton Academy last night to 5000 people, and there wasn’t too many stuff-ups, which was wicked *laughs*.

Did you consider asking Ben from Parkway to play drums?

Yeah, well our first thought was to ask all three drummers on the tour to learn a few songs each. But, we’ve done so much touring with Architects that Dan was fairly confident that he could play the whole set, and he’s a bit of a fan of the band as well, so he knew the songs fairly well already. Like I said, he had 45 minutes to learn the set and he pretty much pulled it off on that first night, so that’s why we decided to stick with the one guy.

What comics have you been reading lately?

I’m reading one called Crossed and it is fucking gnarly. It’s sort of a zombie theme, but it doesn’t even name it as a virus. It’s about a bunch of people who spread this condition through any kind of bodily fluids, so if they spit into your face, you immediately turn into one of them. They are referred to as The Crossed, and they have this weird infection on their face in the shape of a cross. Basically, it turns you insane and they go around pillaging and raping anyone that’s anywhere is near them. It’s about a small group of survivors that are trying to travel from southern America all the way up to Alaska to escape these crazy people. It’s one of the most violent comics I’ve read.

Verrry old Prom Queen. haha. Aussie metalcore reprezent.


Will Amity be playing last on all the Destroy Music dates?

We’ve agreed to let them close the tour for a number of reasons. The tour already existed before Prom Queen were ever added. It was basically Amity’s headline tour, and they offered for I Killed The Prom Queen to do the tour, and we had a talk about who should be closing the tour. We agreed that it was fine for them to close the tour. We’ve decided to do co-billing, which basically means the name’s the same size on the poster and we get the same amount of beers every night. We were fine with that, we didn’t mind playing second to last every night. If anything, hopefully we put on a wicked show and they’re the ones who have to go out and top that.

Have you had much time to hang out with the Parkway guys on your UK tour?

I float between our dressing room and theirs every day. Their tour manager Webber, not sure if you know him, he’s from Adelaide. I’ve been good mates with him for about 11 years. I hang out with him a lot. And there was the infamous match where Matt broke his hand, that was between Bring Me The Horizon and Parkway Drive. They were just playing soccer out in the field by the venue. Winston from Parkway kicked the ball and clipped Matt Nicolls’ hand with his foot.

A# is a somewhat unusual tuning to be playing in. Why do you choose to play in A# in Bring Me The Horizon?

I don’t even know *laughs*. Horizon has always had pretty low tunings, and I guess when they wrote Suicide Season they experimented a bit more. There is a few different tunings we use for various songs. The way we decide how it’s going to be tuned is just the vibe of the song as we are writing it. We tried writing a few riffs in a certain tuning and it sounded strange, so we just tried it in a different tuning and it sounded better and felt better. The new material is in three different tunings: C standard, drop A# and drop G, which is ultra low, we only have a few songs in G. It’s cool to change things up, it keeps things fresh. It’s weird, you can play a guitar in the same tuning, and when you are writing stuff you seem to get the same ideas over and over, and as soon as you change one little thing, such as tuning your guitar down a step, or experimenting with different open chord tunings, it opens you up to a whole new world of writing different kinds of music. I guess that’s one of the reasons the band experiment with different tunings, it sheds a bit of new light on the writing process.

ON A BOAT


What was the tuning you used in Prom Queen material?

Everything prior to Music For The Recently Deceased was drop C, and Music For The Recently Deceased was recorded in drop B.

Were you disappointed to hear of Carpathian’s hiatus?

Being a friend to a lot of those guys and knowing them fairly well, it was something that I saw as a long time coming. Even just watching from afar and looking at with their touring schedule over the last few years, and seeing it slowly taper off until the point where they almost weren’t touring at all. So when they announced it, I just thought ‘alright, yeah, that’s not really that much of a surprise.’ They will probably start new bands or do exactly what the guys from Prom Queen did, take a break and go off and enjoy other bands and start other ventures.


The revived Prom Queen, shot this week at Billboards in Melbourne.


Eating good food isn’t easy on the road, is it a challenge to find decent vegan meals in a different city every night?

I’ve got that sweet iPhone app that tells you where all the restaurants are nearby and health food stores and stuff like that. With Bring Me The Horizon where at a point where we can request certain things on our catering rider and most of the time we get what we ask for. There is never a shortage of vegan sliced meat and cheeses. I manage to eat fairly healthy on tour, we’ve got plenty of salad, fruit, veg and stuff to make sandwiches with. I picked up some vegemite from a store over here the other day, and I had some of that on crumpets yesterday, so I’m doing alright!

Do you get all your tattoo work done with Derek Noble in Seattle now?

More or less. I’ve been tattooed by a few different people since, but that’s been little bits and pieces. All my pieces have been done by him since 2008, when I first got my sleeve and my left hand done by him. I’ve admired his work for years and when I finally realised I was going to be near him long enough to start getting big tattoos done by him I kinda fell in love with his style even more. I haven’t really found anyone else who I really care about tattooed enough by. Plus I’m old now and I hate getting tattooed. Getting tattooed once a year by Derek Noble when I’m on tour in the states is fine by me.

I don't think this even needs a caption. lol


Several Destroy Music shows have already sold-out, leading to more dates being added. Where you expecting such a response to the revived Prom Queen so many years after you were last active?

Honestly, I try not to have any expectations. Especially with Prom Queen, because it’s been so long since we’ve been active or played any shows or anything. For us to come into this tour to expect everything to be sold out and for us to be massive, would be dumb, especially if it didn’t happen and it’d just lead to disappointment. It’s really cool that the shows are selling out. I didn’t doubt whether it would go well because of how well Amity Affliction are doing. Especially after seeing them perform on Soundwave fest when I was there with Horizon. Seeing them kill it every night, I was like ‘oh well, this tour in May, even without Prom Queen it would go fine with these guys cause they are killing it at the moment’.

I Killed The Prom Queen on Facebook.
Bring Me The Horizon on Facebook.

Californian experimental post-hardcore act Thrice have released the first studio diary from the sessions of their upcoming album, check it out below.

The band are in Santa Monica recording their seventh studio album, which is set for a fall release on Vagrant Records.

The in-depth video shows the band working with producer David Schiffman (Avenged Sevenfold, System Of A Down), and showcases contributions and comments from all the members of the band.

Thrice

Bassist Riley Breckenridge said working with Schiffman, who engineered Thrice’s 2004 release, Vheissu, “takes a lot of weight off Teppei [Teranishi]’s shoulders, as he was doing double duty as engineer [and guitarist]”

Teranishi spoke about Schiffman also, saying “it’s a hundred times easier for me. If someone in the band is [producing], I’m recording myself, drums, bass, vocals, Dustin’s guitar, mixing, I mean there’s a lot of work on-top of what my normal job would be.”

www.thrice.net

This set was taken ages ago but I’m yet to share it with the internets, enjoy! I guess I can use the fact that Dream On Dreamer just wrapped up the recording of their debut album as an excuse to post some of my shots taken at their shows. Check out the three video updates Dream On Dreamer posted on their Youtube channel for the latest news. Their debut LP Heartbound is on its way and the first single, Downfall, is set to drop in June.

Jarrod - Check Your Smile

Matthew - Check Your Smile

Matthew - Check Your Smile

Azza - Dream On Dreamer

Daniel - Dream On Dreamer

Michael - Dream On Dreamer

Marcel - Dream On Dreamer

Marcel - Dream On Dreamer

Dream On Dreamer on Facebook.
Check Your Smile on Facebook.

Band: Dance Gavin Dance
Album: Downtown Battle Mountain II
Label: Rise Records
Web: www.myspace.com/dancegavindance
Best songs: Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex, Elder Goose, Spooks
For fans of: Emarosa, early Saosin
Rating: 9/10

Album art

This is a notable release for a number of reasons. The album is a sequel to the band’s debut album, Downtown Battle Mountain (DBM), which is still considered by many to be the band’s best work. It also features the original line-up of the band, including rehab poster-boy Jonny Craig, although excluding guitarist Sean O’Sullivan. DBM is a good starting point to compare DBMII, it has far more in common sonically with DBM than the band’s previous two albums. However, it is far from a repeat, as the revived band have improved on the original in a number of ways, most strikingly on the production. The album is crisp and clear, you can hear every note, unlike the somewhat muddy production of their debut. DBMII also features a wider variety of styles, most notably hip-hop and funk, although there are far less chugging breakdowns than DBM, but this means there is only more space for Jonny Craig’s stratospheric vocals.

The album opens with Spooks, which has all the elements you’ve come to expect from Dance Gavin Dance: chaotic guitar pyrotechnics, hyperactive double-kick drumming, Craig’s emotive crooning and Jonathon Mess’s scratchy screams. Mid-song the band throws a curve ball in, with guitarist Will Swan rapping over minimalist verse, followed by a funky off-beat bridge. It’s definitely a surprise on the first listen, although the diverse styles on the album give it an individual feel and make it stand out. I’m sure many people will find, in particular, the hip-hop vocals to be distracting, although it should hardly be a surprise given Dance Gavin Dance’s penchant for quirky elements and thinking outside of the box.

Dance Gavin Dance in all their glory

The best part of the album is easily Jonny Craig’s stellar vocal performance. He is emotive, soulful and perfectly in form on this release, despite his recent, ah, personal problems. Highlights include his performance on Elder Goose, which is about the trappings of casual sex and substance abuse, and the snare and guitar build-up leading to the bridge in Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex, which Craig takes full advantage of to bring the song to an amazing climax. If there is any problem with his vocal parts, it’s that there’s not enough of them, with Mess taking far too many verses for this reviewer’s liking. Mess’s screams work best when used in conjunction with Craig’s cleans, either in duet or to provide contrast. However, when Mess gets a whole verse to himself things get tiring rapidly. Admittedly, his voice has become more coherent over time, though this is actually a bad thing as you can hear his ridiculous lyrics.

The one and only Jonny Craig

The band are firing all cylinders while Craig and Mess trade verses, with all the crazy metal drumming madness played perfectly, and the melodic yet technical guitar work grounding the band’s sound. The two guitar tracks are panned left and right, and are almost always wildly divergent, sometimes to the extreme of being seemingly random. That said, the guitar work is more cohesive than previous albums, and there is some mindblowing melodies and leads spread throughout this album, providing the perfect canvas for Craig to work his magic.

Conclusion:
This album is in my opinion Dance Gavin Dance’s best work. I actually really disliked the band before listening to this album, finding them too random and scattered, but this album has changed my mind. It’s focused, technically amazing, highly melodic and impeccably produced. Obviously Dance Gavin Dance’s eclectic style is not going to appeal to everyone, but if you are a fan already I’m sure you’ll find plenty here to enjoy, and I’d recommend everyone who enjoys a good post-hardcore record check this out, even if you aren’t a fan of their previous work.

Tracklisting:
1. Spooks
2. Pounce Bounce
3. The Robot with Human Hair Pt.2 1/2
4. Thug City
5. Need Money
6. Elder Goose
7. Heat Seeking Ghost Of Sex
8. Blue Dream
9. Privilously Poncheezied
10. Swan Soup
11. Purple Reign

Melbourne’s House Vs. Hurricane are now well established as one of Australia’s biggest hardcore/metal bands. They didn’t get there without a lot of hardwork, establishing a recognisable and unique sound and supporting it with near constant touring. They now have 2008’s Forfeiture EP and their 2010 debut album, Perspectives under their belt and are currently writing the follow-up. Vocalist Chris Dicker spoke to me about writing new material, the departure of long-term keyboardist Joey Fragione and where you can find the best coffee in Melbourne.

House Vs. Hurricane in 2011

You have Push Over coming up on the 13th of March, the band also played there in 2009. Who are you looking forward to seeing the most on the line-up? What makes you keep coming back to play at the event?

It’s a well-run event. The staff at Push Over are usually a bunch of younger volunteers, which is rad and they take care of everything. You just need to rock up and play, and that’s certainly a nice change from the world we’re used to. I’m pretty keen to see our friends in Break Even hit the stage again. It’s been a while.

Perspectives ended up being mixed in Australia instead of the US with Brian McTernan as originally planned. Were you happy with the final mix? Do you think it’s likely the next album will be recorded/mixed in Australia or overseas?

Our experience with Brian was a learning curve more than anything else. We had every intention of having it mixed in Baltimore, but as the end of our time there drew near, we realised we’d be lucky to even finish tracking. So many things went wrong over those six weeks, but I think it was an unimaginably invaluable experience in hindsight. Perspectives didn’t come out how we had planned, and I feel as if we feel short on we were trying to achieve with the production on that record. As for the next one, we’re still throwing ideas around as to who we’d like to work with. Ultimately, it depends on what the record sounds like as a whole, and who we feel would be most suited to help us grasp the sound we want to achieve. We’ve a few people in mind, both here and overseas, so I guess we’ll just see how it plays out.

Chris doing his thing on the Perspectives tour

What were the differences in musical opinion that led to keyboardist Joey Fragione’s departure? Do you know if he is still playing music or involved with other projects?

I’m still in regular contact with Joey, and I think for a friendship of almost eight years it deserves to be kept alive, despite the fact we live in different cities. I don’t really want to go into that side of things, everything I wanted to make public, I did in our press release. Furthermore than that, I think the rest belongs to the people involved. These kind of things have a tendency to be misinterpreted, or misunderstood as people imply their own meanings onto it, and I’d rather avoid that all together. I know Joey has a huge ambition to move into writing scores for film, and is taking steps towards that end. If you’ve shot a film recently, hit him up. He’ll kill it.

You’ve said the band will remain a five-piece after Joey’s departure. How does this affect live shows? Is one of the core five members doing double duties and playing keys live, or are you getting someone to fill-in on keys live?

We’re continuing as a five piece, without a keyboard player. We felt that we couldn’t fill Joey’s shoes musically, so at pushover and on this up-coming tour with Your Demise, we’ll be running Joey’s parts from a sample pad. Sam’s played to a click for quite some time, so this is the simplest and easiest transition we could muster.

Joey live with the band prior to his departure

Joey played a major role in writing Perspectives. Who is stepping up into his place in terms of song-writing and who is writing the keyboard/electronic parts in the new material?

Joey certainly had a lot to do with the songs on Perspectives, equally as much as Chris Shaw (Guitar) did. Chris had written our EP, almost in its entirety alone (bar of course the keyboards and vocals), so I guess a lot of that strain has been placed on him once more. Although, we are approaching this next record with a much different style of writing. A friend of ours has given us a permanent space to leave our gear set up, and come and go as we please, so the songs we’ve written thus far we’ve written from scratch together. For the first time, we’ve had the ability to jam whenever we want, and following this tour in March, we’ll be doing nothing except writing until the record is ready to be recorded.


Talk about your experiences playing live across Europe with Heights and Flood of Red. How was the band received overseas?

Hands down, it was the best thing we’ve ever done together. Those two bands are both incredible bands, and some of the most hospitable people I’ve met. I’m content in knowing I’ve made some life-long friends from that tour, and the minute we can get back to Europe, we will. The shows we very much hit and miss. Some shows we’re incredible, people knew the band and the words, other shows, we played to literally 15 people. But you can expect nothing more when going somewhere for the first time, particularly, in countries that speak no English. Hopefully we made an impression on some people, and next time we go, our shows will be a little busier.

How was your last minute show with Heights at Lilydale Baptist Church recently?

I literally found out about the show at 2pm. It was ridiculous! Certain over excited members of my band managed to tee it up so we could jump on the show, and to be honest, it was the most laid-back set I think we’ve ever done. We took requests for god sake. It was so good to see the boys from Heights, and we all went out after the show and caught up.

The band said you’ve got a new song in the works to be released in March. Is that still on track, set a date yet? Will it be included on the LP also or just a stand alone release?

We’re still working on this. We had two songs completely written and ready to be recorded, before we decided to scrap them and start again. We’re good like that. We’re hoping we can get it together and put out a new song by the end of March, but it all depends on when the song is actually ready. Not sure if it’ll be on the record just yet. Although, we’re about to begin filming some of our album writing footage, and hopefully we’ll be able to share that online soon.

How many songs have you guys written for the new album? How is it progressing?

We’ve got two full songs that we’re still pulling apart, and another half-finished that we started from scratch together. I think we’re more motivated as a band than we have been in many years, all super excited by the idea of doing a new record, and I feel as if these songs are to be a lot more crafted than anything we’ve done previously.

Perspectives had longer and more progressive songs than the EP, are you continuing in that vein? What style and direction are you taking with writing the new material?

We made the decision that we’re not to pick a direction and go with it. We’re just going to write songs that are relevant to us right now, that represent where we are musically with one another. Judging by what’s come out so far, the songs seem to be a lot more focused on specific melodies or vocal sections, as opposed to have several conflicting lead lines as we have in the past. I hate describing my own music, so I’m just gonna let you do it when we release some jams.

Chris live in Melbourne

The lyrics in HvH seem to focus on positivity, is this deliberate choice or just a product of the song-writers’ outlook? Do you think a positive mindset is necessary to achieve what you do in life?

As the primary songwriter, I think positivity is essential in almost every facet of our lives. Some of my favorite bands sing from a place of such anger and frustration, and I feel that’s entirely relatable. In short, a frustration with the way things are, and by the looks of it, the way we’re headed as a species. In saying that, I feel unless we can look to the future with the sense that it’s entirely in our hands, rather than a feeling of dread, doom or despair, then that’s the only way we can even incite positive change. I mean, we are the change. It’s completely on us as to which way we move forward.

On Twitter you discussed a possible US tour. Can you elaborate on anything with that, even if it’s just possibilities you’ve being throwing around (length of tour, locations)?

I really can’t speculate. We’re looking at making the trek over sometime this year after our record is finished, but I can’t really say much more.

If you could play with any musician or band, dead or alive, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain or Jeff Buckley.

Last time Dylan spoke to KYS, he said the band had been listening to a lot of Black Sabbath. Do you guys get into other 60’s and 70’s rock, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix etc.?

Oh yeah, you’ve gotta love the classics. I’m a huge Sabbath fan, and Nirvana have been getting a huge revival of late. Obviously that’s 90’s but nevertheless. If you can’t appreciate where the music came from, it’s birth, then how can you attempt to understand where it’s going? We still love a lot of the old stuff and have a lot to learn from it, the structures, the recordings. They have such a different feel, so much more organic. They certainly don’t make music like they used to.

A few quick questions to wrap up:

What’s your favourite Aussie band at the moment?

The Broderick, if they ever actually do another record.

Is there one musical style or artist who you wish would just go away?

Dubstep.

Where is the best coffee in Melbourne?

Degraves.

Do you still get nervous before shows?

Sometimes, but it’s good for you.

What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?

A Scanner Darkly.

Any parting words for the wonderful people of the internet?

Turn off your computer and television and read a book.

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House Vs. Hurricane on Facebook.

Catch them live tomorrow (Sunday) at Push Over at Abbotsford Convent, or at their Corner show in Melbourne, Sat 19th of March. I’ll be heading to both shows, see you there!

Originally posted by yours truly at Kill Your Stereo, as I’m contributing at KYS now.

My friend and I make the long trip to Wheelers Hill and step out of the car to find breathtaking views over the nearby valley; We’ve arrived at Shotgun: “Melbourne’s newest alternative nightclub”. We’re here early, I want to catch the newly reformed The Lesson open the night, supporting Sydney post-hardcore act The Mission in Motion and Melbourne pop-punk/ rock favorites Stealing O’Neal. Our tattooed lady DJ for the evening tells me that Shotgun has only being running only a month or two, and obligingly plays my request: Seven Years by Saosin comes over the speakers while The Lesson set up, and the pierced and skinny jean clad punters saunter in. While Shotgun hasn’t quite reached the well known crush of the city alternative clubs, there’s quite a turn out by the end of the evening.

James Lynch from The Lesson shreds his vocal cords for your listening pleasure.

Nick Budicin cracks a smile during The Lesson's set.

Melbourne up-and-comers The Lesson kick off their post-hardcore assault with E to da G, their newly released track, which opens with a syncopated riff that rings of Underoath influence. The band’s twin-vocal assault packs a punch, with Scott English’s soaring cleans entwining with James Lynch’s blood letting scream. The band are comprised of some new faces, having reformed recently after shortening their name from The Lesson Of Her Death. Things have undoubtedly improved, and the band are tight, and starting to ground themselves in a unique and highly melodic sound. While their recordings are high quality, their live sound radiates an energy and urgency not heard from the studio takes. They are currently wrapping up demos of new material, which I’ve been lucky enough to hear, and their new direction is even further into the Circa Survive school of ambient, experimental post-hardcore. Keep an eye on them.

Tom Niessner from The Lesson makes sure his last show is a screamer.

I Am Villain: Break that shit down.

Next up is Brisbane pop-punk/ hardcore kids I Am Villain. They are loud, fast and in your face, but feedback and sound issues get in the way of a truly enjoyable set. The tight twin guitar attack keeps things grounded, but there is not much here that hasn’t already been covered by legions of New Found Glory wannabes. Props to the guitarist for the Def Lep singlet though.


Brett Islaub of The Mission In Motion throws down the gauntlet.

The Mission In Motion book of rock moves: 'The foot on the foldback.'

The Mission In Motion (TMIM) step onstage next, and by this time the crowd has swelled. The band’s sizable frontman Brett Islaub isn’t fazed by the massive crowd, stepping out into the audience and performing almost the entire set jumping about in front of the stage, daring the audience not to have as much fun as he is. The sun-drenched Sydneysiders put on one hell of a show, running around the stage, having a ball and rocking out, all while absolutely nailing their parts. The band has done hundreds of shows, and believe me you can tell, they look quite at home on stage. Their sound is catchy, melodic, and the lyrics are full of positivity and energy. There are plenty of big sing-along choruses, and just when you think you’re hearing a pop song, the band throws in a massive chunky riff to rattle your bones. Catch them if they make their way to your town, a show with TMIM is money back guarantee for a good time.

The Mission In Motion guitarist Kent Griffiths lets all out.

Chris Scott from Stealing O'Neal channels some Anthony Green.



Last up is Melbourne alternative/pop-punk lifers Stealing O’Neal. Anyone who has been the live scene around here long enough would have heard them at some point, and they deserve the name they’ve made for themselves. Like TMIM, they are completely at ease on stage, and bring their good vibes to the whole venue, although their performance lacks some of the visceral energy that TMIM brought to the audience. A highlight of the show is the epic and uplifting Catchafire, off their debut LP Don’t Sleep, which has the audience singing along right from the first verse, and through to the big chorus which has frontman Chris Scott challenging the audience singing: “Who just stands there, clicking their heels in the moment.” Scott holds the audience in his sway the whole set, with his characteristic high register vocals and effeminate yet commanding stage presence. The hometown crowd lapped up the set and by this time things were getting pretty messy with the amount of beverages consumed by the punters. But there was no negativity, just good times – fitting considering the name of the Stealing O’Neal/TMIM tour – Good Times and Killer Rhymes Part II.

Chris Scott ups the ante

Jack Tosi from Stealing O'Neal brings the vintage back.



Stealing O’Neal at Myspace.
The Mission In Motion at Myspace.
I Am Villain at Myspace.
The Lesson at Myspace.