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Aversions Crown

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Listen to AVERSIONS CROWN while you read.

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Taking over as vocalist for an established band is always a challenging proposition, particularly in the death metal genre where fans seem to be more passionate than fans in other forms of music.

When Mark Poida took over frontman duties from Colin Jeffs in Aversions Crown he knew he had big shoes to fill but also knew he was up to the task.

“I was a bit nervous to begin with,” he admitted, “because I knew vocally, I didn’t sound much like their old singer and I didn’t know if that was the sound they wanted me to go for but as I got into the band they said just do what you want to do, it’s your spot now, which gave me confidence. They encouraged me to put my own influence into it and make it the way I wanted it to sound which was cool. Everyone has been super supportive of what I’ve done and I’ve gone to the rest of the band to see if some things were okay and they told me not to even ask and just do what felt right. I feel right at home with the band now and it’s been an absolute pleasure writing an album with them.”

That album is the recently released Xenocide an album which Poida has had a massive input on from both a performing and writing perspective.

“I just wanted to do what I do vocally over Aversions and see how it all sounded,” he said modestly, “and it came together really well so that was basically my goals for my first album with the band. Record an album that sounded like me over Aversions Crown and also make sure that the album was hooky and sounded good which I believe it is. It’s mixed really well so the goal was pretty simple: just make a good album. It’s simple, but it’s true.”

Rather than preside over a generic metal album for his first effort, Poida decided to make the album conceptually based, with a major emphasis on extraterrestrial activity.

“The concept is basically one big story,” he explained, “that spreads over all of the tracks. It tells the story about the lives of an alien hierarchy and the fall of it and the creation of humans and then what happens to the aliens within that hierarchy and why they split apart and why they decide to fight against each other. It’s based more from the alien side of things as opposed to the human side.”

Writing music and lyrics can be hard enough when based on personal experiences, but when writing about something you have never experienced and will probably never be subject to things can be more difficult. Topics like science fiction, while based in reality, are still unchartered dimensions but Poida says when you have a passion for something it doesn’t matter whether it is real or imagined.

“I’m a massive science- fiction fan,” he acknowledged, “I love films and I love video games and books and documentaries so basically I just look up and watch a lot of things and I take inspiration from random moments in my life where I’ll look at something and think it would be a cool idea to put into a song and make it about aliens. I remember I watched a documentary and it was a show called ‘How to Survive the End of the World’ and there was six or seven different scenarios on how the world will end and how you would survive it and I actually got a few more ideas from that about how aliens would come to Earth and make us all die in a way that would be very easy for them instead of the hard way of coming down and killing us all one by one. It threw out ideas like destroying the moon or throwing the Earth off its axis and crazy but simple things like that. I use these inspirations and ideas and put it together to make a story in my head and then find a start and a finish to it and fill in the in between parts.”

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While the majority of the inspiration comes from movies and television, Poida concedes he has had unexplainable events happen to him personally.

“I’ve had experience with it but I can’t say its 100% extraterrestrial,” he laughed. “I’ve seen things in the sky that obviously can’t be planes or anything like that. One time, I think it was New Years, the actual New Years day, as soon as it ticked over to the next year – maybe 2014 to 2015 – I saw a huge red light in the sky and I got my Mum and she saw it as well and we both filmed it and to this day we still both don’t know what it was. We saw a lot of people around our area talking about it but we never saw anything come from it and we never saw any explanations.”

He laughed again when asked if any of this was inspiration for the album.

“No it wasn’t unfortunately. It probably should have! To be honest I actually forgot about it until this exact moment (laughs).”

In keeping with the alien theme, Xenocide’s cover also bears relevance to the storyline, with Poida reluctant to go into too much detail.

“Basically the album has seven different main alien characters,” he offered, “and the cover is one of the main characters in the story which is actually the most evil one, but I can’t tell you anymore without spoiling the whole concept. To put it simply, this alien does something very bad and none of the other aliens wanna be with him so he tries to destroy them because they won’t be with him on his quest or whatever it is. He’s a very naughty alien with bad vibes (laughs).”

As well as putting his own stamp on Aversions Crown as a vocalist, Poida says that the band have progressed musically as well since he joined, with Xenocide not only staying true to what drew fans to the music in the first place, but also adding different layers and dimensions as part of their musical growth.

“For the last two albums they went for a really death core kind of sound,” he said, “with a lot of chugs and breakdowns but also a lot of metal elements. I believe with this album we all tried to move things forward. We wanted to make it more metal – we wanted to be a death core band still but have more metal elements with a lot more blasting and a lot more riffs. We didn’t want every third of each song to be a breakdown. We wanted to make it riffy and more groovy. We went with a more metal style mix with Mark Lewis and we told him not to make it sound overproduced. We tried to go for a much rawer but not too polished sounding album so more of a hybrid between the two.”

Written by Kris Peters

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