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How To Control A Rudderless Motorsteeple With BATTLESNAKE

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“It proves that we need to keep getting weirder.”


Last year’s The World Is A Vampire festival might have been promoted as an internationally led concert event headlined by The Smashing Pumpkins, but for me, it will forever be remembered as the first time I saw or heard a Sydney band called Battlesnake. After a continual chorus of praise for the band from one of my friends there, I reluctantly peeled myself off the comfy interview lounge and trudged to the main stage under duress from not getting my own way.

But by the time I got halfway there and heard the rumblings of deep, throbbing metal notes coupled with possibly a naughty word or two for effect, I suddenly had something else to focus on rather than my own petulance.

With a raw-sounding mix of huge Black Sabbath drenched riffs and the toughness and fortitude of Judas Priest in their prime, Battlesnake were systematically winning the crowd over one set of ears at a time. It was a brutal and welcome initiation to a band and music I hadn’t even known existed just 12 hours earlier and I have followed the rise and rise of the band ever since.

So when the opportunity came knocking to have a chat with Samuel, Elliott and Dan preceding the release of their new album The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple I strapped myself in and prepared for war.

Battlesnake style.

“We’ve been sitting on it for a while, and we can’t wait to share it with the world,” Dan enthused when we ask him how they are feeling with the album so close to birth.

“There’s so much going on,” Elliott picked up. “I almost forgot we had the album coming out!”

“Same,” echoed Dan and Sam.

“We’re in the middle of organising the next Europe tour, and we’ve got all these launch events happening. It’s really exciting, but yeah, I kinda almost forgot (laughs).”

Unable to hold our tongue any longer, HEAVY asks what the hell the name of the album actually means.
It’s pretty obvious,” Sam deadpanned. “The Motorsteeple is this gigantic, colossal church on tank tracks that drives the waste eternally, and it has no brakes. The album is about the rise and demise of the motorsteeple. Pretty bleeding obvious…”

Seeing we got no sense out of any of them regarding the title, we try our luck asking about the album musically.

“I guess an expansion of the sound that we’ve been working on for a while,” Elliott measured, “and some new, exciting flavours to come.”

There’s a few surprises that you will hear,” Dan teased.

“We kind of branched a bit more out into the electronic thing,” Elliott continued. “We’ve got an old-school dub chorus in one of the songs. I feel like we got super weird with it. Every time in the studio we thought no, it’s too weird we probably shouldn’t do that, we’d come back the next day and say nah that’s fucken sick, we have to keep that. I think it’s just proof that we need to keep getting weirder (laughs).”

In the full interview, the boys discuss how The Rise and Demise of the Motorsteeple differs musically to their self-titled debut album, their breakthrough success because of The World Is A Vampire tour, how they capitalised on that momentum moving forward, the challenges of writing the second album with more attention and expectation on them as a band, their musical inspirations, how and where to draw the line between imitation and inspiration, their recent European tour and plans to go back, how overseas crowds reacted to their live shows and sense of humour, the upcoming Australian tour and more.

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