By Rod Whitfield
This absolute pillar of the Aussie metal scene is set to release their sixth album. With more than a decade and a half, this many album releases and countless Australian and international tours behind them, mainstay drummer and co-founding member Dave Haley and the rest of the members of the band have developed a very philosophical view of how a new record is received. Especially in this day and age of trolls, haters and keyboard cowboys on the world wide web. So, far from getting nervous during that often awkward period between album completion and release (which can actually stretch to several months), they simply take it in their collective stride.
“Now that everyone’s got their own voice on the internet,” he says with a wry grin, “some people say it’s the best album ever, some people will say it’s the worst album ever. You just know that that’s going to happen. We just really stand behind what we’ve done, what we’ve achieved. We’ve always stayed true to what we do, and just evolved as a band.
“This was the best possible album we could do at this time.”
The album apparently took a little longer to record, and required a slightly different recording process, than their previous records, and according to Dave this shook things up a little bit.
“Good question, it was probably about 18 months,” he reveals, “we actually recorded it over two separate recording sessions, which was a first for us. We’ve never done that before. And that was cool, because it gave us a bit of a different perspective on the songs, and helped us give them more of a unique feel. Half the album was recorded in one session, and the other half in another, in two different spaces as well. It was good in that it gave it something different.”
The tour for the album kicks off very soon, taking in every state and territory save the Northern Territory, and features a stunning lineup of extreme metal, including a legendary overseas act and some seriously good local talent.
“It’s great to get Goatwhore out here again, they’re great guys and a killer band. And the linueps are huge, so if people don’t get to this one, I don’t know what’s wrong with them!” He laughs.
“We also want to keep ticket prices low, so everyone can afford to come. It’s basically going to be a break even tour for us. But we wanted to give something back, to everyone who’s supported us over the years.”
Never a stranger to the international touring circuit, the band will be heading off beyond our shores a few months after the Aussie album launch tour, and their schedule sounds like it may take up most of the rest of this year.
“We’ve got Japan coming up in June,” he states, “and we’re still negotiating with a bunch if different bookers around the place. So it looks like we’ll be doing North America and Europe this year as well, we’ve just got to wait and see.”
The band are building an illustrious history for themselves, and they have become legends in Australian heavy music and extremely well known in extreme metal circles around the world. But, like most bands, it wasn’t always this way, and they come from very humble beginnings. Dave tells us that if someone had have told his younger self, starting the band in Tassie way back in ’99, that 16 years later they would have six albums out and would have toured the world multiple times, he would have been incredulous to say the very least.
“All I wanted to do was get a demo tape out, and notice how I said demo tape!” He laughs again, “we wanted to do that, and maybe perform a show in Melbourne. They were our goals for the time!
“But then when we put out the first CD, and actually got out there and did some touring about the place, we decided that if we set goals we could actually go achieve them, and get out there and tour. It’s just been a gradual thing, every time we do something we try to do it a little bit better, and maybe a little bit different.”
These days, it is their strong friendships as well as their mutual love of what they’re doing that keeps them together. “We’re all great friends in the band, we all hang out outside the band. We’ve toured with bands where, onstage they’re all friends, and then offstage they all fucking hate each other! But with us it’s all really cool.”
19 March Hobart – The Brisbane Hotel
20 March Geelong – The Barwon Club
21 March Melbourne – Wrangler Studios
25 March Canberra – The Basement
26 March Newcastle – The Cambridge Hotel
27 March Sydney – The Factory Theatre
28 March Brisbane – Crowbar