If you are a fan of progressive metal, then there’s a fair chance that Sydney’s Intrøspect are a band already on your radar? If not, then don’t let them escape you. The band is set to release their second EP Midnight Sun this coming Friday 19th, March. A stunning blend of progressive, metal, rock and ambient influences, accompanied with some stunning visuals, Midnight Sun is set to propel the five piece worldwide.
In the lead-up to the release, I had the opportunity to fire some questions the way of guitarist Jamie McVicker.
In 33 words or less, describe to readers what Intrøspect is all about ?
Jamie: We’re trying to create sonic landscapes which invite the listener to explore the suffering and the beauty of life in the space between crushing instrumentation, reflective ambience and sonorous vocals.
Your new EP Midnight Sun is released on March 19th. Thinking back to the recording process for the EP, what are some of your most immediate memories of the process, the location etc?
The process began a year ago, during the first lockdown of the pandemic. With a few weeks to do nothing but stay at home and write, I saw it as a unique opportunity to work on fleshing out some material we had stocked up over the year, with some songs even predating the release of Ad Astra.
I found the process incredibly peaceful and cathartic – I was staying at my parent’s place near the bush on the outskirts of Sydney at the time – working through some personal turmoil as well as some health problems- bringing those drafts/lyrics together was an incredibly healing process.
What I bought the band from there was really just a series of loose frameworks, with every member bringing their own flavours and talents to the table as the tracks gained fuller shape and depth in the following months. Loko made some very thoughtful and clever arrangements, Felicity lead the vocal workshopping process with confidence, and Hugo added some insane chops to the drums, both in pre production, and when recording with Chris Blancato in Kellyville.
We recorded everything with him over a few weeks in September-October 2020, a wonderful experience in which he really helped us shape our new sound, in a similarly peaceful environment in Kellyville – another distant corner of Sydney.
The mix and master were done remotely by George Lever @ G1 Productions in the UK, and his approach to the mix brought out a real character and texture we didn’t know we had in the first place – this included the addition of some amazing strings throughout the record, which absolutely blew us away as we were putting the finishing touches on the tracks!
Musically the songs offer a diverse landscape, hinting at many different influences. How wide ranging are the musical influences of each member of the band?
We all have our own unique backgrounds and ways into prog, which I guess can be heard quite clearly in the music. Loko & I share a love of djent/modern metal – Periphery, Northlane, Thornhill, Sleep Token to name a couple influences for our guitars.
Personally, I’m influenced by a lot of modern / progressive EDM and ambient music, which I drew on in producing the ambience & constructing some of the quieter moments on the record – metal is known for making statements, but creating a sense of sonic spaciousness was equally as important to us – Rufus Du Sol, Jon Hopkins, ODESZA & The Flashbulb are some big influences there.
Felicity brings an affinity for female-fronted rock/metal from the 90s & 00s to the mix- Evanesence, Paramore, Halsey, Odette, are big influences for her, so the vocals are coming from a markedly different place to the guitars, which I think has a lot to do with the diversity of sounds found in our tracks.
Lyrically, what would you say is the greatest inspiration to your lyrics?
Adrian Fitipaldes’ lyrical work on Northlane’s’ Singularity’  was life changing for me when I first heard it, and was the genesis of a spiritual journey which got us to where we are now, and why we write about what we write about in 2021.
Star’s End touches on the most ‘big picture’ philosophical themes of the EP, and in writing that I was hugely influenced by romantic and modernist poets – T.S Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ & Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’ were hugely inspirational in their treatment of broader questions of purpose, spirituality & consciousness.
The film clip to your recent single The Wisdom Of Mountains is amazing, describe how that concept came about?
That film clip came about more because of a timing / budget constraints – we put together a pretty huge production of Mjolnir, so there wasn’t a lot left over when it came time to shoot Wisdom – which lead to a VFX-led video, which I foolishly embarked on editing with very little knowledge of VFX!! (Haha).
Visually, I drew inspiration from my time in New Zealand, (where the idea for the song was born) and the strange comfort I found in nature there, whilst I was going through some hearbreakingly intense feelings of loss & grief after a breakup.
Nature has a funny way of putting our problems into perspective – I thought the silhouette / double exposure style could communicate that feeling of insignificance in the face of nature’s majesty, but there’s a significance to our experience, and beauty in that too, because we’re a part of this constantly changing tapestry. Loss & grief are part and parcel of being a small but indivisible part of nature. It was hard to nail the visual vibe, with a lot of lessons and trials in a 100 hour + edit, but I’m so happy with how it turned out.
One of the standout tracks on the EP for me is Itomori with the glorious sounds of saxophone, do tell more about this track and how it came together…
This track definitely had a different, more spacious tone to the others, even from the start. Early on in the process, I knew the 80s-reverb-drenched atmosphere would be perfect for a soulful sax solo, and that’s something Loko and I have always wanted to include, but couldn’t find the right space for it on ‘Ad Astra’. Loko wrote the solo and recorded it in a couple of takes with Chris in his studio – we were all absolutely blown away when we heard it! Can’t wait to debut that live.
Your music has an amazing cinematic landscape to it, what Movie Soundtrack from the past would have been perfectly suited for the music of Intrøspect?
An incredibly hard question to answer – but if I had to pick one, it would probably be the soundtrack to Interstellar (Nolan, 2014). Hans Zimmer’s score there really covers the gamut of human experience – from the most delicate and gentle of piano melodies, to gigantic soundscapes, wormholes, black holes, the fate of humanity. We’re trying to bring the huge and intimate together in the same way Nolan & Zimmer did in Interstellar- if we can do half the job they did, we’ll be very happy!
Share with us the last album you listened to and the last band you saw perform live?
Right now I can’t get enough of Architects’ new record ‘For Those Who Wish To Exist’ – it’s an incredibly bold departure of style from them – love how they’re playing with new sounds, particularly in ‘Dead Butterflies’ & ‘Dying is Absolutely Safe’.
The last band I saw live was Bad Moon Born, who we supported at Crowbar, Sydney in February – I was really impressed with their blending of more traditional rock / heavy metal sounds with modern metalcore, but it was their cover of ‘Aerials’ by System of a Down which really blew me away! What a cover! So stoked for more moments like that as live music (hopefully) continues to open up this year.
Looking ahead to the end of the year with much positivity, complete this… 2021 will have been an awesome year for Intrøspect, because…..?
- We performed at a music festival (hoping this is possible!)
- We shared a more mature, fleshed out sound with our listeners in Midnight Sun
- Our music and lyrics helped someone, somewhere get through a hard time, or gain a deeper perspective on themselves, life, the universe etc – through introspection! 😉
Pre orders for Midnight Sun are available now: ditto.fm/midnight-sun-introspect
Felicity Jayne – Vocals
Loko McDonald & Jamie McVicker – Guitars
Luke Turner – Bass
Hugo Rumore – Drums
Intrøspect are for fans of:
Northlane, TesseracT, Karnivool, Spiritbox, Periphery, The Beautiful Monument, Sleep Token, Polaris, Conquer Divide, Erra, The Contortionist, Evanescence.
Experience To Intrøspect
RedHook Reveal Monstrous Debut EP ‘Bad Decisions’
Sydney-based alternative-rock trio RedHook have unleashed their long-awaited debut EP ‘Bad Decisions’ – produced by Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, Trophy Eyes), and mixed by James Paul Wisner (Hands Like Houses, Underoath).
‘Bad Decisions’ consists of six emotionally-charged songs of audacious alternative rock. From the defiant rage of ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ to the bittersweet oddity of ‘I Don’t Keep Up’, to the fragile moments of despair in ‘Alien’, each song pulsates with its own unique energy while delivering the unmistakable infectious hooks, passionate lyrics, bold arrangements, and genre-bending quirk that have come to define RedHook’s expansive sound.
Lead singer Emmy Mack talks about the process of making ‘Bad Decisions’:
“’Bad Decisions’ feels like my Horcrux. There’s a chunk of my soul trapped in here. I wrote most of these lyrics when my mental health was circling the drain. I was going through a challenging time where I couldn’t understand my own mind; I felt like a freak, like a fuck-up, like no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop hurting the people I cared about most. And I poured every last ounce of hatred, rage, confusion, frustration, depression and despair that I felt towards myself and the world around me into these six songs.”
EP opener ‘I Don’t Keep Up’ is a playful declaration of identity and difference, setting up crucial themes of navigating mental illness – as well as ensuing feelings of imperfection, abnormality and failure – which reverberate across the entire EP. The second track, ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ delivers trenchant arrangements, complemented by Mack’s grimacing vocals travelling through the darker lyrical elements of RedHook’s catalogue.
This steers the listener into title track and lead single ‘Bad Decisions’, where RedHook use a confessional punk slice to assert their energy and immensity, before introducing the record’s heaviest track, ‘Kamikaze’. Layered with unshakable riffs and haywire electronics, ‘Kamikaze’ is a high-tempo explosion of frantic instrumentation. Mack’s rasping vocals are complimented by feature guest Will King of Windwaker, with both singers colliding in an exhilarating bridge, leading into the song’s fiery climax.
Next up, ‘Alien’ shows us RedHook at their most vulnerable. Stripped-back verses launch into a titanic chorus, rich in texture and melody, as lush guitars, verdant vocal harmonies, and atmospheric synths add even more weight to Mack’s emotionally-wrought storytelling. Finally, ‘Your Heroes Are Bullshit’ caps off the EP impressively with a tale of existential meltdown. Mack’s brutal performance is front and centre as the track hurtles towards the EP’s colossal finale.
Guitarist Craig Wilkinson, assistant producer on the EP alongside Dave Petrovic (Northlane, Tonight Alive), talks about the development of ‘Bad Decisions’:
“It feels huge to finally release our debut EP. The one silver lining of watching our entire 2020 schedule go up in flames was finally getting the chance to double down in the studio and give our fans what they’ve been asking for. Musically, we wanted to challenge ourselves and push our song writing to fresh limits, cross breeding our love of riffs and all things heavy with fresh sounds from the worlds of EDM, pop, hip-hop and more. I even got to go back to my high school jazz band roots and bust out a sax solo!”
Singles off the ‘Bad Decisions’ EP have been widely embraced by the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music, with ‘Cure 4 Psycho’ being added to rotation on triple j, along with further radio support from Kerrang! Radio (UK), triple j Unearthed, The Faction, 4ZZZ and Aussie Music Weekly. The tracks have also received praise from blogs Rock Sound (UK), Rolling Stone (AUS), Music Feeds, HEAVY Mag, Hysteria Magazine and The Soundcheck, with multiple video clips being added to rotation on ABC’s Rage.
To coincide with the release, the band will be embarking on an Australian headline tour, including shows at The Brightside in Brisbane, Crowbar in Sydney, the Crown & Anchor in Adelaide, Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, the Prince of Wales in Bunbury, along with Amplifier (+18) and HQ (AA) in Perth.
They’ll also be joining the likes of Northlane and In Hearts Wake at the inaugural Full Tilt Festival in Sydney this July, before appearing as part of the music line-up of Sydney extreme sports festival District X alongside Hands Like Houses and Hooligan Hefs in October.
This continues on from appearances at Download UK, Good Things, BIGSOUND and Halloween Hysteria, as well as supporting the likes of The Amity Affliction, Sevendust, Hands Like Houses and Ocean Grove.
‘Bad Decisions’ is available worldwide now – Click Here To Stream
REDHOOK BAD DECISIONS TOUR
FRI 30 APR | BRIGHTSIDE, BRISBANE QLD
SAT MAY 1 | CROWBAR, SYDNEY NSW ** SOLD OUT **
SAT MAY 1 | CROWBAR, SYDNEY NSW (SECOND SHOW)
FRI MAY 7 | CROWN & ANCHOR, ADELAIDE SA ** SOLD OUT **
FRI MAY 7 | CROWN & ANCHOR, ADELAIDE SA (SECOND SHOW)
SAT MAY 8 | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE VIC ** SOLD OUT **
SAT MAY 8 | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE VIC (SECOND SHOW)
FRI MAY 14 | PRINCE OF WALES, BUNBURY WA
SAT MAY 15 | AMPLIFIER, PERTH WA
SUN MAY 16 | HQ, PERTH WA (AA)
SAT JUL 31 | FULL TILT FESTIVAL, BELLA VISTA FARM NSW
FRI OCT 29 | DISTRICT X, SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL REGATTA CENTRE NSW
Sydney Heavy Rockers Dreamers Crime Unleash New Single ‘Dreaming’
Sydney based Heavy Rock outfit Dreamers Crime have just released their anthemic new single and music video ‘Dreaming’.
They have also announced a local launch show at Crowbar (Sydney) on April 30 with supports Livewire and Screaming Eagle.
The single is taken from their upcoming album called ‘Here We Are’, which was recorded at Electric Sun Studios with award-winning producers Dave Petrovic and Stevie Knight.
Dreamers Crime debuted in 2014 with the release of their EP ‘What Is Real’. The band have since toured Australia multiple times.
Since 2018, the boys have completed two tours across South East Asia that included shows in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. They have also shared the stage in Australia with the likes of Trapt and Hybrid Theory.
Dreamers Crime released their single ‘Silence’ in January and are now ready to unleash their epic new single ‘Dreaming’.
New single ‘Dreaming’ is available on all major online stores.
DREAMERS CRIME – ‘DREAMING’ SINGLE LAUNCH
April 30th – Crowbar, Sydney, NSW
W/ Livewire + Screaming Eagle
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au | 18+ only
Counting Silence Release Debut EP ‘Faraday’
Melbourne-based alternative rockers Counting Silence have unleashed their dynamic new EP, ‘Faraday’ – which features the debut single of the same name. The EP was recently premiered via AAA Backstage.
‘Faraday’ is a collection of diverse rock tracks that build, twist and turn. They hold a sense of curiosity. And they display a style that’s dynamic, heavy and complex, but also uniquely approachable. It’s a style that Counting Silence are making their own.
The band brings together four life-long musicians who want to write music that’s free from limitations and genre stereotypes. Singer Chris Fullwood, guitarist Wayne Bauman, bassist Eric Stock and drummer John Rankin want to engage and surprise fans of heavy, melodic music. And they’ve got the musicianship, experience and passion to do just that.
The band recently premiered the EP’s title track, ‘Faraday’, via The Music, and it has since been aired on more than 50 radio stations across Australia, including Triple M.
“It lulls you into a vibe… and then just smacks you in the face!”
Dave ‘Higgo’ Higgins – Triple M
Counting Silence’s debut EP ‘Faraday’ is available for download and streaming on all major online platforms.