The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





MARCH 2015

Tasmanian death metallers Psycroptic have a new album due out this week, a self titled effort that takes the listener into new directions while still retaining that heavy brutality that the band are known for. They kick off a tour with New Orleans legends Goatwhore this week around Australia so we caught up with drummer Dave Haley to discuss the new tracks and what we can expect on the tour.

Andrew: So let's talk about the new album from Psycroptic, the self titled album. One of the first questions I wanted to ask you and it always makes me curious about self titled albums, what was the reason you decided to go with this title instead?


Dave: Well we had a bunch of different titles we were kicking around but nothing really stuck and one day in rehearsal one of the guys mentioned just self title it. It's probably our best album we've done so let's self title it! So there's no more grand reason than that it's probably that time in our career, it could be a good middle point.


Andrew: Do you feel that the songs represent where the band is at the moment?


Dave: Yeah definitely, every album is of course a step on from the last. We don't like to repeat anything we've done, we like to keep moving forward with different stuff. That keeps it interesting to us. If we pump out the same album every time it would be fucking boring, we wouldn't be doing it anymore. We always try to hone and evolve our sound I guess while keeping it within the Psycroptic realm. You can tell it's us but it's got some different elements in there.


Andrew: Yeah like the first track on the album "Echoes To Come", it doesn't sound like a Psycroptic album at first but then it kicks in and you go OK this is the band. Some of the songs on there, it's a little different than what you have done before but it's still got that Psycroptic sound to it. When you set out to write the songs, is there any set plan to what stuff comes out or do you let things happen organically?


Dave: We let things happen pretty organically. Every time we write new material, we do it in a little bit of a different way of course to stop that boredome and stagnation. Some of the songs were written with us literally pressing record and jamming for a couple of hours and then listening back and seeing what we created. It might be 2 seconds, 10 seconds or 20 seconds of a song but it gives it an organic feel because it came out of the jamming process. Other songs Joe (Haley, guitars) completed from start to finish and then gave it to us and we chopped it up and rearranged some of the structure, things like that. We try to write in a bit of a new manner I guess, everything we do we just keep it different. This album we actually recorded it in 2 different sessions so that added a different sound and a different vibe too.


Andrew: And there seems to be, and there's always been a groove aspect to your music anyway, but there seems to be more groove on this one than before. There's a lot of hooks and melodies, especially with melodies where there seems to be more melodies maybe than previous efforts. Was that something you were going for or was it also something that just came our naturally?


Dave: A bit of both, it's natural but we did decide to push it a little bit further. Try to make the most catchy, groove based album but still within the extreme metal realm. We're not really a groove band but it's our take on it, music that's catchy. Sometimes in the past we've done the ultra technical thing, it does go over people's heads sometimes so it was good to push these elemets in our music a little more.


Andrew: Yeah it's a great album and we're looking forward to hearing it live when you start your tour this week. Obviously your kicking it off in Perth on Thursday night and you are touring with Goatwhore and a few other bands so what can we expect?


Dave: Well we are really looking forward to playing the new songs live. Getting the reaction firstly, and playing a few older tracks that we haven't done for a while. We're just gonna get out there and do our thing. For us live is where we really shine, the studio is great and all but live is where you get the energy. Especially playing with a band like Goatwhore who are an amazing live band and kick everyone's arses so we're gonna have to step up our game and put on a pretty killer show.


Andrew: Do you still enjoy touring as much as you did when you first started out?


Dave: Oh yeah definitely! As with anything at times you can get not so much bored but sometimes when you're 5-6 weeks into a tour, it can be a little bit demanding but that's with anything. If you got 5-6 weeks of work without a break, you're gonna get a little bit tired but yeah we still love it and we do it as much as we can while still keeping our day jobs and our homes and things like that. But yeah we still really enjoy it.


Andrew: As we said before, you're kicking it off in Perth and you have obviously been to Perth numerous times over the years. It's a big trek, it's expensive to get over here. What makes you keep coming back to Perth so many times?


Dave: The audiences over there are always killer, very supportive metal scene. When we can do it, we always try to slot it in but yeah as you said it's a massive expense and a lot of people don't realize it. If we do leave it off a tour, it's only due to financial reasons. We would be there in a second, we'd play there every week if we could. The audiences are killer and we love it. But yeah unfortunately financial restrictions prohibit that but we're pretty stoked to be able to come back.


Andrew: So out of all the places you have played in Australia, what is the best place to play? Best venue, best crowd, all that stuff combined together?


Dave: Good question, it's a hard one. Of course Perth is definitely up there, the crowds are always killer. You can't really beat playing at home so we've done some really great Hobart gigs. In terms of memorable gigs, it's a real hard one because every gig is memorable for it's own reasons whether it's a killer gig supporting Cannibal Corpse or memorable for the wrong reasons like playing to fuck all people in the middle of nowhere and the power goes out, (that) kind of thing. So every gig is kinda special for it's own reason I guess. That's just me dodging the question completely haha!


Andrew: Haha na I can imagine it's a hard one because every show is going to be different, every tour is going to be different. You have played with a lot of bands, some of the greatest death metal bands on the planet. Is there any particular band that you thought you would never play with?


Dave: The likes of Cannibal Corpse and things like that is always amazing touring with them. And then playing some of the festivals they always blow you away. But yeah we will play just about anywhere with anyone, if people are gonna show up and enjoy it, we'll do it.


Andrew: Now I wanted to quickly ask you about this recent charity thing for saving the Tasmanian Devils. Can you tell me a little about all that for some of our readers?


Dave: Yeah we put on a show last year in May to raise money for a charity called Devil Ark. For those that don't know, the Tasmanian Devil is suffering from a cancerous facial tumor that is spreading through the populous and wiping it out, I think about 90% of the population has ben wiped out which is really fucked. So the organisation which is called Devil Ark is taking devils that are healthy and isolating them from the populous so they don't contract the facial tumours. There's enough money going into the research and the cure and things like that but it seems to be taking too long so we'll donate to this cause because they're trying to keep the species alive basically by isolating it. So we thought that's an excellent charity for the devils and us being a Tasmanian band and the devil being a Tasmanian icon, it was kind of a no-brainer for us. I guess we're not so much a political band or a cause for band but this is the icon of Tasmania so if there is any cause, this we may as well be doing.


Andrew: And not just a Tasmanian icon but an Aussie icon as well so it's great that you guys are stepping in and helpng it out because it's definitely not something we want to lose.


Dave: Yeah and if we can put on a show and raise a bunch of cash and raise a bit of awareness and people kinda know what's going on, it's all a good thing.


Andrew: Will any of this be raised at any of the shows on this tour?


Dave: Like I said, we're not a political or cause for kind of band so we're not out there pumping it and pushing it into people's faces but if people want to talk to us about it, we're definitely there. Maybe we'll do an annual gig to raise a bit of money and awareness but we haven't planned anything or set anything in stone but if people want to talk to us, we can point them in the right direction.


Andrew: Awesome! Well we're looking forward to seeing you this week and the new album is sounding great so congratulations on that and it's been a pleasure talking to you!


Dave: Awesome, we can't wait!


The tour dates


Thursday 12 March - Amplifier, Perth Tickets at the door w/ The Furor

Friday 13 March: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Tickets w/ Colossvs

Saturday 14 March: The New Dead Festival @ Fowlers Live, Adelaide Tickets

Sunday 15 March: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Tickets w/ The Hazard Circular

Wednesday 18 March: The Barwon Club, Geelong Tickets

Thursday 19 March: Club 54, Launceston Tickets at the door w/ Zeolite

Friday 20 March: The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart Tickets w/ Zeolite

Saturday 21 March: Wrangler Studios, Melbourne Tickets

Wednesday 25 March: The Basement, Canberra Tickets w/ I Exist

Thursday 26 March: The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Tickets w/ Grim Demise

Friday 27 March: The Factory Theater, Sydney Tickets w/ Daemon Pyre


Saturday 28 March: Crowbar, Brisbane Tickets



Dave spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe - March 2015





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