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Mitch Burgess Arkive - Interview
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Melbourne Djent/Progressive Metalcore outfit Arkive formed out of the ashes of a previous band, picking up a new vocalist and a new sonic direction - and after a short period of rehearsal, their 2015 self-titled EP was tracked with Callan Orr from Dream on Dreamer at Avalanche Studios. The band recently dropped their new single "Everstorm" and are currently on tour with Buried In Verona, we spoke to vocalist Mitch Burgess about the new single, the dynamics of a 6 member band and being on tour.



Steve: So how's things with the band?

Mitch: Very good! Coming back off a pretty big weekend and a big release last week which has been amazingly successful too which the ball has been rolling pretty hard the last 7 days. So all very good really, we hit Adelaide in a couple of weeks and then we got a hometown gig here in Melbourne.

Steve: It's quite the rollercoaster for you guys, it's all come at once.

Mitch: That's exactly right! I mean strategically so we've been sitting on a bit of content for a while and sort of been waiting for the start of the release to the end of this year and head early into next year with a bit more stuff coming out very soon.

Steve: And I have read that you guys are supporting Buried In Verona for some of their final shows.

Mitch: Yeah it's been an absolute pleasure playing with those guys, both them, Capture The Crown and Foxblood who are truly amazing bands. We've certainly played much bigger audiences than what we're used to in the last few week.

Steve: I guess it goes without saying but how does it feel to be out amongst the bigger crowds for you guys?

Mitch: Oh man it's why we do it. To play to an audience that's all hanging on it and everybody's waiting for it, it's pretty amazing. It's exactly what we want to do.

Steve: It's like the ultimate rush!

Mitch: That's it! Nervous excitement is what we live for.

Steve: So you guys have dropped your new video clip in the form of "Everstorm", what's the response been like from the fans and people in general?

Mitch: I think it's been just on a week today since it's release and we managed to get 5000 views since then. A lot of new people who I didn't think had heard our music before have been in contact with me or us and generally we've been pretty overwhelmed, a lot of response has come through so it seems like people like it. I certainly hope that's the case!

Steve: Yeah I guess ultimately that's what a band wants is the feedback as well.

Mitch: Yeah that's it, we just want to create what we feel we want to write and hopefully everybody likes it.

Steve: I also see that Callan Orr (Dream On Dreamer) helped out with this video clip?

Mitch: No he actually recorded our initial EP, on our self titled he was responsible for tracking. So it was pretty impressive to work with him, he's quite the guy and knows his stuff that's for sure.

Steve: In the last few weeks or so I've actually spoken to a few other bands like Jack The Stripper and they have also worked with him and they were quite taken with him as well!

Mitch: Yeah he was unreal for that EP that we worked with him. We've actually moved on to Beau Mckee now who we are now working with, he just did "Everstorm" and he's also in the final stages of our 6 track EP which we will be dropping in January next year.

Steve: Given that there is 6 members in the band, what's the dynamic like? Obviously you guys get along otherwise it wouldn't fly.

Mitch: [laughs] You just can't sit in the car with 6 dudes for 4000 km and not get along! But the dynamics are pretty good man, pretty cruisey and just a party all the time. We hang out even when it's not band related.

Steve: So when see it comes to the writing process, what's the deal with you guys in terms of do you throw it into a hat and see how we go?

Mitch: [laughs] Our lead guitarist Sam (Armstrong), this band is pretty much his baby so all the writing process comes down to him. A lot of the input comes from the rest of the guys but he writes a predominant amount of our work and then vocals will come from me and Court (Walters) where we will talk about where we will sing over the top.

Steve: So what keeps you inspired when it comes to the writing process or just overall?

Mitch: As far as musicians, yeah Dan Tompkins from Tesseract is someone who certainly inspires me both in his musicality and lyric writing. I think Tesseract as a whole on the band pretty much inspires the band, we draw inspiration from that kind of group. Very atmospheric but still quite heavy at the same time.

Steve: I'm interested in your perspective on this, what's your take on being pigeonholed in the metalcore / djent thing. Do you like that whole tag thing or do you like your music to speak for itself.

Mitch: I would like to think that our music would speak for itself. I mean I myself being the clean [vocals] component of this band, I come from a fairly Indie background so the whole djent/hardcore/metalcore scene is not something that I'm overly familiar with. It is amazing how quickly we did get pigeonholed though, I would love to play with a few more progressive style bands and just see how their audience feels about us and whether it's only a hardcore audience that would dig what we do or if we can broaden that a bit.

Steve: I think broadley speaking a lot of bands are quick to be pigeonholed and it's kind of a shame as it doesn't really let the music shine.

Mitch: Yeah that's exactly right. People get an idea about before we've even made it in, people should get an opportunity to find out for themselves.

Steve: For sure. It's like that boring old record, 'oh geez it sounds like Meshuggah' when it actual fact it could be so much more.

Mitch: Yeah that's right. But having said that, I do love Meshuggah!

Steve: For sure, you and me both! So is there anyone you would love to work with, even production-wise, that would tick off your list?

Mitch: Oh as far as production goes, we are pretty rapt with Beau Mckee at the moment. I can't get enough of that guy! He fits in with what we want and the ideas he comes through is exactly what we want from him. Jamie Marinos we also have a great deal to do with, he used to play lead guitar for Sentinel before they split up. I know a lot of the boys have gotten quite a bit of influence from his skills because he is pretty amazing.

Steve: It's interesting to get everyone's perspective as every has different ideas.

Mitch: That's exactly right, it's nice to get production from a couple of different perspectives. That way it's not just our mind but a couple of people outside the box looking in.

Steve: Obviously as you love to tour, do you have any plans to take this album and bring it to Perth?

Mitch: It's a damned shame we missed out on the Buried In Verona leg in Perth. We missed out on that just because of prior commitments, we were actually in the studio at the time. But yeah I can guarantee you that at some point we will make our way over.

Steve: That would be great to see you guys over here! Given that the music scene in Melbourne is so huge, who are some of your favorite bands that are rolling around in the scene as it stands right now?

Mitch: There is quite a few now in our sort of genre/scene that it's amazing they're from Melbourne. At the moment just because we're on tour with Foxblood, I only met those guys very recently and they have quickly become personal favorites. I know the guys from Pridelands too personally and they are a really tight band as well so off the top of my head, those are the 2 I would recommend.

Steve: Awesome! SO one question that I always ask that I interview, what was the last you bought or downloaded or even would love to get your hands on?

Mitch: The last one that I bought would of been "Language" by The Contortionist. I saw those guys with Sleep Makes Waves recently and that is a band that really moved me.

Steve: Yeah I think they blow a lot of minds to be honest [laughs].

Mitch: [laughs] Yeah that's exactly right!

Steve: So finally do you have a message for the fans here in Perth or even Australia wide that you want to get out there?

Mitch: For the fans in Perth, we are coming! At some point we will be down there, I'm terribly sorry that we couldn't make it on this tour but there will be another one and we will be coming.

Steve: Excellent! Well it's been really awesome to speak with you this evening, good luck with everything and definitely hope to catch you guys at some point in the near future!

Mitch: Cool thank you very much dude!

w/ Capture The Crown, Foxblood & Arkive

Friday, November 4: Uni Bar, Adelaide
Saturday, November 5: Max Watts, Melbourne

Tickets and tour details can be found at Destroy All Lines.

Interview by Steve Monaghan on October 26th 2016