We caught up with Sydney band Bermuda to talk about their upcoming EP ‘DSM AXIS IV’.
Hey Phil, how are you doing? For the uninitiated could you please state your role in the band and beverage of choice?
I am doing great! Had a win on the pokies last night. I am the lead vocalist and my drink of choice is Jack Daniels on the rocks if I can afford it, if not anything will do, except for vodka! Vodka makes me crazy angry!
Bermuda has been hitting the road intensively for the past year straight. What’s your favourite town to hit and where do you get the best response?
Adelaide is always really good for us because that’s pretty much where we started out. Our first interstate shows were in Adelaide. Since then we have made some pretty solid friendships so it’s like a second home for us. Other than that Perth is an amazing city and the people genuinely appreciate the fact you jumped on a plane to go there because not that many bands do. Which was the same with a lot of rural towns we hit.
With such an intensive touring schedule, how have you all found the time to maintain jobs to fund the constant trips interstate?
Well you pretty much don’t maintain jobs! We had to cut back on touring towards the end of this year just because we all needed some time to make some money and pay bills to get into a position to tour again. We were all pretty poor for a while there, but in the end we didn’t care because we have had the best year of our life so far.
Where would you say Bermuda draws most of its influences from, both musically and in everyday living?
Our influences have really changed over the last year or so. We’ve always had our metal influences but then we all have such a broad taste in music. But were basically not listening to just metal so we don’t pigeonhole ourselves in the writing process, listening from rap, pop punk, pop to ambient stuff like Sigor Ros and Imogen Heap. Some traditional metal dudes might not agree with that but we just want to listen and draw influence from everywhere and write what we enjoy playing.
Spending so much time in close quarters must get intense. Who gets the most rowdy on tour?
After a while you do start to get on each other’s nerves, and alcohol plays a major part. We all love to drink in our downtime and fuck around but it can be deadly! I think myself and mark have had a few run in’s only because we both have really strong personalities. Its come very close to physical violence but we get over it pretty quickly and I think that’s the main thing. You can never spend that much time with people without having stupid arguments over some bullshit reason that escalate but its how you deal with it after that makes you stronger as a band.
The title of the new EP is called DSM AXIS IV. Could you please explain the origin of this title and driving force behind the lyrics?
‘DSM AXIS IV’ is actually a scale that psychologists and doctors use to determine the level of psychosis or mental illness. It actually came about when I was writing the lyrics for the first song on the EP, which is about a night terror I had. I did some research into night terrors and come across this DSM AXIS. For me it had some bearing because I suffer from some mental illnesses that affect my everyday life so I came up with the idea of writing all the lyrics around this. It became a real outlet for me in writing for this EP. Each song on the EP has a corresponding value which if kids get a bit keen they’ll be able to find out what each song is about by looking up the AXIS with the number of the song.
You chose to record the EP a little closer to home this time rather than making the voyage to Melbourne again. Who took control of the production this time and who took over for mastering?
After recording in Melbourne last time we just really wanted to be close to home so we could get back to our houses everyday and relax without having to travel so far. Complex was a great place to record it was just we were sleeping on a friends floor the whole time and it was so cold it was a fucking joke.
So we decided to hit up Electric Sun studios in Arndell Park, Sydney. We had heard some really good stuff coming out of there and we were really keen to record there.
We worked with 2 engineers from there. Shane “buddha” Edwards tracked all our drums and Dave Petrovic tracked everything else. They did an amazing job and really helped produce this EP rather than just engineer and they were always pushing the best out of us and coming up with good suggestions of how to make the songs better. It was an amazing experience to work with both of them! If you ever record at Electric Sun ask Buddha about the Buddha Burgers! It will change your life.
A guy named Toby who comes highly recommended and has a lot of experience, so we are confident he will bring a massive sound for us will be doing mastering at Sony Studios.
How did you manage to get a banana coloured hoody past the metal board in your new photos?
Haha well I don’t know actually. We don’t try to act or dress metal we pretty much just do whatever we want. I more wear that yellow hoodie to piss people off!
You have recently become a part of the paper tigers/shock label. Is there a tentative release date for the new banger and where will kids be able to get their hands on a copy?
We haven’t set a definite release date at this time but it’s looking like late November/December with a launch party in Sydney City and we are also doing a few dates around Capital Cities in December. We will be putting a few tracks up on our MySpace so kids can get an idea of what’s its like and there will be a presale option. Other than that they will be going into store in December.
I have been lucky enough to have a listen to the new tracks and it’s definitely going to turn a lot of heads in this country. With Tyrant received so warmly, what sort of mindset did you going into when writing the new material?
It could’ve been easy for us to write another Tyrant but we wanted to challenge ourselves on this EP. It took us a while to write just because we weren’t going to settle for the same riffs. For us it’s a real step up and we hope that the people see this too. In terms of mindset we had no specific idea of what it was going to sound like we just wanted to keep writing stuff that we enjoy playing. It’s just a massive bonus if everyone else likes it too.
What lies in store for Bermuda for the rest of the year?
Well at the moment were just taking a break. We hit up shows again starting in November with a support of an international band at this time I am not allowed to disclose which sucks but keep your eye out for that its going to be a killer show. Then December were looking at a quick 10 show capital city tour to get the new EP out there, with a bigger tour set for next year to hit up all those rural places that have been so good to us!
You have no doubt been asked this a million times but I’ll ask it anyway to be a punish, the band was formerly known as Knife to a Gun Fight, why the name change?
To be honest we all fucking hated the name. In the beginning it was made on the spur of the moment because some people heard our music and wanted to put us on a show with Parkway in our town and we had to come up with a name on the spot.
With the TYRANT EP on the way and a massive tour ahead we just thought it was the best time to change.
There were some negative comments from people but you gotta take the good with the bad but overall we are happier with BERMUDA.
CDs that get the highest rotation in the van?
We always have mix cds cranking with a bit of everything but lately there has been a lot of Eminem! But I would have to say the song that gets played most in the van would be SlipKnot – Psychosocial.
Rural or capital city shows?
Both have definite advantages and disadvantages but rural shows the kids seem to be so appreciative and raid your merch desk!
Worst thing you have seen in 09’ ?
We were sitting in the dodgy pub in Bundaberg an earshot away from these blokes who were actually coming up with a murder plot and they looked like legit dudes who would actually kill someone. So stevo from Bundaberg if you’re out of the slammer and not dead yet…..some blokes are gonna try and kill you and bury you in the bush.
Any final shout outs and thanks?
Firstly every person that’s come to a show, bought a shirt/cd, bought us drinks, given us a couch/floor to crash on, partied with us just thanks for making it the best year of our life!
Thank to KYS to supporting Australian music!
For more info on Bermuda, head to their Myspace page.