Melbourne hardcore band Warbrain are just about to kick off their national tour supporting Californa’s Xibalba, and during the drive to Coffs Harbour for the first show of the tour, the band’s bassist Kain McWaters and guitarist Josh Manitta answered a few questions for us about the tour, as well as Hardcore 2012 and the band’s upcoming release.
Start off by stating your name, your role in the band, and your favourite record released so far this year?
Kain: Kain McWaters, bass and currently driving, and Cleave – The Circle EP.
Josh: Josh Manitta, guitar and currently the van DJ, and Black Breath – Sentenced To Life.
As I type this you are on your way to Coffs Harbour for the first show of the tour with Xibalba. How are excited are you for the tour?
Josh: It’s been a while since we have hit the road for real and as a five piece so we are really excited for this tour. We are driving through some shitty Sydney weather at 6:00am right now but this is our jam. Overnight drives and less then desirable weather comes with the territory I guess but we couldn’t be happier.
Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to with this tour?
Kain: Sledding in Coffs, hitting the beach and eating mad amounts of food. The thing we probably look forward to the most is eating at our favorite joints around the country.
You’re playing with quite a few great local bands on this tour, is there any in particular that you are looking forward to watching?
Kain: Definitely looking forward to seeing Shackles from Byron Bay, Search and Destroy from Adelaide, Endless Heights from Sydney and Tim’s bands Outsiders Code and Thorns.
Since Neil is overseas at the moment, you have Diaz from Endless Heights filling in on drums for you on this tour. What made you decide to get Diaz to fill in?
Josh: We have never been about getting the best drummer or guitarist for this band. We don’t really care as along whoever we get is a mate, can hang out and get along with us and it just so happens Diaz is a sick drummer also. So the choice was obvious for us. He is a baby also so we can make him do all the shitkicker jobs for us, which is cool.
What attracted you to wanting to do this tour with Xibalba?
Kain: Oli (Broken Hive Records) approached us with the idea and we wanted to tour earlier on this year so it seemed perfect for us. Xibalba are a hyped band right now with some solid releases out now so I’m sure they’ll bring some new faces to the shows.
Josh: We want to try and tour as much as we can this year before we go into the studio for a new record so we wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity like this.
The band’s latest record “Paranoia” has been out for quite a while now, what was the overall response to the record like?
Josh: It’s been really positive so far. We are selling more and more copies and can really see the difference when we play. More people are grabbing mic and pitting hard. We just want to keep it rolling now and release more stuff that we have been sitting on.
Have you found that more and more people are starting to know the record at shows?
Kain: As Josh said the shows have been getting better and better for us and we just want to keep it rolling now. Keep playing as many shows as we can and releasing more material.
The vinyl release of the record was pushed back a lot longer than you were hoping, are you happy with the finished product now that it has finally arrived?
Josh: Yeah it was delayed more than we had hoped through some unforeseen circumstances but we couldn’t be happier with the way it looks and sounds. We put a lot of time and effort into everything we do and we all feel it’s something to be proud of.
Recently you played at the Break The Ice fest in Melbourne, how did you find the band’s set that day?
Kain: It was sick to play with most of Australia’s best hardcore bands at one show. We didn’t really know what to expect considering the amount of great bands playing around us but from the first note it was amazing. Just getting to watch the bands and hang out with mates after we played was sick too.
It was announced last week that you would be playing Hardcore 2012 in Sydney in July. Are you stoked to be a part of it this year?
Josh: Yeah definitely. It’s been a goal for this band since we started to be apart of this show and just proves to us that we are heading in the right direction. The line up this year is the one of the best I’ve seen so to be put amongst bands of that caliber is rad.
I remember reading at the start of the year that you were back in the studio recording some new material; can you tell us a bit about that?
Kain: Yeah we have been writing for a while and went into Yourspace Studios in February to record two new tracks for a split which will be released mid year. We will have more details on that soon.
How are the new songs sounding compared to the tracks on the 7” and demo?
Kain: Yeah mad! We have definitely matured in our writing.
Josh: It’s a progression on previous stuff we’ve done for sure. Heavier, groovier.
Recently Josh returned from overseas and started playing guitar in the band, giving you two guitarists for the first time. Have you found the band’s live sets to be sounding better with the two guitarists?
Kain: We are more than happy to have him back and really wanted him to play guitar from that point on. We originally wrote songs with intention of having two guitars so it’s sick to finally be able to make that happen and for sure our live set sounds heavier and puts less stress on the band.
Who are some new bands that you have heard recently who have impressed you?
Josh: Outsiders Code and Survival are both rad bands from Melbourne and the Gold Coast respectively. Two of the better demos to come out of Australia in the past year.
What are your thoughts on the hardcore scene in Melbourne at the moment?
Kain: I feel it’s as good as it’s ever been right now. It’s taking a while to turn things around especially with the loss of some of Melbourne’s better venues. But the bands we have playing shows regularly now are some of the best in Australia so keep supporting your local, Melbourne or not.
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
Josh: Our priorities right now are writing and playing rad shows. It never really changes for us. From the start of this band our main focus has been writing the best music we can and we haven’t stopped doing that.
Kain: From the start we have tried to take every opportunity thrown at us and I guess will continue to do that.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
No problem Matt. Happy birthday for the other day. Shout out to Relentless, Phantoms, Endless Heights, Survival, Shackles, The Weight, Search and Destroy, Outsiders Code, Distant Wreck and Thorns. We are on tour with Xibalba for the next 10 days so come check that out and hit the pit.