Byron Bay upstarts In Hearts Wake are ready to capitalise on 2012. The heavy-hitters have a debut studio album – ‘Divination’ – about to hit stores and a highly anticipated tour with Dream On Dreamer also about to commence. Vocalist Jake Taylor kindly caught up with KYS recently to discuss the band, the album and introduce us to some new Byron Bay lingo.
Hey Jake, how’s it going?
Good, how are you?
Yeah, not too bad thanks. How are the interview rounds treating you today?
Pretty good. A lot of different voices and different places. It’s an honour.
And I imagine you guys must be pretty stoked with the House Vs Hurricane shows you just did?
Yeah, really stoked dude. We’ve only done three [shows] and six more to go. So yeah, three of nine.
Cool, and how have they been so far?
Really good. Western Australia has always been so great to us and so we love going back there. To be playing on the other side of Australia and have people sing your lyrics [is always an honour].
And I can imagine it’s a bit of the calm before the storm at the moment, with your debut album about to hit and also the touring as well.
Yeah, definitely lots of touring. I guess as far as the storm goes, we’ll have to see how it’s [‘Divination’] received. If it’s going to downpour or if it’s going to thunder. We don’t know yet? But, I guess it’s up to the public.
Absolutely. And you guys went over to the States to record it, how was that?
Really, really good. It opened us up to putting our effort and our time into something far greater than ourselves. Which was setting away all the comforts from home, putting all our money into something we didn’t know how it would evolve, if it would be what we expected it to be. So, it helped us to knuckle down because we were there for a reason – we weren’t just there stuffing around in another country. It was a great learning curve for us all.
Was the plan always to go over to the States or did you look locally to record?
Honestly, as far as Australia, we knew there wasn’t much going for it in terms of recording. There’s pretty much – I’m not going to name names – but there is only a couple of really half-decent areas where you can track an album in terms of our genre and there’s no real producers who are doing it full-time, for the love of making bands something great.
If you look at all the bands that have recorded in Australia and have great albums in terms of heavy genres and stuff like that, they have mostly sourced mixing and mastering overseas anyway. So, rather than doing that and having to send through all these notes and speaking over the phone and it being such a hassle, we pretty much researched it and found out within a couple of hours that it can be the same price, if not cheaper, to fly over to another country and to work with a producer we actually love the work of.
For sure. And, speaking of the local music scene. Obviously Byron Bay with Parkway Drive etc. is sort of a big scene at the moment. What is it like for a band like yourselves up there?
Byron has always been so great to us. The community, and the kids, and our friends have always gotten behind us. It’s a thriving scene, but at the same time people have to remember it’s got a population of about 7,000. It’s not even the size of a small Sydney suburb. We get a lot of tourists here, but as far as shows go, we’re lucky to have one a month because we don’t want to over-populate Byron Bay. And the reason it’s a good scene is because of the exclusivity of having minimal shows with good bands. Parkway Drive have put Byron Bay on the map and we’ve got a lot to thank, every band does, for what they’ve done. But, we like to think we’re paving our own way [too].
In terms of the community itself, there are a lot of good things about it, an incredible amount actually. But, what is one thing you think can still be improved?
As far as all ages events go for instance, all we have are hardcore shows once a month. Other than that, all kids can do is go to the cinemas, swim at the beach or go to a show. If it’s raining they go to the movies, if it’s sunny they go to the beach. It can leave a lot of kids on Friday and Saturday nights partying, getting wasted, I don’t know? You know, typical stuff like that. I’d like to see more events, more activities.
In regards to the debut album that is coming out, when listeners have listened to it from start to finish, what’s one thing, if they can take something from it, that you would like them to take away?
We write the songs for ourselves not everyone else, so we stay to true to that. Ultimately we want to enjoy what we are doing. [Both] on stage and off. Hopefully listeners can gather that. We’re not aiming for one particular direction. We listen to a lot of different stuff. And, hopefully listeners can get out of that, that each song is different from its previous one and that it’s an album as a whole and it needs to be listened to from start to finish to get what we’re about.
And, on 2012, it has been a big year for the band. Going forward what’s going to be the priority? Are you going to focus more on playing shows or once the tour’s finished are you going to look to write some more?
The album’s out in about 16 days, so that leaves three months to the end of the year. So it’s definitely going to be about playing shows and getting the album out to as many ears as possible. I mean we’ve started writing already, but that’s not our focus, that’s just what we do in our downtime. So, it’s going to mainly about touring and mainly playing shows and getting out to people who want to see us and hear the CD.
Music can pretty much be a 24/7 sort of job half the time. When you’ve got downtime and you’re away from the band, what do you like to do to keep yourself busy?
I like to watch movies; I work at the cinemas so I see a lot of films. That’s definitely something I’ve always loved doing – seeing other people’s lives and other people’s stories. Getting in touch with nature [too]. We’re all nature kids; in terms of fishing and waterfalls as you can see in the video clip [The Traveller].
How was that filming the video clip? Was that the first one you guys have officially done?
Yeah, it’s the first official film clip. We’ve done a live one in the past, but this was the first proper video clip with an actual sub-plot and actually playing in an environment. It was awesome. It was two friends and I that did the whole thing. They were both from school and so the actor was from my class and the director was a couple of years above me. And we just went bush for two days, from sunrise to sunset, and I had written what I wanted ‘the Traveller’ to do and who I wanted him to be. And, I think the actor really portrayed that. It was great.
Before you were talking about how the band has a wide range of influences and directions. What are some of the albums that have had the biggest influence on yourself and the band?
I think Bury Your Dead – ‘The Beauty and the Breakdown’. That album, there will never be another album like that. It just struck a chord with us when it came out awhile back. We really like Volumes, just for the melodic side of things. They’re really creative using the scales. Amity are awesome. I love how they are showing the world, I mean they’re not doing pop, but they are showing the world that you can have breakdowns and still be really catchy and play festivals like the Big Day Out and sell-out your own headline shows all around Australia. We listen to Blink 182, always have as kids. As I Lay Dying [as well]. There’s a whole range of artists that we take into account, that we have drawn influence from. But, we never really go, we want to have a part like this band. We just come together and really try to make each song different from the next.
And some basic ones to tick off in the interview. What has been your favourite album so far this year?
Wow, what’s come out this year?
Yeah, it’s a bit of a tough one off the top of your head.
You might have to comeback on that one.
In the reversal, is there an album you think is over-rated, probably received more hype than it should have.
(Laughs) No, I can’t answer that question.
Fair enough, that’s all right. Sort of a hypothetical, if Parkway Drive, I Killed the Prom Queen and The Amity Affliction were each playing respective shows on the one night – different shows. And they each asked you to be main support. Which band would you choose and why?
That’s a big question (laughs). It would have to be Parkway or Amity. Both different crowds. Parkway have a much more metal based, hardcore kid, and there can be a lot of bogan fans that come to the Big day Out and stuff like that too. While, Amity have a lot more pop based [fans]. A lot of girls, a lot of boyfriends coming with their girlfriends. That’s a hard question. As of right now, I’d choose Amity because they’ve got a new album coming out. But, if we had Parkway’s new album, it would be Parkway for sure.
In terms of favourite venues. What’s your favourite to play as a band?
Always has and will be the Byron Youth Centre. I’ve seen Terror, I’ve seen every band [there]. I’ve seen Parkway before. We’ve seen Every Time I Die there. It has a 250 people capacity. It is the smallest thing and the best thing ever to happen to Byron Bay (laughs).
Well, returning to speaking of favourite albums, was Every Time I Die’s ‘Ex Lives’ up there in one of your favourites of this year?
I back Every Time I Die, but it’s not my favourite, no.
What are some of the main influences on your vocal styles?
A lot of people have compared our sound, or vocals to, To The Fallen Dreams. Chad is a great vocalist and he is featured on the CD. As a kid, I loved the first FTFD’s record. So he was an influence to me somewhat. I think Mat Bruso (BYD) [too]. I love how he can do fast and busy vocals, while still staying true to the music. So, I’d like to say those two. As well as Tim (As I Lay Dying), he’s always the man.
Yeah, absolutely (laughs). And if someone was to say in 12 months time, where would you like In Hearts Wake to be?
I would love In Heart Wake, provided everything goes on track and it’s well received, we’re still a healthy, happy band, I’d love to be looking at recording another album. You know, making plans or already having that set in stone, where to record and who to do it with etc.
And, any final words you want to give across to the Kilyourstereo readers before we let you go?
If everyone can please check out ‘Divination’ and help us out. And make their mind up themselves. And, hopefully they back it and if they don’t, that’s cool (laughs). And, also I’ve got to say has the word ‘Desmond’ been said on Killyourstereo before?
Can’t say it has, no.
Just add that I want to say ‘Desmond’ (laughs). It’s a Byron Bay word that’s going to get out there.
Ok, fair enough. We’ll get the ball rolling on that one.
That’s it (laughs).
Thanks for your time today Jake, I really appreciate it.
Can you think of any albums from this year that I’ve missed?
Probably once I hang up, I’ll think of a stack.
All I’ve got in my head is Northlane ‘Discovieries’ from 2011, which is a ripper. Since then, Volumes was out last year too. I’ve got nothing.
Yeah, I must admit I’ve only got Every Time I Die running through my head because we mentioned it. Probably the only other one for me that directly comes to mind is the Meshuggah album.
Yeah, Meshuggah are so good. Maybe, put in House Vs Hurricane ‘Crooked Teeth’. They’re great friends and I think they’re doing something nice and rocky, and really fresh for Australia at the moment.
All right, will do.
Thanks for your time dude.
No worries, take it easy Jake. Bye.