Miles Away have been a staple in the Australian hardcore since since their formation in 2002, touring Australia and the rest of the world countless times, as well as releasing a number of highly regarded records. This year brings up their 10th anniversary as a band, and to celebrate that, the band will be making their way around the country, taking Cruel Hand and The Others along for the ride. We caught up with the band’s vocalist Nick Horsnell to discuss the annivesary, the band’s upcoming tour, and the possibility for some new material to be released in 2013.
Start off by stating your name, your role in Miles Away, and your favourite record released so far in 2012?
My name is Nick, shouting stuff is my role in Miles Away. Hmmm, not sure that I have a favourite record yet, there’s still a month and a half left! Just got the new Deftones this morning and that’s great…the song Entombed is killer. The new records from Title Fight, Pennywise, Further Seems Forever, Twitching Tongues were up there and I also really, really liked everything The Others recorded.
When you first started this band, did you ever imagine that you would make it this far and be able to celebrate a 10th anniversary?
No way. I remember watching videos of bands that had been around forever like NOFX and wondering how the fuck they could do a band for that long. It’s pretty cool that we’ve been able to keep doing it and not just because we have to. There isn’t so much urgency anymore but when we play we really enjoy ourselves.
What would you say the main differences are being a band now compared to 10 years ago when you first started?
Following from the last question, I guess in the first couple of years as a band you’re really trying to prove something to people and play as much as you possibly can. You’d do tours because you had to be on the road and make sure the record was promoted or whatever. Now we’re 10 years older and we’ve got other things going on other than just doing this band. Not that we didn’t have those things going on the entire life of MA, just they are probably a bit more important to us individually now. Nowadays we spend less time on the road and playing shows in general, and we organize when and where we can play fitting into everyone’s schedules with bands that we like. That way everyone’s happy!
What are some of your favourite memories that you have with the band from these past 10 years?
Oh man, I have some cracking memories from doing this band and I’ve probably forgot a lot of things along the way too. Going to Hawaii was one of the best memories I have, we didn’t even play a show because it fell through. Just that it was a place I’ve always dreamed of going and it was just the best 3 days hanging out in a shack on the North Shore of Oahu, chilling on the beach/in the water at Waimea and watching Unzy & Ash get super sunburnt. After spending four months touring around Aus/SE Asia/Japan/Europe/US…it was just what we needed. That’s just one because I’d be here forever otherwise, but hopefully one day I’ll write them all down somewhere.
What would you say has been your most memorable tour as a band?
Another hard one to pick. First time to Japan was very eye opening and just the best time. Europe just to see history and culture everywhere. But I’m gonna say our second time in the States with Outbreak and Cruel Hand. The last leg of the tour was on the East Coast through Philly, NY, Connecticut etc and Madball played all the shows with us. That was amazing to see them in their hometown and hang out with them kicking a football around and Unzy and Hoya sharing joints haha.
Is there anything that you haven’t done yet with the band that you would still like to accomplish?
I don’t know really. I’m still pretty bummed everyone in the band bungee jumped in New Zealand and I didn’t for some reason. There’s places we haven’t played yet in Europe we’d like to play, like Russia or Poland for example. We’ve released all of our material on vinyl now so that’s ticked off.
The band has been pretty quiet the last two years, other than the odd tour here and there. What have you been up to during this time?
Like I said earlier, just really concentrating on our individual lives and what not. We haven’t been jamming or writing or anything because Crowey has been living in Berlin for the last two years studying and living the life. So when we tour we usually meet up a couple days before and practice a little bit with the fill-ins we use and make sure we sound alright. I usually miss out on that because I’m just the singer. For the main guys in MA, I’ve mentioned Crowey already, Cam does his work and studies because he’s a doctor (not a medical doctor, just something to do with meat and agriculture) and also rides his bicycle long distances in lycra, I work a job here in Perth too, spend time with my partner and try and go to the beach as much as possible. Crowey actually told us that he recorded some new tracks the other day in Germany so maybe we’ll have some new stuff if we can all agree.
What are you looking forward to the most about these 10th anniversary shows?
Just getting out in the van again and spending some time with friends interstate that I don’t get to see very often. Playing some old songs and seeing some other good Australian bands. Fingers crossed the weather is good so we can do some adventuring along the way. I’m also looking forward to seeing how many leftover shirts we have after tour because we took some liberties with designs this time.
Is there any show in particular on the tour that you think will be a stand out?
I’m torn. I’m gonna say it’s a tie between our hometown show here in Perth and the show in Byron Bay because The Street Youth is playing. But I hope every show is gonna be a good time!
Can we expect a fairly varied set list with songs from all of the band’s releases? Maybe even some resurrected older songs that you haven’t played in a while?
Yeah we have been talking about that for a while leading up to the tour. Obviously with the re-release of Make It Count on vinyl we wanna play a couple from that maybe and maybe drag out a couple of songs from Consequences that didn’t really get a chance. It’s hard picking a setlist because we do have a pretty long list of material to choose from now but hopefully there will be enough of a mix for everyone.
How did you decide that you would bring Cruel Hand and The Others along for the shows?
When we first started discussing the tour the main thing for us was to spend the time on the road with people we knew very well and also liked their bands too. We have done countless tours with Outbreak/Cruel Hand and we always have a fucking blast kicking back with those dudes, I guess Maine dudes are a little bit like Perth dudes, kinda, not really, but yeah we enjoy those guys company. And the fact we have never actually toured OZ with those guys also appealed. Then The Others, we always try to bring a WA band out with us, though sometimes it doesn’t work out. Colin (Moey) the singer of The Others used to road dog with us heaps back in the day so we get him to come along and why not bring his band who as I mentioned at the start of the interview are releasing some of my favourite hardcore out there right now.
"Endless Roads" is a few years old now, has the band been working on any new material as of late?
I think I answered this question a bit earlier by accident. So yeah, we haven’t really been actively songwriting but in the last few days Crowey laid down some riffs, so we’ll see what happens from there but it could be a while.
Can we expect to see a new Miles Away release at some stage in 2013?
Hopefully we will be able to release something if it all comes together nicely, but we won’t release something just for the sake of it.
Who are some bands you have heard lately that have impressed you?
West Coast is doing really good right now, there’s a lot of younger guys starting bands and also older dudes starting new ones. Some names you should look out for – Tikd Off, Worst Possible Outcome, Losing Grip, No Regrets, Mindless. Other than that I’m hearing good things from all bands releasing stuff over on the other side right now. Survival, Relentless, Outsiders Code, Warbrain, The Weight…things are looking really healthy.
Once this tour is all wrapped up, what are the band’s plans for the future?
Enjoy this festive period with our loved ones and friends. Catch some sun and get in the ocean as much as possible before going back to Work/Europe.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thank you for the questions. If you took the time to read all of this, hope to see you at one of the shows. COYI!