Armed with songs that mix melody and brutality, Melbourne metal band Death Audio have been gaining attention for all the right reasons lately. As they prepare to tour the country in support of their stunning debut self-titled album, Killyourstereo.com caught up with guitarist Will Borland for a chat about how much hard work went into their debut, sharing the stage with their idols and being confused with members of Limp Bizkit.
G’day mate, can we start with your name and role in Death Audio?
Hey mate, Will Borland here… or many people call me Mr Borland.
Can you tell us a little about how the band got started and who your early musical influences were?
Well, I moved to Australia from spending a few years in Indonesia in 2002, and played in numerous bands. My main influences back then were more inspired by heavy rock. I was highly influenced by Jimi Hendrix, and believed that I was like his reincarnation – yeah, that didn’t work out so well (laughs). However, I started working in the music industry and spent a lot of time on the road with numerous bands and musos – mostly metal – and this is how the seed was planted for Death Audio. Just by being on the road talking to musicians and finally getting into a rehearsal studio, I guess being behind the scenes wasn’t always my thing. I put hundreds of bands on stage – now it’s my turn to put myself on stage.
You’ve recently released your debut self-titled album. Firstly, congratulations. Secondly, what’s the response to the album been like so far?
Thank you! I have been working on this album for two years, and from listening to it repeatedly, constantly working on it and perfecting every little bit, I was a little nervous about what people would think of it. I picked out every little detail on the album, trying to make it everything I wanted to hear when I listen to an album: perfection. Working with the guys in the band, I realised that the best albums come from the heart and souls of hard working musicians, and this is exactly what this album is all about. Once we released it, the response was phenomenal! It was fresh to peoples’ ears, and the reviews were great. I was surprised to see people with heavier taste complimenting the album. At the end of the day I am proud of this album and I want it to be heard.
Just how long did it take to put the album together? Was it an easy process or was it somewhat difficult and drawn out? What was the recording process like?
This album has honestly been in the works since the band started in 2007, but we really sat down to write the album in 2010, and started playing the songs to a live audience. We started recording and putting down pre-production after the magnificent singer and guitarist Phil Gee joined the band. The process became complicated by limited finances. We had our sponsors Monster Energy provide some financial support and friends helping us out by lending what they can. Ultimately, the majority of the finances are from our pockets, and a bank loan we took out. Making this decision was well worth it, as the final product we have produced will ensure us a musical journey we will never forget. Because we love what we do and we wanted to share it with everyone, we recorded a video with the story of the recording process.
How do you plan on playing the synth parts live? Do you have plans to recruit a touring keyboardist?
The synth parts were something that just happened in the recording process. Native Instruments supplied us with a copy of Komplete 8 and it inspired us to write some badass synth parts. Karl, our drummer, is playing everything to a click now, so we are playing the synth parts as a sample. However, if we ever find the right keyboardist/sampler we would love to bring him on board.
Are there any particular songs or moments on the album you’re particularly proud of?
For me, I am very proud of the song ‘Black Rose’. It has every element in there that you will possibly see in the new Death Audio.
What do you think of Melbourne’s heavy metal scene? Is it a supportive community? Would you ever be tempted to move overseas?
The music scene here is strong, but you need to stand out if you want to survive the flooding of bands. Being a strong standout band means that you have to step in and help other bands out as well, and this is what we do, and what we love to do. We always try to promote other local bands by pimping out their shirts or taking them on the road. There are a lot of local bands in Melbourne that think in the opposite way, and instead of pushing the success of other bands they like to bring them down. We choose to just play music and enjoy it and if we can help someone out along the way, it’s a bonus. Coming up to do the tour is just purely for the love of music. For the first time I have booked a tour and not been deterred because of finances. If we can’t afford a bus, we will drive our cars; if we can’t afford a meal, we will live on bread – because we have one goal in 2013: that is to play music and to make sure people can see, hear, and feel it. Overseas? Love to move there! Especially Europe. However, we have to take over our own country first! If we can’t do that, what’s the point of moving. There is a market there, you just have to find them.
And on the topic of other countries, will you tour overseas to support the album? Is that feasible at the moment?
We have been signed to a label in Thailand, and the band is doing very well over there. Asia is where we want to hit first, as it’s so close to Australia. At the moment, we are going to focus on Australia, and once funding/sponsorship becomes available for overseas, we will definitely be there.
What’s the poppiest shit that you’re prepared to admit you listen to?
I have to admit I listen to Fox FM, purely for research (laughs).
You guys managed to play Soundwave in Melbourne back in 2010, which is an awesome achievement given they tend to only book internationals. This being said, do you think Soundwave and other festivals need to give more support to local metal bands?
Soundwave was awesome, and we are hoping to join the lineup again one day. I do think we need more festivals in Australia, especially more free festivals where you can just chill in a park and listen to music while drinking a beer. I understand how much pressure the promoters from Soundwave have to book local bands; they must have thousands of submissions each year. They do need to select carefully and ensure that the local bands that are playing the shows are not just some regular local band, but are actually a band that has the ambition to make it – and this is what we want to prove this year! So maybe we can see our names on the Soundwave lineup next year.
And you’ve also supported some big named international bands too, including Static X, Unearth, The Black Dahlia Murder, Soilwork and Hellyeah. When you’re playing these support slots, do you get to hang out with these bands? Do you have any backstage stories from these shows that you can share with us?
We have some great stories. I have to say the best time was sharing the stage with Soilwork. They are one of my favourite bands ever and playing with them was a real dream come true. And yes, we got to hang with them afterwards. I tripped over and almost spilled my beer over Sven the keyboardist at Bang. Not many stories are spoken about after a tour, as there’s this great saying, “What happens on tour, stays on tour”. There was this funny moment on stage with Hellyeah, when our drummer Karl played a whole different song to what the rest of the band was playing. And somehow, half way through the song, we started playing the same song.
What’s your all time favourite action movie?
I am a ‘90s boy, so I love all the classic action films from Arnie to Van Damn. Have you seen The Expendables 2? It’s like all the classics in one (laughs). However, I think my all-time favourite has to be Predator.
Do people ever confuse you with Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit?
Yup, all the time! In high school, I told everyone he was my cousin, and the word got around and now I have people adding the band because they think I am Wes. One time some dude sent me a Facebook message telling me how he loved my work in Limp Bizkit. Of course I played along….you would too (laughs).
What are your top five drinking/partying songs?
1. Killswitch Engage – ‘Rose of Sharyn’
2. In Flames – ‘Take This Life’
3. Pendulum – ‘Witchcraft’
4. As I Lay Dying – ‘Confined’
5. Disturbed – ‘Prayer’ (best when very intoxicated)
What’s planned for the rest of this year?
Tour tour tour tour! Sharing the stage with some awesome bands, and making new friends!
Any parting words of advice?
Never give up!