In Hearts Wake, like many of their peers, have enjoyed a productive period. Their debut album ‘Divination’ dropped last year (voted #1 by users in the 2012 KYS Album of the Year Poll). The band now prepare to embark on another headline Australian tour with Counterparts. Killyourstereo.com recently sat down with vocalist Jake Taylor to get the lowdown on things ahead with the group.
G’day Jake, how’s it going?
Good Kane, how are you?
Going well thanks.
How are things at the moment with a bit of time off? It has been a busy six to eight months for you guys?
It has man, time off is great. It is always a bit weird coming back from a tour after touring solid for the last year to nestle back into our jobs (laughs) and get back into the daily routines. We’ve adjusted to that, but it’s good to rest the body and get back to square one.
Last time we spoke it was right before the album came out and obviously now it has been out for quite a few months, how do you look back on it now, seen it’s almost in retrospect now?
It has been like a rollercoaster – time flies by. It has been awesome, so many great experiences. We had no predictions I guess, but we are very happy and very proud of the release and I don’t think we could’ve asked anymore for the first album really.
A moment ago you were mentioning the touring, I guess as said, the last six months have been the most touring you’ve done so far. What experiences and lessons have you taken from being on the road so much?
There have been around 150 – 200 shows, somewhere in there within like 10 months (laughs). It has been a lot and that is purely Australian [shows]. Balancing out the rest is a big one – not burning yourself out. We’ve also had the pleasure of playing a couple of festivals like Breath of Life in Tassie and Push Over. Shows like that and also the Enter Shikari run were really good for us to be playing to crowds that weren’t necessarily there to see us or [who] knew all of our songs. That was a good challenge and a good stepping up of having to deliver a performance that doesn’t feed off the crowd, so that was really good.
When you were saying Enter Shikari there for example, when a band like that who has been around for a few years now and done a lot of international touring, do you feed off them and pick their brains on advice on how to be a functioning touring band?
Not necessarily picking brains, but when you play with bands with such a professional stature and have been successful you obviously pick up on their professionalism and how the shows run, little things like that, not so much picking their brains. You take it all in and it all comes on board [though].
On the topic of shows still, the ones you are preparing for and the ones we are excited to be on the presents package is the upcoming tour with Counterparts, what’s the mood going into this tour?
As far as the cycle goes it is drawing to the end of that and it’s exciting because I feel people now know the songs and it’s not so much promoting the album but a plateauing of the people coming because they like the songs. It is going to be like a culmination of all these tours leading up to this one. To be able to bring over our first international band that we love – Counterparts from Canada it is just exciting. It’s like showing the fruits of our labour (laughs). I’m excited. I’m excited for people to see Counterparts and I’m excited for people to see our headline set.
That’s one of the things I was going to ask next. It’s cool for Australian heavy music at the moment. You guys, Northlane, Thy Art Is Murder, you’ve all got tours coming up where you’re headlining over internationals.
It shows and is a testament to the Australian scene getting behind Australian bands and seeing what Australian bands are able to achieve. We’ve got to be very, very proud of that all the Australian bands and the scene in general that we are able to do this, and these international bands see this almost as, I don’t want to say a paradise, but it is a paradise Australia, but it is seen as a goal to get to Australia to play as a main support. It’s awesome…it’s truly awesome.
Do you think, in Australia it’s the home crowd vibe and you’ve got the fan base, but is it something to strive for to go overseas down the track and see Aussie bands headlining over there as well?
One day that would be excellent, right now we’d be happy to open in another country. It doesn’t really matter where we are on the line-up. Nothing is owed with any of these bands, it is purely out of liking the bands and wanting to get them over here. If they want to return the favour it’s up to them. I’d love to play overseas…hopefully soon (laughs).
That’s what I was going to ask, I know Northlane had a good experience over in Canada and I know you guys have been to New Zealand, but are there plans in the works to get over to the States or Europe?
Definitely it’s in talks, nothing confirmed. It’s something as a band in order to grow, you’ve got to do. You’ve got to stretch your wings and fly. It shows a lot about the band being away and out of your comfort zone, it helps the band grow. It is definitely a necessity for us, but we are just waiting for the right time and right opportunity I suppose.
Talking about the good things with Australian heavy music at the moment. Last year and this year with Amity debuting at #1 on the ARIA Charts and Northlane cracking in at number three. I know you’re good mates and tour with these bands, but does it spur you on to give you motivation the fact there is so much potential that if you release a quality album you can achieve that too?
It is a great sign of the possibilities and potential. As far as numbers go on the ARIA Chart it depends on the week you get. You can sell 1,000 records and get number one on a really slow week. Striving for those ARIA Charts is a fool’s gold because you never know where you are going to come in at. I guess the key is getting the music out there to as many people as possible. What is it possible and what has been made possible with Parkway, Amity and Northlane is motivating. But, we have to do it our own way (laughs).
I remember last time when I speaking to you, you mentioned how you worked in a cinema. Now that In Hearts Wake are touring a lot more, for yourself and the rest of the members in the band, is this affecting work more than it was?
Yeah. Luckily all of us who had jobs, we are still officially employed. I can tell you now my hours are suffering majorly (laughs). Before when we weren’t touring as much, I had a regular four shifts let’s say and now I’m lucky to get one or two. In all fairness though, I can’t just go and come back and expect to receive it. It is definitely affecting things. We are all just scraping by, but we are happy with what we are doing. We know we are doing it for the right reasons. It makes the sacrifice ok (laughs).
On the sacrifice, do you feel it might get to a point by the end of the year where the band is full-time and you might have to quit your jobs?
Anything is possible. The hardest part is, essentially a band could be touring 24/7 for an entire year, the thing that comes into play, which is the sad thing is the financial stuff. A band can only earn so much. This is why we need jobs to fund that. So, the whole dream of touring the world or any of this would not be possible without our jobs. I don’t want to count any chickens before they’re hatched, but I guess right now we’ve just got to keep working to fund it. Anything is possible man (laughs).
In terms of 2013, once the shows have finished are there plans to begin work on a follow-up album?
Definitely plans. We don’t know what or who yet? We’d like to do another record for sure.
When you were talking about jobs, a trend recently, both local and international, has been the crowd funding schemes and getting fans to help finance the albums. What are your thoughts on that? Is that something you might consider exploring?
I think it is an excellent way for bands to skip the middleman so to speak. Anyone that gives money to bands, it is skipping that whole middleman and going straight to the fans. I think it’s an excellent way to show support to bands. It’s a ground breaking and revolutionary way. However, in our situation we are very happy being on UNFD and usually signed bands it can break a little bit because labels can gives bands certain advances and there’s things in the contract like that. We are happy with how we’re going now and UNFD are doing a great job for us.
Earlier in the year you had an interesting gig playing on the boat in Sydney with Northlane. How was that?
That was pretty surreal. None of us knew what to expect apart from being on a boat. We loaded at like six or seven in the morning at the dock yard and we were like, “what is going to happen today?” (laughs). Because it was sold out there was a bit of buzz about the show and just being underneath the [Sydney] Harbour Bridge and having all your mates there in Northlane and Endless Heights. It had this really good vibe. It wasn’t too packed, it was just a perfect boat cruise, with all your favourite bands playing (laughs). Everyone had an awesome time – climbing the mast (laughs), getting the captain annoyed a few times. It was getting pretty rowdy, but nothing went down.
Just a light-hearted, random question, what was the hottest you were onstage – that onsie party you played at BANG or Push Over when it was about 40 degrees?
To be honest [it was actually] the Byron Bay show on the Worldeater tour. Something about the room and only having two doors as ventilation points, and the combination of humidity and temperature it was seriously, the floor was soaked. Zero water, just 100% sweat – stage and dance floor. Adrian and I were seeing stars, we thought we were going to pass out. It was crazy (laughs).
I know you’ve been playing shows, so you probably have attended many, but what’s one of the best ones you’ve been to lately?
I haven’t attended many actual hardcore gigs apart from playing in them as you said. Being at Breath at Life and watching Flume was pretty cool. Just seeing a guy playing some heavy, chilled electronica. And having 10, 000 people bow down to him (laughs). It was sprinkling and the sun was just coming through and so there were rainbows. It was just one of those magical moments every one was soaking up. It was a cool experience.
Were there any final words you wanted to pass on before we let you go?
Seeing as I haven’t talked to you in a while Kane, I’d really like to take the time to thank all the people who voted for ‘Divination’ as the number one KYS album last year. It was quite an honour and I’d like to thank everyone. Hopefully we can see everyone at the ‘Survival’ tour.
Appreciate the words, it was well deserved. Thanks for the interview.
Thanks Kane, anytime. You coming to any of the shows?
Yeah, I’ll be at both in Melbourne.
Ripping, champion Kane. Have a good day.
Killyourstereo.com presents In Hearts Wake on their ‘Survival‘ tour with Counterparts through June. Dates and details here.