Psycroptic are one of Australian metal’s elite. Heavy, respectable and consistent, the Tassie boys have enjoyed local and international success. Ahead of their upcoming East Coast tour with King Parrot, Killyourstereo.com sits down with drummer Dave Haley to get the lowdown from the band.
Appreciate you chatting to us today Dave, The year has gone way too fast, now into the second half of 2013 now. How has the year been for Psycroptic so far?
It has been good. We have been busy, but it might not seem that way (laughs). We haven’t done too much on the live front, but we have been recording some new material as well getting ready for the upcoming tour with King Parrot and the European tour we’ve got later in the year. We’ve been keeping busy, but also keeping a low profile.
As you referenced there – the “live front” – the topic of conversation at the moment is the upcoming shows with King Parrot. How are the preparations coming along?
It seems to be going well thus far. I’ve got a couple of live commitments before then with The Amenta and Ruins. My brain is in two places (laughs). We’re pretty excited for it [though].
That was going to be one of my questions later regarding multiple commitments. You’re a busy man playing in a few bands. How is the balancing act?
It seems to be working out pretty well. At the moment, I’m actually booking all the shows for Ruins, The Amenta and Psycroptic, which does make it a lot easier in terms of logistics because I know where I’m going to be (laughs). I don’t know how long I’ll do this for? Because it’s quite a big workload. At the moment, it’s working out ok.
Just on that, when you say you’re booking all the shows, people see the bands play live and see that side of the fence, but in comparison the business side of it, the logistics as you said, tell us about that for the bands?
I’ve always to a large degree had a lot to do with the logistics and booking, and management and all that type of stuff for the band. It’s not something I’d say I particularly enjoy (laughs), but it’s a necessary evil. In downtime between Psycroptic tours and all the other bands, I do try and bring out other international bands out to Australia too. I guess I enjoy putting it together, putting the events together, but sometimes it can be a bit stressful when you’re playing the event as well. For example, earlier this year I brought out Marduk and I wasn’t on that tour. I was just tour managing it and booking it, and promoting it. That side of things I enjoy, but when you add in the playing part as well, it sometimes get a bit much.
Has it got easier or harder over time?
It’s hard to tell. I’m not one to reminisce. I don’t really think about what has come before. If I make a mistake with something I know not to do it again. I don’t think about whether it’s harder or easier. I guess, if something is too easy maybe I’m not doing a good enough job of it and I should look at it a bit more closely (laughs).
Like you were saying before that you bring out some international bands, one of the strengths of the local music scene at the moment is a lot of Australian bands are headlining over the internationals. I know Thy Art Is Murder just headlined over Cattle Decapitation. Do you feel Australian heavy music is catching up to Europe in terms of popularity?
It has always been pretty strong in Australia. We do have this perception that Europe is the holy land for metal, but to be honest, the shows are pretty much the same in terms of size. The thing that gives the perception that the Europe metal scene is huge is the fact that they have quite a lot of festivals. If you look at the population base between Australia and continental Europe there is a massive difference, so obviously the festivals are going to be a lot bigger. I think the majority of Australians don’t realise how good they’ve got the scene out here. It is pretty healthy. Obviously more people at shows is a good thing. I don’t really buy into this whole “scene dying” thing. It’s not something that can be alive or dead, it is just whether people are going or not. Generally, people, if you put a strong package together and you promote it well, usually you get people.
A cool show I saw got announced recently is you’re doing a boat cruise in Melbourne. Tell us your thoughts on that one.
It was just something different. We got an offer through the local Melbourne promoter and said the idea he had. We were like, “fuck yeah, we’ll play on a boat. Why not?!” (laughs). It just seems like a cool idea. I don’t know too much about it other than the fact that we are playing on a boat. It will be something fun.
You’re playing with Ne Obliviscaris. How familiar are you with those guys?
We played a lot of shows together. I’m quite good friends with the guys in the band. Obviously, I know Dan [Presland] the drummer the best just because we share a common bond with drums – he is a good mate. It’s always fun playing with those guys. They’re another band that is really pushing themselves both nationally and overseas.
The rise in social media with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube namely, how much has this helped a band like Psycroptic?
It does help. However, everyone is using it as well, so it does leave you in the same situation as before. I would see it more as a necessity than something that is optional. It is good in the fact, we can connect straight away with our fans and they can have direct contact with us instantly. That’s an awesome thing. In terms of promoting and increasing your profile, it really is a necessity because if you don’t do it you get left behind. I’m not the best at technology and keeping up to date, so if there’s anyone out there that wants to help me, just get in touch (laughs).
We’ll help spread the word. You mentioned at the start of the interview the new material. How is that all coming along?
It’s going good. I think one of the tracks is getting mastered shortly. We recorded three tracks earlier this year and we’re still deciding how we are going to release it. We’ll probably look at having a digital only release for download and spread the tracks out over a couple of months. We filmed a film clip for one of the tracks last week, so I’m not sure the date that is going to be finished, but as soon as it’s done, we’ll release it and put it out there. It’s something different from the usual album release cycle because it is getting a little bit tired, at least in my eyes, it’s not really a necessity anymore. You can write, record and release music a lot quicker than in the past. People should take advantage of it.
At the moment there are so many sub-genres and styles of metal, it’s almost excessive. Are there any genres that you draw the line and say, that’s just ridiculous, that’s too over the top?
It’s a good question. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got your death metal, heavy metal, black metal and then grind. I only really split it into that. Otherwise it gets too ridiculous. I guess you could say there’s doom in there as well. I don’t know, everyone is coming out with their own name for their own music and it just gets a bit silly really. May as well just call it music. There’s ‘super-technical, space orientated, grinding, death, blackened, emo-core’.
I’m sure that already exists.
On the topic of albums, what records in 2013 haven you been digging?
I hooked myself up with Spotify a few months ago. I was a little bit of a late starter on that. I’ve been checking out a lot of new stuff. I was listening to the new Alice In Chains the other day – that is quite a good album. The new The Amenta album is quite cool. I didn’t actually have anything to do with that, so I’m a bit removed from the band, so I can listen to it and say that’s cool. I quite like seeing what Spotify suggests for me (laughs).
Were there any final words you wanted to pass onto readers?
I just hope they come out and check out the shows. It should be a quite intense and entertaining evening with us and King Parrot, and very strong supports on the bill. It will be good to see everyone out.
Really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today. I’ll have to catch up with you guys when you hit Melbourne.
Awesome man, no worries at all.
Catch Psycroptic on the ‘Inheriting the Sickness‘ tour with King Parrot.
Thursday July 25th – Ballarat / Korova Lounge
Friday July 26th – Geelong / Barwon Club
Saturday July 27th – Melbourne / Northcote Social Club
Sunday July 28th – Melbourne / Musicland (ALL AGES)
Thursday August 1st – Newcastle / Cambridge Hotel
Friday August 2nd – Sydney / The Stag
Saturday August 3rd – Brisbane / Crowbar
Sunday August 4th – Toowoomba / Norville Hotel
Saturday August 10th – Hobart / The Brisbane Hotel