Melbourne hardcore outfit Thorns are in it for the right reasons. Students of the genre and driven by a strong DIY work ethic, the local band is preparing to unleash their debut album, ‘From Tears To Glory’. On the week of release, Killyourstereo.com catches up with Lee and Tim to get the lowdown on everything.
G’day guys, thanks for taking the time for an interview.
Lee Skyrme (guitars): Hey mate, thanks for having us.
Not long now until ‘From Tears To Glory’ is released. Talk us through how 2014 has been so far?
LS: Considering we’ve only played a few shows this year it’s been pretty hectic. The band has been very heavily involved with all aspects of the new record so we’ve been organising the artwork, pre orders, merch designs, promotion etc. Amongst all that, we also filmed a music video for new track ‘Angel Eyes’ that turned out great. I recently just finished booking the LP release tour, which for some reason was an absolute nightmare to book regarding bands and venues, so from now on it should all be chill.
Tim Carter [Vocals]: It’s been pretty good, [we] played Sike Your Mind in January and [as Lee said] we did a video for one of the songs on our new record, which was weird but cool.
Loving what I’m hearing so far from the album. What were the main goals you wanted to achieve from writing and recording the debut?
LS: Thank you, I’m glad you like it. I wanted to push myself and write a record that I loved, showed the maturity and progression of the band, while at the same time staying true to what this band set out to do: Write heavy ass songs that people can pit to. I guess a goal that I set out for myself was that I want people, who would usually utter the words ‘Fuck Thorns’ to sit down, give it a listen and realise that we’re not just another dumb mosh band.
TC: Thanks dude. I guess we just wanted to do a record that we really liked above all. It sounds selfish because well, it is (laughs). We wanted a record that was heavy and still sort of hardcore rooted but took heaps from sludge bands like Crowbar and Down. I am really proud of the record we put out.
It was good to see Sike Your Mind back this year. How did you find the event?
LS: I had a blast playing for sure, and as a promoter, I felt really happy that I could help Dollars / Washed Up Records bring it back. When I first moved to Australia in 2008, SYM was actually the first show I ever went to and I knew that back in the day it was a big deal to a lot of people so all I wanted to do was not let a new generation of hardcore kids be disappointed. I think we achieved that as it was a great weekend.
TC: Yeah, it was sick. Lee and Tom did a sick job of it. Cool that the younger kids could experience something that was so much fun when I was growing up in the Melbourne hardcore scene.
Opening with ‘Davidian’ was an inspired choice. Can we expect any other metal classics to make an appearance in the future?
LS: Probably not. Davidian is a banger so I don’t think we could ever top that. Along with Machine Head, we’ve also covered Pantera and Korn in the past so I don’t know if there’s anything else worth covering to be honest, (laughs).
TC: I hope not [too]. We are all metalheads really but doing covers fucking sucks. Like it’s fun, but it becomes this big distraction and people pester you about playing someone else’s song like a year later and it makes me hate doing them.
On the topic of shows, how do you find the local music scene in terms of the support and opportunity Thorns receive?
LS: I think our scene looks after us quite well. We’re always getting asked to play cool shit and we’re always lucky to get a pretty good reaction wherever we go.
TC: Yeah, it’s cool. People that wouldn’t necessarily get down with the heaviness or the style of shit we play have been supporting us since our inception and digging the band. We do a lot of shit ourselves but Washed Up Records and Broken Hive have both helped us out majorly. And of course our friends’ bands are always down to help out with shows gear and whatever needs to be done. It’s pretty good.
What still needs improving locally though?
LS: Attendance at shows. I see hundreds of kids rocking up when internationals roll through town so I’d really like to see some of those faces supporting their local scene. Definitely not bands, Melbourne has the best bands in Australia right now so I can’t understand the amount of people that don’t support their local talent.
TC: Show attendance I guess. Getting just as stoked for local and Australian bands as people get for US hype bands. Australian hardcore bands are some of the best in the world and we need to stand up and be assertive about that.
What’s it like balancing band commitments with work and social commitments?
LS: I find it hard sometimes. I’m married with two dogs and work a full time job, so I’m pretty busy every day of the week. Also, touring is a big part of being in a band so if you’re not blessed with a trust fund, work is more often than not going to get in the way of interstate shows & touring. But, to do something you love, you just have to deal with a busy, hectic life sometimes.
TC: I’m a hobo so bands are one of the few things that I really do. I juggle a bunch of bands but not much else. I live for it.
Additionally, what are some things you’d like to tick off with the band in the next 12 to 24 months?
LS: I just want to hit the road as often as I can. I’d love to hit New Zealand, South East Asia, Japan, Europe & the US. I think if we keep working as hard as we have been all that could become a reality. I also have a dream of putting out a covers record but I’m not sure how the rest of the boys feel about that (laughs).
TC: Definitely tour a bunch more, push it as hard as we can, go overseas, put out more music that we love and we’re proud of.
Looking ahead for the rest of 2014:
Most anticipated album of 2014?
LS: I’m going to say two: Crowbar – Symmetry In Black and Brutality Will Prevail – Suspension Of Consciousness. Both are out next month actually.
TC: Colossvs – Unholy
Favourite album of 2014 so far?
LS: Behemoth – The Satanist.
TC: Nothing – Guilty of Everything
Band you think will explode in 2014?
LS: Born Free. Those guys have so much potential. The new record is great and I can’t wait for heaps of people to get into them and see people go crazy at their shows.
LS: I reckon our boys in Brutality Will Prevail are going to have a monster of a year.
Favourite song to blare in the tour van?
LS: Rihanna – Jump
TC: Iggy Azalea – Pu$$y, DJ Sammy – Heaven [and] any Calvin Harris
One song you’ll die a happy man if you never hear again?
LS: Thorns – Callous
TC: Anything on Top 40 radio that features the ukulele.
Thanks for your time, really appreciate it.
Not a problem.
‘From Tears To Glory’ is out this Friday via Washed Up Records.