Hailing from Sydney, Stories are one of the younger acts on UNFD. Signing on late last year and dropping their latest single ‘Dreamwork’, the band has toured heavily. After a headline run of shows in March and recently supporting US metalcore heavyweights Misery Signals, the group prepare to hit the road once again with Buried In Verona and Antagonist A.D as part of the Midyear Mayhem tour. We chatted with vocalist Morgan Dodson about it all.
Not long now until the Midyear Mayhem tour.
[We’re] really looking forward to playing with both Antagonist and Buried In Verona for sure. Buried In Verona also being from Sydney as well.
Have you guys played with either of those bands before?
We definitely haven’t played a show with Antagonist, but I saw them play a long tome ago when I was a little kid at a community centre near where I live, and it was epic. Our bassist Jackson [Lowe], and I saw them play and I’m super excited to be playing with them now. We have played with Buried In Verona a few times before.
How was the headline tour and the Misery Signals shows for you guys?
They were really sick. It’s been great to just go to a lot of different places and really see how everything is going for us. Generally, it’s just been sick to play all these shows.
Is there a new release we can expect this year?
Maybe not this year, but we’ll definitely be recording a full-length album sometime this year, and we’re hoping to put it out next year.
Will it sound more like your EP ‘Void’ or will it head in a different direction?
It’s definitely going to maintain some of the quintessential sounds that we’ve explored before, but it’s going to touch on a wider range of influences. Vocally, I’m going to try something else as well, try to add some more variety.
Will you again go with Top Secret Audio to record with or have you got someone else in mind?
We haven’t really 100% booked anything in yet but our single was mixed by William Putney over at the Machine Shop. We’ve always liked the sound he gets, but it’s just one idea at the moment. We’re not really sure what we’ll do for the album just yet. We might travel oversees or do it here, we’ll see.
Well, William Putney would definitely be a pretty sick choice!
Yeah, exactly! [laughs]. It’s just a matter of coming to terms with who we want to go with cause we’ve all saved up, and we’re prepared to get the sound that we want.
How do you guys feel about being a part of UNFD, which is becoming one of Australia’s biggest labels?
It definitely puts a smile on my face and I’m very proud to say I’m a part of Unified. Everyone here is just so nice and they are a great group of people who always help us out. It’s just surreal.
Do you like the diverse vibe that UNFD gives off with its roster of bands?
From my point of view, having a diverse list of bands on a label is good for the followers of a label or band, because they can go there and check out all these other bands. It’s good to help broaden the horizons of people’s musical spectrum and find links to new genres and new music.
What are some of the band’s biggest influences?
The majority of the influences comes from my brother [Nic Dodson, guitar] and I who write pretty much all the music. We both have similar interests. But apart from music, we pull inspiration from movies, video games and art and different things like that. With music, we don’t listen to that much metal, even though we play it, we listen to a lot of different types of music.
On the topic of non-musical influences, in ‘A Power Concealed’, one of your lines is ‘No Gods, No Kings, only Man’, and I’ve always wondered if that was a Bioshock reference?
Yeah! [laughs]. You’ve got it! Bioshock is one of my all time favourite video games. Like I said, we take so much inspiration from other things. I think that’s important for a musician, to help keep things fresh. And we always hope that people pick-up on those kinds of things.
When did you first learn or realise you could vocalise like that and what’s your musical background?
In regards to musical background, I was exposed to lots of new music from a young age from both my parents and my older brothers who both play instruments. I first learnt bass and then drums but during high school, my brother and one of our other guitarists, which was pretty much the early start of Stories, would jam in my garage. I tired heavy vocals for the first time and it wasn’t half bad but it was pretty shit [laughs]. But I really liked it and took it from there and have just be refining it until it’s to where I am now.
When listening to your music, I always feel like your vocal style gives off a very Karl Schubach (Misery Signals) vibe.
He’s probably my favourite heavy vocalist, and he always has been. At the time and up and to now, Misery Signals still are my favourite band. Karl definitely inspired me to develop my scream in that sort of direction.
Bit of a typical question I’m sure, but why go with the name Stories?
It’s hard to say. I personally am not fond of the band name but that might be because so many bands are popping up with cool band names at the moment. But it was sort of before all that with us, but I have no idea how we got that name actually [laughs].
Finally, bit of an easy question but are there any Australian bands that you’d love to play with one day?
Ah, this is definitely a hard one. But…Make Them Suffer, those guys for sure! I was meant to go to see one of their old shows, but I was sick at the time and my brother and our other guitarist ended up going to see them, this was back when they first started. When they came home they told me to check this band out and I went and listened to them and was just like ‘This band is ridiculously good!’ And I’m definitely keen to see what those guys have got coming after their latest single.
Killyourstereo.com and Destroy All Lines present Buried In Verona on the Midyear Mayhem tour this July/August, with Antagonist A.D. and Stories.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/407068282769268
Further details and ticket information here.