Since they first hit the scene, Aversions Crown have always been pretty heavy, and they just keep adding the weight on. Their sophomore album, ‘Tyrant’ is set to drop early next month (through Nuclear Blast) and the band hit the road with US band, Molotov Solution in support. We had a brief chat with vocalist Colin Jeffs about the new release and how 2014 has been treating the band so far, as well as his favorite science fiction movies.
I take it you guys are pretty pumped to drop ‘Tyrant’ next month?
Yeah dude, we are over the moon! It’s been a long time coming for us so we just want to get this out there and into circulation.
For the album, I know you guys had Andy Marsh (Thy Art Is Murder) producing it so what was it like to work with him?
Well, I didn’t actually work that close Andy. The vocals were recorded at a different studio because Andy had to go tour overseas. So I actually recorded them with a guy by the name of Mick Carpenter, so I didn’t have much time with him.
But the recording process for myself was great. Mick’s a great friend of mine, and his studio is like a ten minute drive from my house, we were able to spend a lot of time on them, trying out different ideas and getting the vocals as close to what we wanted. So it was a really good process, really relaxing and convenient.
Mark Lewis also mixed and mastered the record as well. What was it like to have a guy who’s worked with Carnifex and Whitechapel and a slew of other bands working on your own material?
It was phenomenal man. He was the coolest, most down to Earth guy we’ve had the pleasure of working with. He was just a normal dude. He cracked jokes with us, told us what he was doing, kept us up to date, didn’t act like a rock star or anything like that. He’s mixed and mastered some of the biggest bands in the world, so it was an honour to even have him touch our album, so we’re stoked on that.
On the topic of Whitechapel, they supported DevilDriver on their most recent tour here last month, which you opened for, so how was that tour for you guys?
Oh dude, it was amazing [laughs]. It’s funny that you mention that because growing up, when I was 14 years old, and I actually covered a Coal Chamber song. I was telling Dez that because he sings in DevilDriver. He was a big influence on me in my early stages of getting into heavy music, it was kind of mind blowing to grow up listening to that guy and then going on tour with them and having him give you props and telling you you’ve got an awesome voice.
Whitechapel are a really big influence of ours as well, so to be able to share the stage with those two bands, of whom I consider legends was just mind blowing.
I actually saw you guys at the Melbourne date of the tour, and you played a couple of the new songs live.
We’ve been playing ‘Hollow Planet’ for a while on tours. That song is like our number one. People love that one, it’s a great live song, it’s energetic, and it’s good to move around to. With playing new songs live, people stand and watch you and take it all in. They haven’t heard it, they don’t know when to mosh or band their heads, so you get a lot of blank faces. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as their just trying to get what they can out of, at least that’s what I do when I see a band perform.
With touring, you guys are hitting the road soon with Molotov Solution in the coming moth, how are you gearing up for that?
We’re gonna be playing a bunch of new songs and we’re so stoked to be bringing out Molotov for their first time in Australia. They are one of my favourite bands, so it’ll be a blast for sure.
Are you hitting up any places you haven’t been to before?
Yeah, there’s a few random venues on that tour. I can’t think off the top of my head, but there’s about three or four that we haven’t played before. So we might be playing to some new crowds, some new faces, and hopefully might make some new fans.
The music video for ‘Vectors’ just came out…
We have a great time doing music videos. We work with a company called Red Boss. They did the ‘Hollow Planet’ video and they’re just a great bunch of young guys, really clued on, so we feel like we’re in safe hands when we’re working with them. Filming videos is fun, and yeah, it’s stressful, you’re spending five, six hours just sweating but it’s really fun and everyone has a good time doing it. We’re really happy with how it came out. They just took our vision and concept and really gave it life.
With the concept of ‘Tyrant’, why go with those whole alien invasion themes?
Aversions Crown, as a band, is built on science fiction themes and concepts. On the surface, the themes are all linked to alien invasion, human enslavement, and the end of the world. Growing up, these concepts terrified me, and to this day, I have a great interest in alien life. So for ‘Tyrant’, it’s about an alien race exterminating the human race, but if you look at the themes surrounding it, you’ll see a striking resemblance to what already happens in the world. Things that seem so out of this world are just taken as completely normal and people are so numb to it. Just that in itself I thought was a very interesting concept.
So, kinda like a western superpower invading a smaller third world country, taking resources and the like?
Yeah that sort of thing. We’re talking about this supreme alien being coming down, crushing the planet, repurposing the planet, and you’re like, ‘Hang on a minute, aren’t these things already happening?’ Not on such a big scale or in such a sci-fi theme. It’s not that it’s a double meaning but it does sort of spark the question.
As you said before, you were into a lot of science fiction stuff when you were younger, do you have any favourite sci-fi movies, video games or books?
Oh, I’ve got a whole list of them off the top of my head, wow… [laughs]. The Aliens films, I used to watch those when I was super young and it just scared the shit out of me man. Another movie I loved was Event Horizon. That’s a great film! I draw a lot of ideas from that film too, like the ship comes through the worm hole and it’s kind of like ‘Where has it been? What’s it brought back?’ Stuff like that is what I write about a lot. I’m a big fan of a show called Fringe and JJ. Abrams in general. Those are what I’ve borrowed ideas from, and a lot of people in our band are really into this stuff.
I agree, Fringe was such a great show. Earlier you mentioned the influence Dez Fafara had on you, and I want to know when you first found out you could scream and vocalise?
I’ve been screaming in bands since I was pretty young. I remember in music class, my friends would play Korn covers and they’d ask me to come sing them, and I’d be like, “I don’t know how to do that”. They just told me to yell, and since then I’ve been abusing my voice. It’s a wonder I even have a voice now. Before Aversions Crown, I’d never really tried to do the super deep vocals that are on the new album. So it was a steep learning curve. I’d already being abusing my voice so I think I developed a natural resistance to screaming and making weird sound effects with my voice. So the deeps were just the next progression I think.
Finally Colin, mosh pit or wall of death?
I have never incited a wall of death in my life, so I’m gonna say wall of death cause I’m gonna put it on my to do list.
Sick man! Well I wish you the best for ‘Tyrant’, thanks for your time man.
Cool [laughs]. Thanks so much dude.
‘Tyrant’ is out November 7th via Nuclear Blast.
Killyourstereo.com presents Aversions Crown on their ‘Tyrant’ tour with Molotov Solution this November.