Tucked away in the northern section of this vast land lies a band that is aiming to revitalise the local music scene. Northern Territory metalcore upstarts I, The Burden have provided the Darwin scene much needed traction and support. Killyourstereo.com chats with the band as part of a new AUSSIE FEATURE.
What was it that got you into heavy music?
Dan Prime: When I was younger my mum would always play this kind of, pop music. But when I was like nine or 10 she started playing all this punk music and it progressed from there. I was always looking for more music and just seeing what the limit was. It started with bands like Blink 182 and moved to bands like NOFX, The Offspring and then to heavier bands.
Ben Masters: I don’t know actually, I liked a lot of hip hop really but I discovered a couple bands and I just really went from there, kept finding new ones and stuff.
What specifically made you want to be in a band?
Ben: Both my parents are musicians so I grew up around it and stuff but since I leant how to play I just wanted to be in a band. I joined a band about five years ago and it’s been like that ever since.
Dan: I’ve been playing guitar since I was young and I’ve always wanted to be in a band. I don’t know, I just always have. It happens when people just kind of get together. I’m only new to , I joined in the last 12 months. If you like heavy music and you play heavy music then it’s gonna kind of happen.
What difficulties did you face starting this band?
Ben: Well, it was me and the lead guitarist who I met through a VET course at the start and we had a lot of member changes like losing the main guitarist and all that. That was a bit difficult whenever we changed members around but we’ve sort of been a full band now for about a year with a solid lineup.
Dan: I think the hard thing is finding dedicated musicians, especially up here. Like, a lot of people can play but no one really gives two fucks. They’re all off doing stupid shit. Being in a place like here, there are a large amount of musicians, a good quantity but not a good quality. There’s like two good drummers in this area so Ben plays in multiple bands.
Why do you think there is that almost lack of talent in Northern Territory?
Dan: I wouldn’t say lack of talent more…
Ben: …More a lack of inspiration. There weren’t a lot of bands giving it a go really. A few years ago there were bands doing stuff but they were only half kind of doing it? Now we’re starting to see a few more bands step up to it and some older bands come back with new line-ups; some fresh starts. Some of the stuff I’ve been hearing is great.
Dan: Not to sound like an ego trip but I think we really kind of started the scene back up…
Ben: Oh yeah, for sure! I started putting on gigs last year in July and was expecting twenty kids to come out but the first one that happened like one hundred came out! That’s when I realised that there was a scene. Ever since then I’ve seen a lot more bands pop up.
Dan: I think they got excited because they saw that the thought was there. I think that’s why it really struggled because there’s no support for it here, especially the heavy scene where it’s almost shunned everywhere.
Do you think part of the reason why there’s not much support is because a lot of bands don’t make it through there like I noticed even The Amity Affliction didn’t come through on their last run?
Dan: I think it really is the finance of it all.
Ben: Putting on shows here costs double than it does down south. Down south most venues have their own PA’s whereas up here barely any have their own built in PA, which makes it hard for bands to play as they have to bring their own.
Dan: There’s a festival up here though, called BASSINTHEGRASS, which is mostly government funded and they actually got Amity up here the last two years and they were shitting themselves, not knowing how a heavy band like Amity would go and it was so well received that they brought them back this year. You genuinely get like five and half thousand people at BASSINTEHGRASS and I would reckon there was at least a thousand people down watching them. I think the fanbase is there, we’re just lacking the resources.
Do you think that as time goes on and bands such as yourself keep playing that people may start to invest more in the scene and slowly build up a repertoire for bigger bands to come through?
Ben: Well I brought out In Hearts Wake earlier this year in July for TerrorFest, which is Darwin’s annual metal fest and it’s done well in recent years. I suggested they bring up In Hearts Wake as they tended to get heavier, more underground bands up. It ended up completely selling out, which was fantastic. It proves there is a scene up here we just need to support it.
What’s been the most rewarding part of being in this band?
Dan: (laughs) That’s actually kinda hard.
Ben: I’d say that probably touring is really rewarding. Just being able to go and play somewhere.
Dan: Yeah touring. We had the opportunity to go to Perth a while back thanks to a great guy named called James Killian, he plays in a band called Finders and he’s probably one of the most talented people in the Australian music scene. Thanks to him we were able to go over to Perth and play two shows. We played at Amplifier and HQ and it was awesome!
Ben: Just the fact that music can take you places is cool.
Dan: Also for me, one of my first shows with the band was really cool. There was like, one hundred plus people there and they were all singing the words and getting into it and that was so cool. That was really rewarding I think. It’s like, they like you enough to learn your songs and come out and sing them.
Ben: It’s someone enjoying something you put out which is the cool thing.