If Gene Simmons bothered to check out the Aussie Rock scene before his idiotic claims of rock’s untimely demise, then he might not have the ignorant blanket claim. In this current scene there are a number of flourishing bands all fighting (friendly) to push the sound forward. Enter Captives. A five-piece rock band from Victoria and Tasmania who have recently dropped a stellar EP called ‘Butterflies, Diamonds and Lightning’, an EP steaming with passion and a rock aesthetic to make your mouth water. We caught up with singer Aaron Damon to talk about the EP, the band and Aussie rock.
Can you run me through the artwork of the EP, is there any symbolism to it?
Well it kind of links with this whole mental asylum vibe I had with the lyrics. We worked in with the title and it all just locked in.
What do you enjoy writing about the most lyrically, what captures you?
I try not to be too serious or political when it comes to the lyrics, I always try and keep it almost comical to an extent. I do a lot of research on the internet and just try and find some crazy words to throw in there and just kind of roll with one topic, like some made up stories and stuff.
From a vocal standpoint, what was the whole process, did the vocal melodies go to already written music or vice versa?
The guys genuinely jam out and we’ll put it together and sometimes I’ll write whilst they’re in the same room writing or come up with the melody whilst on an acoustic guitar and pick it out, and we kind of take it from there but we genuinely never write lyrics first.
What was the recording process like?
It was good, we went in with Tom Larkin and had a few engineers come in and what not. We scratched pre-production on this EP and went straight into recording it, made all the changes and then tracked the whole thing live and put down vocals afterwards. Tracking it live really captures the live kind of feel of a rock band that we couldn’t get on our other EPs, it really got the energy.
It’s good to hear, it’s almost an honesty that’s being lost in today’s EDM craze of drops and beats.
Yeah, I think a lot of things are becoming over computerised and the industry is starting to see a change back to the original idea of guys in a room bashing it out on drums guitar and bass, heading back to roots.
So it was more about making a record where people need to see you guys live as opposed to just making a slick record that sounded cool?
Yeah definitely. The slick record thing was a big thing in the 2000’s and now people are starting to move away from that. Especially Australian bands that don’t really get a lot of airplay and so a lot of it is people coming to pubs and watching you live, so we were trying to create that live connection on the record that people could feel. That was important to us than getting on the AusStereo network.
It seems to me that in today’s age, where music is so free, that making an album is almost like an advertisement to come see you live as that’s where you make most, if not all, of your money nowadays.
It has definitely switched, I agree. Back in the day, record companies used to lock bands up and they’d make this super record and it would just sell and that’s where you’d get your money. Nowadays it’s like making a record as to say, “This is what we’re about, come see us live and experience it.” You would probably sell more CD’s at a show than on iTunes or in a store, and so I think a lot of the value for a band to put their content out there or make money or get fans is pushed more to the live front nowadays, definitely.
It must also put value on the fans when they listen to it and buy merch or CD’s, right? Is it like, “Oh, awesome, someone gives a shit!”?
Yeah, you can definitely tell when you’re doing the right thing when people want to check you out and listen to your band and come talk to you. It’s great to know ‘cause if your band sucks then you kind of have to go back to the drawing board and really work on it, don’t you? (Laughs)
‘Butterflies, Diamonds and Lightning’ is out now!
Read our review here.