Melbourne’s The Charge are finishing the year strongly. Having just released their new studio album, ‘Order Of the Owl’, the band now prepares to hit the road in support of the release. Frontman Ashley Jones recently sat down with Killyourstereo.com to discuss everything.
Your album has just come out, the tour is about to get underway. How has 2015 been for The Charge so far?
2015 has been exciting and busy. We finished recording and mixing the album at the start of the year and played a handful of shows. We really enjoy the recording process especially with Reggie Bowman (Melbourne’s Rick Rubin), it is effortless and fun. Reggie is also a music video producer, so we have filmed two music videos for the first two singles “Acid in my veins” and “The Order of the Owl” and they have just been released over the last couple of months and weeks.
Obviously listeners engage with albums in different ways and will have favourite songs that differ from the next. If there were one main thing you hope they can take away from hearing ‘Order of the Owl’ what would it be?
I think the new album is what we wanted The Charge to sound like. We took our time with the songs and jammed them out and there is a maturity in the song writing and sound. I think listeners will hear and see that we aren’t just a one dimensional rock band and that there are subtle elements and styles of music within songs and across the 12 tracks. It’s not just a straight out in your face same sounding album. I also want listeners to take away that there is really great Aussie made music out there. Get out there and support it.
In a press release the band is quoted as saying the album explores “the divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”. What have been some of the biggest sacrifices you’ve had to make so far in order to pursue your music?
Time away from family and friends is one of the biggest sacrifices. We pretty much spent six months of last year every weekend in the recording studio. You also sacrifice money and time to pursue your dream. We are lucky that we all like each other and have support from our families and each other. We have been together as the four members for seven years and that is rare in itself this day and age. We are a band of brothers with a support network sacrificing and pursuing the “dream”.
Speaking of sacrifices, what’s the current balance like between band and outside commitments?
It can get tricky for sure. We all work full time. Some of us even own our own businesses, but we are lucky enough to be in positions where we can tour on the weekends and get together often to jam and record. We also have family and friends that get involved and have become a part of The Charge.
What have been some of the biggest insights and lessons you’ve gathered from touring and performing so far?
Touring can be a hard slog. Being cramped in a car filled with dudes, crappy food. But the shows make it worth it. Performing on stage you always learn something new that you take away, whether it’s playing that section or part of the song that gelled with everyone that you hadn’t played before. Being confident, patient and connecting with the audience. Watching the other bands you play with and learning from them is a great lesson.
What are some areas that you’d like to see improved to help local bands?
There needs to be more venues that don’t charge an entrance fee to see bands. It was sad to see the Espy front bar close down. We freaking loved that stage! Venues to choose quality bands to play together, which creates a great atmosphere and people will come. And more support from within the industry for local bands, like radio, tv, magazines etc. Greater exposure and awareness that will in turn improve the scene and local bands.
What’s planned for the next 12 months?
Right now we have the album tour coming up in October/November. We will be taking this album as far as it can go. We have had some interest from the U.S. and Europe, so we might be heading over there in 2016. And just maybe we will even get time to start the process of recording our next album.
Favourite album(s) of 2015 so far?
Kvelertak Meir has been my favourite by far. Although I think it was released a couple of years ago. It really really rocks. The Sword’s “High Country” has been getting a few plays as well. Looking forward to the Parkway Drive Album as well.
Thanks for the interview, appreciate your time.
You can purchase ‘Order of the Owl‘ via iTunes.
Further show information via: www.thecharge.com.au.