Since suffering a loss that was the very definition of ‘close to home’ in 2015, Brisbane’s As Paradise Falls have since picked themselves back up and forged on with what could very well be their best release to date. Of course, to see if this rings any truth, their new full-length album must first be released from the depths of various hard drives and computers and must be set free unto the world. But before this happens, As Paradise Falls guitarist and residential British lad, Danny Kenneally, spoke with us about their long-awaited album, new members, and their latest single, ‘Digital Ruin’.
My first question regards ‘Digital Ritual’, and that’s was it ever meant to have vocals in it? As there are definitely some parts of the song where I feel that vocals would sit perfectly within the mix.
Yes, the intentional goal was to have a small amount of vocals in that song, and you’ve probably picked the right spots. If you’re thinking where I am thinking, then yes, we did originally have vocals in there but took them out for the single. We’ll most likely have them on the album version.
Well, in any case, I loved that massive reverb-heavy snare drum hit towards the end as well. That was just crazy!
Oh, it was so much fun to do that in the studio, if you’ve got it cranked in the studio it sounds like the biggest snare in the world!
Oh for sure! Some of the imagery of the ‘Digital Ruin’ music video and the “glitch” overlays, connecting lines and such reminded me a lot of Northlane’s music video for ‘Rot’. I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not…
No, that’s a good eye, man. Our camera guy, Ben from Third Eye Visuals, really wanted to experiment with this one. So with all of the connecting lines in the video that you see, that all took a lot of time according to him. Northlane is also a big influence on us, so it worked out well. And even the idea of connecting people, Northlane kinda has the same meaning in that song too.
Well with people becoming more and more connected, Pokémon Go came out a few weeks ago now and as an app and video game, it’s rather shite. But as a social tool, it’s become this real social phenomenon that brings people together.
Yeah, we’re all connected through this small device, but we still won’t talk to a stranger in the street. But Pokémon Go seems to have brought a lot of people together, as a lot of my friends go to the…’gyms’ or whatever, and it seems to be bringing people together. I’m not into it myself. It’s interesting, I was actually reading this post earlier about a girl who has had her social anxiety helped by Pokémon Go, so there’s a lot of good parts to it.
Yeah, because then you know you have something in common with someone and you can break the ice easily. On technology, though, I wanted to ask about the drum sound of the single. Now, I absolutely loathe the snare drum sample on the new Hellions record but the snare drum and its tone on ‘Digital Ritual’ seemed very… well, real.
Well, Hellions recorded their last album [Indian Summer] at Karma Sound Studios as well and they wanted it to have an all-natural sound. So not sure what they did with this new record. For us, there are some parts where we wanted it as natural as possible. But when we release the album you’ll see the very “digital” songs as well. One song has been cut very tightly and we can replicate that easily with our Ax-FX’s live, but yes, I do assume it was tracked with his actual snare. That’s just for the first mix and master, though, we’ll have it re-done for the album eventually.
How invested were you all in the mixing and mastering process of the album? Apart from signing off on it at the end, of course.
When we were there, we’d get a song done in a day or so and at the end of that day, Shane Edwards would do a quick mix and master for us to see where the song would end up. It was a very immersive experience and he was very, very honest with us as well. He’d either say ‘Yes, that’s a good idea!’ or ‘No, that’s a shit idea!’ and that’s what you need in a producer; someone who’s honest and who is great to work with.
Of course! Have you had much experience with dodgy engineers over the years?
With our old EP, Save Yourself, we were going to get it mixed and mastered through someone in America. Can’t remember who, but we went through their management and they were really bad with contact. So we eventually emailed them saying we had to scrap this and that we were going with Shane. Then like a month or so after that EP came out, I got an email from the producer saying how keen he was to work on the EP. I told him that he probably shouldn’t bother at that point [laughs]. It was just a miscommunication issue, but it was just so funny to get that message as we already had it out.
[Laughs]. Wow, maybe that dude should get some better management! So, when can we expect to see the new album?
We’re not quite sure what we’re going to do with it just yet. We don’t want to release it around Christmas as everyone’s too busy, but we’ve got ideas for a few more music videos and singles to hopefully punch out before then.
Well, when will we get to see who the new members are? Because while I couldn’t pick the new guitarist, when I saw the long hair of the new vocalist, I thought that it may be Rheese Peters from A Night In Texas…
[Laughs] I’ve had a few people ask me that. But no, it’s not Rheese though. We’ve worked with him in the past and he’s amazing at what he does. He has the craziest deathcore vocal style. But while some songs are down the deathcore route, other songs really aren’t. So we needed a vocalist that can do…different things.
Sounds good! I do have a lot of faith in the new guys. I mean, you wouldn’t’ have gotten these two new guys in the band if they were shit.
[Laughs] Exactly man!
It’s interesting that you mentioned the deathcore route because the ‘Save Yourself’ EP was just so deathcore. It wasn’t bad, but it was just really generic, with songs like ‘Equilibrium’. So going off this new song, it really does seem like you’re stepping away from your old style.
Yeah, that song is a big step away. With any album or EP we do, we try to keep it diverse as possible. With ‘Save Yourself’, we only 50% achieved that I think. That’s just due to our own headspaces and writing abilities at the time. But we took a much longer time thinking about this album then we did writing it and then we wanted the songs to be more diverse. So it’s all under the metal banner, but we’ll be experimenting with more metal sub-genres. So one song is really Fear Factory-inspired, really heavy and intense. Then there are other songs that have a newer Northlane vibe. I think we’ve accomplished that and I think people are going to be really confused when they hear it.
I love that. People won’t be amazed, they won’t be angry, they won’t be in love with it – they’ll just be confused!
Yeah! So then people ask ‘What are you doing?’ and ‘What have you done?’ They won’t have any idea, but they’ll be listening to it.
That’s really interesting man, as having a polarizing album, more or less, can be very interesting this day and age.
At the end of the day, we wrote it knowing that we loved it. We’ve been playing it for ages now and we’re not bored of it yet. I also feel that a lot of musicians out there will really love it, as there are some very fun parts and some very technical parts as well.
Well, now I am much more keen to hear it. You know, I didn’t expect the clean guitars in the single and it also being a short instrumental song too. I don’t think a lot of people expected that.
A lot of people were asking us who the new members are and when the new album is coming out. So instead of just making a big Facebook post, we decided to make a very cool audio-visual piece for the fans. Just to say that we’re still working, you just can’t see all the stuff going on behind the scenes. But for us personally, we’re not keeping it a secret that well. If we’re out having a band meeting, we have accidentally tagged all of the band members on Facebook and then a few hours later have realised and had to go back and remove them. So a few people have caught on already. Amateurs, right?!
Dude, that’s like hitting ‘reply all’ instead of just ‘reply’. Well, Danny, we’ve been on the phone for a fair while now, I think we’ll leave it there. Thanks so much for your time during your lovely 20-degree weather up in Brisbane!
[Laughs] yeah, no worries man!
As Paradise Falls new album will be out…eventually. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!