Storm The Sky’s new album, ‘Sin Will Find You’, sees the Melbourne band reinventing themselves. I’d give you the whole PR spill about it, but it’s an album that you should really check out for yourself. Like, ASAP! Last week, I had a chat with singer William Jarratt about the idea behind the album’s name, it’s artwork, the media presentation of ‘Lilac’, and their “death-pop” sound. Czech it out below.
So where about are you calling in from, Will?
Well, I’m currently in the Gold Coast and I just went to Splendour in the Grass with some friends. So I’m just having some RnR up here before I head back down for the album release.
Oh, nice! Did you enjoy Splendour? From what I heard it was pretty fucking phenomenal.
Dude, it was amazing!
Who was your favourite out of all the bands you saw?
I’ve got a soft spot for The Cure but I honestly think that James Blake stole the show, the guy didn’t sing a note wrong. But Robert Smith was phenomenal. The Cure played for three hours and the fact he can still sing like that in his fifties is amazing. And Sigur Ros was fucking incredible, dude.
I was hoping you’d have seen them. They’re one of the best bands in the world.
Oh, I couldn’t not see them for sure!
So let’s talk about your music for a second! The first thing I wanted to touch on was what you’ve been calling this new style of yours. I believe it’s called ‘death-pop” and I was wondering if you could maybe unpack that a bit and make it sound less… cringey?
Essentially we wanted to pick apart what we were doing because at the end of the day we weren’t just a metalcore band anymore and we also weren’t just doing pop on this record you know. We had a lot of trip-hop influence as well as so many other influences and not really just specific bands but every member really spoke through their own instruments on this record. So we kind of came across this genre of death pop – and it’s not even really a genre as no two bands really identify with it. It kind of stood out to us and we wanted to recreate it in the modern day essentially. I mean it does have that connotation to it by having the word death it. Musically we’re quite sad guys like but in real life we’re not that sad all the time. [Laughs]
Fair enough man, just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Now, this may make me sound like a snobby art prick bit I gotta say that I’m loving the minimalist artwork for this new record. I was wondering if I could have a crack at what it all means and you can somewhat expand upon it.
Of course, man!
Okay, so the idea of having “sin will find you” in the corner of this square is that your sin, or your faults, will always come back to find you and will always happen. You can’t escape it. It’s a recurring cycle that our flaws and faults will always come to haunt us. Would you say that’s your basis behind it all as well?
One hundred percent. We had a few people in our team a bit worried that after we put out that song Same Graves a while ago that people will think we’re talking about religion and are an anti-religious band, but this has got nothing to do with it. The word “sin” is basically used in a sense of what society views as “sin” nowadays. There are people in every single facet of opinion getting offended. Some of the smartest people in the world will always argue with each other; they often think the same thing but just believe their opinion is correct. And then you have the small-minded bigots of the world standing together because they aren’t smart enough to form their own opinion and will just believe whatever a leader says.
The reason for the baby blue was that it’s a really tranquil colour and it’s calming to sort of say that it’s okay that sin will find you. It means you’re free to form your own decisions and lead your life without fear of people looking down at you and judging you. And with the square, you were spot on. It just means that no matter where you are in life you are going to fuck up at some point.
I think you just answered about five of my questions there so thank you for that! I also really wanted to touch on the themes of the record. Because for me there seems to be a big underlying theme of escapism and avoidance of one’s problems through the use of drugs and alcohol and partying rather than just for the pleasure. Am I right in saying that?
The thing with this record is that it’s one-hundred-percent my life experiences growing up as a young male in the city of Melbourne. There were drugs just everywhere. There are a lot of people who can function and go out and party and stuff and there are those who don’t and they use it as an escape. That’s where I draw the line and I think if you see a friend doing that you need to reach out and help them. A recurring theme on the album is that for me alcohol played a big part in escaping and that’s something I’ve really tried to tone back down on. You know with ‘Lilac’ being red wine and also a Jeff Buckley reference as well. So there is that big theme of bad escapism present on the record absolutely and we’re not supporting that in any way. Not that you said that, I just wanted to reiterate that.
Well, that leads me into my next question which regards the ‘Lilac’ video. When it came out there were the headlines like the one from Music Feeds that read “Storm the Sky’s Sexy New Queer Video” and others that really emphasised on the LGBT aspects of it all. I wanted to know how much of a factor the inclusion of the gay couple was in the videos overall message for you guys as a band.
Yeah, to be honest, I was not happy that that was a headline. We really appreciate Music Feeds sharing the song but that was not really what I wanted to push. That’s just the media at the end of the day I guess. The decision to include the gay couple was one I obviously thought hard about but it wasn’t to provoke emotions as much as it was to provoke normality. You know it’s so normal in Melbourne now and no one bats an eye lash when you see two guys holding hands but it’s obviously still a big issue nonetheless. I wasn’t really trying to push any message too much you know, I’m not gay myself so it’s not something that I really have an opinion on apart from that I think it is horrible to discriminate. The biggest theme for me was to just push the normality of [gay relationships] and show that it’s not weird, it’s not destructive and it shouldn’t be pushed away. There’s a lot of videos going around that hone in on that like some of Troye Sivan’s stuff and I think that in a rock scene it should be accepted, as this is a place where people go to for acceptance when they can’t find it elsewhere. To see so much distance being put between our fans and the LGBT community I was really sad to see but hopefully, that video does help in the fight.
I also really appreciate that there was an LGBT person of colour in the lead role for the video as that’s the next step of acceptance and isn’t something you really see much of.
Yes, I really wanted to cover all the basis really of this huge issue and show people that it doesn’t really affect you in any way.
No, that’ awesome man. I really commend you on that. Anyways, we’ve run out of time but thank you so much for taking the time to chat today. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to hear the album!
No worries, Matty. Thank you so much!
‘Sin Will Find You’ drops August 5th through UNFD and Rise Records . Pick up a copy here and prepare to hear the next instalment in this young band’s legacy. Read our review here to get our take on just how stunning ‘Sin Will Find You’ really is.