“If you’re not getting better as you go, there’s something wrong. Even if it’s not better in the eyes of the people coming out to watch you, if you’re feeling as a collective that things are getting better, that’s all that really matters.”
Heirs drummer Damian Coward breaks it down pretty clearly when he’s discussing his band’s ethos. You’re either moving forward with the music you’re making, or what’s the point? It’s this dictum that has seen Heirs traverse a spectrum of thoughtful, extreme music throughout their career. From the droney, metallic rumblings of their debut LP Alchera, to the more refined post-rock of Fowl and the dark wave leanings of last year’s Hunter 10”, the five-piece are continuing to take their sound to new, interesting places.
Now, as the band are writing their follow-up to Hunter, Damian affirms that the band have remained committed to evolving Heirs’ sound on a double album that should surface towards the beginning of next year. “We’re choosing more now these days to not rely on our heaviness to pull us through as a band,” he says. “It’s really easy to tune your guitar down to drop-whatever, smash out some massive chords and for everyone to be excited about that, but I think what happens is that can then become quite self-indulgent and rather formulaic. For us we just want to steer clear of any type of formula within any of these genres.
“Someone can just buy a bunch of amplifiers and a bunch of pedals, tune their guitars down and play open chords. That’s fine, people can do that, but as a band, we’ve moved on from that. There’s never going to be a time when we’re a quiet band, that’s for certain. And we’ll always play stuff from the first record, but as a band, right now, we’re more interested in melody than just slaying everybody’s faces off with big, droning riffs.”
As Heirs have continued to evolve their sound, they have also invested effort into furthering the aesthetic of their live performance. In the past, the band have made use of stark, monochromatic colour schemes, smoke machines and improvised stage lighting. For their upcoming tour though, Heirs are taking it to a whole new level.
“We’ve got a whole system of projection joined up with the audio stuff this time. From the Hunter film clip we’ve learnt how to use a projection-mapping program where you can pinpoint where you want projections to be. Basically you can scan a room and use objects within it to actually project on. We’re setting up a light system that is hooked up to a MIDI control which goes through my drum sampler which means we’ll have a series of lights that will work in conjunction with the music. We’re trying to expand our live show into an experience that people need to see. Not just a show, not just a band playing music, but something that has to be experienced rather than heard.”
BY TOM HERSEY
HEIRS play The Curtin on Friday May 11. Hunter 10”/CD is out now on Denovali Records.