THEY, Melbourne’s latest hard rock band battling their way through the ranks, have waxed and waned in enthusiasm over the three years they’ve been together but things have always falling back into place from the inside and now looks set to come together on the outside. Vocalist Xavier Holland, admits that the road hasn’t been easy but that THEY are ready to take on every opportunity they’re given. A successful EP release for Unleashed has paved the way for the release of their first film clip for Climb It, Tarzan! and a host of EP’s over the next few months.
“You’ve got to branch into every avenue and give people what they want,” Holland says in relation to the importance of a film clip. “People want visual stimulus on top of the songs so we have to give them that. It also helps to develop the story and the message behind the song. It’s based on advertising and marketing and how we’re manipulated in such a way that we don’t even know it’s happening. We used a lot of stock footage from the ‘50s and used that era’s method of visual advertising to show that we haven’t really evolved much in our approach or our ideals since then.”
So what is the story of the band’s origins? “We’ve been together for about three years,” he begins. “The band started with four of us, Paulo [Nicolas], Reece [Tyrell] and Rob [Bishop]. Reece is a friend of mine from school and he asked me to come in and audition for the vocalist spot for the band they had at the time, which I did. The bass player at the time didn’t like me so he said no and the band ended up breaking up a couple of months later so they asked me back. Our bassist, Liam (Wagener), actually auditioned as a vocalist for the old band and then they asked him back to play bass for us.
“We never really had a serious conversation about our direction but after we had 10 or so songs we decided that we should make a go of it,” he continues. “We were really happy with what we had, we thought the music was good, and from there we pooled our resources and money and started to record the EP. It took us fucking ages to do it but now, after all of that, we have a whole new energy about us and plan on releasing another three EPs over the next nine months and then head over to Europe to play some shows.”
With an ever-growing fanbase, Holland says THEY have utilised both traditional networking alongside paid advertisement. “We’ve utilised Facebook advertising,” he says. “I don’t know if a lot of bands pay for advertising via Facebook, but we’ve found that really works for us. Then, like a lot of other bands, we’ve been using friends and family, talking to other bands that use our rehearsal space and going to see bands a lot. It’s virtually just having conversations with people – we’ve made friends with a lot of Melbourne bands along the way – and that, combined with street press and social media, has built things up.”
The stress has taken its toll along the way and Holland feels that it is the strength that they have as friends and band mates that has kept them going. “To consistently do something for so long and to not get the rewards for it can be really disheartening,” he says. “It does get you down and every now and then someone will come to rehearsal and not be switched on, you get tired of putting so much effort it and not getting anything back. But over the last few months we have just started getting that recognition and people in the industry are slowly taking notice and it gives you a whole new energy. Luckily the guys are good enough and we are really supportive when someone is a bit down about it all. We actually talk about things too, all the time. If someone’s pissing someone off or something we actually talk about it so nothing builds up. I think we get over stuff a lot quicker than other bands might.”
The band are planning a run of EP releases as opposed to a single album at this point which will be followed by a European tour. “It’s more content and we want to consistently put out more content,” he says of their decision of releasing EPs. “Things have changed so much in the past five years, even in the past year; people always need content in order to keep relevant. We were discussing the album idea versus the EPs and we think tying in a theme with each EP as well as streaming our music in a constant feed with different sounds to create one whole project will keep us relevant and more people interested.”
BY KRISSI WEISS
THEY will perform with with Moroccan Kings, Dive Into Ruin and Vitruvian Man at The Evelyn Hotel on Saturday August 25.