I'm off to see Daysend tonight at the Gaelic Theatre in Sydney. It's been a long time since I was last there, at a guess Hardcore 2006, but I may have been to something in between that time. That place brings back a lot of memories, as does going to see Daysend. They were one of the first bands I really got into once I moved to Sydney in 2003.
They have a new album just about to come out, the follow up to 2007's The Warning. I'm looking forward to hearing the new album. Last time they played in Canberra I caught up with Mark, the singer.
So Daysend just played in Canberra tonight, how would you describe it?
It was (pause)
No, I wouldn't say that. We like to play here, people that do come and watch us are always really cool, good to get along with.
You came into the band numerous years ago, but do you still feel like “the new guy”?
Some people have even said to me tonight, hey, you're still the new guy. That might've been you actually. I do in a way. Daysend established their roots with Simon, it was a bit weird coming into a band already at that level. I feel like I'm very much a member of the band now. I've been in the band nearly four years now.
The band are in the progress of recording a new album- what's the update on that one?
We're pretty much finished tracking, there's some overdubs and solos still to be done, but the main tracking is finished. We did it up at The Grove studio in Gosford with Jenk, he used to play in Cryogenic. He's producing the album.
Cryogenic- that's a bit of a blast from the past.
He's a good guy, great to work with. We should be releasing the album. It's a lot more dynamic, a lot heavier. There's a couple of soft ones on there, but mostly heavier.
I'm glad you didn't say the albums going to be heavier, but also more melodic
This time we're going for a raw sound, particularly in the vocals and drums. Really keen to get Daysend with a not so produced sound.
You've been compared fairly regularly to Swedish bands like Soilwork and In Flames. Do you think this album will swing more to a “Daysend” sound, and how do you feel about the comparisons?
I have no problem with the comparisons, I love that style, that's right up my alley of influences, that Scandinavian sound. This is our third album, we're coming more into our own with our sound.
What are your lyrics generally about?
Generally about what I'm going through at the time. It's not really that metal, but I've had some shitty relationships recently, a bit of that has come through. I'm not very political, I don't write about politics, I just write about...
Yeah, just shit really. Anything I can muster up really. I might even be watching a TV show that pisses me off, that might go towards a song.
How do you feel about singing the old songs that you didn't write?
I've got so much respect for Simon, the guy is a total legend. Him and I are very good friends. I have no problem with singing it, he's even said to me he enjoys hearing me sing them. We've sung together on stage many times.
What's Simon do these days?
He's got a career to focus on, I've got a lot of respect for that, he's got a family.
One of the guys from Ink was playing guitar tonight, does these mean you currently have just one guitarist?
We've just lost Jason, the guitarist we had for a couple of years. We've just been playing with Charles for the moment. It's worked out really well.
Do you think he'll come on board full time?
The guy has his own band, Ink is his main thing. We wouldn't ask him to spend so much time on Daysend. The guy's so talented, we all felt really comfortable playing with him. Anytime he wants to play with us, he's quite welcome.
So he just learnt the songs today?
Today was the first time we all got together, four pm this arvo. We just had one run through the set. I've never played with anyone who can pick up things so quickly.
That reminds me of Metal for the Brain in 2006
*A sidetrack conversation about favourite M4TB moment ensues, the reminder was the Daysend had a new guitarists join the day before the show, which proved to be a success as well.
Do you know much about the Canberra metal scene
Not much really, the only band I know from Canberra is Alchemist. They've always been good friends of Daysend. Meredith has really close ties with them. We've played with them quite a number of times.
When was the last time you played live? I don't think you've played any shows while doing the album.
Yeah, we haven't played since June. (The interview was in November).
Were you feeling a bit rusty?
Very. We only just finished recording this morning. Since the last show, we had one rehearsal before going into record, and then we had a practice this afternoon. We were a bit rusty, but it went well, all things considered. It's like riding a bike.
What's the plan for the next few months?
The album should get released in Feb. From there we'll tour Australia fairly extensively. After that we're looking at touring overseas. We've got things happening in Japan and in the states as well. Get out of Australia, tour overseas, see how we go over there. Pretty exciting.
Daysend were on Metal Blade for a while...any chance of that happening again?
You never know, that sort of thing is not really up to me.
When you joined the band, how did it feel coming from Headcage- a small Sydney band with a reasonable following to Daysend- one of the biggest metal bands in Australia?
It was a bit of an eye-opener really. The heavy touring took a while to get used to, but this is what I want to do. It's what everyone in the band wants to do.
What's your favourite live experience?
When we played with Trivium, that was a lot of fun. The crowd was really into us. That was a huge show, 3000 people or something. When we played Come Together festival that was a lot of fun too. We played late in the afternoon, there was a good vibe there.
How do you feel that there's more people watching some terrible DJ now than were watching your band?
It's just fairly typical of the Australian metal scene. You know, 6000 people will go and watch a band like Slipknot, but where are those people when the local bands are playing. It's not like the Australian bands are shit either, there's some great bands in Australia, but people just don't have that kind of mentality, they just go watch the big bands.
Do you have anything else to add, any thanks or anything?
No last words.