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Aversions Crown don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but Hell Will Come For Us All.
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In lonely morning hours or as heat fades from the wrinkled hand of a loved one whose time has come, hell awaits us. Doesn’t mean you can have a bit of fun in between. The Gold Coast deathcore boys’ fourth album dispenses with sci-fi scaries; it’s all about the fiery depths below. HELL! (in capital letters.)
With their new US-based vocalist behind the mic and famed deathcore sweetener Will Putney (Fit For An Autopsy) in front of the desk, their fourth album has the sweaty fingerprints of “classic” smeared all over it. They can preen their chests thanks to much love from the Yanks and the Europeans, plus that big label contract in the back pocket. If a cheeky bug didn’t ravage our collective insides, they’d be touring the world right now, inspiring necks to snap in twain. So what’s up with everything Aversions Crown? We got the lowdown from guitarist Mick Jeffery, basking in some fading Queensland sun. Beautiful one day, pulverising the next.
Hysteria: Let’s talk about the new album, Hell Will Come For Us All. New vocalist, new producer, new topics. Provocative title. Well, not really. But for normies it would be.
Mick: We started writing the material for the album over the a course of a couple years while we were on tour for the previous one, Xenocide. A lot happened to get to a place of recording and putting the album together, we had a fair bit of material to kind of sieve through. We had to work out what was the stuff we thought was the strongest material and stuff that was going to work together as an album. We were pretty fortunate that we had a bit of time to actually write the thing, rather than sort of being forced to sit down and do a big writing session and churn an album out. But yeah we wanted to track with Will [Putney, producer] for a while. We’ve had done some other projects with him, like a couple singles and stuff. This was the first time we had an opportunity to do a full length album with him. It kind of worked out for us and him with our schedules lining up and being able to make it work so, yeah it was a really cool, enjoyable experience. We tracked the album in Australia with a guy called Matt Shorter. He is really great to work with and really knows his stuff. He’s a really great sort of engineer, and he worked with Will on Skype at the tracking and engineering stages to make sure everything was kind of done the way Will wants it when he does the mix. Yeah, everyone kind of worked as a team, and we are super stoked with the result.
We play in the deathcore genre, and I suppose it was born in the age of the internet. Message boards and comments are always pretty much how people react to things in this style.
[ Mick Jeffery ]
This is the first album with vocalist Tyler Miller on board. What was the dynamic like with him in the studio?
We weren’t physically in the studio with him because Tyler lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, which is the other side of the world. We did a lot of pre-production stuff with the songs before it was time for recording his vocals, so he would be recording ideas and sending song lyrics back and forth. We would be able to kind of give feedback and input on the songs he was working on. We’d go ‘this is awesome man, yeah keep doing that!,’ or ‘you should try something different in this part’ you know all that sort of stuff. We good idea of where he as at when he went into the studio each day. He tracked it at Will’s studio in New Jersey and I think he tracked a lot of it with Steve, one of the guys who works there. The result that came out was awesome. They really pushed him hard as well to get such a great vocal performance out of him across the board, and I think he really grew as a vocalist, even just from the recording experience, yea it was a really fun dynamic and it was great to work with someone that really understood what we were trying to go for, for the sound of the album, and had a really mature songwriting approach with the way he was structuring his vocal patterns and the way he was writing his lyrics, and all that kind of stuff. It was great working with him.
Seriously? I would never have picked that, listening to the album. There’s no disconnect there. I suppose you were making albums with Skype before it was cool.
[laughs] Yeah, I guess so!
Xenocide and the albums before had a sci-fi vibe. This one feels more like horror, hell, and fire and brimstone and all that Old Testament stuff. As a band that likes “themes,” was that the idea for this album?
On the previous three albums they have all been a lot a of sci-fi and alien based lyrics and concepts and themes. We love doing it and will continue with it, but at the same time, we have done that for quite a long time and it was time for the band to try some new things and we didn’t want to feel like we are getting stale. It just seemed like a really natural time for us to try these new things, when we have a new vocalist and lyricist in the band. We do have a few sci fi based songs on the record, but we also wanted Tyler to be able to bring his creative ideas to the table for the album too. We opened the door to him lyrically to see what he would come up with, and he came in with all sorts of different lyrics and themes that we had never really touched on before. They all sort of connected with us on a personal level, but also felt like they really suited the vibe on a musical level. The single we released about a week ago, Born In The Gutter, is essentially about the class divide across the world and sort of the place you are born can determine the quality of life you have for better or worse. So it is a bit more of a realistic approach to worldly issues going on within the lyrics now in some of the songs. That’s something that we think that other people might be able to relate to, who have heard us in the past and couldn’t really connect with lyrics about sci-fi themes and things like that. At the same time those people who have connected with those ideas in the past will still find things to get out of the lyrics in the songs on the album too.
Sci-fi, horror, video games, metal. It all had a parallel development in the 80s and 90s, does it all just fit together for you and the band?
Oh yeah. I have always been a horror and sci-fi fan since I was young, with movies, video games and books, and all those things really work well with the music as well. Even Black Sabbath started, and they are kind of the OG band. I remember reading that they went and saw scary movies and then thought ‘well people pay to get scared, we should write music like that.’ It’s always sort of paralleled with metal music. It’s a pretty natural pairing, having metal and horror together.
Aversions Crown has talked about aliens and worldwide plagues and things like that in the past. Do you think metalheads were a bit more mentally prepared with the current pandemic? We’re exposing ourselves by choice to these apocalyptic scenarios on a daily basis. “Oh, it’s an alien invasion? Don’t worry, Aversions Crown covered this in detail already.”
That’s a pretty cool way of looking at it I think, I haven’t really thought of it like that. I think you are probably right, that the people who do listen to heavy music are used to the concepts of worldwide destruction and terror. It’s kind of what happening in the world at the moment. For a lot of metalheads … I mean, I’m sure its affected everyone in its own way. They might have a thought back of their mind, “what would go down if something like this was going to happen?” Then it did. I think it’s an interesting way of looking at it.
Changing the vocalist in the band is always going to be a tough thing to do especially when people are fans of a certain sound that you have already.
[ Mick Jeffery ]
You’ve released a couple singles online and if you read the comments (and you shouldn’t) it seems you just have haters. Haters are fans in disguise, but these keyboard warriors seem bitch about fucking everything.
We play in the deathcore genre, and I suppose it was born in the age of the internet. Message boards and comments are always pretty much how people react to things in this style. We saw ourselves pigeon-holed into a sub-genre of a sub-genre called “aliencore” thanks to the internet latching on to our themes as a band. We’d embrace that to a degree but we don’t want to be stuck in a small niche forever.
We knew that it was always going to be tough when we changed vocalists. Changing the vocalist in the band is always going to be a tough thing to do especially when people are fans of a certain sound that you have already. At the same time I think there is a lot of people who will prefer the sound of the band now and find it a bit more accessible. It’s always hard. Obviously we did know that there was going to be people who weren’t going to stay on board with what we were going to do. At the same time, if we’d just done another alien album and just sounded the same as last one, which is what some of these people are saying they wish we did, I’m sure those same people would have had comments saying this sounds the exact same as the last one. You can’t really please everyone with it, and you’re never going to. I think that we are super proud of what we have done, and I think people are going to get a lot out of it.
This is the inevitable question about your touring plans – but it seems a bit premature to lock anything in.
We did have an Australian tour that was supposed to happen this month, which has been postponed now ’til December. All the shows have been rebooked for December for all the major cities around Australia. Tickets are available and on sale for that tour now, and as far as we can tell it’s all going ahead so that’s something good to look forward to later on in the year. As far as international touring goes, we aren’t too sure when and where we will be able to travel and tour other places around the world yet, so you know we’re hoping as soon as possible like everyone else. It’s gonna be just kind of a waiting game to see how things pan out.
As Aversions Crown was coming up the ranks, did you encounter the unfortunate attitude of cultural cringe? “If it’s local or Aussie, it must suck?” Until the US or Europe gives it their blessing, of course. Do you hope this pandemic will give punters an appreciation for our local scene again?
Yeah for sure. I think in different styles of music, that’s a pretty accurate statement, especially towards the heavier music stuff. Within a bit more maybe say, the triple j or indie sort of crowd I think people are really sort of supportive about Australian music. For whatever reason it feels like with the heavier stuff the Australian bands seem to get more recognition and attention here only once they have been overseas and sort of started conquering the overseas market. Then people back home start taking a bit more notice and give bands a bit more respect. Like you said, maybe people will start looking towards to Aussie bands because that might be the only kind of live music scene we’ll have for a while.