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DEADWEIGHT 80 // Out of the Dark

Melbourne riff engine Deadweight 80 have just dropped a monstrous mini-epic of a single in the shape of Slip (into the Dark).

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Drawn from the personal experience of vocalist Josh Stewart and the chaotic riffing of guitarist Rhys Wren, it’s the second track for the band since Stewart joined and caps off a busy year establishing themselves. With interstate plans and more songs on the way, we caught up to Wren and Stewart.

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HYSTERIA: Slip (into the Dark) has a lot of stuff going on – there’s at least half a dozen different riffs in there, right?

Rhys Wren: That’s because I don’t know how to write songs in a normal way! It just leans into the chaos

H: As much as you say that, it does flow very well.

RW: When we started the band, I had come from a bit of a grungy band back in the day. When I started writing my material, I never took vocals into consideration. It was just riff after riff after riff. It does take a long time to write a song, but it is what it is. I guess it makes us stand out a little bit more.

H: You don’t bring the breakdown part in until the end. That’s a stroke of genius in itself.

RW: Yeah, I had nothing to do with that! [laughter] Our drummer, he’s like, “Yeah, let’s come back – but slower.’ 

H: That sounds like there’s a bit of a doom influence there!

RW: I’m a huge hardcore fan and I grew up listening to a lot of thrash and punk, then you get into hardcore and you start ripping off Every Time I Die a little bit. Then you get a drummer that’s always been into nu-metal and the European metal scene – he’s really into everything but traditional metal and nu-metal is where he’s from so having his influences in there with mine makes it stand out a bit more. He seems to dig it as well.

I’m a huge hardcore fan and I grew up listening to a lot of thrash and punk, then you get into hardcore and you start ripping off Every Time I Die
[ Rhys Wren, Deadweight 80 ]

H: It pays to listen to the drummer sometimes.

RW: Well you sit in your room and you write music and you program drums and you think, ‘This is how I want it’ and then you get a nu-metal drummer coming in and bringing in influences and saying, ‘I don’t know about that.’ So you just keep your mouth shut, and everything works out the way it should.

H: So Josh, when you’re presented with something like this, how do you go about putting vocals in?

Josh Stewart: With this track and the one we released just before it, Disorient, these two were written just before I joined the band. They were sent to me as part of the audition process and when I got the go ahead that I was in I got writing with it. I guess it starts with listening over and over and over, sitting in my car planning out structures to see what works. At the time there was a situation in my family with my little brother going to juvie, and that gave a very emotional drive to the song. 

RW: It’s a funny story because that song was originally called Road Rules and it was about me getting a fine for dropping somebody off at a pedestrian crossing. So it’s gone from one extreme to the next, and it’s interesting to see how that’s happened.

H: Tell us a little bit about what else you’ve done. Is it correct that you played Good Things?

RW: The competition, yeah. From my personal experience … that thing reeked [laughs] The Wacken comp, as well. That was fun. It’s a good thing to have on your resume, I guess? 

H: Sometimes those shows can lead to other places too

RW: You never know who’s in the crowd, as well. It’s a good opportunity to get  your name out there.

H: Now that this track is out, what are the plans for Deadweight 80 going forward?

RW: We’ve got interstate plans, and we’re about 75% of the way through a three-track that will come out next year. We’re not far off announcing a Sydney show for next month and a Brisbane show in February. We’re just looking at covering as much ground as we can while we finish up the next release.

Purchase and stream here.

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