The riffs are taut, the fuzz is well and truly brought, and it’s a hell …
Powerful hard-rock is what Sydney’s Raising Ravens do best, and they’ve proven this on their latest offering, Don’t Stay.
MORE: NOFX: Fat Mike Chats Double Albums, Being Ghosted By Blink-182 & The Emotional Journey For The Last Ever NOFX Shows // DUNE RATS: Dance Lessons and Thinking Outside The Box REVIEWS: ARCHITECTS: the classic symptoms of a broken spirit // SLIPKNOT: The End, So Far // NOFX: Double Album // VV: Neon Noir // ANTY!: Human Enough to Make Mistakes // HEAVENSGATE: AND ALL I LOVED, I LOVED ALONE
It’s officially set to drop tomorrow, along with their debut album, Leaving with the Halflight.
We were lucky enough to chat with frontwoman Jess Finlayson, who gave us a personal view into what inspired the track and more.
Hysteria: Don’t Stay is such a striking track. Run us through what inspired it.
Jess: It’s not lighthearted. Essentially, it’s about loss and death. Over my life, I’ve lost a lot of people close to me, so I wrote it about them. It’s not just about physical death. It’s about letting go of things that are negative too. I wrote it during the first lockdown. I was by the sea, and it came to me. It was cathartic.
We feel like there’s something about being by the ocean that sparks creativity and gets you reflecting. It seems fitting that the music video showcases a lot of shots of it, as well as some angelic imagery. Tell us about that.
I gave the song to Wayne (Joyner) and told him to do whatever he wanted. I gave him the lyrics and mentioned the ocean. At the time, one of my closest friends was about to pass away, and he knew of that, and what the song was about, so the angelic imagery came from him. I’m not a particularly religious person. But I don’t know what it is about angels and the ocean. I guess it’s what you were saying before; it inspires people to think the things that are bigger than them.
But it definitely is about death. I think everyone’s been faced with that over the last few years, and it’s been a new experience for people who aren’t usually confronted with stuff like that every day. The last few years gave us a lot of time to think.
How’d you land on working with Wayne?
I was recommended him through Lord Tim (ex-Dungeon, Lord), who’s done a lot of our past film clips. We’d done another one with Wayne before, and he did such a good job. With this clip, we thought about it for like a year, wondering how to do it, and nothing worked because it was such a big concept. So we ended up contacting Wayne. I gave him the ideas and the song, and voila! He did a great job.
It’s not just about physical death. It’s about letting go of things that are negative too.
[ Jess Finlayson]
You’ve managed to remain completely independent as a band. How’d that shape the creation of the album?
I will always try to stay as independent as possible. Raising Ravens started as a solo project, and it still ultimately is, but I involved a lot of people. There are a fair few musicians who’ve played on the album, and they are all credited for all they do.
Being independent gives me a lot more freedom. And it’s nice to be making music and not having to please anybody or have a specific outcome. I approached this album as solely about doing the music and having no interference.
It was all recorded over the last three years. There was lots of time and lots of breaks. Lachlan (Mitchell, producer) and I would go in with everyone, record, give it room and then go back. There was no pressure, and because we couldn’t tour, there was no interference.
People worry too much about having other people work for them and management and all of that. It’s easy to get lost in that chaos and forget it’s all about the music. I don’t plan on not being independent ever. It’s a lot more work, but it’s music on my terms. I can do what I want without explaining myself to anybody.
This album was also just a lot of fun. It’s got me looking forward to the next one.
We hear you have some shows coming up. What’s in store for those?
I went to my chiropractor today! I’m excited and slightly terrified [laughs]. We did a tour at the end of last year for our single, Vexed, and surprisingly none of us got Covid. We did eight gigs in six weeks, and it certainly brought home the physical aspect of touring.
I’ve done a lot of touring in my life, and it’s like a sport. I’m really looking forward to playing live with people despite being terrified about the physical part. It’s also the first tour with Andi (Dyson) and Tara (Doyle), and they’re amazing. It’ll be great to see people too. You miss the energy of a live gig. It’s great to release things and record, but they’re two different things. It’s going to be fun. It’s nice to have the freedom of movement back.
And how are you feeling about playing overseas?
We go over in July, starting in the UK, and then we’ll do a bit in Europe. And then we’re playing Rebellion Festival. It’s going to be like a big holiday with a tour inside of it. We have a drummer, Michael, over there. And Tara and I will be going over. We’re just going to run around and do what we like! We’ve been looking forward to it for a very long time.
Circling back to the new album, what can listeners expect to hear on it?
Lots of heavy, loud music! We went as far as we could, and there’s been a lot of work in it. It’s not as simple, not that anything I’ve done has been. There are a lot of layers, as we had a lot of freedom to do what we wanted. I probably went too far with guitar tracks, but I don’t care. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Ultimately, it is a heavy rock album, but there are a lot of different elements – lots of keys, vocal harmonies, guitars, and loud drums.
Thanks for catching up! Anything else before we let you head off?
Buy music from musicians and come to our gigs! You can buy this album from Bandcamp.
Catch Raising Ravens at the following dates:
MARCH 31 // RYAN’S HOTEL // THIRROUL w/Morgana & Dead Creak
APRIL 15 // MARRICKVILLE BOWLING CLUB // SYDNEY w/Gaia Rising & Downgirl
APRIL 29 // WHOLE LOTTA LOVE // MELBOURNE w/Acid Ash, HZED & Howling Mountain
MAY 5 // PLATFORM 5 (JESS SOLO SHOW) // BRISBANE
MAY 6 // GREASER // BRISBANE w/Burnt Trash & Kathleen Turner Overdrive
MAY 13 // HAMILTON STATION HOTEL // NEWCASTLE w/Sand Viper & Laura Panic
JULY 6 // BANNERMANS BAR // EDINBURGH UK
JULY 13 // THE SPINNING TOP // STOCKPORT UK
JULY 14 // THE PIPELINE // BRIGHTON UK
JULY 15 // THE BIRDS NEST // LONDON UK
JULY 20 // RIFF // BUDAPEST HU
JULY 21 // WILD AT HEART // BERLIN DE
JULY 28 // AMSTERDAM NL
JULY 29 // HAARLEM NL
AUGUST 3 // REBELLION FESTIVAL (JESS SOLO SHOW) // BLACKPOOL UK
AUGUST 5 // REBELLION FESTIVAL (FULL BAND SHOW) // BLACKPOOL UK