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There’s an odd air of tranquillity in the aggression heard in Any Colour You Desire, the latest EP from Prideland’s.
Vocalist Mason Bunt can offer no explanation as to the cause for the Melbourne via Mount Gambier outfit’s direction or intention in writing such a release, only that feeling in this case, transcends logic.
“It’s a hard one to answer,” he says, “We always just write music we’ll enjoy ourselves and something that comes from the heart. We have a lot of emotion in all of that. It’s really hard to pull things out of it when we’re achieving what we want to achieve in music.”
Even for non-metalcore fans, there are rare instances where a band like Pridelands comes along and you’re not listening to nitty gritty, gnarly snarly. It’s a good experience, and who doesn’t like a new experience? “We’re not all the biggest metal fans, we don’t listen to a lot of metalcore,” admits Bunt. “We like some, we all grew up listening to Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, bands like that. But we have a very wide range of music we listen to, and an experience with the music being a whole rather than listening to it for the sake of it being heavy, that’s something we look in music we listen to as well. That’s always gonna reflect in what you do because you take inspiration from people you like and the things you like in the world. You can’t not do that in art.”
Experience is the operative word here. In penning Any Colour You Desire, undertaking production duties themselves, Pridelands undid every aspect of who they were and where they wanted to be. “We changed our approach for this album. Our previous work [Natives, 2015] had been put together all over the shop. A lot of it was written by Liam [Fowler], our guitarist. This time around we decided to create something as a team, as a band.
We all grew up listening to Parkway Drive, August Burns Red, bands like that. But we have a very wide range of music we listen to, and an experience with the music being a whole rather than listening to it for the sake of it being heavy.
[ Mason Bunt ]
“We really hit a point where everything went stagnant for a while there. We did drop off the live scene a bit, we decided to step away and take a break and with that, we really thought about the way we approached the music we were making and how we approached the band in general.
“This experience was more of a team-based experience. Liam started the songs, we all added our flow here and there. It was a very emotional input for a lot of us, especially for Josh [vocalist Josh Cory], it’s a very personal album.”
Everything in the Any Colour You Desire has all been from the perspective of Pridelands and their friendship group, choosing a team of people they know and like and deciding to work with them, resulting in the EP we hear today. “It feels like a very organic, natural release to me,” says Bunt. In this group of people, they’re not just supporting one another in terms of what they do musically, but, especially in producing something independently, there are trials and tribulations, blood, sweat and tears, and a lot of personal weight to carry to get to this point. “Absolutely there is,” says Bunt. “I feel like most bands, especially young bands, will go through the things we have. All circumstances will be different but it does come with a lot of hard work and many, many ups and downs.
“Before we started writing this album, we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know what to do with the band, we’d had enough. We weren’t getting the results we wanted and it got a bit disheartening and we lost sight of why we moved to Melbourne to do this in the first place.
“We sat down one day and had a chat about everything, not to do with the band, but where we were all at personally and what we wanted to do. We realised we wanted to keep doing it and from there, it was like, let’s completely change how we operate as Pridelands, how we operate in our day-to-day lives as well because at the end of the day, if you want to change something you’ve got to start from the bottom, from the basic things.
“We focused on those to better ourselves and I feel like it’s starting to pay off. We’ve made music we’re finally happy with now, it feels cohesive, it feels right. We’re in a really good place with it for the first time, it feels awesome.”