Perth’s own Make Way For Man currently have a very difficult task ahead of them! After finding out earlier in the year that vocalist Sean Hendry was leaving the camp, Make Way For Man had to come up with a way to find a new vocalist; the way they have gone about this is by putting an open call out for people to upload their auditions online. However, the musical gods did bestow some fortune to those in the Make Way For Man division; they were granted an opening spot on Miss May I’s first ever headline show in Perth.
Overdrive was fortunate to get an email reply from guitarist Drew Shephard last week in between the band practising for their opening slot and going through audition tapes; without further delay, let’s see what Shephard has to see about the search for a new vocalist!
1) I know this interview was meant to be about Make Way For Man’s search for a new vocalist, but I have to say congratulations on getting to support Miss May I on Sunday night! How did that opportunity present itself to Make Way For Man?
We have been lucky enough to work many times with Destroy All Lines an Aussie touring company who is putting on the tour for Miss May I. I spoke with them and felt we would be a good fit, due to the metalcore elements of our music being in the same Vein as Miss May I, they thought the same and we were put on the show!
2) How did Make Way For Man come up with the idea to search for a new vocalist in this format?
We had been looking for a vocalist for a while as Sean had let us know early on that he was going to leave. We had a few bites and some very good singers tried out but we thought if it were public knowledge that we want a singer and that we would be willing to try anyone who thought they could do the job that would maybe uncover a great singer!
3) Was it a tough process selecting which song was put up for applicants to try out to?
I think ‘We Will Surely Drown’ was a no brainer due to it covering all aspects and vocal ranges. It has pitched screams, cleans, dirty vocals and harmonies.
4) Touching on the overall submissions that you have received so far; how has the response been so far?
We have had some great ones and some not so great ones haha. It’s been interesting to hear one of our songs with so many unique singing styles. Hearing the song with a new vocalist can really change the way the song is perceived and adds a different aspect to it. We have had a good response overall, none of the submissions have been bad, some have had an amazing scream but may not fit for the clean singing or vice versa, We realise it’s some tough shoes to fill! There have been some submissions from other countries, around Australia and here in Perth. I think it is going to be tough to pick in the end because we all have different auditions that we like but there are some that everyone seems to agree on so at the end of the month we will sit down and make a hard choice!
4a) Approximately what percentage of submissions have come from overseas? Have you found a specific overseas country sending in more submissions than the others?
Only a couple, we had someone message us from Germany and also the US. Our goals are to get over to both Europe and the US so we would be more than happy to take on a singer from either of those countries.
4b) Let’s touch on the number of submissions you have been receiving from female vocalists; has that number been greater or lesser than you were hoping to receive?
I personally was hoping we would get some but not one! There’s still a few weeks so we will see, it all depends if a female wants to sing for a band called ‘Make way for MAN’ haha
4c) Have you been receiving any responses from countries that you would never have thought Make Way For Man would reach?
Most of our submissions have actually been from Perth which is good, makes things a little easier as we can meet face to face. We have been happy that there has been some overseas interest, if we found a good singer from Germany I’d be the first to want to move over.
5) What have been the most interesting/unique submissions that you have received so far?
Well I’d say the most unique one was a guy that I actually thought was John our current singer, he sounded very similar to the point where I couldn’t tell who was who, so I guess technically that isn’t very unique but it was certainly interesting!