Calling all Australian fans of melodic death metal: Perth’s own Claim The Throne recently released their fourth album, ‘On Desolate Plains’, and they’re touring our fine country in celebration!
After playing two shows in W.A this weekend, Glenn ‘Dysie’ Dyson (Guitar/Vocals), Brendon Capriotti (Vocals/Guitar), James Parker (Bass/Vocals), Jesse Millea (Keyboards/Vocals) and Ashley Large (Drums) are bringing the chaos and destruction to Adelaide a fortnight later, before destroying everything in their path on their way to Brisbane via the East Coast.
After small opening banter reminded Dysie that he needed to re-string his guitar and resulted in a good laugh, he couldn’t contain his excitement about the upcoming tour:
“We’re definitely super pumped as we all love touring. It’s probably the reason why we all begun playing in bands, so we could get to the point one day where we can tour; we certainly love touring in our own country! Getting the pleasure to play alongside other great Aussie bands, as well as catching up with friends and fans along the way over the years is always good fun. Especially starting off in Perth, the home-jam crowd is always a good way to kick it off.”
Touching a little more on the excitement within the band, Dysie touched a little more on why he can’t wait to get out on the road and perform:
”I spend most of my time working in the music world, which is great because I love music. I’m actually tour managing Mayhem next week, which is the serious side of music; but I get to be not so serious for a couple of weeks with my own band. It’s always nice to be the player for once and get on stage, whilst someone else takes care of things for me; I usually take care of sound and lighting, but this time I just get up on stage and have a good time. It’s always great getting up in front of people who are getting into it, banging their head and singing along!”
Taking some time to delve further into ‘On Desolate Plains’, Dysie had nothing but great words when asked about the fan reaction to the new album. “Even though we’ve kind of progressed a bit more with this album and lost a bit of the fun folky bit” – and then instantly delivering reassuring words by stating – “it’s definitely still there”, Dysie explained how fans have reacted to the new sound in greater detail:
“We’ve definitely leaned towards a more aggressive, faster, darker approach; we thought some of the older fans may not appreciate it too much, but everyone seems to enjoy it! There was a bit of a jump from ‘Triumph and Beyond’ to ‘Forged In Flame’ and it was the same on this, but it’s pretty subtle and not too full on. We haven’t gone from a folk metal band straight into being a black metal band; it’s been a gradual progression into the heavier realm. The last tour we did we got fortunate to tour with Wintersun across Australia and Japan, where we mostly played a lot of new songs. The reaction was great; we still sold a lot of merch and CDs, the pre-sale was great and since we released the album, sales have been ticking over.”
The last statement on this topic resulted in yet another good laugh between the two of us, as Dysie happily expressed that “I haven’t seen any negative reactions at all yet, except from within ourselves; we can’t get drunk anymore and play this stuff! We have to be serious on stage. There used to be a time where we could get hammered on stage and play the old cruisy fun stuff as it was quite easy, but this is a lot more involved…that means no more funnels on stage unfortunately! There might be one or two beforehand to relax, maybe one or two whilst we’re playing but we tend to play the older stuff at the end so we can cut lose a little more. We still like to have a lot of fun on stage, give the crowd shit and crack jokes but we’ve had to tone that side of things down a little bit; otherwise, it will just end up a dog’s breakfast.”
After finding out that Claim The Throne stepped up their game when recording ‘On Desolate Plains’, Dysie’s brain was picked as to whether there were any lessons learned from recording ‘Forged In Flame’ that made things easier this time around. “With ‘Forged In Flame’, it was the first time we recorded ourselves. Ash was the guru there; he’s a tech nerd and he loves being a tech nerd, soaking up all the new things and buying the new gear when it comes out. We definitely learned a lot from ‘Forged In Flame’, as we made a few little errors which cost Ash quite a bit of time; those things were thankfully fixable! Having learned from that, this time around the process was a lot easier and quicker, plus Ash’s gear was better as he had upgraded a few things. Of course, we made a few mistakes that we will take onto the next one, but it was certainly a lot easier this time around.”
Dysie then went on to explain a trap that can take place whilst recording yourself and how Claim The Throne managed to avoid it:
“One thing when you’re recording yourself is that it’s only your time. Usually, when you’re in a studio it is time equals money; doing it yourself means that you can fall into the trap of being lazy, where what should take two weeks can take two months. We were very strict in our regime and said that we were going to record every weekend, but that we also had to make a time as we didn’t want this to drag on; when we said we were going to record guitar or vocals or drums, that we made sure to actually be there so that it got done. There was some very long nights, but the advantage of doing itself is that it is only your time. Because we were a lot better prepared, all the songs were done, prepared, recorded and it all went really really well.”
Even though Claim The Throne were better prepared this time around, Dysie did admit to there being a few hiccups; this interviewer wanted to know if there were any major hiccups during the recording process. “Things went pretty seamless; Ash recorded the drums in a proper recording studio as we wanted to get a really natural sound on those, so there’s nothing triggered on them. We spent almost a day setting up just to get the right sound and then spent another day recording, with Ash punching them out like a machine.” Dysie when went on to give further detail about how “once we then moved onto recording everything else, things were pretty seamless for the most part; the only real hiccup was maybe when we were recording the acoustic stuff. Ash’s mics were picking up every sound and because we were recording in people’s houses, there were dogs barking and cars driving past in the background; maybe the odd person cooking something in the kitchen. We just had to pick a time to do the clean bits late at night when everyone was asleep and we wouldn’t have those background noises, but apart from that everything went smoothly and it was just a matter of making the time to get in there and play the songs as best we could.”
Knowing that Dysie works at Soundworks Touring, this interviewer wanted to know just how much easier it was when it came to dealing with the promotional side of things; he pointed out how “Soundworks isn’t actually promoting the tour; obviously I’m with Soundworks, so that helps as I’ve used my skills, contacts and everything else to book the tour” before going into greater depth about his day to day life as a promoter:
“I already know a lot of the venues and people around the place, so it makes things a lot easier because I can just hit people up to book my own show. Being familiar with Claim The Throne and knowing that we do quite well everywhere and pull half decent numbers, venues know that it’s going to be a good show and people are going to be there drinking! That’s why I take on the booking for the tour; yes it’s a lot of work but I’ve worked hard over the years to establish the contacts I have. Mind you, I don’t want people to think it’s all about my contacts and experience; the band speaks for itself with the tours that we have got and the crowds that we can get.”
Dysie then gave a very good insight into the dog eat dog world that is the music industry, as he pointed out how “you have got to be good people as the music industry is a small world; if you start burning bridges, it’s really hard to get yourself back on board. It’s really a world of ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’ Especially in the metal industry, because if you’re a dickhead you’re going to get nowhere very quickly; it just pays to be a good person, because it isn’t hard to be helpful. I have come across a few knob-ends over the years with Soundworks, but we don’t work with them anymore as it isn’t worth the heartache. Life is much easier when everyone is working together!”
With all the contacts and people around the scene that Dysie knows, just how hard is it finding the best support act for an entire tour, or in this case individual cities? Dysie gave yet another deep insight into the behinds the scenes, explaining how “it is always difficult in a way, as there are always bands you’re friends with and you want to play with your friends! We always like to keep an eye out for upcoming talent; myself especially, as I like to keep an eye out for bands that can possibly play on a Soundworks show. Not only does it get a bit boring if you’re playing with the same bands all the time, but we’re also a fan of a mixed line-up. I don’t see the point of seeing a show full of black metal bands that all sound alike, opposed to a mixed line-up where you’ll see a thrash band, a power metal band, a grindcore band, a black metal band and a death metal band. Of course, you want to have good bands that bring a few people along, because if those people haven’t seen you before then hopefully you’ll end up with a few new fans yourself!”
With his final words, Dysie gave one last insight about what fans should brace themselves for at the upcoming shows:
“Definitely prepare yourself for a good night out. Get a couple into yourself before you come; you know, get primed! All the line-ups are really strong, as there are a lot of varied line-ups and great local bands that the people from those cities are familiar with. As far as we go, we like to have to have a fun time and mix it up a bit. This is the first time where we’ve had to spend a bit of time on the set working out what we want to play, as we have four albums to choose from. There’s going to be a lot of new stuff that we want to focus on, because we’re proud of the new album; there’s going to be the songs that we feel we play best live plus a mix of some older songs. We can’t forget to mention our usual joking around and maybe a couple of beers, but be warned that this show might be a bit more ferocious than before! There are some heavier, faster riffs, a few more wild screams and lots of windmills.”
CLAIM THE THRONE KICK OFF THE ‘ON DESOLATE PLAINS’ TOUR THIS FRIDAY IN PERTH; MAKE SURE YOU SUPPORT AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AND GO SUPPORT THEM!
GRAB YOUR COPY OF ‘ON DESOLATE PLAINS’ HERE VIA BANDCAMP!