From a few friends just messing around to going on tour, Reaper, the Thrash Metal band with their own twist, has grown since forming in February 2017. After releasing their first EP ‘Run in Fear,’ the Woolongong-based band has just kicked off their first tour, starting with Adelaide. Drummer Tom Stance was able to sit down with us and have a chat about everything from the journey so far to their writing process. But first on the agenda is the ‘Run in Fear’ EP and tour.

With the release of ‘Run in Fear’ back in January, Stance was happy to talk about the reaction from the fans. “We are obviously quite overwhelmed with everyone’s opinions on it, which is really good to hear especially for the genre we play. We’ve tried to modernise it with our own way and style, and the feedback is awesome.”

With five songs on the EP, Stance explains the change in the band’s style with their newer songs. “We find that as well as wanting to change from the older sort of style to a newer style for ourselves, that everyone seems to enjoy that a lot as well.” Stance goes on to talk about the newest of the new songs, Nemesis.

“We’ve probably performed it two or three times. Everyone was a bit surprised as it is more upbeat and bright compared to the rest of the EP. But the structure of it is a lot more sophisticated and, yeah, everyone seemed to love it a lot. They were all used to the older, darker styled tone to the music. You can kinda tell when you listen to Mask of Skin and Reaper, that’s the older style we use to play. Nemesis, Burn and Kill Them All are the new stuff that we get stuck into.”

‘Run in Fear’ is the focus of their tour, which kicked off Saturday. “It’s been a few stressful months organising it together but we are all pretty excited,” Stance explains. “I’m most excited to get our music out there more. I feel like the whole time we’ve been constricted to playing Wollongong and Sydney, that it hasn’t had a chance to breathe. I feel like I’m in a box so going on tour, let’s us get out there. There are people out there all over the place who have heard our music and being on tour will help us grow.”

“We’ve always got ideas going around, floating around.” Stance says when asked about the band’s writing process. “We will sit down and we’ll all play what we think. We’ll kind of eliminate by going ‘Okay that’s a good tune,’ to, ‘Okay, that’s too light.’ We draw it down to a two or three riff, pick a main riff and then we’ll build the other two riffs into the song or into the structure whether it’s in a completely different section or if it becomes the chorus. Once the guitar is written then the bass after that, they’ll just keep running over the bars, they’ll just keep going over the bars and then I’ll write drums for it. Then generally listening to the song and what it sounds like we’ll be like, ‘Okay, this song is about this.’ It just kind of comes like that.”

As the band has been developing their style and growing quickly in the Thrash genre, Stance looks back on the band’s journey. “It was not easy starting out, it was definitely hard. It paid off.” He goes on to talk about what making a start was like.

“We started off like messing around, it was never really anything serious. None of us had a clue what it was like to get on a show, play on a show or how they were organised. One night I was out with the boys and met this guy in another band. He was like ‘Oh yeah, we can put you on a show for sure,’ so we did our first show.  Then after that we had Darker Half message us and we played our second show with them. After that we kind of got the idea of how shows were put on. We booked venues everywhere and we would get other bands to play and then evidently, we started getting asked to play. So we were half putting on shows, half getting on shows.”

“We are kinda just taking it as it comes and doing what feels right,” Stances explain as he gives, what he calls, their draft plan for the future.

“After the tour we are going to kick back for a little bit, let it all sink in a bit. We do have some plans for a music video, most likely for Nemesis. Once that is released we’re thinking of taking it to Brisbane since we didn’t get to go out there for the tour. Then hopefully hit New Zealand later in the year and hit Indonesia and Singapore next year.”

With a bright and very busy future ahead of the band, Stance explains, “We feel the quicker we can do things, the more effective because you need to stay out there. You don’t just disappear into the darkness and then come back after people forget about you. But its fine, we love doing it. There is honestly nothing else we’d rather being doing.”

Stance finishes off by wanting to let the fans know, “Hard copies of ‘Run in Fear’ are going through production now and will be available through Facebook and Bandcamp as well as the shows we do on tour.”