Home grown talent is something we here at OVERDRIVE Music Magazine truly appreciate; the hard working members of society who pick up their drumsticks, plug in their amplifiers, and scream into their microphones with no remorse for the entertainment of thousands around the nation. Every day, new bands are birthed from the Pool of Metal, and the latest to emerge are Conform; a rag-tag group from Perth, Western Australia, who want to bring their brand of Metal to the forefront of the Australian Metal scene.
Their debut album “Circa ‘94” is now available, and they couldn’t be any more excited about finally having material out in the world. Vocalist Troy Van Der Meer was kind enough to take time ahead of the album’s launch to get to the core of what it was like producing their musical debut.
If you’ve never heard of Conform before, it’s okay, because Van Der Meer was kind enough to give us some insight!
“We’re a group of weeb, (nu)metal-loving, bogan emo dudes from Perth, WA consisting of: Jez (guitar), Ben (drums), Vinny (bass), John (secondary guitar), Sample McSample Face (samples), and myself (vocals).”
Releasing an album is always going to stir emotions, but your musical debut is a momentous occasion that will never be forgotten. Van Der Meer couldn’t contain his excitement, as he spoke about what the feelings throughout the band was like during the lead up to the May 18th release date:
“It’s. Finally. Done! I think the best part is that we have so many songs to choose from for live shows now. As much as we loved the songs on “Cigarette Lullaby”, it had gotten to a point where playing the same group of songs had become tedious (except John, who only recently joined us on Guitar and learned those songs. Sorry dude!)”
An album doesn’t write itself, even if you’re the most masterful of the craft. One’s process within the studio differs between bands, and artists; it could be a matter of days, to matter of months. Van Der Meer opened up about the recording of “Circa ‘94”, and how long it had taken to put together the pieces of their debut to Metal.
“The band was born from Jeremy (Guitarist) and his in-house production work with bands such as Illyria, Remission, Titans, The Gloom in the Corner (VIC) and most notably Vacant Home. So everything revolved around him fleshing out the tracks and the rest of the members constantly tearing down his hard-work and destroying his soul with our input. It worked well.
The oldest track on the album is almost a year and half old, while one of the tracks was finished only 2 weeks before the release date, so the studio time was probably equivalent to any other band writing an album from the pre-production stages to final versions, except just stretched out over 2 years, sometimes we didn’t even work on it for 2 or 3 months at a time, or if it was just Jez and I we’d usually cut the recording session short and go to the Gym instead. Gym Gains > Amp Gain.”
Keeping with the talk of the then-upcoming release, Van Der Meer continued to discuss what inspired Conform to breathe life into this particular project, including using some short-comings to inspire future releases and overall growth for the band. He explained,
“The thing I love about Conform is that it is a part of strain of music I’ve always enjoyed listening to, I grew up in the prime of nu-metal and I always enjoyed the unpredictability that seemed to come with every section of every song in the genre; is it going to be heavy? Rap? A chorus? A remix album with Jay-Z? You never really knew on first listen and that’s what I hoped to achieve with our music. I’m definitely happy with the overall product, sure there’s plenty of things I could stress over that could be improved but we’ll save those lessons learnt for the next release.”
Leading up to the album’s release, Conform dropped their single Six Years, Sick Fears. Van Der Meer discussed the driving factor behind wanting to use that track as a promotional pull for the album’s release, and the thought process about creating the particular track. He explained “I had the idea for the lyrics fleshed out since before we started recording this album. To sum it up it’s about past experiences with other bands, and the strain that playing music can put on your voice, as well as mental health and finances. When Jez sent me that ridiculous feedback intro, I knew that it was the song to funnel those emotions into.”
With their debut album out of the way, Van Der Meer is always looking towards the future; whether it be working on new material, or wanting to get out into the world and perform live for the masses. He was eager to share his thoughts on what the future may hold for Conform, including sharing some upcoming tour dates with us (for those who might be interesting in going to see them for themselves). He briefly points out “we’ll let the album simmer for a while as I’m keen to see how far around the world we can reach, but we do have tour plans for Melbourne this month before going into further detail:
“For Conform, I think it will be at least a few months before we’re ready to work on some even newer songs than Circa ’94. I believe that Jez has quite a bit of production work lined up, in fact, as I write this, he’s on set helping out with the audio for an upcoming horror film.”
Drawing the interview to a close, Van Der Meer proudly proclaimed “moving forward, we finally have a brand new range of merch out (that’s more than just a single shirt this time) – and obviously the album itself being some of the best tracks we’ve ever written.”
“Circa ‘94” is available now, get your copy HERE!