It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon as I meet up with four of the five members of Triple Kill at a snazzy coffeehouse in Abbotsford for an interview-brunch. I received a humorously self-deprecating note in my email inbox beforehand that only “the shit members” were joining in for the occasion — so I get to chat and get caffeinated with the guitarists Anthony Commane and Daniel Mackie, bassist Efun White as well as drummer Connor O’Keane, while singer Rodney Goolagong is certainly a vivid presence in the stories the band shares with me during the interview. Triple Kill was born from the ashes of Anthony’s and Rodney’s former band Black Mayday, with the first songs being written in 2015 and the first single Blades released in 2016. The EP ‘The First Kill’ followed in 2017, together with many live appearances that served to establish the band as a powerful force in Melbourne’s Metal scene.
It is refreshing to discover that the down-to-earth humour and open-mindedness that Triple Kill radiate during their live shows translates into real life: Apart from some serious talk about the band, Melbourne’s Metal landscape, as well as the upcoming debut edition of the Forge Nightclub, Anthony, Connor, Mackie and Ethan are not shy to move into less heavy conversational waters: We discuss Paramore’s current record ‘After Laughter’, speculate about the fresh Chvrches album (not released yet at the time) — and discuss cheap instant coffee with copious amounts of sugar as well as Mermaid smoothie bowls that seem to be a thing on the Gold Coast.
At Metal United Worldwide at The Tote, the band debuted their new track Age of Rebellion. The song is going to be the title track of the full-length album that is aimed to be released this year. Triple Kill is currently hitting the studio for the recordings, and, according to Anthony, the lyrics of the title track are inspired by “super nerdy shit” or, in other words, the extended Star Wars universe, while Dragonforce were a strong musical influence. Apart from this, the album is going to continue the trend the band has set for themselves so far: There are no limits when it comes to genre and lyrical content, and variation is key. “We’re all such big consumers of pop culture and media and we’ve got this huge library of stuff to draw from”, Connor explains. “This week we spent some time with the producer Chris Themelco and he mentioned that the new material sounds more aggressive and varied, and also more cohesive through all of that, if that makes any sense. This is very encouraging. Our favourite albums are those that are cohesive and an enjoyable listening experience from beginning to end. That is something we are aiming for; varied but cohesive. Or maybe it is that we might not be dedicated or focused enough for just one sub-genre. We couldn’t just be a thrash band. We’d get bored.”
Anthony adds: “There is something very charming about variety, too. It’s not very common, which is weird. We love Heavy Metal and all the different sub-genres and we’ve got people here who love Pantera and Black Dahlia Murder but then you’ve got Iron Maiden and Power Metal like Unleash The Arches on the other side of the fence. Or even weird Anime music. We kind of just think it’s all very good so we want to put the best parts of it down and play what we feel is cool. If people think that’s too variable for them then I’m sorry but we love it.”
Love seems to be a keyword when it comes to Triple Kill’s musical efforts; the self-proclaimed Metal nerds take “being idiotic seriously”. Mackie states that “We like to think we are professionals but we also show our personalities.” In addition to that, Anthony explains: “In our live performances we are doing things we love, we write songs about things we think are cool and we don’t necessarily beat ourselves up about being too serious, which kinda translates to our live performance. People are there to have some fun. We want to make it worth it for them to show up.” At last, Connor adds: “We don’t take the whole being-serious thing seriously but we equally don’t take the whole silly thing too seriously. We just like having fun. It beats just being a statue on stage.”
And this is where the strong appreciation of the band for frontman Rodney comes in: “He creates a friendship with the crowd. You watch him and you feel: That guy is my friend”, Anthony says. Connor remembers: “When I first saw Rodney and Anthony playing in their old band Black Mayday years ago, my first thought was: ‘I wanna hang out with these dudes.’ And now I’m in a band with them!”
Efun adds: “Anytime anything different happens on stage whether it’s one of us smacking another person with the head of the bass or something like that, Rodney is there to either distract from it or he will play on it. Once Calvin from Cryptic Abyss was in the audience and a Darth Vader mask we had on stage went down into the crowd. He picked it up during one of the quieter bits and put his hand out like a force choke. Rodney picked up on it immediately, dropped down and just started choking. So it’s just this quick improvisation that keeps everything in a constant motion.”
Despite their tight gig schedule, Anthony states that the band is intent on making every single show an event worth attending: “We want everyone to feel that we genuinely love doing what we’re doing because we absolutely do. We are having such a blast.” This certainly pays off; during our brunch, the band shares many favourite gig memories with me, from getting a whole crowd to jump to Wall of Flesh at BANG’s Battle of the Bands to receiving home-made biscuits from some fans. Connor explains: “We’re really trying to make sure there are moments in each song that work as centrepiece moments that you can imagine a crowd being connected and active to. It makes the songs infinitely more fun to listen to as a result and they are going to be a lot of fun live.”
Efun remembers: “After we released the EP, there was one moment where a group at the front were just screaming at Rodney. They were going word for word, singing the entire song. It was the first time I ever experienced this kind of moment. I had this weird feeling in my stomach that I’m really humbled by all of this and I’m just ready to keep going.” Connor agrees: “I remember that after a really good set at the Bendi I turned to the guys and said ‘I just realised I’m in the band I’ve always wanted to be in.”
Triple Kill have formed strong friendships with other Australian bands over the years as well — at the first edition of Overdrive’s FORGE Metal Nightclub the band is going to perform alongside Trigger, Witchgrinder and Valhalore. Mackie describes the line-up as “fucking sick”, with Connor adding: “We want that on record.” He goes on: “We are incredibly honoured to be on this line-up. It’s a line-up I would go to if you were to swap us out for any number of Melbourne bands. But I felt this way about pretty much every line-up we’ve had the pleasure of playing on really. I could not think of a better bunch of bands for such a party environment. There are alternative nightclubs around but there has been such a gap, nothing that really caters for dudes like us who just want to listen to Heavy Metal tunes. And now we are getting to be a part of this, which is so cool. “We’ve been playing with the dudes from Trigger since our second gig. And obviously we’re mates with Rick in Witchgrinder (note: Richard Grimm has announced his departure from Witchgrinder after the end of their Australian tour) and we’ve played one show with them. We have played twice with Valhalore. We really like them and they seem to like us as well.”
Concerning Overdrive, Anthony recalls: “Overdrive has done a lot of things for us. They’ve reviewed our EP in a way that we were able to share it around, they got us in contact for a couple of gigs and set us up with interviews. They even added us to their Heaviest 100 list. We are definitely going to come back to Overdrive PR once we get closer to releasing the new album.” Connor adds: “There are so many people involved who are working so hard to put Overdrive on the map and they’ve done so. That it’s only a year old is hard to believe, it has grown so quickly. I admire the fact that he’s interviewing as many international bands as possible while having them featured alongside Orpheus Omega or other Aussie bands.”
So what are Triple Kill’s Plans for the future? Thinking of Overdrive’s first birthday, I ask the band where they see themselves one year from now — and they certainly show a good combination of ambition and optimism. “We’ll definitely have an album out”, Connor asserts. “We’ll hopefully be writing our album two. I think we’ve got a healthy amount of optimism for this band. It’s not about if we get to do something but rather about when.” Mackie states that touring retains its importance on the band’s agenda, to which Anthony adds: “We’d like to maybe play shows in Europe or Japan. It’s a big dream but I mean we’re shooting for the stars doing what we love.”
Don’t miss out on experiencing Triple Kill as well as Valhalore, Witchgrinder and Trigger live at the FORGE Metal Nightclub on July 14th. Pre-sale tickets are available HERE.