Dragonsmead are by far one of Brisbane’s best Folk Metal Party bands around right now and have been playing a steady line up of gigs since they first started the band in 2014. After many moons of gigging and building up a huge fan base in Brisbane and around Australia they are currently working on their debut album with plans for it to be released later this year. Front Man and Band Manager Mike “Mousey” Whitburn spoke to Overdrive about how the band came about, the local music scene and how excited the band is about the new album.
“It was just me and Michael Varlet having drinks at The Back Room and we just decided we needed to create a band together. We just started coming up with some silly ideas and Dragonsmead were born! It is a simple as that. A week later I hung out at his place and the first couple of tracks were written. As soon as we started the band we knew what direction we wanted to go in and we thought something combining some kind of mythological creature and some kind of alcohol was always going to be a winner, so Dragonsmead was where it landed pretty quickly.”
The band has played some big festivals over the years; Mousey talks about how much he enjoys playing festivals and reflects on some of the fun involved.
“Playing Wizardsfire is like our birthday show. We love playing at Wizardsfire because we debuted at that one. Traveling down south and playing Steel Assassins in Sydney and getting an entire room of drunk thrashers to charge next door to the bar chanting our Battle Drunk chorus and demanding the bar shots to the point where they kicked half of us out for promoting binge drinking in the bar after our set *laughs* It was good fun though; Lots of fun shows. Festivals are always the most fun because there’s more bands, more people and everyone is just having the best time and that is what our band is all about, we just want smiling faces and seeing people having a laugh. A drunken crowd is good for that!”
Dragonsmead have played with a long list of talented local and international bands. Mousey enthuses about how much local talent we have and how amazing it was to share the stage with some international acts he admires.
“Lagerstein are not only our brothers and best friends but we also happily ride their coat tails and say we ripped them off at every chance we get. We love them to death. They know that and they fine with it *laughs* There are so many other bands to mention, Valhalore are great as well. The Thrash community in Brisbane, the boys in Wartooth, Deraign and Asylum are all just rad dudes that I love playing with every chance we get. And then we’ve got bands from out of town like Trollhagen and Espionage and Lord and all these incredible bands from around the country. We have definitely got some cool bands in Australia.”
Mousey also went on to say “Ross The Boss was a very fun show. Overkill and Anvil were amazing as well but one of my favourite bands on the planet is Manowar and I know they will never come to Australia but getting the opportunity to play with their founding guitarist who was playing full Manowar sets around the country, so getting to play with him, the teenager in me was just like, you wouldn’t have been able to convince me as a kid that growing up I would be playing with him. It was a pretty memorable moment.”
Mousey is a big part of the metal music scene in Brisbane, not only being frontman and manager of Dragsonmead but also running Metal Of Honor or MOH. MOH is a Brisbane based music Promotions Company and has been bringing us local, interstate and international rock and metal shows since back in 2007. Mousey has done a lot for the local scene and he is very much loved and respected within the community, though he is very humble about it all.
“I run local shows in Brisbane; I have been doing it for almost 12 years now. I put on lots of local shows and I put on a few festivals each year. The biggest show each year that I put on is Shredfest. It is good fun bringing bands from all over the country to play with our bands right here in Brisbane and it gets the all of the bands more gigs, it is why we all do it.”
There is such a long list of amazingly talented bands in Brisbane, when asked about the local talent Mousey found it hard to only list a few. “The list is so long! I could list bands forever I mean like I said earlier, the entire Thrash scene in Brisbane, from Wartooth, Dereign, Asylym, and then you’ve got the newer bands coming through like Black Banner and Level H doing really well. And then all the folk metal bands like Lagerstein and Valhalore and Darklore and Elkenwood. Everyone is just doing awesome things all around.
After all the years of playing gigs and enjoying every experience that entails, Dragonsmead are excited to be working on their debut album and it sounds like it will be out just in time for Christmas! “We are very excited. We have been playing the same 6 or 7 songs for the last few years now and we didn’t want to start annoying people with the same things so we thought we had better get off our asses and record the debut album finally! And it is very much underway, we are hoping to have it ready by this year’s Wizardsfire in November, hopefully at our birthday show we can launch the debut album. We can ring in Christmas and New years with some really happy party tunes about drinking and other things. Battle Drunk could become a new Christmas Carol, it’ll be great! *laughs*
Along with releasing the debut album, the band has plans to tour Australia. “We are planning on extensively travelling. We are constantly getting hit up to come back to Melbourne, half of the band have strong ties within the Melbourne community and we have people there begging us to come down there and fans in Adelaide wanting us to go there. We will get there eventually but we want to focus on getting this album out first.”
Dragonsmead plan to continue to do what they have always done so well “Get drunk, play some great shows, make a bunch of people laugh. That is really what we do it for. We just want to be able to look out there at smiling faces singing along to our silly lyrics and having a good time”
If you have ever been fortunate enough to catch one of Dragonsmead’s shows you will know that they do exactly that. They are always well received and have the crowds and fans smiling and having lots of fun. This is why they are so successful and have such a big following. Their debut album will be one you won’t want to miss! Keep an eye on their Facebook page and Instagram for updates.