Latest release: Dark Verses
Gold Coast industrial heavy-hitters Darkc3ll are among the crushing Australian contingent participating in this year’s Soundwave juggernaut. To prepare, Loud cornered vocalist Jesse Dracman about the festival shows, artwork controversy and obstacles facing home-grown metal.
Q: Darkc3ll released your second album Dark Verses late last year. How has the new material been received thus far?
A: It has been a reaction that exceeded our expectations. We knew we had something truly special and rock solid with the album, but the reviews and audience enthusiasm has really been amazing. Live, the new material has been embraced with open arms and a lot of sing-a-longs already, which still blows my mind.
Q: In what ways do you feel it’s a step up from your debut?
A: Absolutely. We knew we had it in ourselves to produce and record and album with all killer tracks and no fillers. Hitting RTD Studios (guitarist/electronics man Post Mortem Matt’s diabolical haven), Matt and myself had learned a great deal from the last album, plus coming off a tour with Wednesday 13, really helped us in terms of confidence and the energy we wanted to capture on Dark Verses. Big hooks, massive choruses and a consistency that ran from start to finish. We couldn’t have been more proud.
Q: Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on it, is there anything you would have done differently on Dark Verses?
A: Not really. It was meant to be, and sometimes procrastinating and hesitating with doubts can lead to an unbalanced product. We went into the studio with a plan, a love for what we do, a lot of Jack Daniels, and laughs galore.
Q: The latest album has courted controversy, with a show in Melbourne last year cancelled due to the promoter taking offense to the artwork. Is this a common issue for the band, and do you feel overall the press it attracted may have benefited Darkc3ll in the long run?
A: We cancelled the show due to the ignorance and heavy opinion of the gentleman, who should never be called a promoter. His reaction rang alarm bells for us, and we cancelled, knowing this could’ve been a disaster. The press that followed was great for us, and was not our intention by any means. But at the end of the day, we’re horror fans with a middle finger style of thinking and a zest to create and inspire. Others fail to see that, and that’s their curse, their problem, not ours.
Q: Have you already begun working on album number three, and if so, how is that progressing?
A: Number three has begun. I have written a lot of material, and Postmortem Matt has assembled some amazing ideas already. We cannot wait to get stuck into it.
Q: The band is part of the Aussie contingent at this year’s Soundwave, which is bigger than ever in 2014. What are your expectations from the festival audiences?
A: I have no expectations. Just have a great time. Our music will do the talking, and the energy will light up the pit. All are invited to enjoy our chaos, and our fans that have seen us know we never hold back. All I know is that we will be very hard to ignore. We will soak up every moment this tour has to offer and show the world why Darkc3ll is a world-class act.
Q: Soundwave has been criticised in some quarters for not showcasing enough Australian talent, but do you believe that several local acts appearing on the festival is helping to turn the tide somewhat?
A: People will always accept Soundwave because it is truly the premiere event in Australia, and bands from all over want to be a part of it. It’s an event that has built solid foundations through amazing line-ups and a mind-blowing array of musical experiences for people. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, the people just want to see you rock.
Q: What do you feel is the greatest obstacle facing local heavy acts, and how could it potentially be overcome?
A: Too much negative opinionated discussion and whinging. Knuckle down, write great music, love what you do and be the best you can be. For any act, venues will come and go; promoters or bookers will come and go. Deal with it. Create a great scene, respect one another and put on a great show.
Q: What touring plans does the band have beyond Soundwave?
A: We have a very short break, then hit the road with our good friends in Witchgrinder (who are fucking awesome) for a national tour, kicking off early April and including a co-headlining appearance at the first SFest in Sydney on April 12, which will be amazing. Then there will be hopefully more touring.
Q: Any famous last words?
A: Hate does not discriminate.
You can catch Darkc3ll at Soundwave:
22/2: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD
23/2: Olympic Park, Sydney NSW
28/2: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne VIC
1/3: Boynthon Park, Adelaide SA
3/3: Claremont Showground, Perth WA
And on tour with Witchgrinder (except *):
3/4: Crowbar, Brisbane QLD (+ Bound for Ruin + Black Swamp)
4/4: Coolongatta Hotel, Gold Coast QLD (+ Black Swamp)
11/4: Basement, Canberra ACT (+ 8 Foot Sativa + Frankenbok + Deprivation + Na Maza + Law of the Tongue + more)
12/4: SFest, Hermann’s Bar, Sydney NSW
19/4: Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne VIC (+ Cold Divide + Elodie Adams)
20/4: Enigma Bar, Adelaide SA*