Latest release: Time Wave Zero (independent)
Band website: www.facebook.com/dawnheistband
Sydney’s Dawn Heist aren’t afraid to tackle the scene head on. Before their first official release had even been recorded they had self-financed a tour through South East Asia, opened for The Haunted in Sydney and taken part in Bastardfest. Next month they head to Indonesia with Psycroptic where they’ll appear at the Hammersonic Festival in Jakarta with Suffocation, Nile, D.R.I. and twenty other bands. A little while back, Loud spoke with vocalist Pat about Dawn Heist and their plans for the rest of 2012.
Q: Let’s start with the EP. That must have come together quickly, because you haven’t been a band for that long really.
A: We started as a band in May 2010. Before we started doing any shows or anything like that we got together and wrote just a three track demo which saw us doing some really cool tours and really cool shows, and then we decided to lock ourselves in the studio for about a month all up and record this EP.
Q: Wasn’t it a bit of a gamble going in to do that without having many shows under your belt?
A: We wanted to sort of establish our sound before we went out and started touring and trying to put a dent in the industry. So we just spent a lot of time on three solid tracks – as well as the rest of the set list – and it just sorta paid off. It got us in a really cool frame of mind with pre-production and demoing and we’ve just sort of carried that on with this CD again. I think the preparation is really the key in our minds, and we’ve really pulled it off with this particular EP.
Q: You did that and then you opened for The Haunted. What was that like, because I saw you guys there and you pretty much started as the doors opened and everyone was still outside.
A: Being our first international support in Australia we got slotted into the opening spot. But we were really enthused about it. The Manning Bar’s a great venue and The Haunted are a great band. A fair few of us have been listening to them for a long time, so we were rapt. We’d been doing a lot of our own touring off our back both here and overseas, so it was nice to play a hometown show with a decent sort of crowd at a decent venue.
Q: Then you played Bastardfest as well, which probably exposed you to even more people. That was a big day.
A: Bastardfest was great. We got to play with bands like Psycroptic, who are awesome. For that sort of thing, same again… it’s just cool to be invited in your hometown to play to other people than just your friends! And being part of something like that is cool. So we’re obviously keen to put our hands up for it again in 2012, along with a few other cool things. The festival and the big support vibe is what we’re really aiming at.
Q: You’ve mentioned overseas touring – what’s happening in that area?
A: We’ve been invited back to Indonesia. We went there in March last year and did a small South East Asian tour for about two weeks. We’ve been invited back. The response we’ve had from them, just being able to listen to something outside their own small circle, is just awesome. A lot of the places over there don’t have as much access to music, but they’re just as, if not more enthused about it.
Q: And you’re looking to go further afield as well.
A: We’re looking to stretch out over the rest of Asia. We’ve got that in the works at the moment. We’re pushing for a couple of decent tours later in the year in Australia. It’s just such a cool country to travel around and see, we might as well take advantage of it. We’re really pushing for some sort of Europe tour mid- to late-year. There’s nothing confirmed as yet.
Q: What has the reaction to the EP been like so far?
A: Being just an EP, we’ve had a sort of responses in the vein of, “It’s a good indication of what the band is,” which is exactly what we’re aiming for. Everything we’re doing at the moment is aimed at a full length release hopefully this year. So far we’ve been getting the responses we’re really aiming for. I think the film clip is probably the best medium we’ve had to get it out there. We’ve had an overwhelming response to that. I think we’ve had about 1000 hits a week. We’re really stoked about that.
Q: YouTube and Facebook seem to be the way to go for a lot of new bands now. You can pretty much devote your entire page to your music and people will be there to check it out.
A: It’s just the way the music industry is running at the moment. The access you’ve got with the Internet for both a musician and fan is just amazing. It’s never been like this before and we plan on taking full advantage of it. The ease of being able to run your band over the Internet is just phenomonal.
Q: Our co-editor Crabby compared you to Chimaira, which isn’t a bad thing, but what do you think of that comparison?
A: We do get Chimaira a fair bit, we also get Soilwork, but I think that’s got a lot to do with the level of programming and singing choruses and stuff like that. Which is cool. Those bands are the bands we’ve been listening to for… since the beginning. That’s really cool for us. If you’re aiming for a particular sound and getting comments back like that, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
Q: So that was the sound you were looking for, rather than something that just happened accidentally, but which direction do you think new material is going to take Dawn Heist?
A: We’ve done the sort of thing now where we’ve involuntarily mimicked what we like, so we’re really trying to stretch our legs out and sort of really define ourselves over the next couple of releases. So we’re demoing pretty heavily every couple of hours after everyone finishes work. Even though we’re not playing or touring at the moment, it’s all systems go while we have a bit of downtime, which is actually kind of refreshing after the year we had last year.
Q: And it sounds like you’ve got a huge 2012 ahead of you.
A: It feels like we’re in over our heads sometimes. You just kinda take it in your stride. We’re jumping on every opportunity we can get. It’s actually paying off for us at the moment. We’re settng 2012 up as a massive resume-builder for the band. It’s just all the leg-work that needs to be done. Because even though we’re completely overwhelmed with how quickly things are happening, we’re still sort of very much under the impression that there’s still a lot of leg-work left to go. Which there is. I think you’d be lying if you said anything else, really. We’ve very much putting the effort in, and it’s all in for this band and this year.