Latest release: To the Earth (Truth Inc)
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Gold Coast metallers Lynchmada are back, heavier and nastier on new album To the Earth. With the new record and a slew of international supports (including Lamb of God, The Haunted, Suicide Silence, The Black Dahlia Murder, Death Angel and Testament) on their resume, Loud chatted with bassist Kent Haines about the new material, lineup changes, touring plans, got a state of the Australian heavy metal address and more.

Q: Many bands and critics talk about the “second album slump”, but Lynchmada’s new material takes your sound to a crushing new level. Are you completely satisfied with the end result?
A: Absolutely. We have the most solidified lineup I think the band has ever had at this moment and the music that the guys are writing is world-class, so we really wanted that to be reflected in our sound by taking the step up to a world-class producer in Zeuss. Could not be more chuffed with the result.

Q: In what ways do you feel the new record is an improvement upon your debut?
A: The production is several ballparks better and the writing is much more accomplished on this album, just experience I guess.

Q: The album was recorded on the Gold Coast with Nik Carpenter and then mixed and mastered by US uber-producer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Chimaira, Shadows Fall). How did both of these individuals come to be involved with the record?
A: I’ve been friends with Nick now for about 12 years since before he was even in Devolved and my other band Silver Ocean Storm had just tracked with him. He is exceptionally easy to work with and an all-round excellent guy; also the only man locally that I had the confidence in to get it done right. Zeuss came out of nowhere; we were looking through all our CDs and trying to find a good “earthy” sounding mix, rather than the clinical Pro Tools programmed sound of a lot of the newer style death metal bands. I came across Kingdom of Sorrow’s first album, so I looked up what else Zeuss had done and was just blown away. I pretty much contacted him on the spot and he got back to me within a few hours saying he was keen after listening to one or two of our old tracks. Needless to say, we were absolutely stoked to have him on board and he was an absolute pleasure to work with.

Q: Good to hear. An increasing number of Australian metal bands are having their albums worked on by major overseas producers. This can be an expensive exercise, but do you feel the ends justifies the means and even more bands should save their cash and do the same thing?
A: I think it’s the best way to do it personally. I really haven’t heard anything of really good quality come out of a 100 per cent Australian-made recorded, produced album in a long time. Forrester Savell’s stuff is really good but he would cost more than sending our album overseas. You can get a quality “name” producer from the US or Europe that works out of their own studio with years of experience and some big bands in the repertoire for cheaper than sourcing someone locally that has less experience. (You) need to hire a studio and (they) probably don’t know who you are talking about when you say, “I want this guitar to sound like Misery Index or Devin Townsend” or whatever. Plus then you also have the prestige of working with a big name in the industry.

Q: What are your three favourite tracks on the album and why?
A: “City of Lungs”. This will probably never be played live as it is just meant to be an album only acoustic track. It has so many layers of guitar over it, it would be almost impossible to pull off. But it’s an ode to some friends have passed and it really hits me every time in the last chorus.
“Relic”. We’ll be pulling this one out live in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s probably one of my favourites as it is also a departure from everything else on the album and has a slight “prog” feel, without being up its own arse.
“Earth I Walk’. This song is just tough from start to finish. No bullshit, just metal all the way, love it.

Q: Lynchmada has experienced a number of lineup changes in its nearly decade-long existence. What has kept the band going and firing despite these setbacks?
A: Joel Harris (vocals). Plain and simple, he’s been the main driving force ever since I signed these guys to my old label Ward69 Records back in 2003 – I didn’t join until about 2008. I must admit though I did kind of push Cameron Wallace (guitars) and Simon Connors (guitars), who I had both worked with in Hollow previously to try out for them when they were losing members; once again, before I was in the band.

Q: The band has supported a considerable list of major overseas acts. What have been some of the highlights of those experiences?
A: I guess for Joel it probably would have been main support for Lamb of God at The Arena for their first Oz tour. Myself? I really enjoyed playing with The Haunted and Testament. Our best night ever though was our CD launch for To the Earth at The Hi Fi a few weeks ago. 500-plus people, amazing for a purely local Brisbane show and all the bands were great that night.

Q: The band has already kicked off the first run of shows in support of To the Earth, but what are your touring plans after this run is finished?
A: Fill in some blanks I guess; there’s a whole bunch of places that we didn’t get on this first run like Byron, Lismore, North Queensland, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and a load of regional Victoria.

Q: On a more personal note, what have been some of your favourite releases of 2011?
A: That’s a tough one. I haven’t been real impressed with much lately. Mastodon’s The Hunter, Devolved’s Oblivion, The Haunted’s Unseen, Truth Corroded’s Worship the Bled and Crowbar’s Sever the Wicked Hand were all good. I’ve been really disappointed with the lack of decent releases this year.

Q: Who are some up-and-coming Australian bands that our readers should check out?
A: Shifting The Paradigm, Kunst (featuring Peter Mengede of Helmet/Handsome fame), Chaos Divine, Dead Letter Opener, Down Royale, Perspektiv, Recoil VOR, Humonic, Truth Corroded, Double Dragon and Kyzer Soze.

Q: What do you think of the current state of metal in Australia? Do you feel the scene is gradually achieving greater acceptance?
A: We’ve lost some great bands this year – Switchblade, Daysend, Five Star Prison Cell and Alchemist but to name a few. That’s a huge blow for Australian metal, but then again we have some excellent new bands coming through like the ones I listed above. Australia is the hardest country in the world to break it in as our cities are so far apart, whereas in Europe and America, you drive two hours down the road and there’s another city of several million people waiting for you. In my opinion we have to work ten times harder over here to get any recognition. Another thing I would like to see is the de-establishment of the good old Australian past-time of ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome”. That would go a long way in growing a much healthier national scene.

Q: Any famous last words?
A: Blumpkin.