Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Hallower are going to blow the fuck up, with a sound reminiscent of ‘For the Fallen Dreams’ and with a positive outlook through their lyrical direction, Mitch, whose voice kind of sounds like Armageddon has kindly decided to answer some questions:
Tell me about the band, what you all do for fun and what you all do to earn the dollar?
Haha, when we’re all together we greatly enjoy pulling pranks on each other, although it’s usually me that bares the brunt of their shenanigans. I remember a few months back some of the guys had been recording guitars and bass in our drummer’s studio when I get a phone call from one of the guitarists Zac who told me that the computer all our tracks were stored on had crashed and we were back to square one after about a month or two of recording. I’m still thinking up adequate revenge. Or the time when they were meant to pick me up for recording and when I rang them they said they were an hour away at a vegan restaurant waiting for me. They said they’d called me and I agreed to meet them there. This phone call went on for about twenty minutes until they rocked up at the station laughing their heads off. For work, some of us have secure employment others of us study. There’s much diversity in the band.
Now you’re at the very early stages of formation, so tell me about the shows you’ve played and the reactions you have been getting from the kids?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the response we have received this early out. Generally speaking a lot of bands play a lot of horrible shows before they get noticed by the right people. I think we have been fairly lucky with shows. Our second show we played was with Burning Empires (USA), so at the moment at least we are very content about the shows we are being offered. We’ve also had great response from the kids that come to our shows. They show no hesitation in coming up to us after the show and telling us they enjoyed our set. It’s quite encouraging for us, and I mean everyone loves positive feedback.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the band?
Collectively we are all very excited to go on our first tours, and eventually build up to playing on international stages and in front of huge crowds to further get our music/message out there. Personally I’ve got a fair bit planned lyrically that I hope people can relate too and sympethise with. I want to write about the worlds prevailing problems, and hopefully inspire some people along the way.
Australia seems to be churning out some immense bands of late, what’s your local scene like? Are there plenty of bands and people to support them?
I’ve been quite impressed with the quality of bands coming out of Australia. The scene itself is definitely growing, and in different directions. Some bands are building off influences from much older hardcore bands, and others are pushing the boundaries and integrating different sounds for further progress in the genre. Shows seem to be increasingly packed out and on the odd occasion when we’ve played shows in rural areas kids flock from towns around. It’s definitely encouraging.
Which bands have influenced your style? Who would your ideal set list be with?
We are still finding our feet and a unique sound, buts it’s funny because I don’t remember us ever discussing bands that we would like to influence our style, and to be honest the first track that we ever wrote sounded nothing like any band I’ve heard, which I think is a good thing. That’s what initially drew me to the band; it’s uniqueness.
I think we are all digging Defeater’s sound at the moment, so they’d probably be on the set list. I’d love to play a show with bands Madball, Gorilla Biscuits and Chain of Strength.
I’ve always thought of Australia as quite a laid back place, is it a great place to chill or are you constantly at war with the ridiculous amount of deadly creatures that infest your land?
Hahaha, I like this question. Come to think of it we did get more than our fair share of deadly creatures, but personally I’ve only ever seen one deadly snake in the wild, and I’ve surfed most of my life and I’ve never seen a Great White Shark. And based on the fact that we don’t see as many deadly creatures as is popularly believed, we have more time to be laid back.
Who would win in a fight between Stay Puft and Godzilla?
Man, Stay Puft is a giant marshmallow. Godzilla would win, hands down.
Mitch, how long have you been Straight Edge? And what does making that commitment to yourself mean to you?
I’m 20 now and I’ve been Straight Edge for 5 years. Making such a commitment was and is the most life changing decision I’ve ever made. I wasn’t about to haphazardly make a decision that would effect me for the rest of my life so I researched it a lot, and in fact I’ll admit that your website was a great resource. I’d had depression since I was five as a result of my parents divorce and I really didn’t have any confidence in myself as a person. I was drinking and smoking and I just wasn’t the person I wanted to be. After much deliberation I went Straight Edge and gained a sense of discipline and confidence in myself that got me out of 12 years of depression. My therapist once said if it wasn’t for the confidence I have in myself I wouldn’t be standing here today. I owe my life to Straight Edge.
All the other guys aren’t edge but do you find yourself wanting to reference your beliefs through your lyrics?
Haha it’s funny you ask that because not too long ago when we were recording our first track, and I was in the vocal booth warming up to do vocals one of the guitarists Andy was looking over the lyrics and looks up at me and in relation to one specific line says, “isn’t that a bit…you know… Straight Edge?” I realised that if I’m going to write lyrics from the heart, some of the things that I hold closest are going to shine through in my writing. But in saying that I try to write in quite general terms so to me a line might relate to Straight Edge or veganism, but when another individual listens to the song it will relate to their subjective beliefs.
Straight Edge seems to have a bigger following these days, more kids, getting into it and people embracing it, is that a good thing? and do you think there will ever come a stage where it is accepted in the mainstream? I think it has such positive potential, to inspire and help people…
There’s upsides and downsides to the increase in the following of Straight Edge. For the existing Straight Edge kids who were deviants, and went Straight Edge to be distinctly removed from what is consider ‘mainstream’ it would possibly be a frustration. Although I think anyone who thinks Straight Edge is for them, should think long and hard before claiming. These day’s people seem to forget that it is a lifetime commitment.
Lyrically you seem quite poetic, good to see, reminds me of Pat Flynn’s style (Have Heart) the ability to seemingly rhyme words, in an intelligent as well as coherent way. What I’m getting at is, have you always done this as an outlet, write? And from this what sorts of things influence where your mindset is?
I have always written as a release. Once my feelings are on paper it’s so easy to then step back from them and think rationally about an issue. I’ve always felt that writing is a better release than talking because in writing there is neutrality and impartiality whereas you don’t always get that when talking to someone about your problems. In relation to lyrics, I’ve always thought that the best lyrics are ones that evoke emotion, which has inspired me to write emotionally.
Now you guys are currently recording your EP, but you’re already planning for the album, which lyrically is a concept, tell me about that please, because it sounds immense…
I’d like there to be some element of surprise when the album is released but I set out with the idea in mind that I’d do something vastly different. Without sacrificing the entirety of my idea I can divulge that the album is entirely a true story and a very emotional one at that. Lyrically I’ve been writing it now for probably 6 months, but musically it’s in its early stages.
What would you like people to take away from your music and lyrics?
I would like it very much if listeners could relate to what our songs are about and see the meaning and messages hidden in them. I love the feeling I get when I see an amazing band play live, that puts everything they have into their stage performance like there’s no where else they’d rather be. We all feel this way, yet we hope we can recreate that feeling in the people who see us.
What would you prefer a mauling by a shark, a fistfight with ten midgets or the Ebola virus?
Let’s be adventurous and say all of them at once.
What was the last thing that made you:
My little brother Warrick was the last person to make me smile. He came into my room earlier and told me about how his dream is to become an artist and that he wants to be Straight Edge like his big brother. Haha.
Last time I laughed was probably when my brother came home with a huge hangover from a party the night before and I spent the day singing Minor Threat songs
Last time I cried was probably watching Toy Story 3, when all the toys are about to be incinerated. Excellent movie.
What sorts of things do you hope to achieve in your lifetime?
I’d love to tour the world with Hallower and get our music and message out to as many people as possible. I would love to be a spokesperson of sorts for animal rights, and a successful counsellor. I’m happy when everyone else is happy!
Any final thoughts, words of wisdom or contemplative nuggets of knowledge you wish to impart?
I see so many kids these days floating through life without a dream in their head or a song in their heart. I see so much potential going to waste everyday. I’m going to be cliché and say dream big, and remember the sky is never the limit.