What happens when the lights go off, the applause fades away and the band has left the stage? These are the stories from every facet of the music industry; from what happens onstage to the media, mental health, mixing desks and more, come behind the scenes with The Soundcheck's Tiana Speter and get to know more about the weird and wonderful world of music.
Season 2, Episode 10 | He Is Legend | 09-11-22
The final episode of season 2 for The Soundcheck's podcast Behind The Soundcheck is proof that sometimes in life it’s worth shooting your shot. For Schuylar Croom, vocalist and bewitching frontman for North Carolina rockers He Is Legend, a timely shot occurred when he tweeted his way onto the last ever Soundwave here in Australia in 2015, resulting in him rubbing shoulders with and featured alongside Faith No More, Soundgarden and an insane array of others many years ago. For Behind The Soundcheck host Tiana Speter, she shot her shot reaching out to Schuylar himself out of the blue through a fortuitous series of events to ask him to come on this very podcast - and, as this episode proves, it paid off. But there’s more than just blind luck and timely tweets to the He Is Legend success story; a band who can trace their origins back to high school in the 90s to becoming one of the most beloved bands in the heavier realms, there is undeniably no one quite like He Is Legend, from their bewitching brand of melodics to their sonic tenacity amongst raw and viscously grittier textures. Like a possessed nursery rhyme that swaggers, dazzles and blisters with jaw-dropping dexterity, one visit with He Is Legend is all it takes to fall head over heels into the rabbit hole with one of the undeniable modern greats - and, because 2022 is the gift that keeps on giving, the band are currently now armed and ready to release a seventh studio album, with Endless Hallway officially due out this Friday the 11th of November. Initially releasing two tantalising singles in the form of LIFELESS LEMONADE and THE PROWLER, it’s clear that 2022 is He Is Legend at their boldest and most bodacious yet, which is genuinely saying something after the ballistic success of their 2019 album White Bat and previous releases. In true He Is Legend Fashion, leveling up the ferocity with each new release, Endless Hallway is set to be a boundless and gripping journey through glamorously dirty rock amongst many other genre flavours, and while speaking to Schuylar just before the band dropped another pair of singles, SOUR and HONEY FROM THE HIVE, it’s clear that the true secrets behind the band’s versatility and otherworldly abilities stem from a firm DIY ethic, infectious passion and a genuine humility surrounding their inescapable popularity. Chatting everything from tweeting his way to Australia, to conjuring the new album amongst global and personal hurdles, memorable album artwork and matchbooks - join host Tiana Speter with the incomparable Schuylar Croom from He Is Legend for this very special episode. MORE HE IS LEGEND INFO: https://www.facebook.com/HeIsLegendNC/MORE THE SOUNDCHECK INFO: https://www.thesoundcheck.org/
Season 2, Episode 9 | Slowly Slowly | 04-11-22
With their brand new album Daisy Chain dropping into the world today, beloved Melbourne indie rockers Slowly Slowly have astonishingly levelled up from already great heights. Following the release of Race Care Blues and Race Car Blues Chapter Two in 2020 and 2021 respectively, Daisy Chain welcomes listeners with open arms into a world of catchy tunes and starkly intimate lyricism. Showcasing themselves as insatiable leaders in the modern indie and rock realms, Daisy Chain packs in hooks, heartfelt narratives and the creamy yet captivating trademark sound that Slowly Slowly have spent over seven years finessing; and, in frontman Ben Stewart's case, it's been a lifetime and a labour of love that has ultimately led to the most assured and authentic version of the band to date. Notably covering some darker lyrical territory on album #5, Daisy Chain showcases Ben’s own personal strides to discover himself both as an artist and a human in general; and the end result is simultaneously something that can soundtrack your summer and a collection of songs that intimately challenge and inspire the status quo. Punchy yet poignant, catchy yet cathartic, Daisy Chain is a true triumph for Slowly Slowly; and while it’s strictly not a lockdown album, as Ben elaborates on in today’s episode, its end result mixes songs years in the making with a brand new sonic identity for the band. Fresh off some epic shows around the country and ahead of some acoustic launch shows and a screening tomorrow night of the Slowly Slowly documentary Back To Basics, Back On My Bullsh*t, join Ben on Behind The Soundcheck with host Tiana Speter today, diving a little deeper into Daisy Chain, songs 10 decades in the making with childhood heroes and returning to play on the very stage that launched his live musical journey as a teenager. IN THIS EPISODE:The juxtaposition between Race Car Blues and Daisy Chain, self-actualisation, and the overall purpose that drives and underpins Daisy Chain overall. Ben strictly not referring to Daisy Chain as a lockdown record, but the inevitable shape the record took as a result of the past few years. The reality of launching Race Car Blues just as the pandemic was starting to take hold in Australia, but how the time also allowed the band to truly ask themselves: what kind of band do they want to be?The integral role of Daisy Chain's title track on the album, the loop-like structure of the album explained, and metaphors related to relationships and volcanoes that ultimately inspired the album title. The extensive backstory a decade in the making that saw the track Moving Trains finally evolve from a demo that nearly made it onto every previous Slowly Slowly album into a full-blown track on Daisy Chain; and it also becoming a genuine "sliding doors" moment for Ben with Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional fame. Ben's experience recently returning to Croydon to play in the very venue that he frequented as a kid, performing on the very stage where he played his first ever live gig at as a teenager.The importance of all ages shows, and Ben's passion for helping young people find their path with music.MORE SLOWLY SLOWLY INFO: https://www.slowlyslowlyband.com/MORE THE SOUNDCHECK INFO: https://www.thesoundcheck.org/
Season 2, Episode 8 | Devin Townsend | 02-11-22
A man who has spent decades onstage, in front of the camera and in the studio, and a man who barely needs any introduction; whether you adored him for his prolific turn as founder and frontman for Strapping Young Lad back in the day or you’re a fan of his extensive and continuing solo career, Canadian creative alchemist Devin Townsend is undeniably one of the most dynamic and fascinating artists of this generation. From his vocal range, which spans over five octaves, to his genre-defining and genre-defying work in the more progressive metal waters, Devin is everything and everywhere at once creatively. A man who can pull of a pitch-perfect howl in a ballad mixed alongside folk, metal, rock and cinematic flourishes without breaking a sweat, it’s little wonder Devin is so beloved - or why he has also previously been described as being the Frank Zappa of metal. His latest solo release, Lightwork, aka his brand new album dropping this Friday 4 November, follows on from his more recent work Empath, Snuggles and The Puzzle…and, once again, Devin has carved out another masterpiece, albeit one that finds itself branching more into moments of ambience and mellowed introspection. But, true to form, there are moments of heaviness alongside all that trademark tasty layered Devin production lying in wait, and, overall, Lightwork almost feels like you’re stepping into Devin Townsend's personal dream land. And, as today’s episode of Behind The Soundcheck reveals, it’s not really a coincidence, with Devin actively using the album to both find himself as he is in his current personal and creative life, and also leap drastically outside of his comfort zone. The light and shade of Devin has always been as revered as much as his incomparable reputation for being one of the nicest men in the business, and entirely living up to this reputation and then some - the man himself joins host Tiana Speter on Episode 8, Season 2 of Behind The Soundcheck to chat all things Lightwork, ambition, creativity and more. IN THIS EPISODE:Devin's life between completing and releasing Lightwork into the world, including his "post-pandemic" activities, nerves, creative ideas and actualising said ideas.Devin's varied experiences between life in a band and following a creative vision, being an "uncomfortable" person and the duality of being a human being. How Devin found himself accepting things he had no control over during the past few years, and ultimately releasing an album that is less indicative of being in pain and more reflective of making positive choices and looking for solutions in his own life.A last minute addition to the closing track on Lightwork, and how it resonates with Devin's experience ultimately making the album.Devin's connection to his own music, how that plays into his own audience's own connection, and the function of artists.The power of the mind, patterns and the negative profitability of fear.The ultimate driving forces behind Lightwork and why Devin had been afraid in the past to experiment like he has with this new solo album.Devin's experience for the first time ever allowing a producer, fellow Canadian dynamo Garth Richardson, into his creative process, the realities that accompanied that "experiment" and finding the balance amongst some chaos.Discerning the root of control as an artist and a human, and Devin's gratitude of an absence of comfort zones.And finally, high school reunions and a bonus pop vinyl chat post-end credits!FOR MORE DEVIN TOWNSEND INFO: https://hevydevy.com/FOR MORE THE SOUNDCHECK INFO: https://www.thesoundcheck.org/
Season 2, Episode 7 | Colin Jeffs | 28-10-22
A master-craftsman of the highest order, Colin Jeffs has certainly worn plenty of creative hats over the years in the Australian music industry and beyond, from his tenure with bands including Widow The Sea, Heavens Lost, Tongues and Aversions Crown to his potent output behind the camera, conjuring music videos, branded content and capturing weddings. Operating under his company Ten Of Swords Media Collective, Colin has gone on to shoot 150+ music videos in the relatively short space of four years, most recently conjuring the visual magic behind the brand new Make Them Suffer music video for their tune Doomswitch (which also features Behind The Soundcheck's guest from last week Alex Reade), as well as clips for the likes of Black Lava, Jacob Lee, Diamond Construct, Clay J Gladstone, To Octavia, Alpha Wolf and countless others.An all-rounder as director, videographer and editor in his latest endeavours, Colin has also recently announced a team-up with Sony Australia, with two intimate masterclasses lined up in November where Colin will inspire and thoroughly educate anyone wanting to create music videos themselves, with an intensive behind-the-scenes look and practical guidance surrounding the start to finish process to ultimately create a kickass music video.In between dodging blizzards, precarious situations and the inevitable chaos that can accompany any filming endeavour, Colin spent a moment with Behind The Soundcheck host Tiana Speter to chat about his own musical journey, developing his love for heavy music, the time he had to make two dogs act on cue and more. IN THIS EPISODE:When Colin's interest in music first ignited, including being part of a band in his early teens, early musical influences and his first official gig (hosted by a bikie gang in the outskirts of Bendigo). His journey as a vocalist, diving deeper into heavier music and his light bulb music moment courtesy of The Black Dahlia Moment that helped shaped his style. How Colin's professional journey as a musician, a love for gadgetry and a love for visual mediums as a kid inadvertently led to him leaping into his new creative home as a videographer, filmmaker and storyteller. Some standout and memorable moments from Colin's life as a videographer, including weathering snowstorms, fire, swamps and trying to make dogs act on cue in the name of art for Gold Coast artist and entrepreneur Jacob Lee. Some of the unknowns, joys and potential misconceptions about life as a videographer and the realities behind the scenes, particularly for music videos.Colin's upcoming Sony Australia masterclasses in Sydney and Melbourne to inspire new creators and guide people wanting to get into making music videos, and the importance of breaking down gatekeeping in the music and creative industries. Colin's favourite music video of all time (hint: it's one of his own, and you can check it out below)The best live shows Colin's ever been to, past and preset, and why they blew his mind (including a reference to Behind The Soundcheck's Season 2, Episode 3 guests Sunk Loto). Two of Colin's favourite artists of 2022 so far and why: shout out to Clay J Gladstone and JSTNXMLLR!For more info on Colin Jeffs, visit: https://www.colinjeffsmedia.com/For more The Soundcheck info, visit: https://www.thesoundcheck.org/
Season 2, Episode 6 | Make Them Suffer | 21-10-22
Aussie metal maestros Make Them Suffer have evolved for over a decade, relentlessly honing and bolstering their unique blend of symphonic metal, progressive metal and metalcore tendancies. From their debut EP Lord of Woe released back in 2010 to their current iteration in 2022, the band have consistently stunned and enamoured, joining the likes of Architects, Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, Northlane, Chelsea Grin and countless others around the globe along the way.When the lockdowns hit Australia, resoundingly also rocking the music industry to its core, a question mark had emerged for Make Them Suffer internally as a band. And it was this very timeframe amid Melbourne's intense and restricting lockdowns that the pathway to Make Them Suffer's brand new lineup inevitably began to take shape, with guitarist Nick McLernon joining fellow Melbourne muso Alex Reade, formerly of Drown This City, on runs within the prescribed kilometer bubbles. A long-time fan of Make Them Suffer and a prolific musician in her own right, the stars aligned and a light bulb moment saw Reade recently unveiled as MTS's vocalist and keyboardist; aka, the essential and trademark "fifth member" for Make Them Suffer.Last week releasing the explosive new track Doomswitch, alongside an accompanying music video, it would be at the filming for that very video that Reade and the band were all entirely together in-person for the very first time. But now, the new exciting chapter for MTS is well in full swing, with the band performing two sold out shows in Brisbane and Sydney last weekend, with a sold out show in Melbourne tonight in Melbourne, and a final two sold out shows in Adelaide and Perth over the weekend. With symphonic flourishes, blasting beats, jagged guitars, and oscillating light and shade between frontman Sean Harmanis and Reade, Doomswitch is equally energetic and ethereal, leveling up the band's heaviness alongside emphatic melodics while presenting a resonating narrative: "It's not how you get knocked down / It's how you get back up."Performing harsh vocals in conjunction with the cleans, busting out keys and keytar and seamlessly fitting into the Make Them Suffer world, Reade's addition has been met with resounding praise from longtime fans and new fans alike. But in between touring the new track, Alex Reade stopped by Behind The Soundcheck to join host Tiana Speter, chatting renewed talents and passions, core memories, the importance of tough love and beyond. IN THIS EPISODE:Alex's whirlwind 2022 and the surreal synchronicities of her journey to joining Make Them Suffer.How Alex ultimately became part of Make Them Suffer, including pre-existing friendships, lockdowns and finally emerging all together in person as a band for the first time when they filmed the music video for Doomswitch.Alex's first run of shows with Make Them Suffer, including sold out shows in Brisbane and Sydney and the "core memory" moment that she considers one of the best of her life.Alex jumping onto harsh vocals unexpectedly for Doomswitch, her genuine respect for those who have come before her and her ultimate shock and gratitude at the positive reaction. Alex's strong musical background, including being a classically trained vocalist and her initial plans for her musical journey; and her ultimate discovery of metal. Alex's take on the current state of the Australian heavy music scene and the tenacity behind the scenes. The first album Alex ever brought herself and her most memorable recent live music experience.In honour of some of the themes underlying the new Make Them Suffer track Doomswitch, Alex shares the ultimate go-to for picking herself up when life tries to knock you down. For more Make Them Suffer info: https://www.makethemsuffer.com.au/For more The Soundcheck info: https://www.thesoundcheck.org/
Season 2, Episode 5 | Hammers | 28-09-22
Consistently armed with a wink and a ravishing riff, Northern Rivers quartet Hammers are the quintessential Aussie band with just enough grit to set them apart from your average pub rocker. Solidifying their current lineup a few years back with vocalist Leigh 'Fish' Downling, bassist Ricky T, guitarist and vocalist Lucas Stone and drummer Ryan 'Ruckus' Lucas, the evolution from stoner rock-tinged blues, metal and punk into an amalgamation of Every Time I Die mixed with The Bronx, He Is Legend and a tantalising Aussie twist has seen the group become a sturdy fixture in festival and headline capacities.Releasing their debut EP Homeblokes back in 2018, Hammers have since gone on to score a nomination for Best Video at the Gold Coast Music Awards for their Dead Set clip, drop a B-side Pocket Soup in 2019 before kicking sonic goals with their 2020 sophomore EP; the aptly titled Kicking Goals. Releasing in August of 2020 while the world was steadily going mad, the ongoing plans to finally tour their latest EP hit significant snags, but the band still persevered to bring their raucous live show to the masses, including recent appearances at Blacken Open Air and Wallapalooza. And now, over two years since the release of Kicking Goals, the band have finally laid down concrete plans to bring it on home for Kicking Goals, with seven dates lined up into November in Tasmania, the Gold Coast, Sunbury, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney for the official Try Again Tour.With mini-festivals, house parties and hometown shows on the horizon, what better time to grab Hammers axe king Lucas Stone for a chat. From live show memories to the Hammers secret sauce, plenty of "kicking puns" (my bad) and some insight into the current state of the music industry, grab a listen to Lucas joining host Tiana Speter on the latest episode of The Soundcheck's podcast Behind The Soundcheck. Tickets for The Try Again tour are live right now: beatscartel.com/showtickets. IN THIS EPISODE:How Hammers are feeling in the lead up to their The Try Again Tour.The making of their 2020 EP Kicking Goals; creative goals, growing as a band and galvanising the Hammers sound.Some of the real life and reality-adjacent tales behind tracks on Kicking Goals.What fans can expect from the upcoming Hammers shows, including some of Stoney's key highlights that he's looking forward to most. How Hammers get "gig fit" and the secret behind their front-facing camaraderie.Hammers' ongoing attempts to tour amid the pandemic, and rediscovering their passion amongst the hurdles.What makes a Hammers live show moment particularly memorable after all this time, and the invigorating experience that was Blacken Open Air 2022.Stoney's personal musical influences that have played major roles in who he is a musician today, his creative signature and some of the common threads between his four major musical projects.What music Hammers collectively love, and Stoney's role in having Cardi B as the Hammers walk on song of late.Stoney's take on the current state of the music industry and Australian music community, and the ways punters can help artists. What celebrities would play each of the members of Hammers in the Hammers official Hollywood motion picture. Stoney shares a guilty pleasure in honour of the Kicking Goals single Guilty Pleasures.Try Again Tour Tickets: www.beatscartel.com/showticketsHammers Info: www.beatscartel.com/hammers BEHIND THE SOUNDCHECKHOST & PRODUCER: Tiana Speter GUEST: Lucas Stone from Hammers THEME SONG: Hall Of Shame by Osaka Punch AUDIO EDITING: Luke Palmer
My favourite way to catch up on what’s hot in music, especially great Australian talent.