Mixing soaring melodies with crushing breakdowns, Perth metalcore outfit Displacement launch their self-titled, debut EP on the Australian heavy scene this weekend with two big shows: Saturday, March 17 at The Den, Inglewood and Sunday, March 18 at Vision Studios, East Victoria Park (all ages). Dan Harper and Jack Harvey from the band caught up with BRAYDEN EDWARDS ahead of the launch.
Firstly, how did you all come to be in a band together? There seems to be such a coherent vibe that I wonder how you all managed to find other musicians that shared the same collective vision…
Dan – Steve (Wilkinson) one of our guitar players had all of these song ideas in storage for the last three or four years, some being left over from his old hardcore band Defy the Leader. He put an advert on Facebook looking for a drummer interested in melodic hardcore/metalcore and was fortunately on the hunt for a new project at the time after leaving my old band Statues. Jack was previously the vocalist for metalcore outfit The Moment We Fall and Adam and Jeremy were in a band called Pirate Theme Park. They were all friends with Steve before being asked to join the band, I was the one random (laughs).
Is this the first time you have released music? Did you have any experience recording your work before this EP?
Dan – As Displacement this is our first release.
And what was the process in creating your debut EP? Where did you record it and was there anyone outside the band that helped bring it to life?
Dan – We recorded the EP at Vision Studios with Cody Brooks from Iconoclast. He produced, mixed and mastered the whole record. He was pretty integral in shaping and finalising the sound. He really pushed us hard but it was very well worth it, we hope to continue working with Cody from here on in.
When you were recording the songs was there anything that you decided to do differently than say, the way you were jamming the songs because new ideas came to light in the studio?
Cody’s influence is on every aspect of the EP; from Jack’s pitch yell vocal style in all the choruses, our guitar tone and tuning, some of the drum parts and fills as well as tightening up the form of each song.
And were there any artists or bands in particular that you drew influence from in these songs?
Dan – I would say at this stage we sound and are influenced by mostly melodic hardcore/metalcore bands such as The Ghost Inside, Counterparts, For the Fallen Dreams and Obey the Brave. Though everyone in the band has their own influences that they bring to the table; Jack is a big fan of The Color Morale, Oh Sleeper and Haste the Day, I’m a huge fan of Misery Signals and August Burns Red, Jeremy is into Metallica, Adam loves Northlane and Steve loves Our Last Night.
The lyrics in these songs seem to go a bit deeper than other bands, from those playing similar styles of music to those from completely different genres as well. Was it a deliberate decision to make that such a priority or was it more that the music was developed to complement the themes and message of the songs?
Dan – In all honesty, the music and lyrics were written entirely separate from each other. The music came first, the lyrics were written by Jack and our producer Cody helped piece them together into a more coherent product. At this stage Jack has total control of the lyrical content but maybe over time the rest of us will chip in.
Jack – I try and feel out the song before I get started on any lyrics. I don’t have some big book of lyrics ready to go or anything like that. Basically, I write according to the song.
How about the use of scripture and symbolism throughout this release? Although the EP seems hostile towards the idea of religion in general, it still seems you have found a wealth of symbolism and meaning in those kinds of texts that you can use to get your message or feelings across?
Jack – Although I’ve never been a religious person, and more then likely never will be, I’ve always been fascinated by concept of it. The idea that there’s some all seeing, all knowing entity out there that some how has a hand in our lives is the sort of blissful escapism that I wish a lot more people could afford. I’m not against religion as such, I just have a major problem with the notion of a God and the effect that notion has on people.
The lyrics on Alone were pretty hard hitting but still largely symbolic. Can you express what message you are trying to get across?
Jack – To me, Alone is about how much credit God actually deserves when it comes to people’s lives. You see people thanking God for what they have when in truth those thanks belong to them and those around them. You see people waiting and praying for answers or solutions instead of actually doing something about a problem. You have people committing acts of violence, as though its all part of some divine plan. Instead of taking responsibility, people attempt to distance themselves from their actions by attributing them to some omnipresent force. Alone is just me trying to tell people that for most things, they need to give themselves credit for their actions first and foremost, whether for better or worse.
Even I felt exhausted just listening to the intensity with which you all play on this (but then I’m borderline grown up now). What’s next for Displacement? Is there chance we can catch these songs live anytime soon?
Dan – We have our launch shows for our EP on Saturday March 17 at the Den and Sunday March 18 at Vision Studios. We have plans to put out a single/music video in the middle of the year.