The best band chats involve banter, laughs, and discussing random birds noises in their new album...YES I’m talking about the band of misfits that make Melbourne’s metalcore outfit Druid. Before dropping The Beauty In the Decay last week, I caught up with the band to have a cheeky chat about their genre-blended album.
Chris - Vocalist
Jordan - Vocalist
Bob - Guitarist
Tim - Bassist & Backup Vocals
Dale - Drummer
Interview Date: 1 Sept 2021
(few days before album release)
So Druid are releasing an album on Friday, which is really cool, it's called The Beauty In The Decay. To start off, where does the name ‘Druid’ come from, because it sounds very much like a goth/emo sort of thing?
Chris: I pitched it to the band because we were looking for names, we were talking about something, and then Druidism and it's belief structures were brought up in our conversation. I just thought it really touched on what we talked about lyrically as a band, in the sense that
a Druid was someone who changes people's thoughts and ideas with sounds and music, and I figured that's exactly what we would like to achieve as a band,
and I thought it sounded cool!
Dale: I think that we had gone through like… ah I can’t even remember how many names we went through trying to get the right one. It was getting to that point when we were like Oh My God let’s just find something that we can all agree on, and Chris pitched Druid and we were all like Yep, happy with that!
Tim: Remember that second list as well, it was soo terrible! We had like that full list of names…
Bob: Dale had like three pages on his iphone haha.
Oh what else was on there?
Tim: I can’t remember but, there were some a few really cliche and cringe ones on there.
Jordan: Didn’t we have a name from Coles on there? Haha. I swear someone pitched something that they heard in Coles.
*full band laughing*
Tim: Like Prices are Down hahaha
Let’s get into this new album of yours, it's got eight tracks, it's very fast, very loud, and very heavy. You guys had said that it's about Nature Vs. Nurture and are we born evil, or do we become evil. Could you expand on the meaning behind the album concept?
Jordan: Chris and I sat down and we constructed a loose story that we wanted to explore, and we wanted to explore the idea of Nature Vs. Nurture, but in a way that was a bit more accessible. So we took our own personal experiences and injected it into the story, so it can be taken any way shape or form you really want to, you can follow the story or you can take each song at face value.
Dale: We were throwing around the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins, as well when we were thinking about song names and the story with the eight tracks, because we’ve got the Intro track and then seven other main tracks,
each song is very loosely based around those Seven Deadly Sins and someone's journey through those sins.
Just on your track Intro (There are no humans with good personalities), because I've listened to the full album (before release) and it’s really good by the way!
But, when I first heard the Intro track I was a bit suspicious like, Oh, is this like an electric EDM sort of band? I thought they were meant to be heavy metal? And then it gets to about halfway through the middle of the song and it just drops really heavy, so yeah that was quite a surprise! Did you guys intentionally do that as a prank?
Bob: Yeah 100% Yes haha, like let's go full auto-tune and samples and just throw everyone off.
Chris: it’s like a quick scene change, because this story stems from, like a nice, I guess, “Lovey” idea, and that idea turns very quickly so we only needed 30 seconds of happiness before the next 20-25 minutes of brutality haha.
Haha and then you end on a lighter note, so it works perfectly!
Chris: That’s it!
I want to talk about some of the diversity in this album as I said to you guys, there's a bit of like an EDM electric sort of influence, and there's also very much like a Linkin Park post-hardcore / In Hearts Wake sort of vibe to it. Where do you guys draw your inspiration from in your music?
Chris: is everywhere cliche?
We sat down as a band before writing this, and we really wanted everyone to have their favourite type of music within this album. I think that was
the main goal no matter what, we all had to have something we loved in this, and I think that's why we genre-blended as hard as we did, and it came out the way it did.
This record holds a bit of all of us. As cliche as that is too!
Do you guys come from different music backgrounds?
Tim: Kind of, but also similar. Obviously we are all in the sub-genre of metal to a degree, but then we branch off from that, like I have a fucking weird guilty pleasure in 80s, 70s and 90s rock and just that old school era, also like 90s hip hop as well. Also obviously with new metal and like A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandra, and Bring Me The Horizon type of stuff, we all kind of converge around in one spot but also branching.
Chris: I think we’re the guys that when you put music on, you're going to get the Red Shore, and then Eminem, and then Queen comes on randomly…
...The ultimate party playlist haha
Chris: yes the ultimate bipolar metalhead haha.
Where did you guys find each other, how did you become a band?
Tim: I can answer where I came from haha. Chris and I have actually been best friends for maybe almost 15 years now, we went to school together and we met like early on at school. Chris pretty much started Druid with a former member who is no longer with us…
Tim: in the band. Wow! They are alive, but just no longer in the band haha
Bob: that got dark haha
I gonna say haha…. Thanks for clarifying on that! Oh my god
Tim: Imagine if I just left it there haha. Anyways they started doing their thing, and then I came into the picture after another previous member left the band. Then Chris, obviously like with us already being mates, asked if I could fill in for the bass guitar. Bob was found on Facebook, and he was the original bassist that moved up to guitarist, and then I took the bass from him, and Dale was similar wasn’t it?
Bob: Yeah Dale was from Facebook as well
Dale: Yeah they had a previous drummer, who left for his own reasons and then they found me through Facebook.
Tim: Your audition was soo cute by the way, I was talking about it the other day with someone.
Dale: To who?
What was it? Can you tell me?
Tim: okay, just a quick plug, I stream on Twitch and I was telling my friend about it on Twitch like just remembering Dale’s audition tape, because I remember him how he put his camera down on the side, and walked over, and he straightened his hat real quick before he like played and set up, and he was in his chair like Okay and just a quick amp for for himself!
Then he played and I was like Yeah! Killed it!
Okay, coming back to the new album, I want to know all of your guys’ ultimate favourite song off it, it could be a popular one, or an underdog one.
Bob: I’ve gotta say I, Exist just because of the guitar work in it, and the big ethereal ending in it as well, yeah that one just hits me, I like it, it’s pretty!
Tim: I unfortunately have to second I, Exist …
Bob: good man haha
Tim: Haha yeah, it's my personal favourite almost for the same reasons that it's just… yeah, the brutality of the start of it and like the frantic panic and what-not, and then just like the instant clarity, and then obviously Chris's vocals at the very end. When I first heard it I was like Whoa! so I guess that gets me every time.
Chris: I love you too.
Tim: I love you, kisses.
Dale: My favourite would probably be Exitus, probably because it’s kind of like one of our softer ones that builds up into this real just crescendo heavy ending and I love those styles of songs. Chris also has some really nice clean vocals in that, that are backed really well by Jordan’s heavier ones, and it just worked really well together.
Jordan: My favorite is probably DTHBLW, probably my favourite of all time. I guess one of the reasons why is because when Chris and I were actually recording it we didn't get to hear the final breakdown. So last time we heard it was pretty much where the second chorus is like screamed. But then when we heard that breakdown, we were like ugh, this is awesome! It’s gonna be a good song!
Chris: I have to say Exitus, for me, and that's just by the lyrical content. To ask me to choose the favourite song is so mean! Haha. Cause I really love every song on this album equally, and maybe it's because I've listened to it so many times in the process but I have to say Exitus, even when I hear it now, I still get the same feeling I got when I was writing it, which is something new, just every part of that musically, everyone just killed it the structure, the style, the sound, the soundscapes, the story, yeah with all it.
Just on Exitus, I noticed that it's a very different song compared to all the other tracks on this album, because it does have that really Gothic vibe with the piano... and are there bird noises in there as well? Hahaha
Chris: Yeah, yeah there is haha. Cause why the fuck not!
Haha I was listening to it earlier today, and there’s a family of ravens that fly around outside my house (like wild birds outside) and sometimes they sing, and I couldn’t work out if it was them singing or you guys! Haha
Jordan: That’s mad! Haha
Tim: They were just singing along to us! That would be sick!
So ahh, what’s with the birds? Haha
Tim: isn’t it cute?
Chris: It’s a metaphor
Jordan: Everything’s a metaphor
Tim: it was strategic and thought out
It was meant to be like, you know, when doves fly away because they’re free? It’s meant to be like we are free at the end of the album, like birds. I’m sorry that was a lie hahaha.
Dale: They’re in I, Exist as well haha.
Chris: I kinda like to leave it up to interpretation, but because there is a storyline we went at it like a scene.
The same reason why we did the EDM 30 seconds at the start, it’s the same reason we did 30 seconds of freedom at the end of that because it is a hell of a ride.
It's very up and down, and I find that the birds and that sense of peace is instilled in that part of the song at the end of the album.
Was Exitus always meant to be on the album, and meant to be last? Are you leaning into future direction?
Bob: That was a conversation that we had when we were writing it, about whether that's what we start the next album off with, or leave it as closing a chapter.
Chris: I think that we will always do what sounds and feels right to us. So, whether that is that sound next, we’ll see, but I guess yeah we'll have to wait until we're writing before we figure that one out.
Bob: Yeah, true, and just to answer the other part of your question, we spent a lot of time in pre pro (pre-production) kind of planning all the songs out in order, so that
we didn't write the songs and then put them into order, they were written in that order,
and then we went back through each one and finished them off and added parts here and there to them.
Yeah, it's very sequential, I feel like it's one of those albums where you do you have to listen to it in tracklist order. Same with Green Day’s American Idiot, you have to listen to that whole album in order because… you have to, it only feels right.
Chris: I love that though, I’m glad! Cause that’s what I wanted haha
How did the construction of the album happened? Were you guys able to go into studios or was it mostly though online?
Chris: ah man, that was a fun time
Tim: it was just before the first lockdown actually started and had hit. It wasn't stage four lockdown yet, it was like still in stage two and stage three from memory…
Bob: We were kind of looking at what was going on with the rest of the world and whatever everyone was going on about, on Twitter. I believe we were still okay, until that last day.
Tim: yeah, so we managed to in the last day, obviously we kind of still kept our numbers down, like we weren't going in as a full team in the studio, we were going in with smaller groups obviously to keep up with… I'm pretty sure that once we got towards the end of writing that restrictions came in, like, Yeah, you couldn't go in five people or whatever.
Obviously we were just doing things in smaller groups and, like you know, crossing over and were just kind of meeting ea