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 each other in the hallways type deal, and chatting about what was up and having little meetings on the side like outside of it. So doing all the talking outside of it and then just getting down to business [in the studio].
Chris: I like to call it a factory line process, like Tim said it well, we tagged teamed in-and-out, so we went in, we had a rough draft, but I think that we went in individually all wanting the same result. Call it, just like a family intuition maybe? But we all went in very similar minded, which made it easy.
Bob: Special mention to Dale as well. When lockdown hit, we had like three days of drumming left and it was like Nope now you've got one day and then we're in lockdown, so yeah he did three days of drumming in one.
Tim: Yeah, true that was a massive day, wasn’t it?
Dale: Yeah, it was pretty big. We had planned it all out, like we're going to do like two songs each day over like four days, and then, yeah I did one day and then that night it was announced that we were going lockdown tomorrow at midnight and so we just had to go in and record like six songs in that one day. So that was, that was fun! Aha.
Would you recommend it?
Dale: Yeah no, I would definitely not want to do that again but it was it's all part of the experience, it made it like a pretty memorable thing! At the time, it was pretty stressful but looking back on it I was like ah I’m pretty proud of myself, that I was able to get that all done.
Most bands at the moment have been releasing singles and EP’s, why did you guys decide to drop an album? Were you just dying to get this material out?
Bob: Well, we just kind of wanted to do something bigger, like a big story/ something more meaningful than just an EP or five songs, we wanted to do a bigger project.
We were looking at all of the Covid stuff going on, and we were like Nah, we can’t put all of our eggs all in one basket, we really need to space the releases out and get as much as we can out of it.
Dale: We had released an EP in 2019 Semblance, and so we were like we want to go further with this one, we didn’t want to be doing the same thing and do another EP, so let's push ourselves more and let's do an album and record as much as we can to make an album.
I just want to go back to talk about vocalists with Jordan and Chris, what's your process of writing vocals for clean and scream vocals? Do you guys work together, separately, break up bits and pieces?
Jordan: So the way that we did this specific album, I think that we did it with the EP as well, we basically went through the story and how we wanted to structure it. We just decided who wants to like- not take charge, but like write the basis of those four songs, we had halved it up and then we met up together, went over it, and put our own ‘thing’ onto each song, and went from there basically. In regards to writing them anyway.
Do you write lyrics for each other?
Yeah, so the four songs that I wrote, and then with the four that Chris wrote, we then cross referenced them, so we wrote each other's bits for those songs that we wrote.
Chris: We are also very open to each other as well, so like if I'm not gonna sing that I don't even think I can sing it, I’ll attempt it, and if I can't, then we'll change it together. We both sing a little differently, we both scream a little differently, we both have a different approach when it comes to the microphone.
I think the first time around it was a lot harder this time around, I feel like we just clicked. I wrote something and Jordan’s like Hell Yeah! He wrote something I was like I can't see anything changing from this! Haha. Yeah, I don't know, there was just something surrounding this recording that everyone was just clicking so nicely.
It's really interesting to see your guys’ work ethic and workflow, because you're such a young band, this is your debut album, as you said your debut EP was in 2019. You guys are so young, but your relationships together are strong and it seems like you've known each other for years and that you're a 20-30 year old band.
Tim: Yeah we have known each other for a while, as I said I've known Chris for 15, and then Bob and Jordan 6? 5-6? and then, Dale for like three?
We all have very similar humor, and mindset as well when it comes to most things, which is obviously very important when it comes to, you know, being in a group together, especially in close quarters and stuff.
Chris: Yeah, and we all share something we're passionate about…
A lot of cuddles on tour aye?
Chris: Hell Yes! Haha
Tim: Jordan’s gonna wake up with me around him, I can guarantee it haha
Chris: Jordan’s the little spoon, yes!
Tim: I can guarantee it!
Jordan: I’m very well aware that’s going to happen hahaha
Are you guys, when we get out of lockdown, are you looking to do an album launch?
Tim: Hell yes is the answer! I think everything’s been working like pretty half put on hold because obviously like there's so much going on at the moment so like, I think with the few things that we had “going” have been postponed already. We want to launch it obviously and we want to do some sort of gig for it but we haven't established, obviously, when, where and how. But, we are definitely going to do something.
Do you guys have any final messages you want to get out to fans, or say about the band, about the new album, or anything else you want to get out?
Jordan: Just get the word out, share our socials…
Tim: follow Tim on Twitch
Dale: Thank you to everyone who’s listened to our singles leading up to this album. Thanks for all the support and we’re hoping you’re liking our latest stuff on the album.
Chris: Yeah, thank you to everyone who’s still listening to us and listens to the new one. Hit us up if you want to say hello, if you liked it, and say hey if you didn’t like it haha and we’ll do better next time haha.
That was the full band of Melbourne misfits from the metalcore outfit Druid. Their new album The Beauty In The Decay is available right now to listen to. I highly recommend listening to it in order from start to finish, and keep an eye out for the birds featuring in the album ahaha.
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Druid’s Social Media
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