It’s 2021, you know the year after that dreadful other year that we don’t talk about (2020: the year of staying indoors), instead I want to introduce you to the light on the horizon... the brave new world. Or should I say Beau, Dave and Duff from the Perth post-hardcore band Kastiell have joined Jess from Moody Music to shine the spotlight on their new single, Brave New World which features the one and only Dan Marsala from the band Story Of The Year. How did a bunch of dudes from Perth score such an exciting guest vocalist on their latest release you ask? Check out what three-fifths of Kastiell had to say about it down below.
Okay, so let’s get into some band questions! The upcoming single was a collaboration with Dan Marsala from Story Of The Year, and it was a song written during covid about mis-information and uncertainty. The message focuses on “building a better tomorrow and not dwelling on the past”, could you guys expand a bit on that and the ideas that went in behind the song.
BEAU: I can touch on that, the lyrics were written by Dylan, and I sat down with him when he went through that process.
When we originally did the lockdown, we didn’t really communicate with each other that much. We all wrote separately during that time and just flicked some ideas around, we kind of got the song completely down without vocals on top of it so that was the first track that we kind of said ‘Alright, here’s all the instruments put together’ and then we said ‘Hey Dylan, let’s see what we can do vocally’. Part of Dylan’s drive was because we wrote this in the mix of Covid and everyone was a little bit, I guess, scared and paranoid at this time because no one really knew what was going on, so this was written just as Covid was kicking off.
There was a lot of mis-information going around in the media, not necessarily about Covid, but just about everything and I think that the media really jumped on the whole concept of ‘fear mongering’ for news and things like that.
Rather than dwelling on the bad reasons and the bad misfortune that was happening Dylan tried to write a song to sort of overcome that and rise up to talk about the positives
So, it’s almost somewhat pseudo-revolutionary lyric based about the time we experienced during that period of time.
How long did it take to write?
BEAU: the instruments? Probably 12 years [laughs]nah.
I noticed you guys had a five year break, is that what you were doing? [laughs]
BEAU: We did have a lot of song ideas that are just sitting in the background and they were all in complete, and I think just having that extra time working from home and not being able to go out on the weekends allowed us to finish all of those ideas. This song was the first of all the ideas we finished, and said ‘hey let’s lock ourselves into a studio’. We had booked the studio before we had even finished the song, just as a bit of a drive to get it complete.
Ideas had been sitting there incomplete for years, but, we wrapped up the song in a matter of one month, and then took the song to Dylan to do his vocals, and Dylan did those in about a month as well. There were a few back and forths testing some ideas and different concepts. Once Dylan laid down two or three verses, we picked the best one and then went from there and got it all recorded.
The component with Dan was all a little last minute. We had the track recorded and then we couldn’t really do to much with it, because bands weren’t allowed to play gigs, we weren’t allowed to launch a single ‘cause of restrictions and how many people could play venues. So we sat on a complete mixed track for a period of time and thought ‘hey, maybe we could use this time to capitalise on getting a guest vocalist, and that’s when we engaged with Dan and went from there.
Who was the biggest fan-boy with Dan?
DAVE: Definitely Beau! Hands Down [laughs]
Was Beau just like hyperventilating the whole time [laughs]? Was Dan over in America the whole time?
BEAU: Yeah absolutely it was crazy! So, I communicated first with Dan just on Instagram, like it was crazy…
DUFF: Didn’t you just try your luck on it as a joke? Like you didn’t even expect a reply.
BEAU: Yeah, the idea of a guest vocalist was something that we wanted and kind of limited ourself to Australian bands, and I guess some older bands who weren’t as active like Story Of The Year. My favourite bands growing up was Story Of The Year and Thrice. So I flicked them the same text to both those bands, just on an off-the-cuff [chance] like hey this would be hilarious if they actually listened to our song [laughs], and
Dan wrote back the next day and he was just like ‘I listened to your song, I think it’s awesome, I’m happy to sing in it’, and that’s when I started fan-boying and running around the house
DUFF: It was actually so unreal. I used to listen that band in highschool and then next thing I know we’re collaborating on a song with him. Like ‘What the heck is going on?’
It gets to like a crazy full circle moment doesn’t it?
DAVE: yeah, he [Dan] actually shared a little snippet on his personal Instagram of us, and it had a little caption saying “working with my mates down under”, that was pretty cool! We were like ‘ah we’re mates with Dan Marsala now’ [laughs].
You guys have an upcoming EP in the works at the moment, did Dan help out mixing and producing on it?
BEAU: He did. When we went to track the song, we went through a friend of ours who runs his own studio, Chris Hansen, and he recorded our first EP and did a fantastic job on it, he was very articulate and made sure we got every note best captured to get the best out of us. We went through and tracked all the guitars, bass drums, everything through Chris, and then he actually got quite unwell so he had to put his work on hold indefinitely.
We fortunately had a completed track, but it just hadn’t been mixed or mastered, that’s when we thought that we would have to go out and find a producer. We actually did touch base with Trenton from Hands Like Houses. We touched base with him and he was like ‘yeah cool, I’m happy to mix and master it if you like’, and also during that time we touched base with Dan and he was like ‘do you guys need anyone to mix and master?’ and we said that we had Trenton in mind, but ‘if you’re going to do vocals… you obviously know how to make your vocals come through on the mix’, so Dan was happy to mix and master it. The good thing with him mixing and mastering it is that he can get his voice to sound like it does on a Story Of The Year album.
Unfortunately, we had to ditch Trenton. Which was a shame because he does some amazing work, but we had to jump on the opportunity of having Dan guest vocaling and letting him mix and master it to get his voice sounding as polished as possible.
Very cool. I just wanted to take things back to humble beginnings for a moment, how did Kastiell become a band?
BEAU: We kind of were in all different bands at the time. The band that I was originally playing in, we lost our drummer and our singer, so it was kind of me, another guitarist (who’s also the guitarist in this band), and the bass player who ended up going over East. So, we had a few spots that we needed to fill.
I think we basically auditioned for bass players and that was when Duff came in, and shortly after that we auditioned vocalists and drums, and that’s how we caught up with Dave and Dylan.
We were all in separate bands like just causal side hustles so to speak, and
when we came to this band we kind of had a bit of a vision to say like ‘this is all music we really enjoy, let’s see if we can push it and drive it’
DAVE: Yeah that’s about it. Technically, I’m drummer number two, I came in after another drummer didn’t quite work out. It was interesting the time that I came in, it was when they were just getting ready to get EP number one [Built from the Broken] together, so that was a pretty fun time for me to get up to speed. I already knew Dylan personally as a friend, but when I came down to rehearsals we all clicked straight away and I loved the music as well.
BEAU: When we met Dave, he was right up there with all the post-hardcore punk scene, the style that Dave plays fits perfectly to our music and how we envisioned it to kind of be, and so that worked out really well.
And we didn’t really want Duff, Duff is shithouse but we just live with it [jokingly]
Did he just keep turning up? [laughs] like you couldn’t get rid of him?
BEAU: So, we did some tryouts and Duff came and played, he did the best, he had the gig, we were like it’s going to be Duff, he’s just awesome. But before we actually announced it Duff sent us a message and he’s like “alright guys. I guess I’ll take it” [laughs] and was like “I’ll see you next week”.
DUFF: It was actually Dylan who hit me up, and I was like ‘yeah dude I’m willing to audition for it, but i haven’t played bass in years’. I used to play bass in a punk band over in the Philippines, but thought that maybe I should try it again, and just did it and it clicked. Lucky for me [laughs].
DAVE: Lucky they said yes Duff, or that would have been an awkward situation [haha].
BEAU: He was the right fit though, he was by far a standout.
I noticed that the new single Brave New World is a bit more pop-punkier compared to your last EP in 2016 which is a bit more heavier and angrier. What are you guys going for in this new EP, what’s the motivation?
BEAU: I think we are still finding what our sound is and don’t necessarily lock ourselves into one genre. So, I think what’s going to happen with the new EP just based off the new tracks that we’ve been putting together, it’s been a real mix. The song that we have that will be dropping on the 9th April [Brave New World feat. Dan Marsala, out now!] is what I think is kind of our core sound, post-hardcore, bit punky, quite melodic choruses, but that being said we’ve also been working on an acoustic track which is a lot more mellow and chilled, we’ve tried to put a bit of like synthesizers and pianos in there. We’ve also got some songs in there that are quite heavy with some hard breakdowns in it, and we will probably stick in a ballad as well. I think the new EP is going to be quite a bit of a mix and people can expect some variety.
What can you guys reveal about the EP, in terms of any names? How many tracks? Anything that isn’t under hush-hush.
BEAU: It is still early stages and we are kind of fine tuning in the background and just completing some of the tracks and getting that all sorted. We are thinking probably about five to six songs, and as far as titles go, we do like the concept of “Brave New World” so it could be a self album titled single? But we’re not sure yet, we haven’t focused on that yet, we will need to have a chat and see where we land with that.
That was Beau, Dave and Duff from the Perth post-hardcore band Kastiell giving Moody Music some insight into the band, new single, and upcoming EP. Brave New World feat. Dan Marsala’ from Story Of The Year is available right now everywhere, so get your ears onto it!
Kastiell will also be taking to the stage on Friday 23rd April at Lucy’s Love Shack for ‘Last Night: 2021 Reunion’, alongside Patient Sixty Seven, Icarus Lives, The Faux and a guest DJ set by Sean and Booka of Make Them Suffer. More details about the event available on Kastiell’s Facebook Page.
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