Before hitting the stage TONIGHT with their shiny new EP ‘From The Ashes’, I caught up with frontman Chris from the Melbourne Metalcore band Observist to suss out their new tunes, reasons for rebranding the band, and what to expect at their upcoming shows. Will they bring the fire?
Interview on 3rd June 2021 (day before EP release date)
Are you ready for some questions? So, Observist’s debut EP drops tomorrow, called From the Ashes, and you've already released Atlas and Fragments off it as singles.
Firstly, I want to find out why the band has rebranded it’s name to Observist?
Well, previously, we used to be known as Upon World’s End, and then at the start of last year we had a couple of members leave the band. It was just me and Kye left. And we thought, you know, if we're gonna get some new people in and do some new music and all that, then we might as well just rebrand ourselves and continue on as something else.
What does the new name mean?
It was kind of an idea of like… we liked the idea of ‘observer’, but we want something that kind of is catchy to the tongue and everything so, we kind of fiddled around with it. We had a couple of ideas, but we ended up going with Observist. It just sounded cool [laughs]
It's got a bit of a kick into it you know!
For the new EP, how did the idea for it come about and how did you guys put the EP together?
We had some songs left over from the ‘Upon’ days, and we will try to decide whether to release them or hold on to them and kind of have a crack at putting full force into it and we were just was like Oh, we better use these songs. So we kept them.
We thought to name it From the Ashes because this is basically the whole rebranding and everything, we’re rising up from what we once were and coming into this new age, that's how that like name came across, and with all the names, Kye turned around, and said he wanted to have songs that had just one-worded names, so I was like okay I’ll see if I can work around that. But then we have one self titled on there called From the Ashes, which is a nice little groovy song.
That’s how it all came about, we wanted to have something that meant the whole rebranding and show people that, you know, we're still kicking and still going forward.
Yeah, there’s almost some ‘Phoenix’ imagery around the EP and for the new band name as well, like from the ashes, rising above, rebirthing and rebranding.
Exactly! That's why we have the whole image of a burning rose, like when we saw it, it just kind of suited the lyrics that we had in the actual song From the Ashes, ‘like a burning rose we will tear as time goes’ in that song, so it's like evolving of, you know, going down from nothing and then rising again into something.
When was the EP made?
Production wise, the songs have been written for a good three years now, but we probably only kicked into production of it at the start of last year, is when we went into full mixing and mastering. We had done probably July-ish last year, so mid midway through last year, so I've been holding on for it for a while just waiting for the right time to release it.
Did you guys have to do recording during lockdown?
No, we were lucky with that, we got all our recording done just before all that happened, like we finished up with vocals and everything because with guitar and all that Kye tracked it at his place, because he's a sound engineer so he deals with all that kind of stuff. And then, at the time, luckily with drums, this was when we were still ‘Upon’, our old drummer Benito had tracked all these drums for this EP, and that's when we decided well we’re going to use this, like all the songs or have written We had got everything written for it and everything recorded for it. So we might as well use it.
Did the band do all the mixing and mastering yourselves?
Kye did production and mixing, and then we got Forrester Savell to do mastering.
Being also from Melbourne, how do you feel about releasing this EP in lockdown 4? [laughs]
Ah well, we took the time since last year when lockdown first kicked in, that was when we had this EP ready to go and were like Well we can’t really release it right now. We had used that time to get new members everything, and when we came out of lockdown in January we had Cade and Leigh with us and we were just like, Okay, we need to get these videos done. So we made the most with everything that we've had. And so, like right now, we are going to release and do everything right, because in the past we've done everything kind of by ourselves, and did self-releases and all that kind of stuff. Right now, were are going through Collision Course and they've helped us immensely. So, it's been kind of nice this time around. But hopefully now that everyone's locked inside they'll want some new tunes to listen to, and when everyone comes out, they can come to the show and bump their heads.
Exactly. You mentioned, music videos, I wanted to talk about the music videos for Atlas, it's got a lot of globe imagery and performance scenes as well. I want to know what the song is about.
So, Atlas is kind of that song that’s like things may seem a bit crappy or you might feel bad about yourself, and then you have that self-realisation that it could get better and it will only get better if you put yourself forward and make things better for yourself. We wanted to have that softer kind of calm tone going through it like a ballad.
So, that’s the song on the EP that I classify as the sad boi song, cause I think every band should have at least one sad boi song.
You guys, have recently supported Alphawolf in Ballarat. What was that like?
Oh that was a CRAZY show! We were so stoked when we got that. All of us boys like Alphawolf, theta re one of the band’s in the scene that we all look up to. Those boys know how to do it right and throw down, and get everyone pumped, it was like second to none at Ballarat. We went on and then the Vengeance went on they killed it and then Alpha came on and just destroyed the place and it was insane! It was such a good show to get, as our first show.
Speaking of shows, you have a very busy weekend coming up on Friday 18 June and Saturday 19 June (saturday show is now post-poned to Friday 23 July), you guys are playing with ATLVS with Druid and In Vanity, and on Friday 18 *new date* 23 July and supporting Gloom in the Corner with Starve. What should people expect at these shows from Observist?
We have been working on our performance and everything trying to perfect it, and make it more fun and more exciting for everyone. We don't want to be a band that just stands up there and plays, we want to get in your face and make you swing around and make you, you know, move to the music, bop your head, and have a good time basically.
We’re the kind of band where we'll feed the audience if they feed back to us energy wise. Like at the Alphawolf show, in the middle of the set, some guy just randomly does a backflip, like that’s insane! And we just bounced off that.
Chris, do any last words say about the band, the EP, any messages you want to get out to fans, or anything you want to say on behalf of the other Observist boys?
Basically, all I want to say is that we’ve put everything into this and we hope there’s a track on there for anybody who listens, there’s whole different meanings on all the tracks and it's an EP that basically has something on there for everybody.
I know all the other boys have worked hard and really want everyone to check it out and dig it, and come to the show and see us play and support us, and we also have some merch in the works that we hope people will dig.
We just want to say thank you to everyone that's helped us, and supported us through the whole transition and kicked us into gear. We’d like to thank Tim Price Collision Course, he's helped us a long way. Yeah, and we'd like to thank Hysteria, especially for the near the end of the year they’ve put us on to the Helloween Hysteria show, that's an insane show to get, so we are so keen to play that.
And we'll just like to thank everybody who supported us along the way.
OBSERVIST GIG DATES
ATLVS & Friends (In Vanity, Druid, Observist)
MELBOURNE/ Friday 18 June 2021/ Stay Gold
*new date* The Gloom In The Corner (W/ Starve & Observist)
MELBOURNE/ Friday 23rd July 2021/ Stay Gold
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