In the ironic wake of ‘Skydancer’, In Hearts Wake make their Download debut on the crest of a wave. Following 2014’s ‘Earthwalker’ with its lofty other half, transforming metalcore into a larger-than-life conceptual venture has come naturally to the boys from Byron Bay, Austrlia.
Following their Maverick stage opener, Already Heard caught a few minutes with guitarist Eaven Dall and bassist and clean vocalist Kyle Erich to talk Australian bands, the influences behind their game-changing ideas and what they see in the band’s future.
AH: Hey guys, how’re you doing today?
Kyle Erich: Awesome!
Eaven Dall: A little sniffly, I’m a little bit sick, under the weather, but I’m okay.
AH: How’s it feel being in the European home of rock and metal for the first time?
Kyle: Awesome! We’re psyched to be here at Download, it’s fun!
Eaven: We’ve been hearing about it for so long and we finally get to play it, it’s awesome.
AH: I was just talking to some others about it too, you guys don’t get many platforms like this in Australia, do you?
Kyle: Well we have Soundwave… that’s it! Download’s the closest thing to it and there was one called Big Day Out, but that’s gone now.
Eaven: Soundwave is great fun though, but nowhere near the magnitude of this!
Kyle: This one’s pretty safe!
AH: Sorry about the rain though!
Kyle: Well apparently it’s not Download if it doesn’t rain…
Eaven: I’ve been told it’s called Drownload? Downpour, all those bad jokes!
AH: Now your set this morning was incredible, not just because of the crowd you brought in from the rain, but what advice would you give to a first time festivalgoer?
Kyle: Well we were first time Download festival-goers! Have fun I guess!
Eaven: We’re still trying to figure that one out!
Kyle: Umm, bring a poncho? We’ve had a couple of drinks, we’re hanging out now, it’s a good atmosphere. Just soak it in, enjoy it, it’s a festival, anything goes, keep it real!
Eaven: Yeah, we’ll probably go and have a wander around in a bit.
AH: You guys looking to catch anyone else on the bill today?
Eaven: We’re playing in France tomorrow so unfortunately we’re not gonna be around for Muse. I’d really like to see Muse, I’ve heard they’re fantastic live.
Kyle: Faith No More, I’d love to see them. And our friends Northlane, Hands Like Houses!
Eaven: Yeah, we’ll stick around for those.
AH: You Australian guys keep a tight ship, you stick together!
Kyle: Everyone knows each other!
Eaven: Yeah, well in Australia, the population’s not that big so…
Kyle: We literally turned up here at Download yesterday, walked in and ran into Hands Like Houses, Northlane, all of that lot!
Eaven: Yeah, all of a sudden it was just “boom!” all in one place!
AH: So let’s talk about ‘Skydancer’ then, it’s a really fitting follow-up to ‘Earthwalker’, the tracks merge together so well. How do you keep up that continuity in a two-parter?
Kyle: Well when we wrote it and recorded it, it was meant to be a continuation from ‘Earthwalker’. I’m glad you’ve taken that from it because that’s what it was always meant to be, it’s two different sides to a story.
Eaven: But it’s all part of the same thing.
Kyle: It’s nice to have it all out because it was great having ‘Earthwalker’ out, but now the whole story’s out, we’re just stoked that it’s all out there for people.
Eaven: It was hard keeping it a secret as well. I told my parents and a few people but that’s it.
AH: It’s a testament to you guys that you’re doing what you love, you’re not following trends.
Kyle: Well it’s always been about the music, for me!
AH: Even that title track was the real kick this genre needed. Are you aiming for world domination, changing the genre?
Eaven: We just wanna spread our message really.
Kyle: I honestly don’t think we can write something that we think is gonna be awesome, we try to write something that we enjoy listening to and we enjoy playing, so whatever comes of that, comes of that. You can’t really do too much about that. I wouldn’t wanna hate what I do just to make money.
Eaven: Yeah, it doesn’t become fun, we’re all friends travelling the world with each other playing the music we enjoy listening to. It’s a good deal! Best job I ever had!
AH: What’s your view on Gene Simmons’ comments that rock is dead?
Kyle: He doesn’t know what he’s talking about! He’s here somewhere, I’m gonna have to find him, let him know that it’s still going!
Eaven: Metal’s evolving, some people are stuck in their ways.
Kyle: I do like KISS, I’m disappointed to hear that, Gene… I’ll forgive you because you’re a legend! Maybe that means the next album’s gonna be pop, if they have one.
AH: If you could bring any band on tour with you, supporting you or headlining over you, who would you bring along?
Eaven: I’d probably just say our mates! Northlane boys or something like that!
AH: Anyone you’d bring back from the dead?
Eaven: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye!
AH: So we know a setlist will never please everyone because things get missed out. What’s one track you wish would make a setlist?
Kyle: I really like ‘Winterfell’ from ‘Divination’, I feel like it’s probably never going to make it again. Now that we’ve got two albums out after it, is it gonna make it?
Eaven: Maybe on the ten year anniversary!
Kyle: I mean, if all of our fans really want it and came to us with a load of…
Eaven: Like the horde from the north!
Kyle: Yeah, you’ve gotta play your singles and stuff you made for music videos.
Eaven: It’s tough as well because we were quite young when we wrote and recorded that and as you grow up, naturally your music progresses as well. So you want to put your best foot forward by putting out newer songs and the ones we feel strongly about.
Kyle: We love it though.
Eaven: I thoroughly enjoy that song.
AH: In that case, if you could go back to any one of your albums to re-record things, which would you revisit?
Kyle: ‘The Gateway’! Back in the day… I wasn’t even on it, but I’d do it again, bring it back!
Eaven: We were like sixteen when we did that. We were still in school when we did that.
Kyle: I wasn’t even in the band!
AH: That must’ve been a strange situation to record in, given you were in school, you don’t even know yourself at that age, do you?
Eaven: Yeah, you’re so influenced by your peers.
Kyle: Yeah, As I Lay Dying had nothing to do with that record at all…
AH: Who was your most crucial musical influence growing up?
Kyle: I think the first song I ever played live was Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name. That’s the first time I ever sang anything live. Everyone starts playing covers, but that was one of my favourite moments as a musician.
Eaven: I was more into heavier things like Underoath, so I’d have to go with them.
AH: If there’s one venue you still haven’t played yet, where would you most like to play?
Kyle: Wembley Stadium! That’d be nice!
Eaven: Or the Pavilion in Australia.
Kyle: We kind of played a venue recently that was like a big deal for us. The Roundhouse in Sydney. That would’ve been our answer up until about a month ago. There’s this venue in America called Chain Reaction, there’s a lot of history at that place so that’d be a cool place to play, I’ve seen a lot of videos of bands playing live, I’d love to play out there.
Eaven: Download main stage!
’Skydancer’ by In Hearts Wake is out now on UNFD.
View more of Already Heard’s coverage of Download Festival 2015 here.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)