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Published on March 6th, 2011 | by Daniel Boyle

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Elysian

I just made Issue #11 of Capital Eyes, it features a couple of interviews I did with some friends of mine. It also is in a new style, I’ve halved the size for something a bit different.

Late last year Elysian played a show with Ignite The Ibex, who I interviewed a couple of weeks earlier for BMA. Nathan and Gabe are the brother guitarists of Elysian, and we have been friends for a long time now, probably about 15 years.
I caught up with them for an interview after the show

So you guys are finally together…how does feel to be in a band together?

G: Wow, we’re getting into the heavy stuff straight away!

N: It’s good, we’ve always jammed together, written stuff, but we’ve just been living in different places so never got the chance to do something together.

G: It was idea to get him in the band. I told him, you’ve got to be in this band. He said, I can’t be in the band, I can’t be in the band, so I told him he was in the band and he was in the band.

N: So then we trekked down to Melbourne and we started drafting people for the band.

G: We can yell and scream at each other, punch on. We’re the two most hot headed people in the band, got the Hutchinson flare, we can scream at each other, but the next day, we can wake up, get back into it, it doesn’t matter.

Did you have to move to Melbourne to get the band started?

G: Definitely. When I was first starting to think about it, it was between Brisbane or Melbourne. We thought Melbourne just had a much wider selection of venues.

N: Living in Melbourne you can play a range of shows at different places without overdoing it. A lot of bands overplay the same places over and over again. In Melbourne it seems you can play regularly without playing at the same place all the time.


That’s not how it works in Canberra…

G: Apart from the Melbourne shows, Fogs from Assidian, he hooks us up with some shows around the place

You guys are playing a lot of shows on this Harbingers of Storm tour. What’s a Harbinger?

G: It’s a bringer.

N: I think it came around, Alice Through The Windshield Glass, every time they tour, it pisses down rain. Funnily enough, when this tour got announced, the floods started. We’re playing in Wagga tomorrow. Hopefully we can get in there, the venue we’re playing at actually got flooded.

How would you describe your sound?

G: A simple term to describe it would be melodic death metal. We draw a lot from progressive rock influences, we try and focus our songs around heavy vibes and mood, rather than playing fast and tech. I wouldn’t call us a typical progressive band, with millions of different time signatures, but the song structures they way the songs go, some of them, they’re a real journey.

What are the main places you play in Melbourne?

The Espy, The Arthouse, The Tote, these random youth centres in the burbs, weird clubs. Anywhere we can. There’s still plenty more places to play.

Have you guys had any international supports yet?

N: No we haven’t done any yet.

G: Yes we have (laughing). We played with this band called Death Vomit, from Indonesia. That was a disaster. It just wasn’t our show. People were looking at us, where’s the blastbeats, play faster. We travelled to Sydney for it, there were about ten people there, and all these grind heads, old death metal guys, they weren’t into us at all.

How’d you like the show tonight?

Yeah it was good, awesome. Everytime we come to Canberra we get a great reception. I think Canberra is really starved for some new bands.

Do you think people are still holding on to the Shigella legacy?

N: No, I don’t think people remember my old band at all. I’m sure the people watching had no idea about what my old band was about. It was just like Cannibal Corpse Junior, and no one cares really.

G: Shigella were cool, they were cool at the time. That was before the resurgence of death metal hadn’t happened yet. This whole deathcore thing wasn’t even around yet. They were doing blasts and things and this was impressive to people. If you look at it now, compared to some of the bands going around, it seems pretty simple.

N: We were sweep picking and things, when nu metal was still the big thing.

You guys had a big turnout at Metal for The Brain in 2006

We had a bit of a buzz going, there were plenty of people watching there.

I think I was at the first Shigella show, with two singers.

G: Yeah, me too.

N: Oh man, that was horrible, we were just making it up as we went along. I pretty much learnt metal guitar, because I had joined a metal band.

Have you guys ever played in a band together before?

G: We played in a covers band in high school, well it was Nathan’s band, Seraphim but I filled in on bass a few times.

I was at the first show of that band to… I reckon that was one of my early favourite bands. I heard you on the community radio once..playing All Along The Watchtower I think.

N: We used to win all these battle of the bands, because the old blokes loved us. We would playing Hendrix, or Led Zeppelin, they were into it.

How does being from Bega affect your music?

N: I reckon it does, definitely. You’re not really influenced…you’ve got no idea what anyone else is listening to, no idea what the trends are. Especially with metal, you just look in a magazine. I used to just order things from catalogues that sounded cool. That’s how I got into stuff like At The Gates, In Flames, that kind of thing. You’re just into what you’re into. When you’re in a small country town, it’s probably just you and two other guys, you don’t really care if that’s the in thing.

G: You are isolated, that’s for sure. Especially for us growing up, there was no myspace, no youtube, there was no connection. That’s what I noticed when I first went to Brisbane. There were a whole lot of bands, they just wanted to sound like Strapping Young Lad. They all looked the same, they all had the same vibe. When you go to cities, you’re so impressionable, in a country town, you’re brain isn’t as bombarded. You search harder for things. I remember sitting by the radio ready to tape songs, watching late night Rage if there was going to be a new Deftones song.

Do you still have your Hanson tape?

G: laughs

N: No, I don’t have the Hanson tape. I gave it to Vivien Irving, for free.

G: laughs more.

Do either of you have any of your tapes left from your original collections? I’ve been listening to a lot of silverchair on tape lately.

N: I think I’ve still got a Foo Fighters tape. Nirvana- Nevermind, a bunch of mixtapes, or copied tapes from my mates.

What do you hope to do…what’s the goal with the band?

We want to go as far as we can. In the forseeable future we just want to play as much as we can in Australia. Just bombard places. We want to play so much that people have no choice but to take notice of us. Hopefully the right people do…we definitely want to play somewhere overseas within a year or two. Fogs has been talking about a tour to Japan. Just want to drop another plug there for Fogs, he’s our booking agent/manager with Assidian.

What do you think of the Australian metal scene at the moment?

N: I reckon it’s bigger than ever. Look at the stuff that’s popular at the moment. It’s stuff with distorted guitars and screaming music, whether it be death metal, deathcore, hardcore, it’s all metal. The hardcore kids might not agree…Metal’s the biggest it’s been since the 80s.

G: Metal’s big at the moment, but I really question the uniqueness sometimes. That’s why I really like Ignite The Ibex, it draws heavily from Meshuggah, but it’s different. No one else is playing that style in Australia.

N: When I go out, it’s often just another band that looks and sounds like Parkway Drive. A lot of them are just young kids though, and in the end, they’re playing metal.

G: We complained for so long that there wasn’t enough metal, now it’s a big deal and people complain that there’s too many copy cat bands. A lot of the time I’m disappointed when I see bands. Some that I really dig are Belakor and Ignite The Ibex. Apart from that there’s not that much I’m impressed with at the moment.

What do you expect this tour to bring you? What’s the Harbinger bringing?

N: Hopefully just a couple more gigs where people hear us and enjoy it. If we can just get that connection where people enjoy it, that’s enough for me.

G: You can tell when people are genuinely digging it.

Do you have anything else to add?

G: I’m getting sued. A motorcycle t-boned me in Lismore three years ago. It wasn’t my fault either, but I didn’t have the money, the time or the know how, so they won the case. Our band also really enjoys pulling faces on stage.

Why do you have a mohawk when everyone else in the band has the Scandinavian Metal Look?

N: It’s because he hasn’t got the perseverance and patience to grow his hair long.

G: Well that explains the short hair, but this particular mohawk…

Was it because your mum was coming tonight?

N: We didn’t know Mum and Dad were coming tonight actually.

G: This particular mohawk, I watched an interview with Phil from Pantera, he had a mohawk. You could argue he’s just as metal as any of those other guys. When people say that’s not a very metal haircut I’ll tell them Phil from Pantera thinks it’s alright.

N: He’s pretty much the most metal guy ever actually.

N: My hair is pretty much what Phil’s hair used to be. If I didn’t have this hair, I’d have no idea what to do on stage.


About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.



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