INTERVIEW: In Hearts Wake – Groezrock 2017

We met up with Jake Taylor (vocals) and Ben Nairne (Guitar) from the AusSIE METALcore band ‘In Hearts Wake’ for a chat about their latest album release ‘ark’, sustainable instruments and the great barrier reef.

So you’re from Australia, is there a difference in the audience at shows from over there to here in Europe?

Yeah there’s a little difference, but music does break down language barriers and that’s the beautiful thing about it. But when you’re at a festival it’s different, you find out the europeans are allowed to be a lot drunker, lay around and just like hangout, whereas in Australia there will be a security guard dragging and kicking people out. But I do think the europeans are a little less concerned about what they look like. They kind of handle it better than Australians. I feel like the Australian festival goers get really drunk and do stupid things. People here might be really drunk but just look like they are having a good time, from what I’ve seen anyway.

If you had to pitch your band to a new audience, how would you describe In Hearts Wake?

I’d say we’re conscious, melodic, metalcore and I don’t need to say it but anyone who comes out can feel that they really pick up on the energy we put out. We’re pretty smiley on stage and actually enjoy it. We’re not serious like “raw! we’re a tough band” we play tough heavy music but we really enjoy it. We just jam out and we jam out with each other and the crowd and we do generally have a good time and people pick up on that and start smiling back.

Do you ever get nervous before you go on stage?

Only when it’s a hometown show in Byron bay or if it’s like a massive show. We played Leipzig (Germany) a couple of weeks ago for Impericon fest, I think it was like 10,000 people and when we played it was about 6,000 but there was a lot of people. I felt a little bit nervous but once you start playing and everything is working, the nerves go away.

Are you excited to be here alongside your Aussie neighbours Parkway Drive?

Always! Yeah, also the fact that they’re headlining tomorrow!

Are you sticking around for them?

We’re playing Munich tomorrow unfortunately. They’re coming at 6pm tonight though so they’ll watch us play.

In a perfect world, if there were no limits, what would your ambitions for your band be?

I would like to make feature films. I would like to make a change in the world, like a real difference. I don’t know to what extent we could do, but just if we could do something where hundreds of thousands of people doing it that would be amazing. I mean musically we could take it anywhere we want but in terms of doing crazy out there things that’s the two things I’d love to do.

What kind of changes do you want to drive?

Environmental changes. How people live, their carbon footprint in general, how we can limit the impact we have on the world but do it without suffering and making a sacrifice, more of a way to enjoy our life here on earth and just prolong our existence.

Have you considered musical activism?

We’ve done plenty of that before and for one of our albums which we released a few years ago, we planted a tree in a community in Australia and we ended up planting a few thousand trees. With this record, instead of doing instore signings as we would normally do we decided to cut that out and bring our fans, family and friends to specific locations around Australia where the waterways are polluted and we’re going to be doing marine and reef clean ups, because our planet is 71% carbonated water, our blood is 90% water, we are essentially water. We came from the sea and so we want to acknowledge the sea and do our best to remove plastic and rubbish and it really helps the whole marine ecosystem.

Wow! What an inspiring idea. The great barrier reef off the coast in Australia is also currently being destroyed.

The great barrier reef is catastrophically bad and we’re going to have no fish in the next 50 years if we’re not careful. So we do what we can, we’d love to do it on an astronomic level. We’re looking to do one in the UK and Europe too but we’re sticking to Australia for now.

Does any of your political and economical drive influence your song writing process?

Lyrically yes, musically not so much. I guess it does in a way, you kind of want your music to have a big strong ethic feel to it which encourages .. to write the rest of it as well.

Have you ever thought about how your instruments are made?

No. Well, we have a ESP and Mapex, if you want a signature model i’m sure these guys would love to do sustainable wooden instruments but when you’re at the level that we’re at you don’t have so much of a choice. It’s actually something cool to think about, at the moment I wish I had the money to go out and source all of these sustainable products. But we do what we can, like wear organic cotton and hemp shirts. It’s hard to be neutral completely, if we wanted to be here, we had to drive here, we couldn’t sail ourselves over by boat. We just do what we can and you have to give back as much as you can.

‘Ark’ is now available to purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

So you’re releasing ‘Ark’ on May 26th, tell us about it!

The concept is about the earth being a ship and every woman, every child, every man, everything that we know is on this ship and it poses the question of who is steering this ship? And the answer is there is no one person and even if one person could steer it it’s about at a team, a collective and about humanity steering it as a whole and we feel that’s not happening right now, we don’t have a global stewardship and so we’re just drawing attention to that’s our theme and our message, so water and the ocean is an ongoing theme.

Will you be touring the UK to promote ‘Ark’?

We’re hoping to be back here later in the year in Europe and the UK in October to promote ‘Ark’.

Are you already playing the songs live?

Just one. We’re playing ‘Warcry’ which was the first single we released about a month ago. A lot of people have been asking us to play ‘Passage’ but we only released it a few days ago and we thought we’d just leave it until October.

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FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ‘In Hearts Wake’ —> Official Website // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

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Interview by Kaori Manz and Hannah Smith.