Thursday, 24 October 2013

TABERAH Interview

Tasmanian rock n' rollers TABERAH have just released their second album, Necromancer, and Absolute Power caught up with the boys before The Metal Evilution 10th Anniversary to discuss the journey so far, what's ahead, and to celebrate Balfour's work.

Absolute Power: With Necromancer, it has been a fairly long journey with recording and distribution. What was that experience like, how did it differ from the first record?

Jonathon: Heaps! It was completely different. With the first one we just recorded it, we did it as quickly as we could – we thought that was what you had to do.As soon as it was finished we pressed it and released it, we thought that you just get it out and you do shows to push it. We sold all of them in the end! We just did everything as quick as we could, we didn't know a lot about recording.

The songs we did – we were kids when we wrote them. We were learning as we did it so it didn't set the world on fire, but a few people really like it - they say it is better than the second one, but that's what you get, isn't it?

The first album got us connected with a few guys in the business like Stu Marshall, so when it came time to do the second one he wanted to master it. He heard it and really dug it so he hooked us up with Axel [of Rock N Growl], and that was months of sorting stuff out with him, then we signed a contract. Then it was finding a record label who wanted to do it – and then it took months with Dust On The Tracks.

It was frustrating for us because we were just young and keen, we had a really cool album and wanted to get it out there, but luckily we had those guys to tell us "Just take a step back and do this properly, give it promotion and hype and build it up."

They pushed it to corners of the Earth we had never even heard of - they've got the contacts to really do what we couldn't do and had no hope of doing. It has been a really professional learning curve for us doing the second one.

It is out now, selling really well, there are near perfect reviews coming from everywhere and we are ready to do the third one now, we'll probably get into the studio next weekend and start the click tracks and pre-production...see you in three years for the next one!

Absolute Power: So it has got pretty wide distribution?

Jonathon: Yeah, Dust on The Tracks is guys who used to be with SPV Records. So it is a new label, but it is old blood in it, so they know what they are doing. They've got worldwide distribution, it is all over Europe through Sony.

It's selling quite well I think. We haven't seen the figures yet, but I don't really care until I get the phone call saying I don't need to sell curtains anymore!

Absolute Power: One thing that is cool about this record is you've got Dying Wish on it, which is quite an old song...

Jonathon: Yeah it is an old song. And funnily enough we thought it wasn't good enough to go on the first one and kind of forgot about it until one day Myles said we should try playing it again and we practiced it and went "Wow, this is a really cool song!" so we brought it back and recorded it. It wasn't in the set originally for this tour but the reviews came back and Burning in the Moonlight and Dying Wish were people's favourite songs. So we'd been practicing this set for months and then we heard that these songs were popular so we had to change the set.

We'd worked on it for so long and then we had to change it anyway!

Absolute Power: Has it changed much from the original?

Jonathon: Not really, the structure is the same. A few words changed – when you are a kid you just sort of revert to the basic of the lyrics that you've heard, but as I've got older I like songs to get somewhere. The old one, the three verses basically said the same thing. Apart from that it is the same thing, same harmonies, same riffs.

Absolute Power: The album title changed from MMXII to Necromancer. Much of a story there?

As I was saying before, the time just kept going on. The plan was to release it on 21 December 2012, end of the world. We were going to market it like that was what the Mayans prophesied was us coming, it was going to be pretty cool - but then the Axel stuff was in the works and it got to June or something this year and Axel told us it was coming out in September.

Tom and I were talking and we just wanted a cool T-shirt design, something that people would just wear whether they liked the band or not, so I got my girlfriend Hannah to do us a t-shirt design – she is a tattoo artist who does neo-traditional type, day of the dead girls and I really dig that stuff, Tom's got them tattooed on his arm.

I gave her the song Necromancer and said "Can you read these lyrics and draw something?" and she came back with that and as soon as I saw the first draft I was like “Hey guys, this is pretty cool, we should change the name of the album."

That song stood out as one of the best songs on the album when it got done, then the artwork came back and we were thinking, "This is making the decision for us". You gotta let your gut instinct take over, so we scrapped the MMXII idea and went with Necromancer.

In our eyes, the album art looks sensational.

The original idea was like Van Halen released 1984 in 1984, but it wasn't meant to be - Necromancer was meant to be!

Absolute Power: Tonight's the Metal Evilution 10th Anniversary. You guys were originally brought out by Metropolis to do the MOTÖRHEAD supports, but you guys have since then done a fair few Metal Evilution gigs. So, what do you think of Dave's set-up and the Metal Evilution thing?

Jonathon: It is a thing, isn't it? I don’t know how to describe it. The bands that have been on it are all friends and everyone knows Balfour as just a genuine, cool dude. He is a promoter, but he isn't like any other promoter.

Myles: His heart is in it.

Jonathon: Yeah, his heart is definitely in it and it shows – his shows aren't the biggest, but they are the best, quality over quantity. And it is a shame he doesn't get bigger shows because he deserves it. I think if the masses saw the sort of shows he puts on, it could be completely different. His heart is in it and he is a genuine pleasure to work with and always has been. Metal Evilution is just this thing that everyone know is cool, bands want to play thee shows because they know it is going to be a tip-top night. We love it!

He really helped us get up here, we had all the shows planned, but we had no idea what we were doing. Balfour came along after he heard about us and checked us out and helped us out just getting a start and not many people do that anymore, they want you to be established and come to them, but Balfour came looking for us when we needed it.

Absolute Power: Is there any international stuff in the mix?

Jonathon: It is in the mix but we are just saving up now, trying to put the money together - play lots of shows, sell lots of merch, just pay! Axel can book us over there so the shows will be there when we need them, but it is just a cash thing - it is an expensive thing to travel with a band and tour the world. If there are big shows you have to buy on to play with the grand-daddy bands, which is an excellent way to do it but you aren't necessarily going to have the money when the time comes. All we are doing right now is working our arses off, so we'll have the money when the time comes to get to that next step.

*Interview edited for clarity and length.

No comments:

Post a Comment