Psycroptic – Tech Metal Evolved

Sunday, 15th March 2015

Dead Rhetoric: This is your first record with Prosthetic. How did you end up joining forces with them?

Haley: It’s been in the talks for a while. I remember the name coming up a few years ago. With the last album, The Inherited Repression, it just seemed like the interest with Nuclear Blast and ourselves just went separate ways. I don’t think it was pushed particularly well; no hard feelings or anything, but they had a different frame of mind and so did we. It’s a lot bigger label, and you are lumped in with these huge bands, which are obviously a much bigger priority. It’s cool to be on a label like that, but if you are not going to get any priority, it’s a bit tricky. I think with Prosthetic we are on the same page with a lot of things, and the bands on their roster and the history with them, it all looked really good. They showed a lot of interest; they are a smaller label but you get a bit more priority and it seemed like a better move for us. We are pretty happy with it.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve written tablature books for the last two albums. Where does the motivation come to get these out, and are you going to be doing one for the new album as well?

Haley: Yeah, I’ve actually just finished doing the new one. I should get that one out in the next couple of weeks. I just have to do a few finishing things, like the layout. I’ve done the guitar tabs and the bass tabs as well, so there will be two for this one. I wasn’t sure how they were going to go initially. The first one I did, it was more ‘like let’s do it and see how it goes.’ It’s with a company called Lulu, where you don’t have to outlay any money; you just upload your pdfs and they give you your cut. It’s a pretty good deal so I figured I’d try it with The Inherited Repression and it went really well. There was a lot of interest in it so I did the Ob(Servant) one after that. I pretty much knew as we were writing that I was going to do another one. The interest seems to be there, so it’s cool.

Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been getting more involved with production recently, is this something you’d like to do more of in the future?

Haley: I’ve actually been doing it over the couple of few years, but within the last year it has taken off a little bit. I’ve been doing more production and engineering for a few local bands and a few interstate bands that have been coming down. I’ve done some mixing for some overseas bands too. It’s going pretty well; I’m always learning and it’s always fun. With the Psycroptic stuff, I kind of started with Symbols of Failure and was totally green. But since then, I’ve kind of been doing them; I didn’t mix Ob(Servant), we got Logan Mader to do that one, but the last two, I’ve mixed those. So it’s something that’s slowly starting to turn into my job, which I’m pretty happy about.

Dead Rhetoric: Being able to produce your own stuff, do you think that gives you an added level of control to the way that you want it to sound?

Haley: Yeah, it’s been out of our hands with some albums in the past that we didn’t mix. Unless you have total control over it, it’s hard to convey to people exactly how you want things. Within the band, we are all on the same page with how we want things to sound. It just makes things a lot easier and it’s another element for the band that you can keep in-house. You can save a lot of costs and it’s one more thing that you can have control over. It’s been really helpful to be doing that for ourselves. We all have our own little jobs in the band that help keep it all in-house.

Dead Rhetoric: I’ve seen that Psycroptic have been trying to help out the Tasmanian devils on a few occasions. Is this your way of trying to give back to the area?

Haley: The Tazzy Devil has been our unofficial mascot since the beginning. It’s a really unfortunate situation anyway; they are all dying out and we don’t really know how to stop it. It’s pretty crazy, something like 97% of them have died out, so whatever we can do to help we will. It’s tricky because they don’t know what to do in order to stop it. Once they are gone, they are gone.

Dead Rhetoric: Do people hunt them or are they just thinning out?

Haley: It’s a cancer that has developed. They don’t know where it’s come from. It’s some sort of face cancer [transmitted through blood], so whenever they are fighting each other, they are giving it to one another. It started off really quick. The main plan is that they are trying to take all the ones that are okay and keep them away. I think they are trying to take them to their own little habitat on some islands and just separate them so it doesn’t happen. It’s tricky, I forget exactly how it works, but I think that even if you take them away as a baby, it’s something that can lie dormant so you don’t actually know [if they have it] so they can still give it to others without even knowing.

Dead Rhetoric: It seems like Psycroptic was one of the first real international bands to emerge from the Australian scene. How do you think the world-view of metal in the area has changed since you started?

Haley: It’s picked up a lot more. When we started, a bit earlier in the Internet days, there wasn’t really Facebook or Myspace kicking around. There wasn’t much networking happening, so in the beginning, we just took a punt at it. No one had really heard of metal bands from Australia. But now, it’s picked up with Facebook and the connectivity around the world. There’s heaps of Australian bands getting out there and getting onto the touring scene and doing well with it all.

Dead Rhetoric: How does the scene in Tasmania compare with mainland Australia?

Haley: In Tasmania, there’s a decent scene. There are a lot of really good metal bands. It’s just that little bit of water between here and mainland Australia that can impose on a lot of people. So it’s a pretty internal scene, but there’s a gig every weekend it seems like. So there are a lot of bands kicking around locally, but it’s tricky for them to get out and tour, especially when starting up. It’s not as simple as just driving to the next city; you have to have a bit of cash behind you to start. It’s a plane flight essentially, to get to Melbourne or anywhere. So your costs are ridiculously expensive, and that can be hard on bands that are just starting out. But slowly, there are a few local bands that are starting to travel around Australia and a few other things.

Dead Rhetoric: So what does the rest of 2015 look like for you guys?

Haley: Hopefully lots of touring, and touring some places we haven’t been before. Hopefully get over to the States a bit later on in the year. Each year we try to get at least one or two international tours in, but with the new album out we want to try to push it a bit more. So we’ll be concentrating on doing as much touring as we can.

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