Hello, Chimera readers, Tom here, and with an interview by up and coming Aussie band, As Paradise Falls. Hopefully by now you have read the review of their album, Digital Ritual, gone and listened to it, and been blown away by their sound. The following is a 10 question interview that we conducted via e-mail.
Chimera (Tom) – As you’re a relatively new band, why don’t we start off with telling us how you guys got started?
Danny – We’ve actually been around in the underground scene in Australia for a while, it’s just taken us a while to find our sound and get the right team of band members behind it. Obviously with the passing of our guitarist Glen Barrie, we had to take a time out to try and level ourselves and come to terms with what had gone on, complete the mixing and mastering and all that stuff, but we have come out stronger than ever and been able to push this album to a much wider audience. We started about 6 years ago, jamming with different members, writing songs, playing shows under the name of ‘As Paradise Falls’. Playing shows is what basically introduced all the members and landed us in a band together as we have all been in other bands and played together etc, however I am the original member of ‘As Paradise Falls’ from its inception so its cool to have all the boys on board to create our ‘dream team’ of members haha.
Chimera (Tom) – On your Facebook page it says, quoting Danny here, “I never thought we’d get a record deal because of Spotify…but that’s kind of how it happened.” Spotify is actually how I discovered the band, thanks in no small part to my girlfriend Jen. Do you think, that as time goes on, that more bands will get deals due to being on Spotify, Amazon, Itunes, etc?
Danny – Yeah dude 100%. The music industry evolves so fast that you have to keep up with what’s going on. The way people are consuming music these days has a priority of sheer ease of accessibility because it’s just way more efficient in the fast paced modern society. This is a blessing, and a curse for bands… It pushes bands to write better quality music, have better production, and have to find the perfect way to market and find your fans. I think this will benefit labels and give bands the opportunity to get themselves a good deal because after all, analytics do not lie when it comes to streaming and sales.
Chimera (Tom) – Almost 2 years ago Glen Barrie passed away, I know it’s been a bit but my condolences to you all and his family. Leaving his guitar parts on the album was an awesome move also. When that happened was there ever a time when you said, “Damn I don’t know if we should move on without him.”? And how much of an impact did the loss of a founding member make on the bands sound going forward?
Danny – Yeah there is definitely that conversation that happens between the members and it is exactly what happened with us. We got home and gave ourselves some time to grieve and we basically met up for a chat and talked it out. There was no way the band could part, we wanted to drive forward as music is our passion, pushing Glens legacy added fuel to the fire as I know music was his passion too. In my mind, there was no other thing to do other than push As Paradise Falls to the next level and show the world our musical vision.
Going forward, Glen inspired me on everything I did and I learnt a lot from him. He was known as one of the shreddiest guitarists out there and the most amazing player. Every day that I write music I have Glen in mind, the vision of diverse heavy metal music we spoke about in the forefront of my mind every single time. So Im confident we can keep evolving and have all elements of Glens inspiration intact.
Chimera (Tom) – Musically, Digital Ritual, has a lot to offer listeners. Heavy guitars, melodies, vocals that range from lows to highs, dirty to clean. How do you guys write? All in a room, or do you write songs individually and bring them in for discussion?
Danny – Generally, I would be the main songwriter creating structures, whole songs and direction. Then I would present a demo to the band that I record in my home studio setup, we would pick it apart for its weakness’ if any, riffs from other members would float in, maybe a re-structure if really need be etc. Once we have a solid song, then we build on it in the rehearsal room to see how it feels in a live environment and then its ready for pre pro and then ultimately studio time with Shaun writing all lyrics during this process or prior to it.
Chimera (Tom) – What influences did you have growing up? Who made you want to pick up your instrument, and how did they affect the way you look at music?
Danny – Growing up the only reason I picked up a guitar is because me and my friends back in the UK wanted to make a band at the start of high school, so I chose guitar and then a whole world opened up to me. At the start I had a bit of a fascination for Slash and then Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold, which then led me on a path to Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Matt & Corey of Trivium and eventually to the heaviest of music like Meshuggah and Suicide Silence. Over the years I feel my musical vocabulary has expanded phenomenally with a broad taste and an openness to most music. I started with the love of fast and technical guitar playing and then becoming more fascinated in the concept of songwriting and creating an experience with music.
Chimera (Tom) – Australia has produced some great bands over the years, and not just in the metal genre. Inxs, Parkway Drive, Midnight Oil, I Killed The Prom Queen, and those are just a few that stick out in my mind. Is it something about being from that part of the world that affects songwriting?
Danny – I am actually originally from Manchester England and came to Australia at about 17 years of age. But even in the UK I had heard of a lot of great aussie bands, Parkway Drive, I Killed The Prom Queen, The Red Shore, Wish For Wings etc and they definitely inspired my songwriting, particularly Parkway Drive & I Killed The Prom Queen.
Chimera (Tom) – What are your goals for the band? Do you plan to do this as a permanent career?
Danny – One of the main goals from this band for every member involved is to travel the world as a professional band/musician. We’ve had a taste of this whether it is as individuals filling in for other bands or the band as a whole and it is something we aspire to do. To be able to travel the world and share the music you’ve poured your life into with your fans supporting you is a dream we will turn into a reality.
Chimera (Tom) – Now that the album has been released, what’s next; any chance that you will make it over here to the US for some touring?
Danny – We would love to head over to the USA. We were surprised with the response we have had with the USA fans, it’s been great! Basically keep following us and sharing our socials especially Spotify and any of our music and then we know where we’re heading to next!
Chimera (Tom) –A lot of people love to hear about stage mishaps. It helps fans realize that we are all human, we all make mistakes, and that sometimes shit happens to even those of us that are professional entertainers. What is the worst thing that has happened to you onstage?
Danny – Luckily enough I don’t have too many of these stories to share, however there are a select few times that things have gone tits up for me on stage haha. We had a photoshoot during the day, outdoors in the Australian summer and then a show that evening. During the show I just felt completely out of it, hot as hell and dehydrated, however still busting my ass to put on a show. As I am headbanging during a heavy section of the song I basically loose my balance and fall back into my cab nearly knocking the thing over. Luckily enough I made a quick recovery however it was a very noticeable part of the set haha.
Chimera (Tom) – Last thing…what kind of gear are you using? 6 or 7 string guitars? And what tuning do you use? I play guitar, and I would have loved it when I was coming up if more bands mentioned what tuning they use, that way I can learn stuff by ear, and anyone else who likes the music as well.
Danny – We’re running 6-Strings in Drop A. I have an Ibanez RGA series and Jimmy runs a Schecter guitar. Both guitars run into AxeFx 2, Line 6 wireless units, Furman power conditioners and then through JBL powered speakers and I love these rigs. Light, portable, consistent and sound amazing especially on the road. We run pro tools from a Macbook with a solid state drive for all of our ambience and any samples and we also have it set up so the pro tools changes the patches for our tones live meaning we can focus 100% on playing and putting on a show for our fans, no tap dancing on stage with maximum maneuverability which is great for us!
I wanna thank Danny Kenneally, guitarist and founding member of As Paradise Falls, for taking the time to answer these questions, and Chris for setting this up; readers, go out and check out As Paradise Falls. As I said in my review, they are kick ass, and you will not be disappointed that you gave them a listen. Then, go out, and spread the word!!!!