Whenever a new band appears on the scene scrutiny and criticism abounds, especially when said band features members from groups gone by. Just look at The Drift who have been under the hairy eyeball for a while (hopefully our review of Dreams of Deluge has eased your mind). But this article isn’t about The Drift…
SUBVERS is a four-piece straddling the lines of industrial metal and goth rock who have just recently emerged on the scene with their demo track “Flatline” and have already managed to impress enough to have earned a slot at Summerfest ’14! Metal4Africa got in touch with the band and had a brief chat with frontman, Matthew Miller (center) and guitarist, Malcolm McArb (left), about the band’s launch, their influences, past experience and debut showcase gig later this week.
M4A: In the band’s bio you mention the members’ varying musical backgrounds, and your influences are eclectic to say the least. Do you feel the band is pushing a unique sound?
Matthew: The band started out as aiming to be an industrial metal band, however we could not keep the other types of music we love from creeping in and adding their own nuances to the songs.
Malcolm: Any combination of influences is unique, unless you’re a tribute band or very genre specific. I believe we have a certain way of utilizing the sounds so whilst there are evident aspects of those bands our sound is varied.
M4A: And where do you think SUBVERS will fit in the local music scene?
Malcolm: It’s versatile; so we’re able to perform alongside a wider range of bands than, say, technical death metal. We’re loud and aggressive but also have slightly less bombastic moments so we could easily share a stage with most metal, rock, industrial or goth bands.
Matthew: We’re hoping to reach a wide spectrum of listeners within the local alternative scene. The songs are very heavy at times, yet retain a certain catchy sensibility and we think that will appeal to many. We feel that there is a large gap for the type of music we create. We’re not too worried about playing with bands who sound exactly like us but rather ones who are professional, work hard and like to have fun.
M4A: Let’s talk a little about your first single, “Flatline”. While it’s still only a demo, feedback has been good and it sounds really well produced. What went into the recording and can we expect more soon?
Matthew: First came a rough scratch recording which we used to write the synth backing with help from our good friend Stephen Green of Axxon. Later, once we had recruited our drummer, Daniel, we booked a day of recording at Paris Studios and laid down the drums, guitars and vocals. The mastering was done by the band with help from Stephen again. We aim to record a second single to be released early next year in time for Summerfest!
Malcolm: The bare bones of “Flatline” actually came together fairly quickly in the writing process. Everyone contributed and after quite a lengthy preproduction phase, we hit the studio. We’re very pleased with the result, but it’s still demo quality. We have chosen the next song for similar treatment to be out early next year.
M4A: You’re choosing to “launch” the band with an unsupported showcase gig at Mercury Live this Wednesday. What brought about this decision?
Malcolm: We had always planned to do an official launch at an established event. Bearing in mind that our “official launch” would have been early in 2014 come hell or high water, we decided on creating an event in which we could control all aspects of how we were first perceived. By hosting a showcase launch, we are able to present the band in ideal conditions – the right venue, lighting and sound. We chose Mercury Live in Cape Town as it best suits our needs for such a show and we have invited all our friends, family and members of the media and music industry. But the invitation extends to anyone reading this – the more the merrier! It promises to be a night to remember…
M4A: And after this initial launch, what are SUBVERS‘ plans for the future?
Malcolm: We have plans to record – we’d like as many people as possible to hear and enjoy our music. We’re also planning a number of strategic gigs to bring our music to as many people as possible in the new year.
Matthew: Well, we are going to work very hard in preparation for Summerfest to put on a kickass performance. We’re also going to hit the studio early next year to put out our next single to get people hyped up for the show. Also, we have a few ideas in store to make our stage show something to remember. Further down the line we plan on releasing an EP with more songs.
M4A: What about the different members’ experience in past bands? Obviously sounding very different to what is on display in SUBVERS, do you think the knowledge gained from previous projects can be used effectively in this new context? Or does a new sound necessitate new perspective?
Matthew: This will be my first performing band in which I’m responsible for a large portion of the song writing. The previous projects I’ve been involved in have prepared me for the playing on a stage aspect. Naturally, any show experience helps, but it’s definitely going to be interesting seeing how people react to the material and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully more of the former.
Malcolm: Any and all experience influences what anyone creates; our experience shapes our ability to write, record or perform in the way we do. Having been in a number of bands before, I think experience in those bands has definitely contributed to the way I have approached the making of music, and the proof of the pudding must lie in the eating.
Listen to “Flatline” by SUBVERS below and check out the Facebook event for their showcase gig here: