Storm The Sky: Calm Before The Storm
Bursting out from the blocks as one of the first Aussie bands to release an album this side of the New Year, Storm The Sky are chuffed to be back in action like never before.
Much like the quiet night in that follows a bender of a weekend, Melbourne metalcore dudes Storm The Sky cooped themselves up for a large portion of last year. For a band that barely got off the road in 2013, having zig-zagged the nation with the likes of Oh, Sleeper, The Plot In You, and House VS Hurricane to name a few, it was a peculiar feeling.
“I did the maths, and by April of 2013 we’d already done four or five tours… but in 2014 by April we’d barely done four or five shows!” laughs co-frontman Will Jarratt. “It was a big change – the break was welcome for the first half of the year, but we started getting the show bug after a while. We were still keeping busy behind the scenes though, getting everything ready.”
Getting everything ready involved the completion of their debut album and the inking of a coveted deal with UNFD. Self-funded by the band before the negotiations began, Permanence is representative of the kind of determination and work ethic that has punctuated their career from the get-go, with the band having pulled out all the stops to jet-set their way to the US of A to record with producer Cameron Mizell.
“We’ve always been massive fans of Cameron’s work, with Woe, Is Me’s Numbers being a big one for us,” explains Jarratt. “We wanted something a bit less produced and more rocky and raw, and we definitely worked on that a lot with the guitar tone. And vocally, he’s not even human – he can come up with eight parts of harmonies for a chorus within minutes of listening to it and he pushed me to my absolute limit.”
Treading a brave ground between pop-infused metalcore and stadium rock, layered with dreamlike, shoegazey lead tones and dextrous interweaving of clean and heavy vocals, the sound of the album is designed to live up to the universal themes of its lyrical content.
“When I came into writing it I was in a darker place – not a depressive place, but a place of questioning what is the reason for me being here, and why is my existence important compared to seven billion other people. Almost an existentialism kind of thing. I came to the conclusion that individually we don’t really matter,
and the album is based on the feeling that if we can come together and push away the negative urges we face then our character can strengthen the people around us.”
Surely we can all agree that that’s a positive message, right? Unfortunately it’s easy for audiences to overlook such things when an internet shitstorm takes over. And take over it did, albeit only temporarily. The music video for the album’s lead single “Same Graves” depicted an antagonist who entraps a vulnerable boy with false acts of kindness, taking him captive and enforcing their beliefs upon him by beating him senseless with a holy book. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it had a few viewers up in arms – and it fell to Jarratt to set the record straight.
“The last thing we wanted was another god-bashing song!” emphasises Jarratt. “There was a lot of backlash, more than we expected, and that did hurt a little. I think a lot of people thought that the antagonist in the story was the way I view all Christians, or all religious people, but that’s definitely not the case! The way I was looking at it was that there are a lot of problems when people take any religion or set of beliefs and twist it and interpret it for their own gain – alienating people because of their sexuality and those kinds of things.
“Unfortunately some people are quick to dismiss songs with these kinds of messages as some kind of trend, but labelling it as a trend or having a fight about it is pointless to me – music is something that should be a cause for celebration.”