For the hardcore hellions in Queensland outfit Wildheart, the sky really is the limit. Not only are they set to tear shit up at next year’s monolithic UNIFY Gathering, but they’re set to do so with a whole album of intensely ferocious mosh anthems.
Today’s the big day for Wildheart – the day they officially unveil to the world their powerfully punchy, poignant and polarising debut album, Global Crisis. This is it, boys, there’s no turning back now. The album will officially land on Friday, November 5th via Collision Course and MGM. And we say it’s polarising not in the sense that Global Crisis is a bad album, or one that’s off-putting; rather, it’s polarising because deals with some very heavy, very sober issues – issues that need to be paid attention to, and could certainly use the platform and audience that a band like Wildheart can give them.
On previous offerings, the band have drawn their ire towards the Australian government’s mismanagement – and oftentimes outright dismissal – of Indigenous fire-management skills. They’ve touched on Indigenous rights (frontman Axel Best hails from the Yugambeh tribe himself) and about the destructive greed of capitalism. They’ve also looked inwards with no holds barred, examining the self with a brutally bitter eye and penning cuts tackling themes of mental health and self-worth with no sugar to coat. And as its title and cover art both make explicitly clear, Global Crisis certainly won’t shy away from those uncomfortable topics.
But of course, all the heavy stuff is spun through a web of beautifully brutal riffs, mind-bending melodies and pummelling percussion – so although Wildheart certainly want you to face the harsh realities of, well, reality, they also just want to make you jam out and have a sick time listening to them. Today they do that with the fourth single from Global Crisis, ‘Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless’, which also serves as the album’s explosive closer. In the words of Best himself, the new track is “one of the more melodic songs we have written and is probably one of the darkest [on Global Crisis].”
Wildheart have given BLUNT the incredible privilege of not only announcing Global Crisis, but also premiering ‘Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless’ and its accompanying film – a stunning, cinematic gem of visual art brought to life by Daniel Ramsey of SP\LIT Media. Take a look at the clip below, then read on for our exclusive interview with Best, plus the cover art for Global Crisis and its tracklist!
Where did the concept for ‘Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless’ come from?
We have always written about mental health issues from day one, and this track is just a continuation of that. The narrative is about someone trying to deal with the feeling of emptiness that can come from grieving. I’ve found it cathartic for me personally to write and sing about these issues.
If the track itself didn’t cut deep enough, this visually striking, powerful film clip should do it. How did that come to life?
We have been working with Daniel Ramsey since we filmed [the clip for] ‘We Are’, and he has pretty much become the sixth member of the band. We have grown alongside each other. Now we just send him our lyrics and songs, and we trust that he’ll send us something back that aligns with our views.
We got our first taste of Global Crisis back in 2019 with the single ‘Rising Tide’. That was almost two years ago. How long did you guys spend working on this album?
It was probably early 2019 when we started piecing together songs for a full-length. ‘Rising Tide’ was originally just a single, but as we kept working on the other material, it wasn’t hard to see that it was going to fit in really well with the other songs. We had originally planned to release the album in 2020, but obviously COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works, as we had just started recording when we entered lockdown. But honestly it was a blessing in disguise because we got to spend more time working on the finer details, and we didn’t feel as rushed anymore. So in the end I think we have a far better album for it.
What was your vision for the overarching narrative you explore on Global Crisis?
‘Rising Tide’ really was a stepping-off point for us – the song is very political and it resonated really well with all of us, and that’s the type of thing we felt we wanted to talk more about. You just have to look at 2020 as a whole [to see] where a lot of the inspiration for the subject matter came from. Climate change being the most obvious issue, ‘Backburner’ was inspired by the bushfires, ‘No Peace’ is about racial prejudice, ‘The Lucky Country’ is about indigenous lands being stolen for capitalist gain, ‘Out For Blood’ is seeing the truth that in a time where so many people have lost their incomes, their homes [and so on], those select few at the top keep racking in billions.
“[Global Crisis is] everything that we stand for – or stand against – and it really blends our personal ideologies and the type of music we want to create.”
Musically speaking, how does Global Crisis show the evolution Wildheart have gone through over the years?
Back when we first started as a band we knew we wanted to write heavy material, but we always wanted to keep it as melodic as possible. That has never changed, but we’ve definitely found our identity now. Global Crisis is the most focused release we’ve ever done. It’s everything that we stand for – or stand against – and it really blends our personal ideologies and the type of music we want to create.
There are some massive collaborations on this record. How did you guys link up with Shaun, Danielle and Bruce?
Shaun has been a prolific figure in the Australian hardcore scene for years, and it was an honour to get him on one of our tracks. Getting the backing from Bruce Shillingsworth really lit a fire inside of us [and made it clear to us] that we are talking about the right issues. Bruce is an amazing First Nations activist, and having his support really means the world to us. We really wanted a female voice on the album, and when Andrew showed us some of Danielle’s music, we asked her straight away. She did an insane job on the track, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
So you guys have a stack of really exciting shows lined up, including sets at Halloween Hysteria next month and the UNIFY Gathering in January. For someone that might just be finding out about Wildheart today, how would you describe your live show?
We are a band that really loves playing shows, and I think that comes across in our performance. Our shows are always full of energy, and we can’t wait to play to some new faces at some of our upcoming dates!
Global Crisis is out Friday, November 5th via Collision Course / MGM. Click here to get around it!
2. The Lucky Country
3. Backburner (featuring Bruce Shillingsworth)
5. Know Justice
6. The Long Slow Whisper (featuring Danielle O’Grady)
8. No Peace
9. Rising Tide (featuring Shaun Allen)
10. Like A Dragon
11. Out For Blood
12. False Hope Fake Happiness
13. Show Me What It’s Like To Be Worthless
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