Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every week, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In this week’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Sydney outfit Isotopes, whose latest single, ‘Die Alone’, has simply thrown us for six. It truly is a music journalist’s nightmare, not because it’s bad – the track actually rips extremely hard (Isotopes wouldn’t be in this column if it didn’t) – but rather because it’s impossible to categorise. The band fuse elements of emo, post-hardcore, pop-punk and nu-metal, layering heavenly melodies over wall-rattling beats and cataclysmic riffs. It’s the kind of track that you’ll need to actually sit down and soak in, should you wish to understand it. And you should, because it’s an absolute gem of a tune – and Isotopes are an absolute gem of a band.
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
Justin “Milsy” Miller: I do vocals and co-write everything in Isotopes with Josh. For many reasons but mainly, the emo reason, mine would be invisibility.
Hamish Gibson: I play drums, and my non-musical power would have to be super speed.
Ange Morris: I play bass, and my power would probably be to teleport.
Brad Stokes: I play guitar, and if I could choose a superpower, it would be to see into the future.
Josh Wood: I play guitar and co-write everything in ‘Topes with Millsy. My superpower would be to speak to animals – preferably just my cat.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
Millsy: experimenting with other potential music endeavours.
Gibson: I’m usually watching a lot of sports like basketball, Formula One and football. I also really enjoy working out and running. I’m a massive pop-culture fan as well.
Morris: I like drawing or painting, taking photos and watching random videos on YouTube, a lot of the time also Formula One related.
Stokes: I love geocaching, or going on adventures with my parrot Loki.
Wood: A bit of cooking, coding, hiking or flavour-of-the-month MMO.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
The landmark of Sydney would 100 percent be Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice… It’s absolutely fucking tragic that the place has to close with the new railway.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
It always consists of us asking if Hamish still does crossfit, or the band asking how big of a night I had the night before. Aside from that it’s usually only a slight conversation about what’s new, and then we are all in rehearsal mode, just banging out the songs to get tight.
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
I believe the only routine we have is making sure we don’t get too lit before a show. We all keep a close eye on each other, to the point where we are almost counting each other’s beer consumption, just to make sure we don’t have any repeats of a couple of shows we’ve had in the past where we’d fall into a state of being too comfortable. Like don’t get me wrong, we still play amazing, but we kick ourselves up the ass the second that we finish the set. Even throughout the set, we look at each other at points where we know we’ve made mistakes.
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
It would have to be our first time playing in Melbourne, at Bang back in 2016. We were about four hours out from the drive and the whole event changed, and now Bring Me The Horizon were doing a guest DJ set. The show sold out within minutes, and the stage’s barricade was made from bloody tables and cable ties. You tell us how you think that night went!
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
I would personally say Sum 41 or Blink-182. There’s no need to explain why, it’s self-explanatory. Hamish would say Metallica, because “Yeeeeeaaah!”
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
Millsy: Blackbear (Everything Means Nothing), Point North (Brand New Vision) and AVOID (Alone).
Gibson: Chase Atlantic – Beauty In Death.
Morris: Lorde – Solar Power.
Stokes: Landmvrks – Lost In The Waves.
Wood: Trivium – In The Court Of The Dragon.
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
Millsy: Carhartt, 64 Audio or and Shure.
Gibson: Zildjian for sure, that would be a dream. Aside from musical gear, it would have to be Red Bull. I live off the stuff.
Morris: Music-wise, Mayones guitars or Ormsby guitars.
Stokes: Jaketto Picks.
Wood: Fender Japan or Fujigen.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
Fuck making it to the top, I would rather see us all in the pit together at each of our shows, celebrating the wins. Hamish would say because memes.