On the back of releasing their ‘Last Lights‘ album last month, Sydney’s Hand Of Mercy hit the road to launch it supporting label mates Dream On Dreamer on their recent ‘Homebound‘ tour and ducked down to Tasmania over the weekend. To find out a little more about the new album Josh from the band took the time to answer our On The Record questions. Expand this post to check out the answers. You can grab a copy of the album [Here] if you are yet to do so.
Tell us about the release title.
We were looking for a title that reflected how we had matured as people and a band. We had done the whole pissed off teen thing, the fun title thing. Don’t get me wrong we still like having fun and still pissed off but we’ve just grown up as people and a band.
Tell us about the artwork.
Again we were going for a more mature approach to the artwork, we had done the cartoon thing and super dark thing. Just looking for that more mature approach.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
At this point in time it’s only going to be released on standard CD jewel case and digital download. Hoping to get it released as a vinyl at some point, we’ve always wanted to have an album on vinyl
Who will it be released through, and when?
It was released through UNFD on 17th August.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
It was recorded at the Brick Hit House in Cape Cod, MA in America. Some of our favourite bands and albums have been recorded there by Shane so it was only natural that we go there to record it.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
We went with Shane Frisby at the Brick Hit House in Cape Cod, MA, USA. He is the biggest and kindest man any of us have ever met. He made us feel instantly at home the moment we met him which I think helped the record turn out the way it did. We went with him cause he’s recorded some of our favourite the CD’s/bands (Returners – The Ghost Inside, Mosh and Roll/It’s Nothing Personal – Bury Your Dead just to name a few) in the past and we wanted that sound.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
It might sound cliché but we just wanted to write the best CD we could, we didn’t want to sound like a particular band or have strict guidelines to stick by which I think bands can sometimes get caught up in. We just wanted to step it up and make sure that this CD is better than anything we have done before.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
We all listen to a wide range of music so we didn’t listen to anything different than what we were listening to during the writing/recording process of our last CDs. This was the first CD we had written since our drummer Cullum joined the band so he had some new/different ideas which was really good. We also did more pre-production on this one than we have on previous CD’s which really helped and we couldn’t believe that we had been so lazy in not doing as much on past releases.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Not particularly, We’re big fans of Returners (TGI) and Mosh and Roll/It’s Nothing Personal (BYD) which is why we went there. We wanted the sound that the Brick Hit House/Shane Frisby gets and that’s exactly what we got.
How long did it take to record?
Took just over 4 weeks, probably could have done it in a shorter amount of time but there was so much we wanted to do and we had the spare time so we were very relaxed about it, which in the end helped a lot.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
It was very relaxed, something we weren’t used to. Normally it’s get in record all your shit as quick as you can and get out. But we had over a month to record a mosh record which meant we had time to reflect on parts of songs every day and add bits and pieces we might never have added if he hadn’t had that time.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
I guess the previous answer ties in with this one.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
We played with the idea but we’ve had a lot on previous records so we just kept it simple for this one, maybe next time round we’ll get someone in.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
Because we recorded in America we had none of our own gear over there, not even guitars. It was all stuff we have had the chance to use at home but we’re really familiar with. At the same time it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, just a few different guitars for different tones, a few different amps for lead and rhythm tones, drums, bass and vocals. We like to be able to make sure what we record we will be able to reproduce live, plus we’re all gear rookies so I’m sure if we tried anything too fancy we would have kooked it.
Any memorable studio moments?
I’d have to say the night we did gang vocals was the most memorable, it was basically just a massive party, most people were drinking and getting pretty rowdy, which tends to happen when booze is as cheap as it is over there and the studio you’re in has a vending machine with beer in it for 25 cents a can, it was a ‘small night’ to say the least.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
We re-recorded a song of an old EP but it didn’t fit in with the rest of the CD so it most likely will never be heard, not to worry there as the original is out there so wrap your ears around that one, if anyone can guess which song then it’s good for one high-five from all of us.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
It’d be shorter to list the ones I’m not looking forward to play live, Quarter Deck might be the one that takes us the longest to whip out, not cause we don’t like it but I think it works better on CD than live.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
I know all bands say this but it really is a step up from anything we’ve done in the past, we took more time to make this CD and it shows, we couldn’t have been more proud of everything that went in to making Last Lights what it is. Only thing I can suggest it pick it up, listen to it and judge it for yourself, you’ll be pleased.
Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release?
Get your hands on it however you can, come to a show and have some fun, cause in the end it’s the shared experience that makes all this worth it.
HAND OF MERCY – Last Lights
In stores now via UNFD
Pre-Order CD now [Here]