It was recently announced that Adelaide hardcore outfit The Weight will release their debut album ‘Prisoners Of The Flock‘ on November 9th through Clarity Records / Shock. Pre-orders have been flying out the door, so we checked in with Ben and Fazz from the band to tell us a little more about the album via our On The Record questions. Expand this post to check out the answers and sort out your pre-order while they are still available.
Tell us about the release title.
We named the album, ‘Prisoners of the Flock’ after one of the tracks and felt that it went really well with the artwork that we had at the time. I had been toying with the idea of calling it ‘All Too Human’ for quite a while, as it kind of summed up all twelve songs in a sarcastic distaste for mankind but we eventually went with the safer option of choosing a name from one of the song titles because it conveyed a heavier tone that suited our music and artwork better. ‘Prisoners of the Flock’ describes a social observation that all humans are ultimately at our weakest when we flock together, as it tends to make us more close minded, despite how comfortable it might make us feel. I think Tommy lee Jones summed it up best: “A person is smart, People on the other hand are dumb, panicky, dangerous, animals”. It can also be put into a cultural context of trends as well: No matter how hard we sometimes try to change, we usually just end up becoming just like someone else instead of being our true selves.
Tell us about the artwork.
A lot of work went into it. Our guitarist Nick did the artwork and concept and our friend Tyrone did the layout. It’s based around the finite nature of humanity.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
The LP’s come in a gatefold cover with a pull-out poster of the complete artwork with 200 black and 100 black/gold records being pressed. There’s also CD’s with pull-out poster’s and Digi-pak’s being made up.
Who will it be released through, and when?
We’re releasing it through Adelaide based ‘Clarity Records’ with our good friend Footy and it’ll be out by November 9th 2012 if everything goes to plan.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
Some of us had recorded at ‘Capital Sound’ before and we were pleased with the results. It’s close, relaxed and the engineer we were thinking of going with was heaps comfortable with it since he lives there. He also offered us a sick deal on a 10 day album recording so we snapped it up.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
James ‘Jimmy’ Balderston was keen to tackle the album and we were already confident with his abilities from previous records we’d done with him in other bands. He plays in, listens to and records heavy bands already. Jimmy has a distinctive style in terms of the drum sounds he pulls. It sounds a lot more natural than other engineers. He also has his own style when it comes to guitar tone, so the end result sounds quite different to most typical hardcore productions. He’s very laidback and was happy to put in the extra couple of hours here and there if we needed. He also has the space echo finesse we all enjoy.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
We had a lot of line-up changes after the demo and it was almost looking like the band was going to call it a day since it hadn’t released anything since 2009 but we pushed through as a 4 piece and continued writing for a 7”. We then took on Nick Yap as a second guitarist and writing became quicker and more abundant so we decided to bust out a full length and try and make up for the huge gap between releases.
As for a musical direction, we wanted to build upon the demo and not be too influenced by any bands past or present, not to be ground-breaking or anything but to write music we wanted to hear and enjoy playing.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
Each member would’ve been listening to different artists during this time but it wasn’t a goal as a band to try and sound like anything in particular, just to write interesting music with thoughtful lyrics.
Every jam session we ever had has been productive, as far as I can tell. If the other guys had written a song that I am truly stoked on, then I would immediately take a short recording of it and would take it home, study it, then try and adapt some form of chorus line to it. But when I get writers block, I tend towards opening a book and wouldn’t return to the song until I have an insight worth sharing. If you don’t have anything good to say then it’s usually a good idea to close your mouth.
Were there any albums you were referencing to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
Nothing in particular. We wanted to let the songs build and sound big on their own without trying to mold or force anything specific. Heavy music will sound heavy.
How long did it take to record?
Jimmy offered us a 10 day album recording deal thing but we were a little picky with the mix so it was more like 11.5 days or something.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
We had a few songs we wanted a click track to and a few songs we wanted to keep more organic. None of us had recorded to a click before so that was interesting. We recorded drums to a guide track, then bass, then guitars, then mixed between vocals and guitar leads. We also had lunch every now and then.
Was this any different to previous processes you have used?
Most of us hadn’t recorded a full length before and were used to punching out tracks live as a band so we decided to do things track by track for a change. It was also a much longer process, being used to 3 or 4 days, so it was good to have some time to record, listen back and tweak anything we wanted without feeling rushed.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
A couple of guest vocalists from friends. Fletcher from ‘Search And Destory’, Steve from ‘Host’ and Joey from ‘Prison Bitch’. All deeper and heavier to compliment Ben’s midrange, breathy vocals.
Any particular equipment outside your usual live gear used in the process?
We experimented quite a lot with different drums, cymbals, guitars, amps and pedals. That’s what we liked about Jimmy’s recording style, he likes to get sick tones while tracking with very little tinkering in post. He has a lot of vintage stuff that we played around with that won’t make it to the stage but we’re finding alternatives. We wanted our live performance to closely mirror the record and visa versa.
Any memorable studio moments?
All pretty smooth besides having to take my guitar to get set up three separate times. That wasn’t annoying at all. And the go pro got a pretty heavy work out.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
There were a couple of tracks we were going to leave off but then decided to just leave on. Not because we weren’t happy with them but we ended up having enough time on the LP.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
We all have our favourites but we enjoy playing them all otherwise we wouldn’t have recorded them.
How would you compare the final product to previous releases?
Longer, tighter, more fierce, more technical, more thought provoking.
Anything else you want to say or tell us about the release?
Hope anyone who picks it up enjoys it and we’re looking forward to touring it. You can have a listen to the second track ‘Fundamentalist’ and suss any upcoming shows at stereokiller.com/theweighthc
Thanks for reading.
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