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Interview: Danny Kenneally from As Paradise Falls

As paradise falls

Brisbane metal 5-piece As Paradise Falls are set to finally release their long-awaited debut album in the coming months. The long wait between their 2014 EP ‘Save Yourself’ and the album has been due to some saddening, unforeseen circumstances they faced in Thailand. We spoke to the quintet’s guitarist Danny Kenneally about the incident as well as their upcoming album, their time in Thailand ,and their mysterious new band members.

For those unfamiliar with your sound, how would you describe it?

We always aim for a diverse sound, so we always explore a lot of the sub-genres under the metal category. So [our sound] can be like…I think our older stuff is more towards the deathcore sort of scene, with a couple of lighter songs in there that are a bit more metalcore and jumpy sort of feel. But with the new stuff I think it’s a big stretch between different sub-genres. So pretty hard to put your thumb on it, but it’s a good ball park.

What can we expect from the debut album compared to your 2014 EP ‘Save Yourself’?

With the EP ‘Save Yourself’ we tried to have a really diverse feel to it and we tried to expand on the different sub-genres. I don’t think we quite accomplished that, I think we got about 60 per cent of our goal when we look back at it, just due to our ability of writing and stuff like that at the time…[we were] less experienced then what we are now.

With the new stuff we’ve got a real good feel to it, where a couple of the songs are lighter and less full-on. I know a couple of songs on [the album] are pretty intense and heavy and then we’ve got that whole mid-range section between the two. It all compliments each other well, I think we did pretty good this time!

Recently you released the video for Digital Ritual and it’s very visually appealing, where did the ideas for it come from?

The ideas came between us as a band. Our new vocalist had a big input on it ‘cos he’s writing the album and he’s got a good concept behind it. It all revolves around technology and how it’s sort of like a ritual and how we wake up, look at our phones, and when we go to sleep and we look at our phones. He’s talking about the whole kinda negative side that it can have on people and we’re connecting through an interface like a phone or computer, but we’re not connecting as people together.

So it’s a real cool idea, and Digital Ritual’s a short snippet to show what we’re trying to do. You’ve got people on their phones and stuff like that in there and talking about the interaction between people. Then obviously we chucked all that in with our photographer Ben. Linkin Park have a lot of really cool videos, there’s one particular that’s got a lot of digital feel and a lot of the outline of people as dots. It’s really cool so we took a lot of inspiration from that video, which was really fun!

I haven’t heard of a band going to Thailand to record an album, how was your time over there both travelling and in the studio?

For the most part it was amazing. The country itself is a beautiful country, lots to see and it was really hot there as well. We come from Brisbane and it’s pretty hot here when it can be, but there it’s very, very humid at times and very sweaty…it was real interesting (laughs). Luckily enough we had this awesome pool to hang out in!

The studio itself was amazing, like we stayed in the studio and it was just like a bloody 5-star hotel. You grab a coffee then you walk a couple of steps and you go in the studio itself, and it’s a big, big world-class studio. Some very famous people have been there and created some amazing music, so it’s a really big privilege for us to be able to go there.

I’d like to touch on your band’s loss in former guitarist Glen Barrie, how has the band moved on from such a huge tragedy?

Well with something like that it takes heaps of time. Like, I know with [each band member] we’re all sort of dealing with it in our own way. We’ve got a lot of support from his friends and family. which was awesome. He’s always going to be there with us, when we’re playing and stuff. He’s always in mind, there’s always jokes going on about him ‘cos he was the funniest dude around. There’s always something that pops up and it’s like “oh, this guy”, and it’s great to be able to remember something like that.

Yeah well I suppose with the new album, he played on that. So you can pay a bit of respect to him when it comes out and stuff?

Yeah for sure. We’ve got a bunch of stuff planned that’s gonna be doing slight hints to him, as well as obviously some big respect being payed towards him. He’s got all of his guitar work on there and he’s got a cracking solo on there, which is intense. We’ve also got some cool studio footage we’ll probably put together and we’ll release out there in due time and there’s a lot of Glen playing on that, which is awesome!

What are you looking forward to most when you support Suicide Silence later this month?

It’s amazing that we got the opportunity to play that show. We’re really looking forward to going over there and playing for our Thai fans ‘cos we have a massive demand. We were meant to play last time…and obviously we couldn’t. This time we’ve been invited back and it’s something we couldn’t turn down. The fans have been going crazy, emailing us asking us when we’re arriving and that sort of stuff, which is pretty intense. Just really keen to put on a good show for them and obviously keen to play with Suicide Silence, which is a little bit of a tick off the bucket list, especially in another country!

You’re shrouding the identity of your new band members in mystery. Can you give us any ideas on who the new guitarist and vocalist are?

The vocalist is currently finishing up some duties with a band he’s filling in for and they’re overseas at the moment. So he’s been doing a lot of that with them and he’s been in a bunch of Brisbane bands. He was also in the running for Northlane, which is really cool. He got really high up, but I’m not gonna say where ‘cos it’ll give it away pretty easy. But he’s fairly known because of that as well, he’s got a lot of experience behind him, and he’s very good at what he does.

And our guitarist, he’s a bit of a sneaky one. He’s been in a couple of bands but he’s a lot more of a shredder. He’s a very, very good guitarist and I’m very excited to work with him on the next album!

Lastly, you guys are called As Paradise Falls, so what’s your ideal paradise?

(Laughs) Good question! Somewhere with good food (laughs). We’re big fans of food, like in Thailand when we were there the food was awesome, the weather was great, and the studio was intense. So that’s a bit of a dream there, being able to comfortably make your music, record it, listen to it back every day, as well as eat this amazing food and in the environment that’s very peaceful and quiet outside the studio. It’s such an amazing place!

Suicide Silence with As Paradise Falls Bangkok poster