Northlane and In Hearts Wake have unveiled a surprise collaborative EP featuring all 10 band members
All 10 musicians from the lineups of Northlane and In Hearts Wake have teamed-up for a surprise EP, Equinox, that has just dropped into the world without any warning. Ahead of the release SAMUEL BAUERMEISTER caught up with Northlane guitarist Jon Deiley and In Hearts Wake screamer Jake Taylor to find out how the EP came together, what fans can expect when the bands hit the road together on tour, and how the hell they managed to keep Equinox a secret.
Northlane and In Hearts Wake promised fans that they’d smash the idea of a traditional co-headline tour when they team up for a huge run of gigs in June. But no one could have predicted that the bands would take it one step further by collaborating on a surprise EP featuring three new songs – ‘Refuge’, ‘Equinox’ and ‘Hologram’ – written and recorded especially for the tour.
The songs feature all 10 musicians from the two bands of Aussie legends uniting as one for a 12 minute dose of pure madness. “The Equinox Tour and EP will be unlike no other,” says In Hearts Wake frontman Jake Taylor. “Working closely with so many passionate individuals has had its creative challenges and its beneficial learning curves. But like all things that are born to thrive, the Equinox journey has proven both abundant and powerful, showing what can be achieved when we work together. The Equinox EP is the testament of friendship and camaraderie that Northlane and In Hearts Wake share, and the tour is still yet to come!”
Congratulations on keeping one of the biggest Australian metal EPs a secret. How hard was it keep such a tight lip?
Jon Deiley: I was pretty busy the whole time throughout the whole time so it was easy for me. But a lot of guys were posting pictures of them in the studio together and then [laughs] and then we got an email from the label saying “Oh my God! You have to take that down! Take it down right now! You idiot!”. But they just put it up on Instagram just ‘cause.
How did it all come into fruition?
JD: I’m not exactly sure… We wanted to something collaboratively together for probably a couple years now. I think both bands saw a window of opportunity to do something and I guess we kinda just went for it. It started off just me writing my own thing and then Ben [Nairne] and the other guys from In Hearts Wake writing their own thing as well and then we just came together in the studio and worked on it together there.
What was the writing process like and all of you collaborating together?
“I think it was really, really good for us to get us out of our comfort zone”
JD: I worked with Ben on the interlude ‘Equinox’, and I definitely work better by myself and I think Ben would maybe even say the same. I think there’s something about not worrying about what other people think while you’re getting the nitty-gritty details out.
Jake Taylor: It’s a good challenge. I think it was really, really good for us to get us out of our comfort zone, because like Jon said, it’s a lot easier to just do what you’re used to doing which Is just focus on your own part and bring it to the table. But when you’ve got other people in mind it definitely creates a new challenge but I also think it approved my skill set having to think outside the box and collaborate on both songs with both writers lyrically as well. It was definitely a challenge for sure [laugh] a good challenge, I’ve learnt a lot, that’s for sure.
Jake, this is the first time that In Hearts Wake have collaborated with producer Will Putney. What was that like?
JT: Really good. Putney is a seasoned professional – he knows what he’s doing. We had John for… was it five days? Four or five days?
JD: Yeah, something like that
JT: Yeah. So when you’re throwing in someone from overseas into the mix and you’ve got five days and you’ve got ten people in a studio all wanting to record- [laughs] and you’ve got to pull together a release, there’s no other man for the job, really. He’s worked with Northlane before and there’s a trust there that we had because we obviously trust our friends in Northlane and knowing that they had fully backed this guy to do this and to take on this on project, there wasn’t any doubt going into it. He was the man for it.
JD: I think he just jumped straight off the plane too and got ready for it.
JT: Yeah literally! He had a shower and then we’re like “Yup! Get over here.”
One of the first things I noticed with the EP is that Jake, your voice is just sounding better than ever, like seriously fucking amazing. Did Putney push you at all vocally?
JT: I guess a little bit.. he’s different. I wouldn’t say he pushed me more or less. I think maybe what you’re hearing voice-wise is that its been three years since In Hearts Wake have recorded. So perhaps its just me after touring and learning a lot, and I still have a lot more to grow. But he was great to work with but I was relishing the challenge in finally recording something after so long as well.
Jon, Northlane have a pretty special relationship with Putney. How was it to have another band in the studio and I guess kind of all share him at the same time?
JD: It was cool! It was awesome. He wasn’t doing anything like picking favourites or anything like that. We were all on an even ground and we just did what we had to do.
JT: Shared him… that sounds so funny. Like he’s cheating on you guys. [Laughs]
You guys decided to drop the EP with no promotion behind it. What was the reasoning behind that?
“This is just the cherry on top for all the people that care about our bands”
JD: For me personally, these days every release that comes out has some sort of marketing campaign attached to it, some sort of scheme to build up hype. I think there’s nothing more that builds up hype than just dropping something and letting the internet grab it and run with it. It becomes viral in that way if you do it all at once rather than building these things together and waiting weeks.
JT: We’re in an overnight world, for sure. With so much coming out, it is the way to go but in saying that it isn’t new at the moment. Everyone else is attempting to do the drop out of nowhere. So I guess how our project is different is that we just thought, let the collaboration speak for itself because that’s what is fresher as a project, just letting the collaboration and the songs and the messages speak for themselves. We have the tour and that announcement that happened already and that was really our pre-focus, so this is just the cherry on top for all the people that care about our bands and messages.
This EP dropping kind of changes everything we had in mind from the tour, what can now expect in June?
JT: I don’t know… no ones told me. [Laughs]
JD: [Laughs] We don’t have to tell all the details
JT: It’s true. We Don’t have to tell all the details but we are going to perform all of these songs. So how we’re going to lay it out…We’re going to have surprises as we understand what we can achieve. You can hear in the Equinox EP, you can hear there’s a lot of instruments and voices going on and we’re gonna recreate that on stage and that’s going to be something on stage that people won’t want to miss.
JD: It’ll be kind of like both bands encoring, making the whole thing happening in one movement.
JT: Maybe we should open with it, who knows? [laughs]
JD: [laughs] Fuck, no pressure.
You guys are also bringing Hands Like Houses and one of my personal favourites at the moment, Ocean Grove – this is a really big opportunity for those bands. What made you want those guys to jump on the tour?
JT: They definitely deserve to be playing on stages this big, for sure. And doing an all-Australian tour with everyone involved, Northlane and In Hearts Wake have agreed that its just a fantastic way to showcase our friends, our music and our scene and just go with that. We don’t need to bring an international act and that’s really a testament to whats going on here in Aussie. Exciting things to come from both those bands.
JD: They’ve both got things going on right now. Hands Like Houses just released an album and I’m pretty sure Ocean Grove are working on new stuff too.
Can we expect a future with Equinox? Any plans to write more or bring the live show overseas?
“It’s probably a fair assumption that this is a one-off special thing”
JT: Who knows? We definitely haven’t planned it. To bring it into fruition was kind of a surprise to us all that we could do it; it was quite a challenge. It’s probably a fair assumption that this is a one-off special thing that people won’t want to miss. But let’s just say it goes nuts, who knows what’s possible. But right now, the plan is just to hit Aussie.
Both of your bands have come a really long way from playing Youth Centre shows together to now selling out some of Australia’s biggest venues. What’s kept both bands relationships so strong throughout these years?
JD: When we first toured together a couple years ago I think there was a different kind of connection between us and In Hearts Wake compared to Northlane and other bands in Australia we’ve toured with at that time. I think we just kind of responded and we’ve watched each other grow over the years. Both of us have been doing our own thing but its just kind of nice to catch-up and do projects like this.
JT: You said it pretty well. We make an effort to hang out outside of the band world and not talk about music, gigs and gear. We actually get along. Jon’s stayed at my house a couple times and we’ve been down there. It’s that knowing each other from such a humble, small place…we’ve played to ten people in a little café, sweating our arses off and enjoying it, to where we are now. It’s just kept that humble middle ground and we all know who we are and we just get along, music or not.
The Equinox EP is available now digitally and limited edition hand numbered vinyl is available for preorder via 24 Hundred. The EP will be played in full when the bands hit the road on the Equinox Tour in June. Tickets are on sale now – check out the dates below.
Northlane, Hands Like Houses and Ocean Grove tour
Friday June 10 – Metro City, Perth (18+)
Saturday June 11 – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide (Licensed / All Ages)
Sunday June 12 – Festival Hall, Melbourne (Licensed / All Ages)
Friday June 17 – The Tivoli, Brisbane (18+)
Saturday June 18 – Big Top At Luna Park, Sydney (Licensed / All Ages)