Following on from the feedback and nostalgia overload we received with our Queensland Edition back in April, it was only a matter of time before we started moving south around this big country of ours to showcase the next lot of bands we think need to come back from the dead. Funnily enough during that time one of the bands we had in mind already announced their comeback prematurely before we got the chance to tell them to… DepriVation from Orange, NSW have just started playing shows again 11 years after first forming and following a hiatus which they began in 2014. Highly recommend these metal legends, if you’re around one of their shows, get a ticket! As for the rest of you, here’s our picks for The Top 7 New South Wales Bands That Need A Comeback…
#7 – The Dead Ends [2009-2011, 2013-????]
Not gonna lie this list may be heavy with Byron Bay hardcore bands due to the quality of acts which managed to leave a lasting impression on us all. The Dead Ends are are tough bunch to write about, they broke up after 2 years and one EP then reformed in 2013 and released another EP and haven’t done too much following this. The members have also played in bands such as Postblue and Toyboats, but it’s this entity which really left fans wanting more. Check out their older stuff on MySpace and 2013‘s The Dead Ends EP below
#6 – Heroes for Hire [2008-2013]
When you think of pop-punk in Australia the two heavyweights that come to mind in the late 2000‘s were the Gold Coast’s Skyway and Sydney’s Heroes for Hire. The HFH boys were dominating their careers with two successful albums (2010‘s Life of the Party and 2011‘s Take One For The Team) resulting in the boys scoring spots on the 2011 Soundwave Festival, the 2010 No Sleep Til Festival (alongside Megadeth, Atreyu, ADTR and NOFX), countless trips across the world and support slots for some big named acts who visited out shores like Unwritten Law, The Pretty Reckless, Yellowcard and more. Unfortunately due to internal issues the band dissolved and have since formed Cambridge featuring former frontman Brad Smith and the majority of the remaining members can now be found in the hugely successful Hellions. Relive the memories via their Soundwave Behind-The Scenes doco/music video for ‘Set in Stone’ feat. Joel Birch of The Amity Affliction on guest vocals and EVERY SINGLE BAND YOU LOVE AND ADORE DOING MOTHER FUCKIN’ SHOEYS BEFORE SHOEYS BECAME MAINSTREAM.
#5 – Powerslam [2003-2007]
Alongside the likes of Mourning Tide, The Daylight Curse, Wish for Wings and City in Panic, this Byron Bay hardcore outfit were one of a few to emerge from the quiet little town in Northern NSW alongside Parkway Drive and eventually In Hearts Wake. One band went on to take over the world, the other just released their latest album and Powerslam faded away into the abyss in 2007 amidst a large accumulation of followers both local and afar. You can still hear most of their songs on their MySpace page but as for the whereabouts of the band now, we tracked down frontman Jesse Frost for a catch up:
Why did you boys call it quits with such an impressive following?
“It’s a long and complicated story, I’ll give you my best version. In the last two years we all put so much energy into the band and the HC scene. We made lots of amazing friends and were able to tour, have a place to stay and that support. We also gave that back and tried our best to help our friends bands in anyway we could, I also used to run the show in Byron for a few years there. All members of the final line up bar one were in High School. But school was never relevant in our lives, I was always a ‘satisfactory student’ and the school system never satisfied or nurtured me. Hardcore, Surfing and Skateboarding was our education and release as young men.”
“In the last few years I feel like we were all becoming more comfortable with our roles and creating some songs that we really loved playing. I know the break up was hard for all of us and a lot of rumors circled around the internet for a long time. I commented on this once before and here’s the short version…”
“We couldn’t continue playing together because our guitarist and drummer were given a court order to not associate with each other while a case was going through the judicial system. After a long period the court order was dropped and they were given good behavior bonds.”
Woah, shit man that’s heavy. What are you and all the boys doing nowadays though?
Well we started the band when we were 13-14 so we had 10 members throughout the years; Niz, KG, Bob, JB, Joel Grant, Aaron, Buz, Rory, Caleb and Myself. I’m terrible at staying in touch with friends, but I know Buz and Bob are amazing tattoo artists. Buz works at Rock of Ages in Lennox Head and is an incredible father of 5 maybe 6? Niz has just become a father, KG is a landscape gardener that works magic in that realm, Aaron is a committed Army man last time we hung out, Caleb was drumming for In Hearts Wake for a long time, Rory and the Joels, I haven’t seen for a few years but it’s always a pleasure when I do.
“I am an architectural designer amongst other things. I also surf and skate a lot and jam some doomy/thrash metal stuff with friends that might turn into some recordings and shows in the future”
Seems like everyone has their own shit going on right now but I have to ask, what are the chances of ever reforming or a comeback?
“At this point, I don’t see it ever happening, although a one off random show to scream at some people really appeals to me. But some things are better left in the past. It’s been literally 11 years and I was surprised you asked for this interview, so thank you.”
Well you never know what can happen with a bit of persuasion haha. Thinking back, what was one of your favourite memorable moments from bring in Powerslam?
“So many memorable moments for me obviously the support, love from our friends and bands we shared the stage with was truly incredible. All the legends that enjoyed our music and set it off with us. There was one time in particular on tour, we were doing a day show at this studio in Melbourne with a real high stage. It must have only been a quarter inch thick ply and I was jumping and stomping. I fell about 5 feet down, straight through the stage cut my legs up and was still half singing in shock, while my band mates and everyone else laughed at me.”
“We always loved to dress up, Halloween shows were always so good, the one Southport show we dressed as Zombie Hookers R18+”
#4 – Silverchair [1994-2003]
Newcastle in 1994 was a great place for an upcoming grunge band to get their big break and
Innocent Criminals Silverchair did just that on the back of their now iconic classic track ‘Tomorrow‘ which they used to enter a Triple J competition that would change their lives forever. Following this they were signed to Sony Music Australia, released debut album Frogstomp in 1995, toured the USA with the Red Hot Chili Peppers then The Ramones then won big at the ARIA Awards when they picked up five of their nine nominations including Single of the Year and Best New Talent all the while, attempting to finish high school. They released the albums Freak Show in ‘97, Neon Ballroom in ‘99 and Diorama in 2002 then the real band died shortly after… Following a hiatus of 3 years the band reemerged and released Young Modern in 2007 which sounded like a completely different band that was obviously influenced by frontman Daniel Johns’ side project The Dissociatives alongside electro-pop musician Paul Mac. In 2011 band took an indefinite hiatus after stating “…if the band stops being fun and if it’s no longer fulfilling creatively, then we need to stop”. If they came back and returned to their roots, I’d sign up.
#3 – Buried in Verona [2007-2016]
Ok, I know this one is still fresh in the wounds and more time should probably pass before they should be considered but fuck man, these Sydney guys had it. They were on top of their game, they finally released such a captivating album in Vultures Above/Lions Below which was so well received it reached #17 on the ARIA Charts and introduced them to a number of fans who hadn’t heard much of their previous work before (myself included). Then things started falling apart, members left, different views plagued the direction of the band and at the very height of their current success, they pulled the pin in 2016. Gutted doesn’t cover it, considering I even had the guys picked as the next big band to watch after placing their album in the #4 spot on my Wall of Sound 2015 Year in Review. Just get back together guys, and soon. I caught up with the band prior to their break up, revisit that interview here.
#2 – The Bride [2006-2013]
You know how sometimes you find out about a band after they just wrap up their Farewell Tour when everyone is talking about them? That’s my experience with The Bride. Signed to UNFD so you know they had potential to be great, they toured extensively with the likes of Northlane, In Hearts Wake, House vs Hurricane, the 2013 Boys of Summer tour with Comeback Kid, Deez Nuts, Hand of Mercy and scored opening slots for A Day to Remember, Underoath and The Devil Wears Prada. They released their President Rd EP in 2011, 5 years into their early career, however, like we mentioned earlier, members disbanded and formed the unstoppable Hellions as well as The Constant, but what we would give to hear them on stage again, ripping out bangers like this…
and the winner is
#1 – Caulfield [2010-2016]
“This week can eat a bag of dicks” were the exact words that escaped my mouth when I found out Sydney’s Caulfield had called it a day last year. After completely blowing my mind at Big Sound in Brisbane, I had high hopes the guys would get together and released an absolute killer follow up album to their previously released Vanity (2013) and Outcast (2015) albums. But instead of a new album announcement, we copped a break up notice and their final show was played in Sydney only. All that aside it was great to grab frontman Jarrod Anthony Martin to find out from his own perspective what went down and if we’re barking up the wrong tree asking for a reunion…
Hey mate, thanks so much for having a chat, firstly what’s the best thing that happened while you were in Caulfield?
“For me personally, joining Caulfield was the fresh start I needed in terms of personal growth and emotional release. I’d been in a band previously that had toured Australia and England, and for a while I was quite disheartened on the music scene, and I was ready to step away from the hardcore scene in 2012.”
“During 2013, I guess because I wasn’t in a band seriously, and only ever filling in as a touring vocalist across the UK and Europe, through the friends I made and the places I visited, something definitely rekindled the fire, and so in 2014 when I’d moved back to Australia and settled in, the proposition to join Caulfield was the right thing for me and for the band.”
“Looking back on Caulfield, those were some of the best moments of my life. The stories we can share as a band, between ourselves and with others, I’ll never forget.”
Why, after only just releasing Outcast did you guys call it a day?
“Being the youngest in the band, I had the drive and the energy to keep going, but when it boiled down to it and some of the other members had finally had enough of being in a band, I guess I didn’t care enough to keep steering the ship, and we called it a day.”
“I was so proud of what we had done as a band, but sometimes it’s better to go out with your head held high, then resent yourself, band mates and choices along the way.”
Any bad blood between the members?
“Not at all. We still talk very regularly, and catch up when we can. We often will go out for dinner or drinks, shows, and any excuse really to stay as friends. I think that’s what is the best result you can ask for after being in a band. You spend so long in one another’s personal spaces, living in each other’s pockets and venting every thought and emotion towards one another. So for us to remain friends is the best thing I can ask for.”
Are you or any of the guys doing anything musically?
“Majority of us have been active musically since Caulfield. Andrew and Cole were approached to join Buried In Verona for their last two tours, supporting Asking Alexandria, travelling to New Zealand, playing the Roundhouse… fuck, sign me up. Matt and Cole then joined Resist The Thought for a one off reunion show back in January, and there was talk of potentially new music under that flag, maybe under a different name.”
“I now sing for a melodic hardcore/spoken word band out of Sydney called Watchtowers. It’s very different for me vocally, but in terms of energy and release, it’s exactly the thing I needed. We’ve just been in the studio to record a second single, which will be out very soon and I can’t wait to hear people’s reactions to it.”
What are the chances like of calling off the hiatus?
“So we played a new Sydney club night back on Australia Day eve, as a one off favour for our friend. It was one of my favourite shows ever. For me, I’m done though. No matter what the demand or offer is, that was quite hard for me to get through physically and mentally. I guess I’d just hit a bad spot after the band, became really depressed, and so to start singing songs again that I’d put behind me, it definitely opened an emotional floodgate and I just don’t wish to go through it again.”
“…if Caulfield did a reunion show down the road, maybe I’ll watch from the side of stage. Who knows?”
Wrapping it up, is there anything you want to say to those who supported you boys?
“I can’t thank anyone enough for the support over the years in the band. It spins me out to think people would sing songs I’d written in the van, in my living room/bedroom, and that those words meant so much to others.”
“I was fortunate enough to guest vocal on the song ‘Divided’ by Sienna Skies, off their latest album [A Darker Shade of Truth], purely because of a Caulfield single ‘Hell Inside My Head’, and the words I spoke during our ‘last ever show’. That’s huge!”
“It was truly touching, and I hope to continue to inspire as the years and music rolls on.”
With a very impressive career so far, it’s sad to see the doors closed on this ear of Caulfield, but we’re very eager to follow on and see what the guys do next, big thanks to Jarrod for taking the time out to chat.
And that’s a wrap for this New South Wales edition, don’t forget to let us know who you think we missed and who you want us to give a mention to in our next piece when we continue south to Victoria!
But before we go, if you haven’t checked out these guys already, get amongst DepriVation if you’re a fan of heavy melodic death/thrash metal… fantastic work from a country band.
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