PREMIERE: Adelaide’s Shatter Brain Are Scattering Minds With Their Single ‘Death Goes On’

Famed Irish writer and political activist George Bernard Shaw once said: “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable”.

The description of reality being “crude” is an illustration that depicts our current way of life almost faultlessly. COVID-19 has changed the world as we understood it; human life has been completely redesigned, freedoms have been depleted, there has been unbearable financial loss and uncertainty for the future and worse of all, the vast and devastating casualties worldwide. However, we are finding progress in multiple ways and values in the fight to overcome this pandemic; there are breakthroughs in science, the realisation of our strengths as people and communities are highlighting hope by the minute – among the devastation, heroes are being discovered everywhere in every available avenue. We are inspired and courageous in the face of danger and it will help us persevere.

A saving grace during this tough time has been the arts, the world is not as unbearable: Film, television, music and other creative ventures have notably assisted the human race in this time of need and it has become a more pronounced part of our existence – it has helped us see that “life goes on” even in our most difficult struggle. For Adelaide metal act Shatter Brain life has definitely continued, albeit differently; nevertheless the quintet are about to unveil their debut album Pitchfork Justice through Worm Hole Death Records on the very first day of May and during these trying times, it is undoubtedly a celebration as drummer Ryan Quarrington describes:

“We’re extremely excited to be working with Carlo Bellotti (label owner) and the team at Worm Hole Death Records for the release of ‘Pitchfork Justice’. They actually got in touch with us through our mate Pete Bursky the guitarist from Sumeru (Sydney Blackened Doom Metal Outfit), who are also on Worm Hole Death Records. Pete knew we were talking to labels in regards to the album, so he sent the album to Carlo and the rest is history!” He discloses enthusiastically – “They’re really excited about the album and have been excellent to work with so far, so we couldn’t be happier to have them on board to finally release it to the world. We started working on these songs over 18 months ago and it was a pretty intense writing and recording process, so it has been a long journey already. We’ve had some great feedback on the first single ‘Talk In Fear’, and have already received some excellent reviews of the album, so we’re looking forward to seeing how far this album can take us!”

‘Talk In Fear’ is the opening blistering track and lead single from the debut LP from the quintet with an intense yet genuine and spirited film clip – but here at Wall Of Sound, we have been given the HO(R)Nour [horn + honour] of presenting Shatter Brain’s new single and documentary-inspired clip ‘Death Goes On’ – a much more “strength through adversity” motivated song than the title leads to believe. Furthermore, the clip gives the inside look into the band’s creative and recording process as well as the five-piece’s respected characters.

“For the ‘Death Goes On’ video, we wanted Adam ‘Ando’ Andersen at Ando Media Services to do something that tied in with the webisodes. I’m a big fan of studio-footage music videos, so we thought we would take the opportunity of being in such a beautiful studio to produce our own. It turned out great!”

Ryan continues – Matt Disisto (Guitars), Tom Santamaria (Vocals) and Brett Hookham (Filmographer) were the real workhorses behind the ‘Talk In Fear’ clip. The song has a very strong and direct lyrical theme, so the overall video concept came together quickly, but Matt and Brett spent countless hours figuring out the finer details and organising all the props and shoot locations. Tom’s performance in the video along with his girlfriend who played the bartender were the real standouts for me. Putting that much effort and intensity into a performance for over eight hours is very impressive; especially when you’re being asked to bite bars of soap, fill your mouth with blood capsules and spit out fake tongues! It was also a lot of fun to recreate the back cover of the album at the Cranka.”

The Shatter Brain tale is undoubtedly fascinating. The death-meets-sludge-meets-thrash-meets-crossover outfit were a reunion of friends to begin; but from their DIY ethic, friendships through other bands and incomprehensible desire to play wherever would host them or intrigues them – their story is one that needs to be seen and has thankfully been documented. As Ryan previously stated, there are webisodes about the band’s inception and adventures – however, to abbreviate what occurred: Shatter Brain played interstate before performing in their hometown; this was achieved on the back of a demo which also took them on further touring to an international scale. Most impressively, they accomplished this while holding down full-time career jobs.

“Matt (Disisto) and myself had already gone through the process of taking other bands from opening local shows to touring internationally and had made a lot of friends and contacts along the way, so when we started Shatter Brain we wanted to fast-track that process and hit the ground running.” Ryan admits – “After we got the rest of the members together, and while we were recording The Demo, we started getting in touch with some of our friends in the eastern states, New Zealand, Taiwan, and South East Asia, to try and put some tour dates together before the band had even been announced. After a couple of months of hard work, we managed to put together a string of shows in Australia and New Zealand, starting in Brisbane in January 2018 and culminating in our first Adelaide show at Heavy SA in April.”

But this was just the introduction?

“We also managed to organise an Asian tour in June of that year, including three shows in Taiwan centred around a performance at Wake Up Fest in Chiayi and shows in Thailand and Malaysia as main support for Brazilian crossover-thrash legends Ratos de Porão. All of this was organised off the back of only some rough demos of a few songs and the faith of the people that were putting us on these shows. I think this shows that if you are friendly, respectful and helpful to other people in the scene (locally, nationally, and internationally) then they will act accordingly back to you. Networking in this way is the best way to progress from being a local band to playing interstate and overseas. That being said, you also need a good product!”

A good product is an understatement; founding member and guitarist Jack Hartley is a well-respected audio-engineer and producer and each member of Shatter Brain have incredible musical resumes – so the shoes more than fit when negotiating the talent of this five-piece; these shoes are leaving footprints of gargantuan miraculous size. Regardless, it is their work ethic which has elevated the quintet to heights that other bands could only dream of as a relatively new outfit comparably. Not to mention SB have already supported the Cavalera Brothers, EYEHATEGOD and Integrity.

“For the most part we are a DIY band; our first instinct is to try and do something ourselves rather than outsourcing it. That being said, we are on the hunt for an international booking agent to help us get over to Europe and the States! Pat Callaghan (Bassist) and myself are engineers and Matt is a sparky, so finding the time to manage all aspects of the band can be a challenge; but Matt and myself have been doing that juggling act for many years now so we are used to living without sleep! As anyone who is actively involved in a band will testify, there are so many important aspects of band management that go on behind the scenes (and they seem to take up the most time) but it is rewarding when it all comes together and you get to play awesome shows and see people enjoying your music.” Ryan discloses merrily – “It can be difficult (particularly on our partners) when a majority of our free time, and all of our annual leave, is taken up by band-related stuff, but the intentions of this band were clearly laid out when it started and the rewards are worth the investment (in my opinion anyway!). We’re taking this time of isolation to make up all those hours of neglect to our partners (laughs).”

He elaborates further: “Jack (Hartley) did a great job recording and mixing the first two Shatter Brain releases (The Demo and The Twelve Inch Split EP that we did with Blunt Shovel); however, it became apparent that he was finding it difficult to wear the producer hat as well as the band member hat. So for Pitchfork Justice we approached Jimmy Balderston at Ghostnote Recording Studios to produce, record and mix the album. We found that having that external perspective on the songs and the sounds was really important for the album; sometimes when you are living and breathing the songs like we were then you can get bogged down in things that don’t really matter. But Jimmy was great at focusing on the vibe of each song and adding necessary textures and layers that we would have never considered. As an added bonus, Jack has now ended up scoring residency in Studio B at Ghostnote so it has worked out well for everyone involved!”

Referring back to the introduction of this interview in regards to COVID-19 as well as considering the band’s webisodes and live performance drive, it seemed more than necessary for this writer to inquire how the members of Shatter Brain were surviving through these difficult times?

“This is certainly a challenging time for everyone involved in the arts and a less than ideal time to release an album. Obviously it is disappointing that we can’t go out and play all these new songs live to people. We’ve had to cancel all of our planned Australian and overseas album release tour plans; but hopefully the album, the music videos and the webisodes can help to entertain people through this tough time.” Ryan asserts with an infectious positivity – “We are lucky in a way, that (for the most part) our livelihoods don’t depend on the band. I feel mostly for the live music venues, pubs, small businesses and other people in the industry who rely on the gigs to keep the lights on and put food on the table; the are not getting the deserved support from the Government. Hopefully we can all get through this and I’m sure there will be a greater appreciation of live music once it starts up again!”

He continues – “As soon as we can tour again, we will be going hard. I think it is going to be a pretty saturated market though (even more than it was before) because all the promoters are going to be re-scheduling their postponed tours and booking new tours for bands that need to play to survive, all at the same time! It will be interesting to see how that plays out. For now, we have been focusing on promo for the album and Matt and I have been throwing some new song ideas around. I think we will be hoping to hit the studio again pretty soon once this all blows over. I’m excited to see and hear all the great art that is going to come out of this!”

As Max Cavalera screamed in the song ‘No Hope = No Fear’ from Soulfly’s self-titled album: “Sometimes it feels as if the road is blocked, I’ll find a way, I’ll move those rocks, Freedom!” Shatter Brain have supported him live and will support his statement when the opportunity arises.

Interview by Will Oakeshott @TeenWolfWill

Pitchfork Justice is out May 1st
Pre-Order here

shatter brain Pitchfork Justice

Shatter Brain – Pitchfork Justice tracklisting

1. Talk in Fear
2. Lorem Ipsum
3. Pitchfork Justice
4. Choosing Beggars
5. Fencesitter
6. Noble Savagery
7. Silent Screams
8. Life Ephemeral…
9. Death Goes On

 

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. EXCLUSIVE: Stream Shatter Brain’s Thrashy Debut Album Pitchfork Justice Now! – Wall Of Sound
  2. 2020… The Year So Far – We Name Our Top 7 Albums/EPs – Wall Of Sound

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