Australia’s deathcore sweethearts Aversions Crown are finally back in action with a new album after undergoing several challenges over the last couple of years, including lineup changes, the wrath of COVID-19, and returning from the U.S. after playing just one show as the pandemic really kicked off – but more on that later.
Guitarist Mick Jeffery cracked open a beer with us the night before the band’s release of Hell Will Come For Us All (read our review here). As we sat and chatted about the imminent release of the record, we discussed the impacts to a band of releasing an album made that had so much put into it, in the midst of an unpredictable climate.
COVID-19 impacts the band “in the sense that we’ve always released albums and then pushed them by touring hard, and we obviously can’t tour at all at the moment so it’s kind of weird to know what’s going to happen.” Obviously bands across the planet are undergoing the same difficulties at the moment, and it’s hurting both fans and artists.
“It’s always been the most effective promotional tool for our band and to have that taken away is a pretty big blow on the album release” Jeffery tells us honestly, but he also sees the potential upside. “It could work out for us in the sense that people are stuck at home without being able to attend gigs and that sort of thing, so they may just have an ear to the ground looking for new releases.”
The extreme metal guitarist couldn’t be more spot-on. Fans are stunned by the quality and quantity of new music being introduced into the world right now. Not only is it all we’ve got, it’s out release. It’s our coping mechanism, and bloody hell it’s working.
Aversions Crown were just getting started on a massive U.S. tour in March when shit got real for them, after just one show and they had to head home. “We travelled across the world to play one gig essentially. It was pretty crazy” Jeffery tells us. “When we left Australia, it was kind of just at the stage of the “panic buying”, remember the toilet paper saga?”
No, Mick? What toilet paper saga? Why don’t you enlighten us!
In all seriousness, the guitarist reminisces through the bizarre transition the U.S. underwent as health officials advised some extreme decision making, which the band then relived shortly after in Australia. “So at this point, everyone was thinking ‘this is pretty crazy, everyone’s got to calm down a bit’, but we watched the U.S. change within literally six hours, from being a bit of a joke to the whole of the United States getting shut down.”
So back home the band came, only to see the same changes made here. And undoubtedly, so much cost associated for the band to carry. Gruesome stuff for the band who were getting geared up for a big tour run.
After reflecting on the craziness, that’s been the last few months, Jeffery leans into the current moment, hours before the release of Hell Will Come For Us All and sheds some light on the release.
We talked about how fans affectionately described the band as ‘alien-core’, a sub-genre that the band leaned into with albums like Tyrant and Xenocide that were lyrically and musically themed around alien invasion. Yet, with the release of singles ‘The Soil’ and ‘Born in the Gutter’, fans realised there was more to the band than this cornered label, and it caught them by surprise. The band added many new variables to the mix, particularly around death metal.
“Yeah we’ve actively transitioned away from that” Mick tell us proudly. “But in saying that, we still do have a couple of those kinds of songs on the record as well, so it’s not like we’ve just totally turned our backs on what we’ve done previously.”
As the tale goes, bands evolve, musicians want to experiment, and be known by more in their craft than what they were once recognised for. “We’ve felt it was time to expand on what the band was doing, and not feel like we were just regurgitating the same ideas.”
And of course, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t by changing your style – ‘I hate the way the band’s changed’ vs. ‘they’ve released the same record over and over’.
The deathcore demon touches on their new frontman Tyler Miller from the U.S. “We brought in a new vocalist into this record as well, and it just felt natural to let him bring his own influences and input into what he wanted to sing about.”
Whilst fans have commented that the new Aversions Crown material draw on influences from hot deathcore bands at the minute like Thy Art is Murder and Fit For an Autopsy, the guitarist argues that the band still definitely have their own thing going on, which we definitely agree with.
“There’s definitely comparisons that can be made between us and other bands for sure, but I think Aversions Crown still has its own sound, and there’s so many elements in our sound that are pretty different to what other bands in the deathcore world are doing.”
Speaking of these bands, Aversions Crown were set to embark on a massively brutal Aussie tour with those two, plus Enterprise Earth and Dying Fetus. Due to COVID-19 the tour’s been pushed to December (read about it here), and hopefully we’ll see some normality of gigs by then, but Jeffery is feeling confident about it.
“To be completely honest, I think that, as an Australian tour, by December venues will be back up and running, at least to some degree, but the issue is more that the bands on the tour have a few American bands even band members (in the Aussie bands), so I’m just not too sure what the rules are gonna be.”
Bit of a suck and see at the moment it seems. Obviously in an unknown period like 2020, bands (just like businesses) must adapt and get creative as to how to continue their craft. Aversions Crown are no different and continue to explore touring options. When prompted about some heavy local touring, Mick was enthused, but cautiously. “We’d love to, but obviously it depends on bringing Tyler over (from the U.S.) and stuff like that but whatever we’re able to do with the venue and the world, we’ll do.
“We’ll be taking any opportunities and I feel like the touring world’s had a bit of a shake-up and it’s probably going to be changed forever now. We’re just gonna have to play it by ear I think.”
The Gold Coast local reflects on the situation, globally and takes a moment to appreciate how absent the world is from live music, for the first time in what he’d guess as, hundreds of years.
“I think it’s really weird to imagine that right now, the world is without live music, probably for the first time ever, in civilisation. I’m sure there’s always been some kind of music performances in one form or another. In so many years, there’s been nothing like this, anywhere in the world. It’s pretty crazy.”
Regardless of what’s an unlucky wave of time for Aversions Crown, the band are confident that they’re back and ready to move full-steam ahead. “We had a bit of a quiet period which was not by choice, and we had to ride through that until we figured out what we were going to do moving forward. We had a lineup change, we had a change in management, and a whole bunch of stuff went on behind the scenes for a while there, but we’re back and ready to go.”
Before winding up with us, we talked again about how excited Mick was to unleash the new record on the world, and in closing he said – “we’re definitely stoked to have something positive that we can all focus on and put out to world in such a negative time, something for people to hopefully enjoy and entertain themselves with.”
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Grab a copy of Hell Will Come For Us All here
Aversions Crown – Hell Will Come For Us All tracklisting
1. The Soil
2. Born in the Gutter
4. Caught In The System
5. Hell Will Come For Us All
6. Scourge of Violence
7. Hymn of Annihilation
8. Sorrow Never Sleeps
9. The Final Judgement