The indigenous presence in heavy music is growing at a rapid pace and all of the bands/musicians we’ve heard so far, have important stories and experiences to share via their music, which in turn educates us about the atrocities and oppression Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have faced in our own backyard. From the brutal sounds of Justice For The Damned and Nerve Damage, through to the thought-provoking lyrical content in Chasing Ghosts, Mo’Ju and A.B.Original now, more than ever has been the perfect time for indigenous bands to take the spotlight and have their voices heard.
Another band we’re stoked to see returning to our sights is Brisbane melodic-hardcore outfit Wildheart who are back with their first taste of new music in over a year titled ‘Backburner‘, a song which drummer Andrew Cooke explains:
“‘Backburner’ was being written around the time Australia was going through some of the worst bushfires we have ever seen. In Queensland we were fortunate enough to not be in an affected area, but did what we could by donating money from online merchandise sales to the Rural NSW Fire Brigade. Climate Change is an issue that is important to us, and hearing Muruwari and Budjiti man Bruce Shillingsworth speak on ABC’s Q&A program later that year really resonated with us, so we reached out to him.
As many who are familiar with our band may know, vocalist Axel Best is a proud Yugembeh man, and he and Bruce both wanted to really drive home with this song the point that people need to listen to, learn from, and adopt Indigenous back burning techniques that their peoples have used to take care of the land for thousands of years (hence the title of the track ‘Backburner’)”.
With direct lyrics like ‘Lands flourished for thousands of years / They were torn apart when they were taken from us / Deny it all you want / We will ignite this torch from under you’, you truly get an idea of the message Wildheart are trying to get across. They’ve been honing in on their approach to discussing the struggles of indigenous communities and did a stellar job of it with their last single ‘Rising Tide‘. Andrew spoke further about the band’s approach to covering sensitive subject matters and being voices for a community, stating:
“We all have an important role to play in effecting social and global change. As a band, we focus on a broad range of topics, from introspective lyrics on mental health and how we can support people through struggles, to standing up against the oppression that people from different cultures, experienced both at home and abroad.”
Someone commented on one of our previous videos something along the lines of “great music, but keep the politics out of it”. I guess my response to that would be that any of us with a microphone or a platform have a responsibility to stand up and advocate for change.
And we couldn’t agree more. Music and politics go hand in hand, just ask Rage Against The Machine and Fever 333.
Long time fans may notice a new/familiar face in the band with ex-Bayharbour drummer Nat Patterson joining Wildheart on the five-string bass and backup vocals. Turns out, the band and Nat go way back: “We have all been friends for years so it was a natural fit for him to join us.”
Now that this new single is out, we look to the future of the band and as it turns out, you’re gonna be seeing their name pop up a lot more than previous years:
“In 2021 we are working to reschedule some of the shows we had postponed during the midst of lockdown in 2020. There is definitely more new music on the horizon, so keep your eyes peeled for release dates and announcements on all that soon.”
We can’t wait. Dive deep into Wildheart‘s world below with new single ‘Backburner‘
by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul