If you were seemingly perplexed by a new “cult-like” experience calling themselves the Covenant this year, you’ll know the backstory. But for those that aren’t in the know, here’s a quick wrap-up. Victorian post-hardcore outfit Alera teased their launch with an incredible hype campaign that led cryptic-maniacs on a mousehunt to solve what was essentially the band’s debut single ‘Failure; An Anecdote for Expectations’.
Since then, two more singles have followed before Alera’s debut EP, Beware the Snake was released just last month. The band deliver an enriching metalcore experience that also manages to pull in our desire for mid 2000s emo rock. By far one of our favourite new breakout acts, we just had to get bassist Tony Tailor on the line to share the band’s first year together and what music he was digging…
TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2021
#5 Dying Wish – Fragments of a Bitter Memory
#4 See You Space Cowboy – The Romance of Affliction
#3 Citizen – Life In Your Glass World
#2 Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
#1 Turnstile – Glow On
TOP 5 EPs OF 2021
#5 Whatever Forever – Slowly Dying With You
#4 If I Die First – They Drew Blood
#3 Onslow – Onslow
#2 Arms Length – Everything Nice
#1 Knocked Loose – A Tear in the Fabric of Life
TOP 5 SONGS OF 2021
#5 ‘BWBB (Boys Will Be Boys)’ – Softcult
#4 ‘Estella//’ – KennyHoopla
#3 ‘Blackout’ – Turnstile
#2 ‘good 4 u’ – Olivia Rodrigo
#1 ‘Garamond’ – Arms Length
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2021
Kennyhoopla – ‘ESTELLA//’
“I just died at the thought of being alive at the same time as you”
This song came in strong in my top five of the year and the music video takes the heartbreak and angst that makes this track so damn good and places it in the spotlight. From the film grain and ‘cut and paste’ graphic effects to the sets featuring CRT televisions, emo/punk posters strewn across a bedroom wall and a cathartic car singalong; the video absolutely nails the early-2000’s throwback aesthetic and I’m all for it.
LAST GIG YOU PLAYED BEFORE COVID HIT?
If you’ve been following Alera at all, you’d know that this project has been around for a long time. However, we hadn’t actually played a show until our headline gig at The Workers Club.
The last gig I went to before COVID hit would have been the Sydney leg of Whatever, Forever’s ‘Where I Am & Where I Want To Be’ tour at the Burdekin. I’m pretty sure I was up front and centre grabbing the mic and screaming the lyrics along to ‘Bury Me’, a pretty sick send off if you ask me.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT RETURNING TO THE STAGE?
There’s definitely some nerves but being able to play these songs with my best mates is honestly a dream I’ve had since I was 12 years old. I can only hope that it’s going to be the first of many times where I’ll be swinging my bass around and screaming our lyrics into the mic.
HOW DID YOU STAY BUSY THROUGHOUT THE PAST TWO YEARS?
The past two years have been massive for me, after living in Sydney for my entire life I decided to quit my job, pack my life into my car and move down to Melbourne which has turned out to be the best decision that I’ve ever made. I’ve also been really involved in the band; practicing like there’s no tomorrow and fronting the merch/vinyl side of things which has been really challenging and rewarding.
On top of that, I’m a teacher and have been working at a really cool middle school in Melbourne for the past year. Despite the constant questions of what my tattoos mean, the kids are great and helping them be their best has been a great place to channel my energy.
BEST ADVICE GOING INTO 2022?
Listen to midwest emo.
In all seriousness, the past two years have been an absolute whirlwind and I think that it’s always important to take a moment to check in yourself and those around you. If these times have shown us anything, it’s that we can’t go it alone and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without some of the great people in my life. Tell your friends that you love them.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2022?
Alera’s show at the workers club was our only show of the year so in 2022 I’m really looking forward to playing some more gigs. I’d love to get to Sydney and Brisbane to put on a show for my friends and family who have been nothing but supportive (and also to see my dog Bruce).
On a more personal note, I can’t wait to get back out there into nature. I find that heading out hiking or camping is a great way to take a break from the craziness of the world we live in and reset, so I’m really looking forward to that.
Written By Tony Tailor @skateborreed