Metalcore outfit Harroway reign in Sydney and have been bursting into the scene, namely with their debut melodic hardcore mixtape Bloom In A Dark Room, from last year. They’ve undergone some changes and with some new creative inspiration, they’ve gone down a… let’s say heavier path, and not only are we all about it, we want the world to hear it too.
We grabbed vocalist Matt Banks and he chatted to us about their brand new single ‘Sleep‘, check it out below. Oh, and if you’re a Sydney drummer, looking for the next big metalcore band to join, you may have just come to the right place…
Harroway are celebrating the release of ‘Sleep’ – a remarkable metalcore single which absolutely rips, what can you tell us about the single?
Sleep is definitely a step in the right direction for us musically, I feel like we have really elevated our writing with this one. Gem wrote the music for this single as he was having trouble sleeping and when I finally got to hear the sound, I had just been in an altercation on a night out where a dude threatened myself and my friends.
Obviously nothing came from that, I did the adult thing and walked away from the situation before it escalated. However, the rage that it left inside me was insatiable as I have a very big protective instinct when it comes to people I care about, which I would like to think is normal for most people. Definitely made Mauy Thai training an interesting experience for the next couple months to follow haha.
Getting back on track, I wrote the lyrics to this song about that rage, anger and almost primal violence I felt when my loved ones were threatened. I didn’t hold back, I wanted to be as graphic as possible with my description. I need everyone to know how pissed I was. But, I guess to sum it all up ‘Sleep’ is very angry haha.
‘Sleep’ is certainly not the band’s first release, you guys dropped a mixtape last year, titled Bloom In A Dark Room – for those new to Harroway, how would you describe the sound of your first release?
Bloom In A Dark Room is a release for everyone I’d like to think. Kind of a collection of different sounds of metalcore. There was no real formula to the writing, we just kinda wrote what we wanted to and what we thought sounded cool. All the songs on Bloom In A Dark Room were recorded in 2016-2017 and as much as there are some songs from it that we still love, we have grown a lot since then and I feel like ‘Sleep’ reflects that.
Having listened to songs like ‘System Era’, it sounds like Harroway are dialling things up a notch with ‘Sleep’, moving away from a melodic hardcore sound and more towards that metalcore direction – is that the intention, and is this what we can expect the band to sound like with future releases?
The direction change for Harroway has a few reasons. My vocals just sound better over heavier music for one haha. But, we also went through a pretty big line up change over the ‘Covid Break’.
We saw this as an opportunity to grow, look at our strengths as a band and move in that direction. So we decided to go balls to the wall which I personally am really excited about.
Going back a couple of steps, how did Harroway come about – any particular forces that drew you together besides a bunch of keen heavy musos looking to kick some ass?
Originally, most of Harroway’s members were from my old band Maybe I’ll Live Forever, so we had been friends and playing music together since early 2013, I’d like to say. As life moves on, peoples lives move in different directions and a band can’t be their priority anymore. So, the only OG members are Jordan and myself.
Gem has been a mate since 2015 and we had actually been try to convince him to join the band since then, the dude is a ridiculous guitarist! And we finally got him! Anth is our newest member of the fam but we are very happy to have him as like Gem he is a ridiculous guitarist. Currently we are without a permanent drummer but we have our good friend Dean stepping in until we find the right person.
So if you’re a drummer, with skills and a love for heavy music, get in touch.
Will ‘Sleep’ feature on an upcoming EP or LP (if you’re in a position to reveal)?
I mean I guess it depends on how well it does, but for now we just plan for it to be a stand alone single. We need to warm everyone up for what’s coming next.
What’s it like emerging into both the local and international metalcore scene in the midst of a flurry of new music that seems rather overwhelming?
I try not to think about it honestly; I found the best thing to do is just focus on yourself, there’s always gonna be bands releasing music, playing shows, touring and so on. If you get to concerned with what everyone else is doing, you’ll never do anything. Put your energy into making music you’re proud of releasing. That’s should be your primary focus as a band or artist. Then after that, if you want people to hear it put some time and effort into marketing your music. Key message is, if you are doing it for yourself, what other people are doing won’t matter.
Who would you say are your and the band’s immediate influences?
This question I always find a hard one ’cause we don’t really write to be like other bands (said every band ever haha) but I know when Gem writes the music it stems from whatever emotion he is feeling, which I think is what makes him such a good guitarist.
I’m a big rap fan, like Biggie, 2pac, Andre 3000 etc. The way they can paint pictures with their lyrics is something I’ve always loved. But I guess vocally I’ve been told the chorus of ‘Sleep’ reminds people of Northlane’s original vocalist Adrian.
I think if you like bands like Wage War, Fit For a King, Polaris, Currents, Like Moths to Flames, Northlane, Alpha Wolf and Architects, we will probably fit nicely into one of your playlists!
What’s on the cards touring-wise for the band following your single launch show on Feb 25th?
We have a couple Sydney shows lined up for the beginning of the year, and I’m in the process of booking shows for Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide for mid-year. I think I can speak for the rest of Harroway when I say we’ve been locked up for way too long and we plan to play as much as humanly possible this year!
Anything else you’d like to share with Wall of Sound readers on ‘Sleep’?
‘Sleep’ is definitely from a place of anger, so if you relate to the song, just know that I know what it’s like to be so filled with anger you feel like you could explode at any given moment. I strongly suggest finding a way to express that anger in a healthy and safe way. I like screaming into a mic, lifting weights, punching/ kicking big bags full of sand and going to therapy. Maybe one of these might help you. Just don’t hurt other people or yourself. That’s never the answer.
A fun one to finish things off – when you guys explode, who would be the one dream-band to tour with?
Slipknot would be! But so would Parkway Drive or Bring Me the Horizon, A Day To Remember or Architects. There are too many bands I’ve dreamed of sharing the stage with. But if we are shooting for the moon definitely Slipknot.
Aim high buddy, you’re on the way!
Interview by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)
Harroway is Matt Banks (Vocals), Joshua ‘GEM’ Gemmell (Guitar),
Anthony Carnell (Guitar), Jordan Sheriff (Bass)
‘Sleep‘ is out tomorrow! Pre-Save here
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