Matthew Banks – Harroway ‘If It’s Meant To Be It’s Up to Me’
There’s a reason the world’s eyes are on our country, because of the sheer amount of heavy/alternative bands that are constantly upping their game and proving there is something special in the water down under. From your Polaris’ to Make Them Suffer, Northlane, Reliqa, Alpha Wolf, Redhook and beyond, we are constantly seeing bands rise from the ground, and explode on an international level – which is bloody brilliant to see and support where we can.
One of those bands who are well and truly on their way is Sydney-based metalcore group Harroway, who just released their new EP i don’t want to be here anymore (our review here) – featuring 5 new songs guaranteed to have you smashing your head into the nearest wall upon the first playthrough.
But it’s not just the heavy tunes that will capture your attention, it’s the motivation and drive the band have behind them that’s inspirational to watch. They want to make it, they’ve got the product to get them in the spotlight and all that’s left now is for you to jump on the bandwagon and witness their growth from these grassroots levels.
To get you up to speed, we grabbed frontman Matthew Banks (with input from guitarist Joshua ‘GEM’ Gemmell) to take us through the vibe at Harroway camp following their EP’s release, the success they’ve already found with this campaign and what to expect at their incoming EP launch shows…
Matthew – welcome back to Wall of Sound and congratulations at Harroway HQ – how’s the vibe post-release of IDWTBHA?
Matt: Hey dude! Vibes post-release are great! Very happy to finally have the EP out to the world! Plus WE ARE VERY EXCITED FOR TOUR!
So much work went into this release because obviously not having a management team or label backing us, we did a lot of it on our own. However in saying that, we did also recruit the help of Ophelia from Big Mouth PR as we wanted to give it the same attention that a signed band would receive and I feel like we succeeded. We definitely kicked all the goals we set out to achieve with the release.
And you’re also celebrating a massive milestone with ‘Parasite‘ hitting 100,000 streams – well done to you and the boys on creating such a brilliant piece of work. Has the response surprised you?
Matt: Yeah look, that’s our first 100k song ever and it happened so fast with no curated Spotify playlists. I think when we were setting goals we were like ‘yeah if we get a good playlist hopefully we will get 50k but if not 20k seems realistic’ next minute over 100k streams in a month. Definitely took us by surprise. Even the YouTube release on our own channel has gone nuts. 11k views on something that we expected to get no traction.
It’s definitely warranted though – from when we first came across you guys, to where you are now, it’s like a massive leap forward. Do you feel that way too or are you still stuck in the mindset of when you were recording these tracks?
Matt: I would agree this EP is definitely a step up for the band, we are consistently looking to find ways to get better and better. We want to do this full time and we know that to give us the best chance of doing that we need to push our limits as far as they are willing to go and then some.
I need to know, I didn’t listen to the EP until the day it came out (it’s been on repeat all weekend too) tell us about that closing track ‘Once More’ – it is a fucking masterpiece of work from start to finish. Give me all the details about the inspiration and conception.
Matt: Well with the whole EP being about Gem and my experience living with BPD and knowing this was the closing track when writing, we really wanted to tell the story of the road to helping yourself and the battle that it is. A lot of people will read ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ as a negative, but for us, it was that we didn’t want to be in the place we were. Living in a mental hell, day in and day out, not knowing what suicidal thoughts we would have to battle with, what depressive or manic episodes we were going to have to face, what friendship or relationship we were going to destroy. We just want to be somewhere better.
Gem: Musically, Once More was written in the peak of lockdown, I hadn’t left my house in a couple of weeks and I’d felt very alone and distanced from everyone important. The song was intended to show the peaks and valleys of being that alone, at times it’s hopeful, and at times it’s hollow. It’s the song I hold dearest on this release, because it was my truest expression of the genuine turmoil I was going through. I hope that people feel the same release I felt when listening back to it the first time.
Who or what musically would you say inspired this one sonically? It comes across in the same vein as Avenged Sevenfold, Northlane, Architects and similar bands with massive anthemic and orchestral closers.
Gem: It was more inspired by composers and those really big Hans Zimmer soundtracks like Batman and Inception with the big strings and choirs. The intro was inspired by Spanish romance guitar pieces with melancholy chords and tremolo melody.
I look at bands like Architects, Bring Me and composers like Hans Zimmer with those big symphonic chords and melancholic rises to build tension. I think music is the purest form of expression and I’m sure there are bands that share a similar mindset in writing or have a general vibe, but that is what makes music so universal, it’s a shared experience
Will we get to hear this live on your upcoming EP launch tour?
Matt: Well I guess you’ll have to come to a show to find out 😏 But yes, we believe is our best music to date we plan to play the EP plus a couple others
I really hope this is the release that snaps heads in your direction – you deserve it – what are three things you’re proud of with this release, or the band in general up to this point?
Matt: For me personally, I’m proud of a lot of things when it comes to Harroway. I’m proud of the boys and their ability to grow and get better. I know they have put in hours upon hours grinding away at their respective crafts, because we all believe in Harroway and where we can take it. I’m proud of how much of ourselves we poured into this release. We really wore our hearts on our sleeves.
But I think what I’m most proud of is our ability to keep going. There’s so many amazingly talented bands in this music scene and it’s hard not to take it to heart when you don’t get the opportunities you thought you were worthy of after putting in so much effort. And if you are reading this thinking we are sitting here saying ‘woe is me’ you are very mistaken.
We are out here making it happen for ourselves and if you are someone who feels like they are in a similar position I strongly encourage you to do the same. Make it happen, ‘cause no one is coming to make it happen for you. To quote my late grandfather: ‘If it’s meant to be it’s up to me’
Wise words there. What’s next – after this launch tour – what can we expect from Harroway?
Matt: World tour with Metallica hahaha But seriously we do have something in the works but you’ll have to wait to find out about that 😉
Nice teasing mate – any final thoughts?
Matt: If you have taken the time to listen to ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ then on behalf of the Harroway family, from the bottom of our hearts; thank you! It’s your ongoing support that keeps this band going at the end of the day and I sincerely hope I get to see each and every single one of your beautiful faces on our headlining EP tour in May! We are putting the whole thing on ourselves so we really appreciate everyone who has bought tickets so far!
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
Follow Harroway on Facebook | Instagram
Stream i don’t want to be here anymore EP here
Harroway – I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore tracklisting:
3. Burn It All
5. Once More