Welcome back readers! This is the third part of William France’s sojourn in the wildlands of Australia (right? The entire place is just wildlands, right?), on tour with After the Burial and Born of Osiris! If you haven’t yet, check out the first and second part! If you have, hold on to your socks but things are going to get a bit bumpy. Head on over the jump for your third taste of this rollercoaster. And remember: DEFEND SUMERIANCORE.
With the trailer packed, we headed to Canberra for a show that started in less time than it would take us to get there. Out of all the places we drove through on the tour, Canberra was the most beautiful. Coming into Canberra, the roads wind through vast open plains, bordered by mountains and cloud. That was one of the only points in the entire tour where I honestly felt like I was in a country other than Australia. Watching the sun slowly sink behind the mountains helped to take my mind off of how tired I felt. We arrived at the venue and unloaded the trailer as the first band were playing their last few songs, and by the time the merch table was set up the next band, Aeon of Horus had walked on stage.
I last saw Aeon of Horus at Upstairs at 199, the venue I mentioned earlier. They sound like Opeth banged a groovier, more percussive band with a strong legato technique and a love for tapping and blast beats. Both times, I haven’t seen them miss a beat, delivering a flawless performance without disappointment. The crowd turnout, however, left a little to be desired. ATB played to roughly 50 people in Canberra and didn’t once let up in terms of delivering a huge performance like they would have a packed venue. Mind you, Canberra is a small state, naturally geared towards things of a political nature, being the capital. Both headlining bands delivered an extremely energetic show, especially considering that was the second show on the same day, in an entirely different state. After Born of Osiris’ had played, we headed back to the house belonging to the guys in Aeon of Horus.
The house reminded me a lot of BoO’s mock MTV Cribs video, except with the addition of a large practise spaaaaaace. If you haven’t lived with your band, let me tell you that it is not all fun and games. I shared my first house after moving out of home with my band, and after six months, things were so tense and uncomfortable that we barely spoke unless it was about something band-related. However, the AoH guys seemed to get along wonderfully, their hospitality and friendliness knowing no bounds. After a tour of their humble abode, I found myself sitting around a large table listening to the guys talk about touring, and music from a perspective I had never witnessed before. It was here that I got a chance to ask some of the more pressing questions I had about Born of Osiris, and in particular, their most recent album.
One thing I noticed when on tour was that my preconceptions of what a touring musician looked like had been completely wrong. I was pleasantly surprised when, after basically asking what happened in regards to the massive difference between The Discovery, and Tomorrow We Die ▲live, Lee responded with “I don’t normally tell this story, but I trust you”. He proceeded to explain just how much of an influence Sumerian Records had in the shaping of that album, and while I won’t go into too much detail, Lee made it very clear that in no way was anyone happy about the album’s title or content upon release. The conversation became more serious as we spoke about what it’s like being signed to a label in this current day and age, and making a living from such an unpredictable market. I also made a point of chatting to Trent and Justin of ATB about their new album. They spoke about the huge challenge that was recording the guitars and at the time, how they were exploring new territory so to speak, in regards to keeping a balance of a great tone, and a usable signal that worked in the mix. Suddenly the weird, muddy tone featured on Wolves Within made sense, and thankfully now that the guys had time to fiddle and experiment, their live sound was crushing. It was incredibly interesting being able to pick the brains of these musicians, especially when talking about things that were mutual between both bands. I gained a huge insight into the industry that night.
This was the first time of the tour that I really got to sit down and get to know any of the guys. Up until that point I had been driving and running around too much to really have any sort of time to just sit down and chat. Our conversation occupied the better part of the evening, and by the time anyone noticed, it was already very early in the morning. After many, many different “herbal refreshments“, Pete from AoH mentions a small food van not too far from their house. The only problem was that neither tour managers were around and the van I had keys for had a trailer attached to it. Ready to accept defeat, I motioned inside with the intent of finding a nice patch of floor to sleep on, when Pete from AoH hands me the keys to his late-model Subaru, with a big smile on his face. I thought he was kidding at first, but after he insisted we solider on, five of us piled into his cat and made for the food van. I have never driven more carefully in my entire life, and as it turns out, the food van wasn’t even open.
I must say that, as an editor, this is the part that really captures the beauty of this journal. We get a glimpse of the people behind the stage and the inner workings of our much loved metal scene. Stay tuned for the fourth installement, as the tour slowly draws itself over the middle and into the dregs of its own arch.