INTERVIEW: Dave Haley (PSYCROPTIC / RUINS)
Levi: Can you tell us about the sound of your new album "As The Kingdom Drowns"?
Dave Haley: Yeah. Yeah. Like it's a natural progression from where we left off. But, there's definitely some new elements. I mean every time we record, we try to mix it up a little bit, and chuck in some stuff we haven't done before. And, you know? Just as we learn to write songs in a more catchy and better manner, you know? They're gonna naturally change. So, yeah. The whole album has definitely got some new elements, but you can hear that it is, it's us still. You know? We haven't shifted style too much. But yet, there's a lot of new stuff in there too. Levi: Yeah. I remember I saw one of your shows in Brisbane... I think I might have been talking to [Joe Haley]. And he was saying that you guys record on analog tape. Are you still doing it that way? Dave Haley: No. So, that would've been years and years ago. We ... Joe actually runs his own studio at this time. So, he introduced engineer. So in the studio, he kind of freelances in a couple. And then, he's got his own studio. So, he doesn't have any analog equipment per say. But, yeah. Definitely the first couple of albums, they're all recorded that way. Levi: I noticed I guess around the time The Inherited Repression came out, it kind of felt like the changing point almost for Psycroptic ... You guys started incorporating a bit more groove into your sound. Would you say that was almost like a turning point album? Dave Haley: To be honest, I've never really thought about it. You know? An album is just a snapshot of what we're playing up to, at that point in time. And it always ebbs and flows. So we've definitely over the years, been more ... I guess attracted to the idea of just writing catchier songs. So, I feel the sound. So, I've ... Yes. I think probably now that you point it out, maybe that was somewhat of a turning point, in terms of a shift to ... With the ... You know? The sole purpose of writing catchier songs. But, yeah. The more you do something, the better you hopefully get at it. So it's always a work in progress, anytime we write material. Levi: Yeah. I remember the last time I saw you guys, it was just mainly songs off like the last three albums. Do you go back to early stuff from 'The Isle of Disenchantment', and 'Symbols of Failure' often? Dave Haley: Not too much, to be honest. You know? We're still very proud of those albums, and you know? That's where we were, at that point in time. We just find that a lot of the songs don't translate too well live, these days. You know? We'll ... You know? People will ask for them all the time. And then, we play one. And then, it just ... You know? Doesn't go over too well, or you know? It just stops in the momentum of the show. So, not to say we'll never go back and incorporate them ... Bring some old songs back. But I think the upcoming tours, we're gonna predominantly focus on a lot of the new material. Levi: Growing up, who was the one in the family that first got into metal? Was it you or Joe? Dave Haley: Well, I'm the older brother. I'm a couple years older than him. And I do remember kind of forcing him to listen to heavy music, because it was something I discovered. And, he was ... I think I'd just started learning drums. So I decided for him, that he'd learn. Then, I got him to look at guitar books. I'd say "Hey, guys. Learn this. Let's ..." And, yeah. After a while, he gradually found his own musically, in terms of what he liked and didn't like. And I think, yeah. Initially, I probably gave him a good shove in the direction of this style of music. But then at the end of the day, I think he found his own love for it. Levi: Now you guys are definitely high level, which it comes to musicianship. How many years do you think it took, before you guys really started to sound tight? Dave Haley: Yeah. It's still a work in progress. But, we ... I think we were jamming together for about four years, before we started Psycroptic. And, I think I was 19. And, Joe was about 16 or something, when we started. So ... We're both still pretty young. And, I think it took a good four, you know, five or six years, for us to really find our sound and the direction we really wanted to go. But, yeah. As musicians to keep ourselves interested, and entertained on the instrument. We always wanna challenge ourselves, and try different things out. Yeah. So that feeling luckily, hasn't gone away. So, you know? We're still motivated to try new ideas, and practice new things. So, yeah. It never ends. Levi: You're also playing Download Festival next year in Melbourne with Ruins. How did that show come about?
Dave Haley: Well, the offer actually came out of left field. I wasn't expecting it. I played this years Download with Psycroptic in Melbourne, which was awesome. It was one of the best I guess managed festivals incidentally, that I've been a part of. So, the guys really did an awesome job. And, yeah. Next years lineup for Download is killer. So, yeah. Looking forward to that show.
Listen to the full interview
PSYCROPTIC - DIRECTIVE (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
'As The Kingdom Drowns' will be released November on the 9th of November 2018. Pre-orders available now. Click the picture below to order!
Don't forget you can catch Dave Haley performing with RUINS at Download Fest 2019!