Over the course of two full-length albums, Brisbane’s own Death Metal force majeure Aversions Crown have rapidly scaled Mt. Heavy Music. Now, with the impending release of their third album, Xenocide, the band has the summit in their sights.
Already the Banana Benders have unleashed upon us all a series of singles contained within Xenocide, setting the scene for a technical, thoughtful, virtuosic album that’s about as evil as a Sith Lord who skipped breakfast. Something that Aversions Crown are pretty damn proud of.
Ahead of the album release, we caught up with guitarist Mick Jeffery. Mick explains he had a fairly chilled holiday break, no doubt the calm before the storm that will happen on Friday, 20th January when the album hits shelves. Mick filled is in on everything that went into the album and everything he hopes we take out of it. Firstly, he revealed just what it is about Xenocide that resonated with the band…
Mick Jeffery: The songs on it…they’re the best we’ve done so far. We put a lot of time into picking what songs were doing to be on the album. I’m just frothing on all the songs we ended up recording, I hope everyone else does as well. But that’s the big thing for me; these are the best songs the band has ever done.
The Neversphere: I noticed a lot of talk from the band about that, that you really consolidated and met on the same page for the songs and how they all came together. What was it about Xenocide that brought this out of you guys?
Mick: On previous albums we went in with stuff that was maybe written a bit closer to the deadline. On this one we had a lot more time up our sleeves to write, ‘cos we started writing straight away when we finished Tyrant. We had the luxury of time when recording time came, we’d already written so much we could just sift through them and determine what were the best ones for this album.
The Neversphere: How did you prefer that mode of writing compared to writing everything under pressure and in the moment? What mode will you use for the next record?
Mick: Well, we’re still writing and we already have new stuff happening. We’ve been on a bit of a roll with the writing stuff so we thought ‘Well, why stop while it’s flowing out?’ So we haven’t stopped at this point. It’ll be interesting to see, after a little while, where the songs head and what we end up with in the next batch of writing.
The Neversphere: There’s certainly no shortage of material for a band like Aversions Crown, given the world is slowly falling apart before our eyes. Were there any specific themes you really wanted to hash out on the album?
Mick: Mark [Poida], our vocalist took the reins with the lyrics. He had this idea of doing a ‘bigger picture’ concept story that flows through the whole album. It was a bit of a task but he took it upon himself to try and weave everything between the songs so they flow into this big story but at the same time, we don’t want to go too much into it. We always enjoy seeing what others read into it; with the science fiction-type stuff, people often draw different conclusions from where we’re heading with it.
The Neversphere: I really like one of the adjectives you guys used to describe the vibe of the album, that Xenocide “paints a horrible, evil lyrical picture.” It’s so often in this community artists distance themselves from any hate or evil or negative connotations. Usually it’s ‘overcoming adversity’, so it’s a big statement to identify as evil these days!
Mick: [Laughs], When everything was coming together, all the songs were just the heaviest songs we’ve written. Everything just felt heavy, angry and evil and all that stuff; we didn’t feel like we wanted to tone it down at all – this is where we’re at.
Everything about it – the artwork is an angry statement in itself. I guess it’s that sort of music – it’s Death Metal.
The Neversphere: It makes me think of Robin Williams, who admitted it’s much more fun to play the evil villain…Is it fun to get your anger on and openly be the villain?
Mick: Yeah, it is for sure. It’s a good little outlet, for everyone – to be on stage and play evil music. It helps balance out other aspects of your life…It’s definitely a good outlet for me.
The Neversphere: And for fans too! When the touring starts, this will be our meditation, our centring process…being able to throw down, be evil and let it all out by the time the shows over…
Mick: Exactly right! We feed off that energy too, and they feed off ours. Even though it’s an evil energy, as you describe it, it’s a positive thing at the end of the day. It’s a very testosterone fuelled vibe at these sorts of gigs and I actually think a lot of blokes need that outlet.
The Neversphere: Evil for the sake of evil sucks, but evil for the sake of getting it out of your system and being a better person is rad.
Mick: Yeah, man. I agree.
The Neversphere: There’s a lot of layers and texture going on in Xenocide – it explodes the whole way through from all angles. Speaking of the live shows, how are the rehearsals going?
Mick: We did have in the back of our minds how these songs would go down live. I guess when we were doing the previous album we hadn’t toured as extensively as we had now, so it’s always in your head when you’re writing. We’re still playing with very different shows; smaller stagers, club shows and festival stages. So there’s a lot of thinking about how Xenocide will translate in these live environments…
There’s a lot of technical stuff on here, but also a lot of heavy grooves so in our minds it should translate well live, if not the best of any of our material.
The Neversphere: I hear a lot from bands that when you listen back to the album for the first time, someone in the room will at some point look at everyone else and say ‘that is going go fucking go off live.’ Did you guys have those moments?
Mick: [Laughs]. You always have certain things in your head that you think are going to be those parts but once it all comes together and you hear it – usually in the mixes – sometimes the parts you thought were going to be those bits totally aren’t, and other bits are a big surprise.
The Neversphere: I can’t see any shows announced just yet. When are you guys going to get the show on the road?
Mick: There should be announcements coming out with the album, and if not it won’t be too far behind. We’re going to be hitting obviously Australia then getting back to Europe and the UK and hopefully get over to the States as well. There are a few things we’re hoping to announce soon we’re just waiting on everything to be lined up.
Then we’ll probably be spending a lot of time in the van from then on…