Tomorrow, we at Astral Noize are making our record label debut with the devastatingly frank Failure, courtesy of genre-splicing Brighton melancholists Aerosol Jesus. The release tackles a number of instrumental and lyrical topics, and similarly, the musical themes, concepts and motifs running through it are multifaceted and complex.
We caught up with vocalist Oli Melville and guitarist Tom Harrison for a track-by-track breakdown of the release – discussing their decisions when it came to constructing their noisy blackened metal sound, reasons for tackling issues at certain angles, and why the EP is as painfully to the point as it is.
Legacy/Here is Not Here
Tom Harrison (guitar): The beautiful thing about Aerosol Jesus is that our writing process is full of surprises. Usually, in a cliché band setting, someone comes up with a riff, then as a group you work to develop that riff and from there create a well-balanced piece of music – we always tried to do the opposite of that.
Whenever myself or Rauiri [guitar] wrote riffs, it was our job as a band to warp that initial idea into something we never expected, essentially bastardising each other’s work. Through that, we found we kept the music a constant surprise to ourselves (abruptly botching more melodic sections together with heavier, sludgier riffs) and always ending up with finished songs that were completely different to the original idea we started with.
When it came to Oli’s vocals this was the same process. There were sections that made sense to me as a verse or a chorus, but Oli would come along and completely throw those ideas out the window in the best way possible, creating a back and forth between himself and the instrumentals.
This completely changed the overall feel of the music and let it develop a life of its own, making the process of listening to the songs a journey in itself. I think this ultimately worked in our favour, as it mimics Oli’s frantic thoughts and creates a sense of being “out of control”, which is essentially how we wrote the music. It was a very collaborative writing process between us all, and very natural.
Oli Melville (vocals): Spoken word is something that is very close to my heart. The reason it might sound almost biblical is because I’ve spent a long time thinking about suicide, and taking my own life feels like that for me – it’s a biblical end, personally. It’s a description of hopelessness, when you have tried everything you can think of, you might as well pray that hope might return. It’s meant to be saying, “where do you go when you feel like you are empty and have nothing left?”
Oli: I wanted to try and provide an honest account of recent things that have happened. I wanted it to come across as challenging – when I listen to music, I want to react; I don’t want to be safe, I just want to feel something. Living in this country and in this time of dystopian advertising, hatred and negativity, we need more art to shine through and I hope this will spark a reaction from someone.
Failure is out tomorrow, head over to our Big Cartel to purchase.
Words: Bill Waters