G’day Lauren here from Silver Tiger Media thanks so much for taking the time out to answer some questions. With the release of your latest album at the end of year, can you explain the recording processes that went into this album?
We rented out a studio space in Arthur Street, Homebush for a year where we wrote most of the songs. The first part of the recording process at Electric Sun Studios was working with Stevie Knight for instrumental pre-production and then working with Dave Petrovic on vocals. Pre-production was on and off from October 2016 right up until February 2017 and then we began recording at the end of March, then finished the mastering process around June 2017. You could say that the whole project was 2 years in the making.
What is a typical day in the studio for you guys?
There is unique chemistry between all of us that people looking from the outside may never understand/comprehend. When we get into the studio, we usually joke around for the first 30-45 minutes otherwise we would distract ourselves throughout the session. We all know that we’re a bunch of jokers so it is important to let off that steam prior to working hard. After that it’s work until exhaustion and then we review the session.
Are you happy with end project sound wise?
Once we knew it was time to record, we were researching and looking for a particular production sound and it was obvious from the start, we all knew that it was going to be Stevie Knight and Dave Petrovic. In the beginning, we heard the pre-production versions of the songs and we were amazed, months later we heard the raw takes and were blown away thinking, how can it get better than this? Well, the final mixes came and we knew we had something special.
Is there a particular track on the album that is a personal favourite?
I love all the songs. Each song is unique and special in it’s own right. Personally though, the track “No Compromises” always makes me feel like I have no limitations and at times, puts me in a trance of feeling invincible. I go from 0-100 with all my emotions, being joyful, angry, sad, accepting, raging, pain, pleasure, Mike will tell you that it feels like Gohan from Dragon Ball Z reaching Super Saiyan 2.
How has the response been with the news about the album?
Our families, friends and fans have all said the same thing… “FINALLY!”. People have noticed all the new images, change of lineup, teasers and they’re digging it. The project has had its own buzz and hype for quite some time as we kept people in the loop with what our plans were. Two years later, the new chapter begins, we have been eager for IT, listeners have been waiting for IT, and others don’t know that IT’s coming.
What can the fans expect from the album?
Each song is a different story and make you feel a certain way. You aren’t going to be hearing 10 songs that are “I Believe In You”. When we collaborate musically, we all have multiple tastes and are influenced by multiple things at different times. Stevie and Dave played an important role in connecting the dots that molded the distinct sound of this album.
Where do you find the inspiration for the lyrics as well as musically?
Melody is key. I believe if you have an okay melody, you have an okay song, if you have a great melody, you have a great song. I wanted to make each melody just as memorable as the others on the album.
When putting together lyrics, I always ask myself metaphorically, which theme park has the craziest ride? Of all the stories I’ve written, which ones do I want to represent this current moment? The lyric writing process was done differently to the last record. I would normally write lyrics as I go with writing the melody, but this time I was so focused and determined on writing melodies that surpass the last effort that I didn’t even think of the lyrics until later. I wrote them all after all pre-production was done. Half of the lyrics were written during a moment of realisation that made me angry, disappointed but yet determined to change all that and refuse to stay in this hole created by my mind or actions out of my control. The remaining half of the songs I wrote 5 times over because I had started to get out of that hole and I was no longer sure which story was screaming out at me…the long process started to hinder my vision and choices. I wanted to leave Sydney, leave work, leave the hectic lifestyle behind and focus on these last songs, so I stayed a few days up north at Shoal Bay beach away from it all. To be honest I ended up writing the songs in a day after spending the rest of it trekking, swimming, quad bike riding, escaping. I just became so relaxed that it was like the songs were already written and just had to put them on paper. I guess that’s where in the lyrics the essence of hope, and the drive and feel to overcome obstacles originate from.
Can you explain the art work of the album?
The album is titled “No Compromises”. It’s the short, no beating around the bush statement of stop listening to people tell you what to do, think and feel and start what you know has always been right. The DC warpaint in that photo is symbolic of the people who choose to step up against the grind. If you take a look carefully, there are shadows of bars from a padded cell, which portrays the message: ‘if this is your way of thinking, you are crazy and should be locked away’.
I Believe In You was released a few days ago how do you feel the response has been?
Everyone has loved it. It’s an aggressive sounding song with a positive message behind it. The vocals are pretty heavy, even in the hook and people are still coming up to me trying their best not blow up their voice and imitate the chorus. Looks like I succeeded.
You guys once played a pre-game show for the Rugby League at ANZ what was that like for you?
Every time we go past ANZ stadium someone always has to say “ahh Bon Jovi have played there, so has AC/DC, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Adele, oh that’s right, we have too!”. It was like here’s 50 people inside a shoe box, now here’s thousands of people inside one of the biggest stadiums in Australia. It just felt so right, so natural. Personally, I felt like I had been preparing for it my whole life. The endless watching of Bon Jovi performances and saying it’s this or nothing, happened for 10 minutes and I was ready. We all had fun.
Is there anything in particular you guys want to do in 2018?
We definitely want to tour more and play with good bands. We want to spend more time touring around Australia than our previous efforts but our biggest goals, which are starting to fall into place, is tour overseas. We are about 90 percent confirmed in touring the Philippines in January/February and then we would like to hit up Japan and Europe. We could even move there, who knows.