//Can you give us a brief history of the band and releases?//
The band first started with a few of us experimenting with a couple of ideas in mid-2014. This eventuated to us releasing our debut single in August 2016, followed by the release of our debut EP, ‘Reform/Converge’ in March 2017.
//How did the band originate?//
Ryan: It was honestly just an idea at first. I really missed being in a band and being on stage and I was actually planning on starting a more rock/alternative vibe band in the beginning, until I went and saw my good friends Belle Haven play at Queens Birthday Eve PLASTIC in June 2014. As always they blew my mind and after that I was like, 'nope, I'm starting another heavy band'. A few weeks later I organised a day with Aiden and showed him a few ideas I had, one of which would become the opening track of the EP, 'Awakening' and he was on board pretty much straight away. After that it was 2 years worth of writing, drinking beers, recording, struggling to find a vocalist and practicing the same 5 songs over and over and over again... and then we found Tom.
Tom: You'd think we’d have a pretty interesting story for how I came into the picture, but the boys just happened to be lurking Facebook for potential vocalists when I made a post on some group looking for a band. The rest is history, I guess.
//What's the first band who made you love music?//
Aiden – The Beatles
Ryan – Elvis Presley
Thomas – Queen
Lachlan – Karnivool
Tyler – Blink182
//Who inspires you to make music now?//
Tom: As cliche an answer as this may be, I’ve gotta go with Parkway Drive. Obviously people talk a lot of shit about how music in this genre can be repetitive and derivative, which is why I find it so impressive that they’ve managed to keep on top of their game for as long as they have, in the realms of both recorded music and live performance. Really hope we get to play with them some time soon.
//What are some of the most important things you have learnt while being together?//
As cliché as it will sound, it would have to be just believing in yourself, the band and your music and staying true to that and following your dreams no matter what. On the other hand, from a professional point of view, never underestimate the power of networking. You have to put yourself and your art out there and it’s pretty much the only way to get somewhere - that’s the harsh reality of the music industry.
//How do you view your band now as apposed to when you started?//
Ryan: We’re basically doing what we set out to do. The first time Aiden and I sat down and talked about starting the band we knew where we wanted it to go and what we wanted get out of it and we’re pretty much doing exactly that. Don’t get us wrong, we are still a very young band but what we have achieved over the last 14 months is awesome and all we could ask for.
//What's your favourite venue to play?//
Max Watts in Melbourne, hands down. We were privileged enough to open for Buried In Verona there for their final show and it was absolutely killer.
//Can you explain what goes on during the writing process?//
The writing process mainly consists of Ryan and Aiden sitting in a room with a guitar and a Mac and throwing out ideas. It usually starts with a riff or a section of a song that we then work from until we have a whole composition, and then we tweak it. From there, Tom takes the song and writes the lyrical content and harsh vocals and then Ryan lays the cleans.
//Can you explain the recording process you go through?//
It all starts with the demo’s we do ourselves during the writing process. From there, we take those demo’s and book studio time with Chris Themelco (Monolith Studios – props, the dudes a legend!) and start laying the drum tracks. From there, we take semi-mixed drum tracks and record DI guitars and bass ourselves, which are then sent to Chris for reamping. Once the reamping process is complete, vocal tracks are laid, the record gets mixed by the legend himself (yep, Chris!) and is then sent off for mastering – and then Bob’s your uncle.
//What does this release mean to you?//
It means the world to every single one of us. We put so many hours, practice, blood, sweet and tears (literally) into creating this release and to see it finally out there and doing it’s thing, it’s like watching your baby takes their first steps. It’s our little baby that we’re so proud to share with everyone we possibly can.
//What does the scene mean to you?//
I think this is a touchy question that can go one of two ways. But to be brutally honest, on one hand, without the scene, there wouldn’t be anywhere for bands of our level to play and express ourselves, but on the other hand and from our personal experience as a band, the scenes a shambles. The people you expect to be your friends aren’t, and the people you wouldn’t expect to be, turn out to be your greatest supporters.
//If you could change one thing about the scene, what would it be?//
The competition of ‘Social Media’. Although social media is a very important part of the music industry today and sites like Facebook and Instagram are one of the best platforms for promotion, it has created an environment where ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ mean more to people than actual talent and putting in the hard yards – then to add on top of that, advertising costs in order to reach your target audience are sky high with very little gain shown, which frankly many young bands just don’t have the budget for to begin with.
//What song means the most to you?//
‘Empty Head, Empty Heart’ holds a special place in our hearts for being the first song off the EP to ever have vocals put to it. Our mate Grimace recorded vocal parts for it as he was originally slated to be our vocalist, and while that didn’t end up coming to be we always give him mic grabs on that song during our sets. In a way he’s still in the band, only as a dedicated hype-man.
//What's your favourite song to play live?//
‘Duplicity’ for sure. It’s the last song in our set list which means it’s the last chance we have to give it everything we’ve got - to stomp the fuck out of the ground and thrash our instruments, especially when that last breakdown drops.
//Why do you play music?//
Because it’s the greatest outlet for us as human beings to express ourselves and release all of that built up shit from our every day lives and turn that into what you see on stage.
//Would you encourage people watching this to start bands?//
Absolutely. Take it by the balls and do with it what you will. You are your own inspiration.
//What advice do you have for new bands?//
Well we are a new band realistically, but the best advice we could give is do not rush! Do not rush anything - the writing process, figuring out who you are as a band and what your image is, releasing your band or getting shows. The scene and the shows aren’t going anywhere, they’re here now and they’ll still be there after you’ve put a year or two into writing your first release and you’re absolutely 100% happy with the art you’re releasing to the world. Don’t be a p-Anakin.
//How important is it to network with other bands?//
It is an absolute must. Networking is something you cannot progress without in the music industry. You cannot underestimate how important it is to make sure you’re always engaging with other bands whether it be at shows, online, in the street, at in a music shop, wherever, it doesn’t matter. Making friends with the other bands, establishing those friendships and helping each other along the way is so important. It’s a big part of where The Motion Below is today thanks to bands like The Ascended and Amberyse and it always will be. We can’t wait to be able to not only pay it back to those bands who have helped us so far, but to the bands we are yet to be friends with, play with and tour with.