In Hearts Wake
+ Gideon + Silent Screams + Black Coast
Entry Requirements: 14+. Under 16s MUST be accompanied by an adult
In Hearts Wake - www.facebook.com/inheartswake
Byron Bay’s In Hearts Wake have been changing minds and lives since 2012, and with fourth album Ark they are looking to inspire change like never before. Musically, this album pays homage to the past as much as it signals a bright new future for conscious heavy music; as a statement, Ark simultaneously lives within the lineage of Australian hardcore and lights the way forward beyond Southern skies.
Ark is both a dynamic breath of fresh air for the metalcore genre as a whole and a treatise on one of the world’s great impending issues. Today, in some parts of the world, water is already more expensive than oil, a trend that is spreading. In Hearts Wake – comprising frontman Jake Taylor, guitarists Ben Nairne and Eaven Dall, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Conor Ward – are bringing this distressing issue to the world’s attention.
“No matter what side of the world we live on, water connects us all,” says Jake. “Every living thing, and every human being that ever was or will be, is born of water. The plasma in our blood is 92% water, our brains 75%, and even our bones are 30% water. The same water that shapes our Earth is the same water within each of us.”
“This record is an ode to the Ark, that is our ocean planet. Just like a ship, if one part is compromised, all life is threatened. What happens on one side of the world affects the other. If we don’t work together to repair our home and restore the integrity of its natural resources, we will all go down with the ship. Since water is our lifeblood, it needs to be respected, protected, and acknowledged not only as a basic human right, but as an essential human need.”
In conjunction with the release of Ark, In Hearts Wake have joined forces with Tangaroa Blue to lead a series of waterway clean-ups in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and at home in Byron Bay. Marine debris is one of the major environmental issues worldwide and In Hearts Wake – along with their fans – will first tackle this problem on the local level before taking the initiative global with a series of clean-ups in the works for future overseas tours.
“We were looking at scheduling in-store signing sessions during Ark release week when it occurred to us - why don’t we hang out with our fans and work together to do something positive. By doing this we get to spend time with the amazing people that continue to support us, and show everyone that positive actions, large or small, all help to make up the bigger picture.”
Ark follows ‘Skydancer’ (2015), ‘Earthwalker’ (2014), and ‘Divination’ (2012) in further cementing In Hearts Wake’s status as one of the leading lights of melodic metalcore. In 2016 they released the unique collaborative Equinox EP alongside label mates and compatriots Northlane, and have looped the planet multiple times in the name of spreading their ecological, humanitarian and urgent environmental message.
In Hearts Wake have won new friends and fans from multiple US runs including Vans Warped Tour, and stints supporting Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. They have also taken the fight to European festivals such as Download, Graspop, Groezrock and Vainstream and successfully toured South East Asia and are becoming bigger than ever at home in Australia.
The foundations for the band stretch back to the early 1980s, when Jake’s stepdad took the role as frontman for Massappeal, one of Australia’s first-ever hardcore bands. In 2003, when Jake was 13 years old he saw Massappeal re-unite to support Henry Rollins performing Black Flag. From that moment, his path was set.
The members of In Hearts Wake grew up in the hardcore enclave of progressive Byron Bay, inspiring the band to spread a positive message throughout the world. They have drawn from local eco-ethics and applied them on a global scale.
“As members of In Hearts Wake, we believe there’s an opportunity to do good as well as enjoy the journey along the way,” says Jake. “Music is an amazing release from all that’s frustrating and complicated about this world, as well as a lot of fun – we love that side of it. But it can also be empowering and inspiring at the same time. Heavy music, like rock ‘n’ roll in the ’60s, often confronts injustice, ignorance and imbalance, becoming a catalyst for social change. Now like then, people want to move and be moved by the music and feel its message.
“In Hearts Wake are all about the music, the message, and the mosh pit–they run through our blood, like the water running through our veins.”
Nature is known for camouflaging power. A great wave begins as a ripple; an iceberg hides its bulk under the surface. Nowhere is this more evident than what lies above us, behind the veil of the beautiful blue sky lies the infinite universe.
A closely guarded secret, In Hearts Wake's third album Skydancer has been lying dormant for well over a year. Recorded alongside Earthwalker – In Hearts Wake's award-winning ARIA Top Five sophomore album – in Michigan with Josh Schroeder (The Color Morale, King 810) in late 2013, the album is both a stunningly assured heavy record in its own right as well as a companion to its predecessor. What frontman Jake Taylor, guitarists Ben Nairne and Eaven Dall, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Caleb Burton have unveiled is nothing short of the most ambitious and heartfelt album of 2015.
“The tracks on Earthwalker were more focused, personal, emotional and subjective,” says Taylor, “whereas the topics on Skydancer were written more from an eagle eye's point of view on the broader issues of the world. It's important to understand that both are very relative.”
The existence of Skydancer makes perfect sense when placed next to 2014's Earthwalker – after all, with the earlier album focusing on the feminine beauty and unpredictable chaos of Mother Nature, the sometimes-dark masculine power of Father Sky brings everything into sharp contrast. The concept is drawn from the Native American creation myth that details the attraction and mutual dependence between the two. “Modern society currently treats the masculine and feminine worlds as very separate: from law to religion, social to political and from health to commerce,” notes Taylor. “As a species, we cannot survive or reproduce in harmony without the union of both, and this is the same sacred cycle found within nature. Earthwalker (the feminine) and Skydancer (the masculine) illustrate both worlds, and aim to bridge the connection.”
Hence the constant dialogue on Skydancer between the personal and the political, the intimate and the social. Our generation's decisions will impact the planet – both positively and negatively – more drastically than arguably any other before us, so the need for people to be conscious of the systems that control us and how they affect us on a human level is huge. These issues affect all of us, whether we like it or not. Our choice is whether or not to be conscious, whether or not to fight back.
This battle reached Taylor's own doorstep, as he recounts in 'Cottonmouth'. His grandmother was ill in a nursing home, but it wasn't clear what was causing her more pain – the illness, the neglect or the medication? “Twenty-odd pills a day to combat her rapidly deteriorating physical condition. Each pill produced a side effect that required a prescription by the other. Behind Western medicine there's a pharmaceutical war being waged by multi-billion dollar corporations, churning profit at the expense of others. I symbolised the pharmaceutical evil with the deadly Cottonmouth viper. It is said that the white lining of the snake’s mouth is the last thing victims will see.”
Lead single 'Breakaway' perfectly encapsulates the harsh realities of man's inhumanity to both man and planet, takes on those who seek to profit from mass murder on an industrial scale. “Compared to tracks on Earthwalker it's more rigid, punchier, faster, and aggressive, which for me sparked the need to speak about the harsh shadows of war and those that financially fuel it – a fragmented figment of the masculine psyche.”
The genesis of the project came when the band collectively reached breaking point. Touring for the sake of touring wasn't enough, and something had to change. “We found ourselves asking the question, what is it all for?” remembers Taylor. “This was the turning point that we needed to create a real purpose to get out of bed for (or off the floor in the case of touring). At the source of it all, we just love feeling healthy and getting outdoors – it's exhilarating. So we wanted to create a side that would stand for what we loved and believed in. No longer were we spectators, we wanted to be a part of the bigger picture so that one day our children might (hopefully) enjoy the Earth as much as we did.”
Any journey begins with a single step. In Hearts Wake might be idealists but they also know how to express those ideals in real terms; just as through the course of the 'Earthwalker' campaign they planted 1,379 trees and revitalised a small patch of the planet in the process, with Skydancer they're seeking to make even more of a difference.
By working with non-profit organisation Economics Of Happiness they are combating the creeping insidiousness of globalisation by working to promote local economies and produce. “There are over seven billion people out there, so at the end of the day we can only make a small difference to the bigger picture,” smiles Taylor. “But hey – it's still a difference! If more and more people become aware of the real issues at hand rather than who won the latest talent quest, then the difference will start to grow on a much larger scale. We'd like to prove to both ourselves and the world, that if a bunch of average dudes from a tiny coastal town in the most isolated country in the world can make a difference, then anyone can.”