Australian, Best Things You've Never Heard — November 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Hatchet Dawn

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Official bio (www.hatchetdawn.com) – “The HATCHET DAWN debut album bound from a signature spooky dark mixture of modern heavy rock, metal and alternative music to craft a sound known as toxic horror rock, along with a touch haunting graveyard class. “It is a unique feeling to be in a band so diverse in all aspects and has a vibe like none other” remarks vocalist Bert Cuzens.

Divulged in a dark dapper Tim Burton tailored appearance, HATCHET DAWN enhances depth and demeanour to front a monstrous sound reminiscent of Rammstein, Marilyn Manson, Korn or Rob Zombie. “We’re all about giving both visual and sonic experiences. It’s about entertainment. We want people to walk away inspired” explains bassist Billie-Jade. HATCHET DAWN unfold the thick groove orientated sonic backlit of REBIRTH drawing you quickly into their disquieting spooky world “While writing material for Rebirth it was critical our sound was recognised as Hatchet Dawn. Every band has influences, but we sit in a place where we aren’t looking to replicate” says guitarist Howsie Noise.

Following up from the 2009 Faith in Chaos EP, the HATCHET DAWN debut album REBIRTH broadens the creative world of a band that has attracted the collaborated work from the renowned Grammy Award winning Neil Kernon (Sex Pistols, Queen, Cannibal Corpse, Nile, Hall & Oats & Judas Priest) mixing REBIRTH along with the mastering talents of Alan Douches (Sepultura, Misfits, Killswitch Engage, HIM & Mastodon) fortifying a world class heavyweight album from beginning to end.

REBIRTH showcases the bands original modern style of standout anthems such as groove monster tracks Planet of Terror, Dark Symmetry and Juggernaut, while showcasing a dark melodic violin accompanied twisted side within the worlds of songs Mother Destruction and the title track Rebirth. In 13 songs, delivering 41 minutes of toxic horror rock, REBIRTH is an awakening portrayal of dark winding modern hard rock and metal ethics, pop hooks and structures interlacing a horror industrial tone and doom contrast to support a rehabilitated HATCHET DAWN. REBIRTH produced by founding member/guitarist Howsie Noise and bassist Billie-Jade reinforce a genuine sense of fresh song writing roots and nurtured song concepts binding the REBIRTH artwork and music to create another world of music and visual experience.

Determined to advance in the music industry and grow on an already ravaging fan base following, HATCHET DAWN is gaining full attention for the entirety of every performance. “You can expect nothing but great vibes at every hatchet show” explains Howsie Noise. “We all have a blast on stage and we love to feel close to our fans and connect with anyone enjoying what we do.” After touring the south coast of Australia with Marilyn Manson in 2009, HATCHET DAWN is preparing to tour the world in promotion of REBIRTH and to take the bands interactive live experience to the world stage leaving no doubt that HATCHET DAWN means business.”

We checked in with guitarist Howsie Noise to give you more insight into these toxic horror rockers from Melbourne, Australia…

Let’s start with the basics first, when did the band first get together and what inspired Hatchet Dawn to be your band name?
I started Hatchet Dawn around mid 2007. I had the name in mind for over a year and had this sudden rush of ideas that I felt was right to begin working on for Hatchet Dawn. I was going through a big change in my personal life at the time so it gave me something positive to focus on through some tough times at that point in my life and I decided to put music as my main priority. I had started jamming with a mate on the idea that we would write some songs together in our spare time, but had not worked out what we would do with those songs. When I had the ideas for Hatchet Dawn solidified I mentioned them to him and he was into it leading to the band coming to form. My initial idea around the name just popped in my head one day as I was walking my dog. I have learnt as an artist over time to trust inspired thought at times of mental clarity. “Hatchet” represents action, change, empowerment for example and as for “Dawn” represents new beginnings, a new rise to new events or something that happens every day at the beginning that you face. I wanted Hatchet Dawn to be a positive and powerful name that would inspire and unite, not a depressive negative name like some cliché heavy acts go for. Forming a pop horror image around that gives another angle and spin. I always visioned Hatchet Dawn to be the movie soundtrack Tim Burton was never to develop a movie for but still worthy of such greatness.

For the benefit of our readers who would have not yet heard Hatchet Dawn, how would you describe your music and what the band is all about?
Hatchet Dawn’s sound has always been to create memorable moments and to create a new sounding band. The music has huge groove laced chunky heavy modern rock riffs, fat tempo beats that are mainly heavy rock driven with some flavours of modern metal. We love big chorus and hooks which we are growing constantly into our style. Along with heavy rock flavours there are alternative rock moments and songs that have moody and spooky vibes, on our new album ‘Rebirth we experimented with violins and pianos. Our song structures revolve around classic formulas with verses, chorus and bridges but we like to tweak certain points in every song to bring something new out of the song to give it a fresh feel. We have a touch of a blues undercurrent in there too, especially with guitar solos and interlude moments. The band is about writing songs that stand the test of time and grab a listener to want to hear more. People that take themselves too seriously might have a hard time enjoying our music if they limit their imagination. We always have people that come up to us after shows and tell us they don’t listen to heavy music or metal, but totally loved our set and songs which tells me that we’re on to something unique. Not many heavy bands can hold an audience totally foreign to big, dark and heavy songs.

Can you introduce each member of the band and give us a rock ‘n’ roll fact or myth about each?
Bert is our “Dr Hook” on the vocals, the guy is us the most talented vocalist I have ever heard and performs like a creature out of this world. I met Bert when I joined my first band and he spun me out cuz he was so quite back then, but once he turned his PA on my jaw hit the floor like a $2 hooker after I heard him sing. Billie-Jade plays bass, piano and sings backing vocals along with guitar. She is one very creative soul and is born for greatness. She loves to dance and will chew your eat off for hours given that chance, she also loves her Gin & Tonic. Das Schmidt plays guitar like a chainsaw! He has a great solid playing style as well a permanent smile that never leaves his face. He is just jazzed to be rocking out and is a funny guy once he has a few beers behind him. Shane DeVille eats the drums like a vulture and is the best drummer I have had the pleasure playing music with. When I first saw Shane play I forgot he was playing with a band, as he was the only guy that stood out the entire set. I have never seen a drummer play with so much passion. He loves his music as much as he loves strip clubs. Lastly is myself the “Captain of Crunch” on guitar. I believe in having a good time all the time. Life is too short to get fuzzy over small things. I’ve always kept my eye on the prize and have to calm myself down sometimes as I get too hypo lol.

Photo's courtesy of Lens Of Rock

You have recently released your album titled “Rebirth”, here’s your chance to tell the masses reading this, why they should go out and buy it?
Rebirth is great album period. It’s not like anything else on the market at the moment for all good reasons. In a time where bands from the 90’s are making come backs from lack of new talent surfacing here is your chance to discover the newest talent and an album that takes you on a journey listening from beginning to end. It was mixed to be played loud and there is enough bass drops and sub sonic horror action to put any sound system to the test. If you love big sounding and interesting albums don’t hesitate, you will be doing yourself a favour by buying it. Your parents will hate it! But your brother, sister or best mate will be asking what sick shit are you listening to???

Looking back on the experience of recording your very first EP, what were some of your biggest learning experiences that you really think you capitalised on when making the album?
Our ‘Faith in Chaos’ EP was done very quickly. There was not many double takes and sounds completely raw. But in a sense that worked for the EP. It was only an EP after all…I had recorded another album in between the ‘FIC EP’ and our new album ‘Rebirth’ which I learnt so much from that experience from working with the producer DW Norton. I don’t think I would be the artist today if I had never worked with him. He showed me all about song writing and song producing. I grew so much from doing that album I felt this massive inner change in direction and inspiration. That album was done on a SSL recording desk so I wanted to make sure ‘Rebirth’ was recorded on an SSL as well. I learnt to make sure the songs were memorable, not to just write heavy songs. On ‘Rebirth’ I wanted to work with people that I could explain what we were going for and end up with that result. On our Manson tour we got to know our live engineer Theron Rennison very well on tour and since he had mixed our biggest shows, it made sense to work with him to record and engineer the album at this studio. He has all the old gear from the Backbeach Recording Studios that operated years ago on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia. Theron has the old SSL desk from there which has recorded so many great aussie and international albums. It has been used to recorded and Iron Maiden album and Madonna album! Working with Neil Kernon to mix ‘Rebrith’ was amazing too. I had been talking with him for 2 years about working on album together. That guy has done so many records that he tells you what your about without even having to tell him what your trying to achieve. He just gets bands and music in a way that it made perfect sense to get him to mix ‘Rebirth’. He totally understood our vision and wanted to be a part of that next step for us and with us. ‘Rebirth’ turned our far beyond any expectation I had and is the best work I have worked on to date.

In terms of your song writing, what do you consider to be the most important things that need to feature in a Hatchet Dawn song to give you your trademark sound?
Defiantly heavy, interesting dynamics and moods. Intros that setup a song vibe, dark verses and chorus that come up with energy. I have formed my own style and signature sound on guitar over the years so hearing my tone and riff structures has become a signature Trademark to Hatchet Dawn. Bille-Jade has a huge bass tone that stands solid with the guitars, so a huge wall of bass/guitar presence is the result in her trademark. Billie-Jade also has her own kooky writing style that’s played a big part in the new music direction the band has undertaken on the album ‘Rebirth’. Bert has brought amazing hooky yet dark, infectious melodies to the band’s sound, so now we have those pop sensible vocals they which have become a trademark during the bands growth on ‘Rebirth’ and offers so much more to our songs contrast and emotive phrasing. Most songs are around 3-4 minutes. We don’t write epics and it’s not really in our interest to. I personally get bored around 3 minutes anyway and want to play something different. Our music is a slave to the groove which keeps the head nodding and hips shaking from beginning to end.

What inspires and influences Hatchet Dawn the most, in both a musical and lyrical sense?
Always the horror pop culture, the work of Tim Burton like Mars Attacks/Corpse Bride/Bettlejuice/Nightmare Before Christmas etc, Robert Rodriquez films. We are fans of hit bands such as Rob Zombie, Rammstein, Coal Chamber, A Perfect Circle, Sepultura, Tool and Korn to name a few. I was listening to heaps of Terroriser and ICP when I started ideas for Hatchet Dawn musically which lead the sound in a dark direction as well as athletically…Lyrically the themes have always had an inner awaking subject, if not inspired by films and twisting them into a cool personal spin of a life experience along with the notion to evolve as a music listener. Ideas on some conspiracy theories have had moments in our song inspirations so far as well. We’re always getting new and different song ideas so they’ll keep growing around sub culture and the twisted and kooky side of human existence.

Speaking further of influences, you certainly have a very strong visual image as is no better seen than in your video clip for Dark Symmetry, what are the key influences visually?
As a band we like to each come across as individual characters that all have our own identity and allows each of us to explore ideas into that identity from aesthetic angle and performing angle. We like to awaken people’s imaginations and to be themselves. It would be ace to us if Halloween was every day and everyone dressed up partying and having fun. Girls in burlesque outfits, dark players pimped out in steampunk outfits and quirky folk all getting along in the disco of life. Our music video for ‘Dark Symmetry’ deals with all those kind of ideas and passions lyrically and visually. Our visual world is a fun, dark and sexy world with crazy fun people. A carnival of horrors almost.

Photo's courtesy of Lens Of Rock

So as far as the style of rock that Hatchet Dawn plays, for the benefit of those reading this in galaxies far, far away…how would you describe the scene in Melbourne in which you have originated?
Hatchet Dawn being a heavy rock payer in the Ghoulbourne scene has challenged us to be original and unique in our stage show. There are some great bands that have something awesome to offer in their own vibe from Melbourne. The heavy rock scene is hard at times as we sit between the extreme metal scene and alternative rock scene so having bands on a show that fit the middle ground to those genres can be challenging to find as everyone is on their own tour circuit or recording. We don’t work with the extreme scene as we are not “brutal” enough (and are not trying to be) and those listeners just want to hear constant extremity, but we come across too heavy for the general rock scene. We find we are working best on mixed shows atm with bands that have diversity like Hatchet, but it is also our aim to grow and build the awareness of the heavy rock acts that lean on the dark side of the local music scene. Metallica filled 4 nights at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on their last tour visit. If only 1% of that audience came out and supported local bands once in a while we would have a really extraordinary healthy live scene in Melbourne. Having said that Melbourne is by far the best city in Australia to play live in, maybe in the world for live music. I personally encourage friends and people we meet to get our more and support local bands.

Whilst your album has only just been released,…are there any concrete plans being discussed yet for world domination and are you aware of an overseas fan base via the likes of social media?
Our album ‘Rebirth” has been released in Australasia and worldwide on iTunes. We have been talking to fans and music lovers from all over Europe and North America. We know our scene is overseas as the fan base for our music is huge overseas, a lot more welcoming than it is here in Australia. As I was doing this interview Billie-Jade informed me of an online ‘Rebirth’ review from Italy we didn’t even know about that some fan had posted on a website, how cool! Our plans are to get to every major city in Australia for our fans locally then plan a month or 2 away overseas for 2012. We’ll still be doing shows around Australia in the meantime but we’re also saving to get overseas and will only be doing key shows over 2012. We hope to have our album ‘Rebirth’ available very soon in Europe before we travel over there to play some festivals during 2012. Hang on Europe we’re coming!

This question might be somewhat asking the obvious, but if you had the opportunity to contribute your music to a movie soundtrack, what kind of movie do you think your music would be best suited to and why?
Ahh, our music would suit so many movies! Anything of course by Tim Burton, ‘Plant Terror’ or ‘Evil Dead 3: Army’s of Darkness’ would be a personal pick for me. A ‘Predator’ sequel would be great too! Anything that had horror, action scenes and sci-fi. We have songs inspired by movies so it’s in our sound to suit that kind of interpretation anyway. It is a dream of mine to also collaborate on a film score soundtrack. I would love to write a bunch of songs that were purposely written for a story in film. To work with Tim Burton would blow my mind, even Rob Zombie!

If you were a person in the crowd at one of your gigs, what five words would you walk away using to describe that performance you just witnessed?
If I saw Hatchet Dawn live I would be thinking…that was fat heavy shit! But in 5 words; monstrous, emotive, inspiring, heavy and fresh.

Here’s a chance to gaze into your crystal ball. In the next 6 months Hatchet Dawn will have:
1. A new music video in the works for another song of our album ‘Rebirth’.
2. International tour dates coming together.
3. Some new songs in the works for our next album.

Essential Information

From: Melbourne, Australia

Sounds like: Toxic horror rock

Band members: Bert Cuzens, Howsie Noise, Shane DeVille, Billie Jade, Das Schmidt – Guitars

Website: www.hatchetdawn.com

Latest release: Rebirth (2011)

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