Interview by: Kat Knite
Interview with: Eddie Warren, lead guitarist for IRONSTONE
Australian progressive metal band IRONSTONE released their debut EP, ‘Prophecy’, on May 29th, 2o20. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of their members about this exciting and pivotal moment in their careers. Check out what he had to say down below!
Hey there! Thanks so much for your time. Please state your name and position in the band.
Hi Kat… I’m Eddie. I play lead guitar in IRONSTONE.
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP, ‘Prophecy’! That must have been really exciting. How are you feeling about it?
Yes it’s definitely very exciting. It also feels quite surreal to be honest. We’ve been working toward this goal for such a long time, it’s hard to believe that we’ve finally done it. There’s also a feeling of satisfaction, like everything is finally coming together. We have a fantastic line-up, our first release is out and we can now continue to build on that momentum.
With the current pandemic, how are you all coping at the moment in general?
I think we’ve all coped really well. Four of us are doing our final year of high school, year 12. So we’ve just continued to do our school work from home. Our singer Dan is classified as an essential worker, so he’s just continued to work, almost the same as usual. We stayed in contact as much as possible, online. Just one week ago our restrictions were relaxed a little. We’re now back at school, and actually allowed to get together for rehearsal again. THAT made us very happy. I can honestly say we really missed being able to see each other. We’re all best friends and love hanging out together.
Are you concerned at all about the effect the pandemic will have on your release?
Yeah a little. It’s obviously not ideal. We also worried that it might come across as flippant or even disrespectful given what’s going on in the world. But we discussed it and decided there were actually a few advantages for a band like us to release during this unique time. Because touring is impossible at the moment, it’s very quiet out there. We’re not in a position to tour at this stage anyway, being young and still at school. So that’s not a factor for us. It’s really hard to be noticed when you’re an unknown band. When Corona is over there is going to be an avalanche of new releases, from established bands. A deafening roar. That’s going to be very hard to compete with. So we thought perhaps for us, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Plus, we’ve heard so many people say that they need music now more than ever. Maybe some new music during this time is just what people need??
Have you spent lots of time being creative or collaborating with each other during isolation?
I have been doing a bit of writing… but that’s just me. I’m always working away at new ideas. Even when we’re about to release an EP worth of new songs, I’m thinking about the next tracks. But no, we weren’t collaborating as a group during lock down. It’s a pretty tricky thing to do online, and we were mostly focused on getting ready for the Prophecy release.
How did you all meet?
Four of us know each other through school. Jack, Aidan, Ollie and I are all between 17 and 18 and doing year 12 together. We’ve known each other for years. Meeting Dan was an absolute fluke. I was walking home from school, which I almost NEVER do, and it started to pour rain. Dan literally drove past me, felt sorry for me, and pulled over to offer me a lift. That was almost a year ago, and honestly feels like the most fortunate chance meeting of our lives. We still talk about it… how it could so easily NOT have happened. It’s a bit freaky to be honest!
When did the writing process for the EP begin?
Let’s see. The only song that’s quite old is ‘Downpour’. I wrote that years ago. It’s been through a lot of changes, but we’ve always loved it, and never wanted to let it go. We just kept tweaking it! ‘Killed a Man’ and ‘Bound’ were written just before we found Dan, so about a year ago. Then ‘Origin’, ‘Better Unseen’ and ‘Hollow’ were written after Dan joined, in that order. ‘Hollow’ is quite recent, only being finished a week or two before we started recording. We had quite a lot of old songs that we chose to let go so we could add newer, fresh tracks.
Who does most of the song writing for the band?
I do most of the writing. I start with a guitar riff or an idea on the synth, and expand on that idea until I have something coherent. Then Dan and I will get together and work on melody and lyrics. After that I get together with Jack, who is brilliant at programming and automation, and we work toward getting the idea organised into something we can actually play together. At that stage everybody has some input on their parts, and we experiment with what works and what doesn’t. That’s the really fun part.
Do you find it easy to come to an agreement with each other on how the final product should sound?
Yes. We all love the same sort of music and are naturally on the same wavelength when it comes to making decisions. Thinking about it, we hardly ever disagree on anything.
You’ve gone through some lineup changes in the past. Dan Charlton suits the band really well in my opinion. What has been the best part of having Dan as your new singer?
Honestly… the best part is Dan himself. He is fun, easy going and extremely committed. It was remarkable how quickly and easily he fit in. He has a real confidence about him too, a ‘swag’ which is essential in a great front man. Last but not least he is a really great singer. His vocal style definitely enabled us to write the music we’d long been wanting to play, and his contribution to the song writing has really added some new flavor.
Eddie, you also have a great voice, and filled in prior to Dan. Will we at any point hear you and Dan sing together on a song?
Oh thanks! You already do hear us singing together because I sing a lot of harmonies. Dan is a much better lead vocalist than I’ll ever be, but I do think our voices blend together well. We’ve never considered a duet! Haha. You don’t really get a lot of those in progressive metal. Maybe we could be the first!
What is the metal scene like in Australia?
I’ll answer this without factoring in the current state of affairs. It’s pretty good. There is a really healthy scene in Melbourne. It’s generally a very inclusive, supportive scene. Most of the bands are great friends with one another. We have a lot of venues in Melbourne… they do call it the ‘live music capital of Australia’. Other major cities are Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane. The biggest challenge is touring. As you probably know Australia is HUGE, so touring involves travelling enormous distances between shows. That either makes it expensive for air travel, or exhausting and time consuming if you drive. I did leave poor old Perth out of that list. I believe they have their own great scene, but being 3,500km from Melbourne, it almost feels like it’s a world away!!
You’re quite a new and young band. What has been your biggest challenge so far in trying to break through the scene?
We’ve been very lucky. We were welcomed into the Melbourne metal family and for the most part we’ve been treated really well. Our biggest struggle has been trying to fight off the label of ‘kids band’. We NEVER wanted that. We’ve never used it as a selling point. We just feel you risk being turned into a ‘novelty act’… and that can be a hard stigma to shake off later. Besides, youth expires. One real obstacle has been venue owners not allowing us to play because we’re under age. Most are fine with it, but there IS a handful of Melbourne venues that won’t let us in the door! We can’t argue with that, and we’ve missed some amazing gig opportunities because of it. By the end of the year we will ALL be 18 (legal age in Australia) and THAT will no longer be a problem.
Has music been a lifelong passion and career goal?
Oh that’s so hard to answer. Yes, as a boy I wanted to be a rock star. Even now, of course I would love it to be a lifelong career and a constant stream of income that provides a comfortable lifestyle. I will hang on to that dream, but I’ll also make sure to have a back-up plan. Something else to fall back on so my music dream doesn’t break me or leave me in ruins. I’m a realistic person!
Do you work any other jobs aside from music?
No. I am a full time student. For the time being anyway.
Since you’re still a new band, lots of big gig opportunities come as opening slots. Who would be your dream headliner to open for and why?
I can only speak for myself, but it would have to be Periphery. In my eyes they are geniuses, the ultimate progressive metal band and an enormous influence on my music.
Are there any current bands or artists that you love?
Yes… I love Twleve Foot Ninja (a Melbourne band!) Periphery, TesseracT, Architects, Wage War, Voyager (an amazing Perth band) and many, many others. The list grows and changes all the time.
Do you have any favourites outside of the metal/rock genres?
I don’t really, though I love movie scores and intricate orchestral music like that. Dan loves a lot of pop music, Lewis Capaldi, Ed Sheeran and general top 40 stuff. He also loves a lot of really heavy bands. He has a very diverse taste in music. I actually think that’s a real advantage. It probably makes him even more open minded as a singer and song writer!
What’s the best live show you’ve ever seen?
Oooh I’m the wrong person to ask. The only international act I’ve seen was AC/DC when I was about 13. Needless to say I loved it! Just after I turned 18 Corona kicked in. So I haven’t really had the chance to get out and see a lot of live music yet. Something to look forward to!
What is your favourite thing about being in a band?
I love the camaraderie. Being part of something like this with a group of friends is truly special. We get to experience it… together. Plus we have this constant outlet to be creative.
Actually no. The best part is a big stage with a sick crowd going off their heads. THAT’S hard to beat!! Hahaha.
Thanks so much again guys. I hope this release goes really well for you. I’ll be keeping my eye out for what you do next! Is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Thanks to you Kat, for giving me the opportunity to do this interview. I’d also like to thank your readers for checking us out. I can only hope you like what you hear! There is lots more to come!