The upcoming Soundwave lineup has been marred by a growing controvesy about the festival’s wariness of booking Australian bands. So when OffStreet Press sat down with ADRIAN FITIPALDES, vocalist for Sydney metalcore upstarts NORTHLANE, we talked about festival politics, the band’s stellar run in 2012 and what it means to kick off 2013 with a spot on the national Soundwave lineup. TOM HERSEY writes.
“Not every Australian band needs to be on Soundwave — Soundwave is something that you kind of are picked to do. It’s not like bands should feel “we’re Australian, so we deserve to be on Soundwave.” That’s a bit obnoxious.”
Since the lineup for Soundwave 2013 was announced earlier this year, the Internet has been flooded by Aussie fans bellyaching about the festival’s policy of booking — or not booking for the most part —Australian bands. The whole ordeal hasn’t been helped by festival main man AJ Maddah making the odd inflammatory comment and a handful of high profile Aussie bands speaking out against the festival’s booking policies.
One of only three Australian acts booked to play the national tour, when Northlane’s Adrian sits down to talk to OffStreet Press, the subject of the festival’s politics arises pretty quickly.
“Everyone can whinge and whatever if they want, but at the end of the day Soundwave is an international tour. The acts that people are coming to see are all international, and you have bands from all corners of the globe coming to Australia to play this one tour for a very, very reasonable price. Why would you complain about Australian bands not being on the bill when you’re going to shell out $150 or whatever for a ticket when you could go watch the Australian band you wanted to see at a local show for $20? I think it’s so much more worth it when there’s a lot of bands I might have never seen before or don’t get the chance to see very often together on a bill.”
The inclusion on the 2013 Soundwave lineup is just one of the major successes of Northlane’s whirlwind run over the last year. On the back of their debut full-length Discoveries, the band have been playing high profile support slots, recently opening for Parkway Drive and I Killed The Prom Queen on their latest arena run and generating a lot of attention for their prog-influenced metalcore. So what has been the shining highlight of the year for the five-piece?
“The craziest part for me of this year has been… and I know this might sound silly, but the craziest part for me has been realising that it’s all real, and that it’s not just a dream. It’s hard to believe, especially when you’re touring with bands like Parkway and August Burns Red. I consider myself pretty humble, so it’s just really difficult to believe all of this is actually happening. Day by day, month by month, crazier plans get made, a bigger vision and a bigger picture is seen, and it’s hard to believe all this stuff is happening for us.”
Not only has playing on these high profile billing helped Northlane introduce themselves to the Australian metalcore scene, it has also helped the five-piece develop a greater hunger when it comes to putting on live shows.
“Watching these bigger bands has helped us remember our place. We’re still an up-and-coming, growing band and we want to reach the level of some of the bands we’ve gotten to share the stage with. So when you’re watching them from the side of stage you can see everyone in the crowd screaming every lyric and going mental, and you kind of think to yourself, “that’s where I want to be. What can I do to get there?” And that just gives us the motivation when we hit the stage to play the best we can and have the most fun we can.”
Though it’s been a big year for the Northlane dudes, the frontman is quick to suggest that the band’s run is still only in its embryonic stages. A new album is already in the works and the band is going to be touring even harder in 2013. Talking about continuing what they’ve already worked so hard on, Adrian suggests:
“I fear these days that kids have a really short term view of the bands they listen to. One day this is their favourite band and then the next day it’s something else. I think bands can be kind of disposable these days, and we don’t want that. We don’t want 15 seconds in the limelight and then fade out into the ocean of history… Shit, we want to sail the ocean man and leave our mark.”
NORTHLANE play Soundwave 2013 with Metallica, Slayer, Fucked Up, Kyuss Lives! and a whole heap more. The festival hits the RNA Showgrounds Saturday Feb 23. www.soundwavefestival.com