By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
Hostile Objects’ debut album Negative Space is out today via Arrest Records Australia.
Drummer Grant Lawrence speaks with UB about the writing and recording of the 13-track outburst, which is the culmination of several years slog, and also fun.
How do you describe to other people what kinda music Hostiles plays?
If they are not into punk rock it’s the old, “yes, yes, the loud, fast, noisy shit that you can’t stand”. Or if they are actually into this kind of thing they’ll usually listen and make up their own minds…having Joe ‘Heavy Metal Moshpit’ Citizen at work ask about and wanting to come to see the band is always a fun one to avoid…’Um, yeah, of course I’ll tell u when we’re playing, chummmmppppp.” In the end, though, they are just a bunch of tunes we enjoy writing and playing, and if we still like them when it comes time to record, added bonus, they’ll get a run in the studio, too.
Who writes your lyrics?
Rod [Hunt, vocals] writes the majority of our lyrics so he’d be best to answer what on earth the meaning of what he transcribes means, however for this record, Jimmy [Meek, guitar] and myself contributed the lyrics for a couple songs each with Luke [Buckler, bass] chucking in a few lines here and there. We had originally planned for Chris Britton (Chroma / Twin City Faction / Subversion) to lay down some guest vocals, which I was stoked about, however he wimped out last minute. Haha! Nah, he had a bunch of different things going on so times weren’t aligned well enough to make it happen. He did however write the lyrics for the track “Ruins”, so he is still a part of it in that aspect, which is ace. Basically they are a collected mix of the usual good and bad reminders and reflections of the different thoughts goin’ on both in and around us.
When was Negative Space written?
A lot of writing and demoing new songs was done early to mid-2014. In the end we had 16 songs we wanted to record, five of which were written back in 2012-13. We decided to put out the Cave In EP first and keep three older ones separate to the album, while the other two, “Gloom” and “Burning White”, we all kinda knew would sit better on the album when we got ’round to doing it. “Gloom” was a set opener early on, but yeah, having 11 new songs to have some fun with and record also was pretty cool – a sign that things were actually moving along for us, even if we’d been playing a bunch of them live for some time. There were one or two learnt and played together for the first time on the day of tracking. For us, they are always still new songs until recorded once and for all. We’ve only recently re-learnt how to play the album start to finish…each prac has been like a night out at a karaoke bar in a way. Haha!
When was Negative Space made?
For me, I had wanted to record with JonBoy [Jon Gardner] for a while. I liked his production work on a few different albums over the years by Hard-Ons, Grand Fatal, etc, so was great to finally work with him. He is an engineering wizard. We’d had most of the songs ready to go mid-2014. In August 2014 we did the tracking of drums, bass and all guitars in a one-day session at Music Feeds in St Peters, Sydney. The vocals and mixing were then spread out over the next year or so (so Rod still had a voice to perform in his local church choir every Sunday). They were recorded at JBR’s home studio, which he likes to refer to as The Chinese Brothel for some reason; I didn’t wanna ask why. It was mastered by Carl Saff over in Chicago with all artwork handled by our main pen lord, Jimmy Fatal. We’ve always had enough material to do an album but it was great to break it up and work up to it with the two EPs first. It must have inspired us somehow as we are currently writing the next record now…it’s like it’s 2014 all over again…noise and creative time is always sweet.
Listen to and buy Negative Space:
Hostile Objects launch Negative Space on Saturday, June 11 at The Hideaway Bar, Enmore w/ Chinese Burns Unit, Darkhorse and Society’s Chain. Entry is free.