Like A Storm are back and not a monent too soon! Listen in as Ozz chats with Kent Brooks about “Catacombs”, New Zealand & Math. Click that tiny little play button now!
New Zealand’s highest-charting rock act LIKE A STORM are back with their third
offering, “CATACOMBS” (SONY RED/WARNERS NZ.)
Since their breakout release, “AWAKEN THE FIRE,” which yielded 4 US Top 40 rock
singles including, “LOVE THE WAY YOU HATE ME” (over 7 million views on
Youtube), LAS has toured the world 5 times, playing in 22 countries alongside the
likes of ALTER BRIDGE, VOLBEAT, GOJIRA, GODSMACK & OZZY OSBOURNE.
“That last album not only took us to all the major tourist places like NYC, London, Paris,
Italy, but also to places we never thought we’d get to go, like Finland, Poland, Norway,
Australia,” says Chris. “The first time we were ever in Warsaw we got out at the venue
and the was a crowd of people holding LAS signs they’d made. To realize you’d made a
connection with people on the other side of the world through your music is mind-
LAS was also invited to perform at some of the world’s biggest rock festivals
including “ROCK ON THE RANGE FESTIVAL” in the U.S, “DOWNLOAD
FESTIVAL” in the UK, and “NOVA ROCK FESTIVAL” in Austria.
“We had the honour of playing NOVA ROCK with LINKIN PARK. Our dressing room
was next to theirs and we were all just sitting in awe listening to Chester
[Bennington] warming up,” says Kent. “Like everyone, we were so saddened by such a
tragic loss, and are grateful to have this unique, private memory. Another was watching
Lemmy and MOTORHEAD side of stage at GRASPOP FESTIVAL in Belgium… Things
you’ll just never forget.”
LAS hadn’t been completely off the recording radar since ”AWAKEN THE FIRE.” Last
year they gave fans a taste of what was to come with “PURE EVIL,” a six-minute
rock/metal opus to coincide with their European/UK tour with ALTER BRIDGE.
“We’ve always loved progressive metal, and saw that tour as the perfect chance to
unveil this thing that we’d been working on for years,” says Matt. The track was well-
received both critically and commercially, being added by so many radio stations
that it broke the US Rock Top 40 before it had even been officially released.
Other than supporting ALTER BRIDGE in Australia/New Zealand, and a run of
festivals in Europe/UK, for LAS, most of 2017 was spent in seclusion working on the
“We could’ve rushed this album out, three of us write, so we had the ideas,” says Kent,
‘But that wouldn’t have done anyone any favors – not us, not our fans. We wanted to
take the time needed to really put everything we had into this, and make something
we’d be really proud of.”
But whereas the last album was made in hotel rooms after shows each night, this time
the band set themselves up in LAS VEGAS. “Recording against the back-drop of the
Nevada desert is epic. The weather’s always awesome, and you can either go be part
of the carnage or retreat from it completely,” says Chris. Although even the tranquilitywasn’t without its own potential for carnage.“I woke up one morning to find a scorpion in my room,” says Matt. “It was only aftercapturing it that we realized it was one of the most poisonous scorpions on earth, justhanging out!”Prior to starting recording in Vegas, the band met with a myriad of US-based producers,but ultimately opted to produce “CATACOMBS” themselves, as they had done for“AWAKEN THE FIRE.”“We’ve always had a really clear vision for how we like everything to sound,” says Chris.“Not always, but sometimes a third party can come in and they’re mainly acting from aposition of fear, ‘If you don’t do this, or that, it won’t be a hit…” Matt explainsfurther, “We’re not afraid of failure – we moved from New Zealand and started withnothing. We love what we do and we’re prepared to live and die by the music wemake.”They enlisted mixer PETE RUTCHO to man the board this time around. “I was listeningto the PARKWAY DRIVE song “Crushed” and was like, ‘Damn, who mixed this?” saysKent. “So Pete sent us a test mix, and totally nailed it. It’s always awesome whensomeone gets what you do, and enhances it.”“Pete really captured the energy of our live show in his mixes on this record,” saysZach.The album was entitled “CATACOMBS,” as its lyrical content deals with introspectionand reconciling what’s inside. “I got the idea when we went to the actual Catacombsin Paris, on a day off on tour,” says Kent, “It hit me that how they used to just bury awaythe sick and diseased corpses could be taken as a metaphor for what each of us dealswith… In life we’re told to suck it up, swallow it, bury it, deal with it… But it never goesaway. Just like those Catacombs in Paris, up above there are people sitting on cafepatios on the street, and 60 feet below them there’s this whole other darker world ofpast atrocities. We all have the ‘shop front exterior’ up top, but our own Catacombsdown deep.”The album’s lead single, “THE DEVIL INSIDE” tackle’s head-on the theme of thealbum. “We all have this urge, this calling inside, this struggle with our own demonsthat we’re supposed to feel guilty about, but that’s part of what makes us human,” sayChris. “This song’s about grappling with that.”The track features a heavy, compound-time riff that intertwines with a tribal didgeridoorhythm. “On this record we really experimented with how the didgeridoo couldbecome one with the heavy guitars, in a way we’d never heard done before.” saysMatt.So what can one expect from this new album?..“A lot of riffs.” says Kent, “We grew up on steady diet of riffage: METALLICA, RAGE,KORN… Not to mention watching our brothers in GOJIRA and ALTER BRIDGE tear it
up every night from side of stage.” “We also pushed the drumming,” says Chris. “This isthe first LAS record Zach’s played on, and he’s taken the drumming to a whole newlevel.”And variety. Like the last two LAS records, “Catacombs” also spans the fullspectrum, from the super heavy to the super melodic. “There’s one track, “TheseAre The Bridges You Burn Down”, which is four relentless minutes of heavy guitars,drums and screaming. And then there’s “Solitary”, with an epic, half-time groove andmassive chorus. We love being able to write and play whatever we’re feeling, andare so grateful that our fans always come with us on the journey,” says Matt. “Thisalbum is definitely not the same song done 10 times over.”Once voted the “Most Fan-Friendly Band” 2 years in a row, LAS continued that goodwillby traveling all over the US giving fans the chance to sing on the new album. “Itwas really cool,” says Zach, “One of the new tracks “Out of Control,” has a gang vocalon it. We flew to 6 different cities in the US, booked a studio in each place and hadfans come in and be part of it.”And yes, the trademark didgeridoo that led to their sound being coined “DidgeMetal” is back, front and centre. “There’s nothing else in the world that sounds like it,”says Chris, “I think there’s didge on like half the tracks on Catacombs?.. I’m gonna needa new tech on tour just for all didges!”Like A Storm is gearing up for what looks to be another epic chapter of global touring.So far confirmed for ROCK ON THE RANGE, ROCKLAHOMA, ROCK USA,ROCKFEST and an Amphitheater U.S tour with GODSMACK/SHINEDOWN.“We love both of those bands, as musicians, as dudes…” says Kent. “We’ve played withthem both before and they always bring it. Between the three bands, this is gonna beone of those shows that doesn’t let up.”If 2017 was the “calm,” you know what comes next