Words: Sal Fasone | Subbing: Bella Dawe
The metalcore band from Australia are back in the United Kingdom for an almost sold out tour. We caught up with Sean Harmanis backstage at Boston Music Room in North London.
The band are in Europe to promote their new album “Worlds Apart“, a different sensation that can stay in your stereo for a while, as described by Sean himself.
The album is definitely the perfect example on how Make Them Suffer still managed to showcase how they have developed their own sound over the years into the melodic, dj-ish grooves one would come to expect from them.
Find out below the behind the scenes of “Worlds Apart”, the buzz of coming from Australia to play shows worldwide and the excitement of music pushing boundaries and changing with Sean.
Where did you get your name from? Is it actually as depressing as it sounds like?
I don’t think the name particularly suits us. Chris, our original bassist actually came up with the name, he’s the one that sort of, brought me in and asked if I wanted to be part of this new project called “Make Them Suffer” and supposedly he got the name form some lyrics from an old death core band called Rose Funeral, they had a lyric saying make them suffer and I think that year Cannibal Corpse came out with a song called “Make Them Suffer”, everybody thinks we’re named after that song but we’re not .
If you could change it, would you change it?
Well, no, yes, no. We would never change it. If I were to start everything from scratch. If I could be 18 again and start a band again it would not be called Make Them Suffer, I don’t even know if it would be metal (laughs).
Coming from Australia, how is the music scene over there?
The Australian music scene is booming right now, that’s what I personally feel. The market, I mean America and Europe seem to have a big buzz around Australian bands. There’s a lot of cool bands coming out of Australia, for sure. It’s a completely different situation, in the sense that, we don’t have as many music festivals or anything like that and there’s only seven places to play, there’s more if you do a regional tour but it’s a big place. Realistically, a regional tour doesn’t go for more than two weeks. It’s difficult for upcoming Australian bands to build their profile because when you’re only able to play an X amount of shows, it limits your income and then you have to use that, somehow, to do your music videos, international flights, fees – it’s tricky like that. But we’re all working really hard.
What about the crowds?
When we play in our hometown, Perth, the turnouts are pretty good. Those are the fans that have been following us for so long, that they know every song of our discography. In Europe, and UK they may have caught us from our new releases so like “Worlds Apart” so it’s still growing. But metal is a genre which people usually tend to go back and check back the entire discography a little more often. In Australia we have played bigger crowds but it’s still growing, especially here ….
You have a big following on social media, how do you think they’re affecting the band?
Social media are our largest promotional tool. Without social media you would probably never hear anything we’re doing. People don’t watch television in general these days, walking up to a flyer in the middle of the street is very unlikely and anyway, flyers can only target a certain area whereas the ratio of social media is different, you can share with whoever. People could drive one or two hours to see your band. So yeah, it’s definitely a big part of our promotion. We also use social media to interact with our fans when we can. Sometimes it gets a little bit overwhelming when we receive a lot of inbox messages and stuff like that on Facebook but we try our best. From my personal account, I try interact as much as I can though.
You have a new album out, “Worlds Apart”. Can you tell us more about it?
The main inspiration for the album is life. For me writing the lyrics, it’s just love and finding yourself, the journey of life I guess. It’s a pretty personal album but at the same time I tried to make it relatable for other people. I think when you write stuff from the heart, people can tell because they will be able to relate to it. That part comes out naturally. As far as the process, it’s a bit of different direction I guess from our previous album “Old Souls”, a little bit different from “Neverbloom” for example, that was way more of a death record, “Old Souls” as pieces of metal core. This record is pushing those boundaries and pushing that much further into some undiscovered territories. We’re covering different genres like progue, dreamy soundscapes. When we wrote “Ether”, we knew we wanted to put it out as a single and we recorded pieces of it but the riff just stuck out, different sound but it somehow gave us the confidence to move forward with it and the album itself and the tone of voice and style.
We recorded the album in different places, I tracked the vocals with a guy called Mike Templeman, he lives in Perth, not far from my house. The drums and bass were tracked at a place called Sumo Studios also in Perth with a guy called Tristan Sturmer and Fraser Cringle and Nick tracked the guitar himself and then we sent everything off to Forrester Savell, our mixing and master engineer, known for Carnaval.
What inspires you the most?
I guess music and life. Music definitely inspires me. I just think right now is a super-exciting time for music. I don’t think it’s that particularly exciting time in the metal spectrum. I think there’s some bands who are pushing out those boundaries but I am really excited about these changes and I think the metal genre is going to be getting very big. A lot of things are happening within the rock music. I write about personal experiences: friendships, family, just everyday stuff. I love writing about self discovery. My family has a huge inspiration, but a lot of lyrics on this album were written about my partner. She’s been a huge inspiration for me. I love storytelling.
What are your projects for next year?
There’s definitely gonna be more touring and writing. We’re gonna be working on some ideas we have.
Speaking about touring, what is that one item you always have with you when you’re on the road?
Yeah! My lucky geek hat!
Fireworks is Make Them Suffer’s new video. The song is an anthem about rebirth, following your path, and the inner desire to share a moment with your partner. With over 1m views on YouTube, this video proves to be another masterpiece created by the band.
What do you think about Make Them Suffer? Here’s what we found out
On their live set
I love Make Them Suffer. Favorite band ever pic.twitter.com/uFwRrieEkc
— Beñji Godwin (@benjiatl10) September 2, 2017
On our geeky discovery
On ” Worlds Apart”
Make Them Suffer is one of the best bands around right now and Worlds Apart is the kind of album you just know is special.
— Mingo (@MingoFresh) August 12, 2017
“Worlds Apart” is out now via Rise Records. Order it now on MakeThemSuffer.com.au