Battlehounds guide us through their rollicking new EP, Damn Demons
And they've got a couple of shows left on the EP tour.
Adelaide three-piece recently released their new EP Damn Demons, a thumping five-track release that immediately launches them alongside fellow South Australian rock'n'roll contemporaries like Bad//Dreems and West Thebarton Brothel Party. They've been playing a few shows to celebrate, and with just a couple left (dates down the bottom), they've given us a walkthrough of the five-tracker. Check it all out below:
Knife Fight was one of those songs that went from an idea, to being recorded for the EP in the space of about a week. I started playing the riff at the end of a rehearsal one night, and within about 20 minutes we’d basically written the song. The subject matter is pretty much in line with the title of the EP. We all have our own shit to deal with, but for me, writing is a really good way to get it all out. Once it’s onto paper, it’s all there there and I can kind of process it all.
I went through a period during my early 20s where I was doing a lot of partying and generally not looking after myself – I’m sure as most people know, that kind of lifestyle never ends well. Knife Fight was inspired by an experience I had during this time that luckily I got out of relatively unscathed.
Good Man is definitely written from the perspective of a character. It’s a real snarling ode to an arsehole who everyone thinks is a local legend – but there’s a real darkness happening underneath. I think there’s a bit of a story developing in some of our songs with this particular bloke. He’s got some dark stuff happening – you’ll hear more about him in Mr. Darryl.
I have a little studio set up at my house and I was messing around with the verse riff and had these kind of half spoken lyrics that I was spitting out. If you listen to the original demo, I must have been listening to a lot The Strokes at the time because I’m doing this really awful Julian Casablancas like lazy distorted vocal.
We really love playing Good Man live, it always gets a great response and has this kind of menacing energy. It’s quite a cathartic song to sing.
Night Crawl was one of the most exciting and frustrating songs to write and then get right playing.
From the moment we got it together at rehearsal we knew there was something special about it. The problem was we just couldn’t play the song for some reason. Every time we played it, something would go wrong or wouldn’t feel right. But, we’re resilient bastards – so we stuck with it and now it’s probably one of our favorites to play. We quickly demoed it and sent it to our mates who all gave us really positive responses. With the chords and structure being so simple, I wanted to get a really nice melody that almost danced around it. It’s definitely our most ‘hooky’ song. The mix that Ali Wells (Bad//Dreems, West Thebarton Brothel Party) did makes it sound like a monster.
I got the lyrics together on a Sunday night, feeling particularly sorry for myself after spending my weekend at the pub. You know the nights where you get the guilts before a Monday morning? Night Crawl is about bad decisions I (or we?) keep making, knowing the outcome but still keep making them knowing full well the end result. It’s an ode to painful mornings, fuzzy memories and questioning your choices. All for the better of course.
This is about as close as we get to a slow song on the EP. Dale and I spent a couple of weeks up at my parents place over summer jamming while Marsh was in South America getting the best out of his quick dry jacket. We’d wanted to get something slower in the set to break things up a bit, but we found that every time we did that, the idea would just turn into a riffy stoner jam. So we pulled the slimy riff that you hear at the start and built a song around that.
I’d written the lyrics a while back about some people I knew who had this really toxic relationship. They’d have these really passionate, ridiculous, drunk arguments and then a day later profess their love to each other in an almost Shakespearean way. It was insane. I’ve never seen anything like it and I really hope I don’t again. Thankfully they’re not together anymore.
Mr. Darryl is the bloke who’s being sung about in Good Man. Blokes like Mr. Darryl get away with being local legends to their mates while absolute pricks to their families. They’re terrifying, unpredictable and more often than not have a lot of dark shit happening underneath.
The song itself is meant to be this dark, brooding, purging sermon delivered straight from the mouth of our questionable hero. I wanted the song to have a real fuzzy, driving feel right from the start, which is probably why we never really bothered with an intro and just brought everything in from the start. Amps up to 11. It’s a cracking tune to soundtrack your drive to the shops. It’s also a fucking belter to play live – it feels like you’re driving a semi trailer without the brakes.
Weirdly we’ve almost finished writing part three to this whole unexpected narrative a few nights ago. Who knows, next EP hopefully. It doesn’t end well for Daz though.
Thu 11 May - The Brunswick, Melbourne w/ Lorikeet + Guests
Sat 13 May - The Exeter Beer Garden (Afternoon Show), Adelaide w/ Young Offenders
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