Thursday 10 December 2015

CLASSIC INTERVIEW: My first interview with Mark Davison of ACOREA (Toowoomba / Brisbane, Australia Modern Metal), 5/6/2012

INTERVIEW: My interview with Mark Davison (vocals) of ACOREA (Brisbane/ Toowoomba, Australia modern metal)
By Kieran James
Online interview, 5 June 2012

Front cover Manifestation of Duality EP
Kieran James: Dear Mark, it was great to watch your band play live in Toowoomba on Saturday and also to hear your new EP. Thanks very much for agreeing to an interview with BUSUK WEBZINE. Here are my questions, mate...

Mark Davison (ACOREA): G’Day Kieran, Thanks for your kind words regarding both our music and our performance the other night, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sorry for the time it took, I’ve been extremely busy with work and uni lately and I answered the questions between bouts of studying for my upcoming exams.

KJ1: First of all, can you just take us through the history of the band for those who may not know much about you?

MD1: The very first incarnation of the band were myself and our lead guitarist Matt Tyson jamming as teenagers in Toowoomba with another mate on drums. While never really going anywhere, that “band”, our mutual love of 90's metal, plus working together forged a friendship between myself and Matt, but after becoming disgruntled with Toowoomba I moved to Brisbane. Fast forward a couple of years, Matt contacted me to say he had some demos he wanted to send to me, and would I like to write some lyrics and lay vocals over the top. From there the Acorea seed was sewn, and the next step was to recruit members. After placing ads on some forums we find our first rhythm guitarist Gary Werner, who eventually moved to bass, while Nathan Judd slotted into the rhythm guitarist spot and during this time put together a demo with a drum machine in an attempt to lure a drummer. We landed our current drummer Brendan Moore, but then Nathan left before we even played a show. In came Adam Atkin, who played with us for our first year of shows, but left as we were preparing to record the EP. A few shows before that we played with a young Brisbane band, Trepidation, who had a mate Jesse Haywood who saw us play that night, and when Jesse found out Adam had left he immediately put his hand up to join. That was a bit over a year ago now, and since then we have put our EP together, released it, played all over South East Queensland, and our did our first interstate show in Sydney three weeks ago.

KJ2: At the concert we talked of your old-school, groove-influenced death-metal and you cited influences such as MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY, SIX FEET UNDER. Have you got any other musical influences? The second and third songs on the EP have a fast, thrashy vibe with the high shriek vocals reminding me of AT THE GATES...

MD2: That thrash vibe you talk of comes from Matt’s love of 80's thrash, bands such as Kreator, Megadeth, Coroner, and Testament to name a few, but we all have our own influences that draw from all the various spectrums of metal. While I make no secret of my love for Swedish death metal such as At The Gates, as far as that high pitched shrieking, it is probably more influenced by modern metal vocalists, such as Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God, The Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad, Mitch Lucker of Suicide Silence, dudes like that. 

KJ3: On stage you guys are very fun and enjoyable to watch. You also transmit a lot of warmth and energy. Sometimes modern death-metal is far too serious. I'm speaking as someone who has Eaten Back to Life as his favourite Corpse album. Was it a conscious thing for you to be a fun band especially live?

MD3: It’s not so much a conscious thing, it's more so that we love what we do and have so much passion for our music that it is impossible for us NOT to translate that into an energetic live performance. And while we definitely enjoy playing live, have a lot of fun doing so and don’t take ourselves too seriously, lyrically we deal with some dark themes and the music broods away underneath that, and I’d like to think that the serious messages aren’t lost in what appears to be five guys having a good time on stage.
KJ4: Also congratulations on running around so much on stage. I have never seen another vocalist run around so much. Is this part of the fun image of the band too? PS with your tall, skinny figure and black hair you remind me of a young Chris Barnes.

MD4: Besides the fact I love and feel the music we play, the running around on stage has more to do with nervous energy than anything else. I’m not overly comfortable with being the centre of attention, and I figure if I am moving a million miles an hour all over the stage, it will be harder for people in the crowd to maintain their focus on me. I'd be far more self conscious if I stood still on stage. But in saying that, all the movement probably has the opposite effect! [KJ: Yes it has the opposite effect – eyes are drawn to the vocalist!]
KJ5: Your lyrics seem to me to be more about themes of empowerment, honour and struggle (Suffocation meets Biohazard perhaps) instead of usual themes of Satanism and gore. Can you explain your thinking and purpose behind the lyrics?

MD5: There is enough metal out there focusing on blood, guts and Satan, particularly in death metal. I’m not into horror films, gore, the dark arts or whatever, so if I was to write and scream about such topics I could not pour my heart and soul into it 100%, so why do it? What truly shocks me is real life, in particular how real life events affect one’s mental health and the power that the human mind is capable of exerting over one’s actions, why people do what they do. So lyrically I like to explore the battle between one’s self and one’s own inner demons, dark themes, while recognising the ability to rise above, as you said empowerment, hope.

KJ6: The cover pictures on your EP look vaguely Christian (a crying Mary and Jesus). Is this interpretation correct and what is the purpose of the illustrations? " Mary Wept" - might be a sequel to "Jesus Wept"!

MD6: No, we are certainly not a Christian band, nor do we push any kind of religious agenda. A friend of mine, a tattoo artist, Ryan Dickson came up with the artwork by chance, and our song “Blood Drips” contains the line “Blood drips from my eyes”, so we decided to use it. The same image is then used inside the booklet with the face missing and a skull under the veil, representing duality, two personalities fighting within the one body, given that our EP is titled The Manifestation of Duality. As for the back cover with Jesus upon the cross, this is symbolic of suffering, persecution, betrayal, oppression, murder, but also honour, valour, hope, courage, empowerment all at the same time. Regardless of one’s religious beliefs, everyone is familiar with that story and the themes involved.

KJ7: We discussed it at the show but please tell us something more about the logic behind your gothic looking and very undeath-metal band logo? Are you worried some 15 year old Cannibal Corpse fan might want a gorier shirt to shock his teacher with?

MD7: If some kid wants a gory shirt to shock his teacher with there are 1000 other bands out there to cater for him, and while we would not rule out gory shirts in the future, logo wise we’ll stick with what we have. I wouldn’t say it is gothic looking, but it is certainly very un-metal, and that is why we settled on it. We figured that every other band out there has a similar logo, the sharp, jagged edged, barely decipherable logo, so why do something that has been done to death (pardon the pun)? When you see a flyer that is full of death metal logos, ours stands out, you can read it, and it has a classic, elegant look to it that may or may not add an element of intrigue to the band. But it is more tattoo oriented than anything.

KJ8: What are the band’s plans or hopes for the future, short-term and long-term?

MD8: In the short term, having recently played Sydney we have plans to get to at least Melbourne and Adelaide by the end of the year, as well as playing as many Queensland shows as possible. We also have most of our first full length written, it is just a matter of tightening up on the songs, and we hope to be in the studio some time toward the end of 2012 to record that, and have the album out early 2013. As far as the long term, we discussed this on our recent trip to Sydney while we had plenty of time to kill in the car, and really, we’d just like to become respected within the Australian underground scene and be able to play shows all over Australia. Maybe do the odd support slot for bigger Australian or International bands. We’d be happy with that.

KJ9: Will you be organizing more metal shows in Toowoomba? Personally I enjoyed it and the vibe was great. There was a good mix of ages too from 15 up to older guys like me...

MD9: We plan to put on at least one more. We recently played a show in Brisbane with Melbourne stoner metal band “Moth”, and we are organising a show swap deal with them that will involve them organising for us playing down in Melbourne with them, and us reciprocating up here. That will probably involve both a Brisbane and Toowoomba show in the one weekend.
ACOREA live - Mark Davison (vocals)

KJ10: Many of our readers are Indonesian and I share BUSUK WEBZINE with an Indonesian metalhead John Yoedi. Do you know anything about the booming Indonesian metal scene and would you like to follow in the footsteps of MAIDEN, SUFFOCATION, HATE ETERNAL, ANTHRAX, and PSYCROPTIC by one day playing up there? I can probably get someone to do an Indonesian translation of this interview too so you can reach the high-school age metalheads up there who may not be confident with English...

MD10: We are most definitely aware of the scene that is exploding over there, thanks to the documentary “Global Metal”, magazine articles, band DVD’s and of course the internet. In fact, we supported Japanese death metal act “GxSxD” on their Australian tour in March, and they recently played the Hammersonic Festival in Indonesia alongside Suffocation, Nile, Psycroptic etc. We have discussed the possibility of a self funded small club tour of South Asia if we could get in contact with the right promoters. It is ridiculous to ignore such a huge army of metalheads right on our doorstep, and a tour of South Asia is far more economical for an Australian band in comparison to the expense of a European or US tour. We’d love to get to countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and meet and play shows with our metal brethren over there!

KJ11: Do you do all the vocals on the EP? When I saw you live it appears “yes” but the styles change so fast on the EP...

MD11: Yes, all vocals on the EP are mine.

KJ12: Lastly, my usual closer: Any message for the fans?

MD12: I’m not sure that we have any “fans” as such, but we definitely have a small group of people in Toowoomba and Brisbane who support us and what we do, and we’re thankful to everyone who comes to our shows, has checked us out online, everyone who has bought a CD or T-Shirt, or said a kind word to us in regard to our music. We’d also like to thank all the promoters that have had us on a show, and anyone who has given us media support, be it radio, internet reviews, photos, blogs etc. Thanks.

Yours sincerely, Mark Davison

This band is interested in a club tour of Indonesia
Band contact: (Mark Davison)
Facebook page: ACOREA

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