-Interview- Barracks (1/7/15)

Hamilton, New Zealand based post hardcore band Barracks gets interviewed and talks about their "Ghosts" EP, their after show ritual and upcoming plans.
From: Hamilton, NZ
Sounds like: Post Hardcore

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Barracks” and is there any meaning behind it?

I actually met all the boys from Barracks a few years ago when they were touring with their old band, Acalmbefore. The band I sung for in high school played a few shows with them. I actually remember one show when we came out and I said “hey everyone, we are Acalmbefore!” We had people come up to us afterwards that thought we were them. I remember someone saying to me “you guys aren’t Acalmbefore,” as if we had all made a terrible mistake and collectively forgotten what band we were in. When Barracks’ original vocalist left, Kane (bass) messaged me on Facebook asking if I knew anyone that would be interested in trying out. The band I was in at the time was just splitting up, so I sent in a demo, and the rest is history. I have no idea who came up with our name - it’s pretty neat though. Every time I see my uncle, he tells me, “Judd, your band has a cool name.” Even if we never get signed to Roadrunner, at least I’ll know we had a cool name. Our ‘sound’ comes from a lot of places - we all love different music so all have something unique to bring to the table.

2. What do you want listeners to take away from your music?

I can only speak for myself here, but when I was writing the lyrics for the album, I wanted to be as honest as possible about my own experiences so maybe people could relate. I use "Ghosts" as a metaphor for the things that haunt you, the things that keep you up at night. I guess the main thing I would like people to take away from "Ghosts" is that it’s okay to be you, and it’s okay to fight back.

3. How has the response been so far to the "Ghosts" EP since its release?

Honestly, it’s been pretty crazy. When we first released it in September it debuted at number one on the iTunes metal charts for NZ - this was right around the time Slipknot were doing the pre-orders for their new album, so it was a pretty sick feeling knowing that we were (for a brief moment) cooler than them. After the CD had been out for a while we got an email from Austin (Content Strategist for BitTorrent) asking if we would be interested with working with their new Bundles platform. Releasing our album for free wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one that I stand by, for sure - a lot of people have heard "Ghosts" that probably wouldn’t have if we didn’t go for it. I think we’re up to about 1600 downloads through Bundles, which is pretty trill. I’m happy with that.

4. What can people expect from your live show?

Extremely inappropriate banter between songs from me. I think that I should be banned from talking to the crowd. Apart from that, just five dudes having as much fun as they can and playing the music that they love. What more could you want?

5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Crooks. Our old guitarist Hunter went over to England with his new band last year, and sent me links to all the amazing bands they were on tour with. Crooks def stood out to me - I would love to even get a chance to see them live. Their new 7”, Still, is a banger.Barrow. Tom (guitar) loves them and showed me their stuff a while ago. So much raw energy and emotion - they seem like really cool dudes, too. Underoath when they had just released Define The Great Line - I don’t care what anyone says, that album is a fucking classic.

6. Any crazy show stories?

Not really - Kane and I usually go home after a show and have a nice cup of herbal tea. I do remember one show at Dead Dreamer’s old house where someone straight ran across a pool without falling in. That was pretty crazy. I remember one time when we played in Te Awamutu on like a Tuesday night at midnight - that wasn’t very crazy, but it did happen.

7. What’s your take on the current state of post hardcore?

It’s sick. We’re living in a time where anyone that has a voice has a platform to share what they have to say. Post hardcore, hip hop, Swedish death metal - everything’s good, everything’s cool. I don’t think we ever sat down and planned what genre of music we were going to play or anything. There’s a lot of different styles and genres throughout "Ghosts". Everyone’s tastes are pretty diverse these days - it’s a great time to be living in.

8. What’s the current music scene like there in the New Zealand both locally and country wide?

Everyone down these ways is pretty tight knit - it’s a cool community with a bunch of cool people that are always down to help each other out. Sweet venues, sweet bands, sweet dudes. The Prophet Motive and Super Narco Man are fucking sweet. Dead Dreamers are rad. Hammertime rule. Thy Assassin are great, they’re finally putting our their debut album this year, A World Left Behind. So are Braves, and they are sick.

9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

I think that the music industry is trying its very best to grasp on to their dying format - which I think accounts for a lot of bands going independent and trying to make it on their own. It’s a lot different in the respect that you don’t need a label to make music anymore, just a band and an internet connection. It’s definitely a lot harder to make money off selling music, but there is a strong community out there full of passionate people that are willing to support you. As I said before, we’re living in a crazy time. It’s going to be interesting how the next few years play out for musicians. Even with services like Spotify (old news, I know - New Zealand only just got dial-up) a lot of people are just streaming all their music. I guess you just have to choose between making money or spreading your music.

10. What’s next for Barracks?

Heaps as we’ve got a bunch of shows coming up over the next few months, and are planning a tour for April / May. We’ll be doing a few more acoustic tracks of songs from "Ghosts". Eating a bunch of great food, making new friends, playing music.. We’re always writing new material. We’re just gonna keep doing what we love and see where it takes us.

11. Any shoutouts?

Much aroha to everyone that has supported us this far. I wouldn’t really call them fans, more like family. You dudes all rule. If you’re reading this, thanks for everything. #BRX