On the back of their new album, Earthwalker – we sat down with guitarist Ben Nairne to chat about the album, the environment and how things have changed for In Hearts Wake.
By Meghan Player
Hey Ben – how are you?
I’m great thank you, just been for a kayak around the bays of the place we call home!
It’s certainly an exciting time for the band, with the recent release of your new album Earthwalker – are you stoked to see it out in the hands of your fans?
It’s so great to finally have the album out there for the public and our fans. We worked on this album for a long time and kept it a secret until we had completely finished in the studio, so it was great to finally let the cat out of the bag!
Did you find there was any pressure in writing and recording the follow-up to your debut?
To a certain degree, yes – but we tried not to think about that too much while writing. Instead we just enjoyed what we were doing and knew that if we loved the music that we were writing, then people would see that.
Lyrically, the album is incredible – and touches on a lot of social and environmental issues – do you write the lyrics from a personal point-of-view?
Jake (our vocalist) writes all of the lyrics. I believe he writes from a personal view and the lyrics always relate to his experiences in some way or another. The fact that we live in such a beautiful part of the world means that we are very passionate about keeping it beautiful and this is a very personal issue to all of us.
Do you find that the music [and indeed the lyrics] allow you to put a lot of issues into perspective? Is the music also a release of emotion – a cathartic experience?
When writing the album I would always find the time to take a break and go for a swim in the ocean or even adventure to a waterfall. I think this is definitely portrayed in the music itself and adds a somewhat “epicness” to the feel. The music we are writing is very real and close to us, which is why we are so passionate when it comes to playing the songs live.
Did you approach making Earthwalker differently to your previous releases?
We didn’t give ourselves any boundaries this time around. We wrote what we wanted to hear. The individuals in the band all have a wide taste in different genres of music and we really let this influence the writing this time compared to our previous releases.
Do you think the band has changed since your debut?
Yes. When you change as people, so does the band and the sound. Everything in our lives influences the music we write. We have taken it all in over the years and used it to our advantage. We are still the same band, but with a much more mature and real sound.
Are there any lessons that you’ve learned since you started out that have become important in the way the band is in 2014?
Do what you love and don’t listen to people who tell you otherwise. People get to caught up with social media and the negative comments that are made a lot of the time. You don’t know these people and will probably never meet them, so who cares what they say.
You partnered with Carbon Neutral for the release – how did that relationship come about?
We really wanted to plant a tree for every pre-order of the album and did the research to find that Carbon Neutral were doing great things in our country, so we went with them. Over 1,200 trees have been planted in Australia thanks to their help!
Are you actively involved in preserving our environment? Is there one issue that you think people should be paying more attention to?
Keeping our beaches clean is a big one for us. Byron Bay has lots of tourists passing through every year and some people couldn’t care less about leaving their rubbish on the beach. It’s disgusting! If you see any garbage lying around on the beach, please pick it up and put it in the bin.
Naturally, the release of the album has gone hand-in-hand with a bunch of upcoming tour dates – are you keen to get out on the road with the new material?
We are so excited to be playing the new songs live! The Earthwalker Tour in Australia starts in less than a week and I’ve never been so excited for a tour before. We played a few shows last weekend and the new songs went really well so we can’t wait to do it on a bigger scale.
You’ll be taking your gigs to a lot of regional areas in Tasmania and Queensland – a lot of places that other bands seem to skip over – why was it important to the band to go to these places on this tour?
It’s great having the opportunity to play smaller towns that a lot of bands wouldn’t usually go. The people who come to those shows really appreciate it and show their love for the band. We also love adventuring and getting out in nature, so the more rural places are great fun for us.
You’ll also be touching down in the major cities as well – how do you think the shows will vary between city and country towns? Do you think one will be wilder than the other?
The city shows will definitely be a larger scale, but I think the craziness will be just as good in the smaller towns. We played in Tasmania a few days ago and although the crowds weren’t huge, it still went off.
Although the album is now out, and in the hands of the public, what is the one thing that you’re hoping people take away from the release?
I’d like people to see that we are very passionate about what we do and everything is 100% real. Just because we play heavy music it doesn’t mean we are putting out a negative message.
Many thanks to Ben for taking the time to chat with us. You can grab a copy of ‘Earthwalker’ or keep-up-to-date with the band at: http://inheartswake.com/