MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – Acolyte
There are exciting times ahead for Australian cinematic metal quintet Acolyte. The band returned earlier this month with the release of their 10-minute epic Entropy, offering a glimpse into their forthcoming sophomore album. We caught up with bassist Jason Grondman to delve into their new single and accompanying video, discussing the writing process, themes, stories from behind the scenes and more.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you?
This song is almost a microcosm of the whole album. It features all the light and shade, ebb and flow, that the album’s long-form listening experience has, but all contained within a single track. It’s also very fun to perform and has space to allow each member to showcase their own unique style and musical perspectives.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
It was one of the first pieces that we worked on after completing our first album and it really set the tone that we would carry through the rest of our creative process. I had written some of the musical elements for it around the time our previous work was recorded, and constructed some early demo versions. Once the new band line-up (with the additions of Chris Cameron on drums and David Van Pelt on keys) were able to get into a writing space we expanded upon those initial musical ideas together. Due to the complexity of the arrangement process (and song length) this was the first (but not the last) of our songs that required a fairly detailed structural mapping out of the song on a white board, as we worked to compile and refine everything.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
Morgan’s lyrics have come from a very honest place for this record and has been influenced by ideas, thoughts and life experiences over the last couple few years. The album is a complete conceptual piece, so this song primarily fits in as a jigsaw piece within the whole album’s story arc and could be considered the inciting incident and set up for the branching themes explored in the subsequent tracks. It essentially deals with the early stages of ‘loss’. Presented like diary entries, the record ebbs and flows through an array of actions, feelings and emotions that are commonly experienced when trying to ground ones self, all while carrying the early weight of trauma. Hopefully anyone who has experienced the loss of something/someone they love, or even a part of themselves, will find refuge and a sense of release from this musical adventure.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
Absolutely. Much of the imagery deals with feeling alone in a crowd. How you can feel a complete disconnect from the world and the destructive frustration or terrible depression which that can cultivate within you. It’s been a fairly lengthy process, with the first shots being filmed for it as far back as 2018! Certainly feels good to finally have it out there in the world now.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
The guerrilla style of film making we employed at one of our locations almost put a stop to the whole production. We’d found a great space to shoot some of the band footage and planned to run in, shoot, and get out, but on the night we picked to shoot there an illegal underground rave was also setting up for a big blowout that same night. Luckily the place was massive and we were able to use all the set up angles we had pre-planned to shoot, though it did make performing to our playback a bit tricky over the portable (but powerful) PA, which the rave people had set up that night!
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
The support we’ve received already with this release has been so amazing! Glad to see that there’s still an appetite for the longer, sonic-journey style of prog music that we love to make. Hope to be able to play to some live audiences again as soon as we can!
Acolyte‘s new single Entropy is out now via Blood Blast, available to stream or purchase HERE.