Locotus are an Australian Melodic Metal band that have been around since 1998 with their latest release “Through Flames Arise” coming late in 2018. Jai That Aussie Metal Guy recently had a chat with Chris Fowler about all things Locotus and walk through the most recent release “Through Flames Arise Ep” take the time check it out and then go Crannk up some Locotus.\m/
Jai Q:First off for those who haven’t heard of Locotus can you tell us a little about yourselves who are Locotus and how did you form?
Chris Fowler :Locotus is a Groove/Melodic Metal band that is based in Brisbane Australia. The band consists of myself, Chris Fowler (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) Patrick Neumayer (drums) , Hayden Hohns (lead guitar), and Jolene Turnbull (clean vocals). Currently we are a studio based project and don’t have a live lineup due to the members of the band living all across Australia. Over the Twenty years period that the band has existed we have recorded 4 EP’s (The First Assault, Past Demo(n)s, Take Control and Through Flames Arise) and 1 full length LP (Unreleased and Unrepentant). Originally we formed back in 1998 as a five piece back in Cairns, Far North Queensland. It was the typical story of a few friends getting together, drinking way too much, and playing Deftones, Sepultura and Slipknot covers really badly! After about a year we started taking it seriously and focused on writing original material. After going through a couple of different singers I took over the vocalist role and we became a four piece. In 2006 the original lineup disbanded but I reformed the band as a recording only project in 2013.
Jai Q:When and How did you first get into playing music?
Chris : I first started playing guitar back in 1997. My friend and former bandmate Barry Koch first taught me how to play and in the process we jammed on a heaps of covers together. That in turn, turned into Locotus! As for vocals, I never intended to become a singer. It happened out of necessity more than anything due to the split with our second singer Dizzy. Once I discovered that I had the ability to do it, I never looked back!
Jai Q: Who are some of the people that have helped and inspire you as a musician?
Chris : Probably the most important person that has helped me in the early days of the band was Barry Koch, as he was the one that pushed me to become a better musician and better song writer. He also was the one that taught me the guitar in the first place. Later on my wife Jolene Turnbull was a great inspiration for me to keep the project going through the years and get it to where it is today.
Jai Q: How did you first get into heavy metal music?
Chris : My fall from grace originally started when I first heard Def Leppard back in the late eighties. That’s when I originally got into guitar driven music. Later, Metallica (black album) blew my socks off when I first heard the heaviness of Sad But True. The final straw was when I heard Pantera – Far Beyond Driven for the first time I truly sold my sole to the metal gods and I became a metal head!
Jai Q:The most recent release for Locotus is the really great sounding “Through Flames Arise Ep” released late last year. which is a fkn awesome listen BTW do you mind if we walk through the tracks a little about the songs and what they mean to you starting with the opening track Virus Of Humanity?
Chris : Virus of Humanity was partially inspired by the film The Matrix. There is an awesome line in the film where Agent Smith compares mankind to a virus. Unfortunately I tend to agree with that assessment and that formed the basis of the lyrics for the track. It talks about how our arrogance and greed is consuming and destroying our host (our planet), and that it may eventually lead us to our end. Not exactly a very ‘happy’ song but its one of my favorites to play on guitar.
Chris : This track was written after a two-faced acquaintance of mine stabbed me in the back. Its probably the angriest song I have ever written and doesn’t pull any punches.
Tear This Away?
Chris : Tear this Away has its origins way back to around 2006! We were jamming on the song before the original lineup disbanded. The lyrics came a bit later on and where inspired by the tragic loss of a family member. This song is probably my favorite track on the EP due to the significant meaning it has.
Through Flames Arise?
Chris : This track was inspired by the post apocalyptic game ‘Fallout‘. I have always been a huge fan of this series due to its atmosphere and stories. This song is a more positive song as it talks about how humanity and society may survive and be reborn for the better after a cataclysm.
Chris : This track interestingly was an experiment that I recorded almost 15 years ago! It was my first attempt at recording something at home and involved recording various objects around the house, then layering filters and effects over the recordings. It formed this really cool sound scape that I thought fitted with the concept of Through Flames Arise so it made the perfect outro to the EP.
Jai Q:Can you tell us a little about the recording process on the Through Flames Arise Ep and how you approached the songwriting and song creation on this Ep?
Chris : The writing and recording process for this EP was extremely different from the process of our previous records. All of our previous records were written in the jam room with all members of the band contributing. This was back when it was a full live band. This EP on the other hand pretty much had only me doing the writing and arranging. The process started by writing, arranging and recording most of the guitars, bass and temporary (midi) drums in my home studio. By this stage the song would be about 80% complete with most of Lyrics written as well. After this, the tracks were sent to Hayden Hohns (who lives in another state… South Australia) to write and record his guitar fills and solo’s in his home studio. I would then record the vocals and keyboards for the track. The final step in the process is the writing and recording of the drums which where done by Patrick Nuemayer for all tracks except for Tear this Away (Matt McRae recorded the drums for that track). Patrick’s drums where recorded in AAA Studios in Hobart Tasmania. After all of the pieces were assembled, the songs where then sent of to Crawlspace Productions to be mixed and mastered by Joe Haley.
Jai Q: What else has Locotus got planned going into the rest of 2019?
Chris : So far in 2019 I have been concentrating on the business side of the band by focusing on promoting the current EP. Thankfully that is coming to an end and I am starting to gather ideas for the next record. I am hopeing that the next release will be a full length record and will feature Jolene taking a more promenant role on vocals. I have no estimate of when the record will be finished at this stage so watch this space. The other big task for 2019 will be th remix and release of our 2006 EP The Final Insult. This EP was 75% complete when the band disbanded back in 2006. The EP was completed by myself and temporarily released on our My Space page back in 2008. It was never quite up to the standard that I liked so I decided to remove the songs soon after. My goal is remix and tweak those songs and re-release the EP by the end of the year. This EP will also feature some remixed versions of our Pandamonium compilation singles recorded in the early 2000’s.
Chris Fowler (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards) Patrick Neumayer (drums) , Hayden Hohns (lead guitar), and Jolene Turnbull (clean vocals)
Purchase Locotus music at Bandcamp
Check out some of the other great interviews by the Crannk team at Interviews