Wildheart are a Brisbane based melodic hardcore band who had a big end of the year in 2018, hot off the back of their widely successful EP “We Are” and are not looking to slow down in 2019 with a run of shows through QLD and NSW. Recently Jai That Aussie Metal Guy got the chance to have a chat with bass player extraordinaire of Wildheart Kerry Rowe.
Jai Q:Hello Kerry Rowe Bassist for Wildheart thank you so much for doing this for Crannk and myself we really appreciate it, and congratulations on Wildheart being highly commended in the Heavy category for the Qld Music Awards.
Kerry Rowe: Hey man, thank you; thank you very much. We’re really humbled and a little bit surprised to be honest. It’s pretty crazy.
Q: I’ve really been enjoying the latest EP “We Are” from you guys but for those who may not of heard of Wildheart, who are WH?
K: Wildheart is a five-piece melodic hardcore/metalcore band from Brisbane, Australia. We’ve released a couple of EP’s and a handful of singles over the last few years, and love cutting sick in our live set. If you haven’t had a sus of our tunes or caught us live – get onto it, buster.
Q: And how did Wildheart form?
K: Wildheart formed a few years as a result of our current (at the time) bands ending, or slowing down for whatever reason. Axel, Adam, and one of our past members were from a band, originally from Cairns, and eventually Brisbane – Sevenskies; so when they split, it was like, “Well shit, okay, let’s get a new line up together and keep churning out some bangers”. Andrew and I were both in similar spots where the bands we’d been involved in had gotten to a point where we were wanted to ramp it all up and get back into so we were stoked. I actually met Axel on a Sevenskies tour that both Andrew and I tagged along for just for shits and gigs. It was a wild time and sort of pointed us in the right direction of “Okay, we can tolerate each other on tour so we should be safe when it comes to writing and working together,” haha.
Q: What first inspired you into playing music and bass?
K: My parents were kicking it in the late-80’s Aussie Pub Rock heyday, and were big fans of the classics, and also really involved in I guess what was the ‘scene’ back then. Dad worked as a band promoter and mum was a door-girl/jack of all trades. So I guess I had live music in my blood from my heritage. From there, I got really into writing and playing music from the time I was about 13/14. I was really into sport as a kid – baseball, NRL, Rugby Union, and actually ended up hurting myself really bad and lost a lot of opportunities (I’d been playing heaps of rep sides and things were pretty exciting) but after I hurt myself, I sort of had to re-evaluate what I wanted to do. That’s when guitar really over my life and music became my go-to. I was never real good at guitar anyway, so I took up bass when Axel and Adam were putting together this new project (now, Wildheart, of course).
Q: How did you get into heavy metal?
K: I got into metal pretty much the same way as I got into every other genre – just by giving it a go. Like I said, I grew up listening to what’s now ‘Classic Rock’, so that was a good start – it really made me love guitar-driven music. I was a metal elitist for a while (of course), but you know, with time, I exposed myself to different genres and grew to love them. These days I listen to a bit of everything. I think it helps to get a bigger understanding and appreciation for music from all across the board.
Q: What are some of the influences of yourself musically as a bass player?
K: As a bassist I mostly draw influence from my bandmates and from the bands that I love and look up to. I’ve always been more of a basic, fundamental player. I aim to fit alongside the other instruments in a complimentary way as opposed to jumping out with huge licks or anything. I leave the technical stuff up to Adam and Jaya as they are significantly more proficient than I am, haha.
Q: Wildheart are very passionate about mental health and discrimination and this is obviously something that is very important for you guys as a band to support, with three upcoming shows in NSW in support of the Black Dog Institute can you tell me how that come about and why you guys are so passionate about these causes and sending a positive message to your fans?
K: Our NSW run came sort of just by accident. A friend of mine had mentioned wanting to put together a weekender as we were looking at putting together some little mini-tour-weekenders and I hollered and said that new were definitely on board. To start with, we weren’t even aware that it was a charity run so when we found out it was in conjunction with the Black Dog Institute we were elated. We’ve been avid supporters of the foundation and similar and were just blown away that we could help support them once again. We’re passionate about things that affect us and the world at large. Like many people, we’ve all had dark times in our lives and have always used music as an escape, as well as an opportunity to open the conversation a little bit more. Axel is incredibly outspoken about systematic oppression as well as racism, and as a collective, we all feel the same. We aim to be allies to all, and hope that by supporting these things we can encourage others to open their eyes and take an objective approach to what they see and hear. We’re all in this together.
Q: These will also be your first shows out of QLD for awhile can we expect to see Wildheart do a few more shows like this interstate this year?
K: We’re definitely aiming to take our newest EP on the road and expose more people to it. It’s a bit of a tough situation with all of us working full time, so we have to try and be really efficient with how we ‘tour’ and travel about. We’re always looking for opportunities to travel and perform, and hope that some more opportunities to do so pop up. Only time will tell, I guess. In saying that, if you want to see us play somewhere – let us know. It’s really important that you do! We don’t know you want us to hit your town unless you say something so holla at your boys, fam.
Q: The last EP “We Are” was very well received with some really great feedback for you guys and a fair bit of air play, the title track “We Are” has received the most play what does that track mean to you?
K: We were really excited to receive the reception that we did for We Are – the record, and the single – we definitely weren’t expecting it. We Are is actually a song I penned lyrically after we’d had some discussion in the jam room and I went home and was like, “Man, fuck this – this ain’t right”. We all take a part of writing, particularly when it comes to lyrics so when the skeleton of the lyrics was lined up with the demo’s Adam had put together, I got it into Axel’s hands and he worked it to work with his style and his voice. To me, that track is a big fuck you to that upper echelon; the 1% that run the world and are fucking it up for us, and the future of the planet as well.
Q: How do you feel WH have grown and evolved in the last few years?
K: Wildheart has definitely grown; I mean, nearly half of the bands members have changed – besides Axel, Adam, and myself, who have been here since day one – so that in itself is a catalyst for change. In saying that, we’ve always been very conscious of Wildheart always remaining, Wildheart. We still approach the inspiration seeking, writing style and song production in the same way we always have:
- Draw inspiration from events, concepts, and other bands that resonate with us
- Write guitar-driven, melodic, and heavy music (thanks to Adam)
- Demo, familiarise, and refine as a group
- Record a record, and
- Go as hard as we can live, wherever we can, for whoever will listen, and hope they leave with a better understanding of who we are and what we believe.
Q: What else have Wildheart got planned for now going into 2019?
K: 2019 is the year of a new record. We’re aiming for a full length to either be out before the end of the year, although realistically, we’re probably more likely to be recording or finishing it up. We’ve already well underway with the writing process, so hope to keep that momentum and inspiration flowing. Other than that, we’ll be doing us – playing gigs wherever we can, and just keeping the hustle alive.
Kerry Rowe for Wildheart thank you again so much for making the time to do this for Crannk and myself.