20 Jan 2019
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These Four Walls - These Four Walls Newsletter Interview

03 Mar 2016 // An interview by Shade

After an almost year long writing hiatus, These Four Walls are back in New Zealand to road test the new material. Between 2014 and 2015, there were some significant changes within the band that has started to shape the future sound.

The first change came with original bassist Chris Treeby stepping down to focus on his growing family and Brisbane boy Elliot Burton stepping into the fold. Elliot brings a renewed energy and punk attitude to the live show as well as the writing room, bringing a whole new level of phat to the bands sound.

The second change was the temporary departure of founding member and main songwriter, Guitarist Gray Vickers who took a long overdue holiday to travel around the world. But what seemed like what was going to be a long break, Gray returned refreshed and ready with a bag full of new demo's. Whilst he was away, the rest of the guys had begun their own process of writing and had started to really redefine the These Four Walls sound. With Gray's return and the new found energy within the band, a whole new soundscape has begun to emerge and the band is louder, faster, and heavier than ever before.

A brand new album is in the works with a tentative release date for a Summer 2016 release. Gray answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz: 

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Right now it's the new stuff. All the old stuff is still awesome, and we love playing it - but the new stuff, I'm proud of because it's coming from an honest place. Now more than ever, everyone is fighting for their ideas - challenging each other - and really forcing each other to bring the best to the table. It's a completely different vibe in the writing room now and that's making feel pretty damn proud. Outside of that,From Cover to Cover - The last track on our second album, Living to Write the End. We set out to really tell a story and take listeners on a journey with that one - it was the most challenging song to work on to date, but we got it!

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

Genuine and honest, and most of all loud and heavy with powerful melodies. Being a loud rock and roll band is amazing, but without strong melodies, lyrics and a big ass groove - it's empty. Gotta have a melodies and the groove.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

A new record and a ton of touring. It's been too long since we've traversed New Zealand. I'm looking forward to getting to all the spots outside of the main centres that we never get to hit on our weekend runs. Coming from Aussie, it's difficult to do big tours with time off in the middle, but this year, we'll definitely do something big.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

I wanna see Decades blow up and be massive. They've been awesome touring buddies under the name of Ashei (but terrible at Mario Kart). They work harder than any other NZ band we've seen and they deserve to be right up there with the big players.

What local albums have you been enjoying recently?

Villainy's new record is F***ing killer - such rich tones and great songwriting. They've always been killer writers and they're getting better and better with each release. Armed In Advance have pumped out a sweet EP of dirty, sludgy rock and it's a pleasure on the earholes. And we can't forget Devilskin - they were so damn good to us on their summer tour and they're a great bunch of people who have created one of New Zealand's most successful rock albums of all time - that still gets some solid airplay.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

The Kings Arms - Auckland. There's no place like home. They're our extended family and we know we're always going to have a great show there.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Embrace the nerves - If you're nervous, it means you're alive. Try not to drink too much (we have a two beer limit before stage time and with all rules/laws - someone's gone and F***ed up to justify it.... *cough**cough*... moving on). Warm up. Something I've never really done until recently - just do a few minutes warm-up before hitting the stage and you'll feel way more comfortable when the lights go up.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc.?

It's tough - especially as we're getting older. Kids, mortgages, bills - these things didn't exist when we started touring, now they dictate the schedule. As with all things, there's a balance. Communication within the band is vital and as long as everyone knows where the others are at, we tend to not run into too many conflicts. Our partners are pretty damn supportive, that makes it much easier to ditch being an adult for a weekend to play some rock and roll.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Normally it's just been the world around us. What's going on in our lives, what's annoying us, what's pissing us off - anything that keeps us thinking about the world we live in. Lately, we've been thinking a little more conceptually... but you'll have to wait until the new record is out before I can tell you about that...

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Always practice, get as good as you can... never stop writing - keep the record button primed and ready at all times to capture the magic. Invest in your gear, invest your time into your craft and invest your time into the business. It's not just playing anymore - it's a business and the biggest learn you can learn is how to play the game.

 

About These Four Walls

These Four Walls have achieved a lot in the last two and a half years. Since releasing their debut album Down Falls An Empire in September 2009, they have had two songs reach the Top 10 on the Rock Charts (Sweet December, Lay it Out), the album itself reached #22 on the Album charts, and also set a record for pre-orders on www.amplifier.co.nz, beating the previous record set by Fat Freddy’s Drop.

The band has supported international acts such as Disturbed, Nickelback, Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect; they’ve toured Australia and undertaken multiple headlining tours of New Zealand, consistently growing their fanbase.

And most impressively, they’ve done all of this as an unsigned, independent act. Their successes to date have been the result of hard work, a dedication to crafting great rock songs, and an impressive live show that incorporates their powerful, heavy riffing with soaring melodies and a tight, energetic performance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for These Four Walls

Releases

Live At Loose Stones Studios
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Living To Write The End
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Down Falls An Empire
Year: 2009
Type: Album
These Four Walls
Year: 2007
Type: EP

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