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Chasing Titans - MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E09 - Chasing Titans

09 Oct 2023 // An interview by Shannon Coulomb

Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb.

Chasing Titans is an alternative metalcore band hailing from the heart of Auckland. Formed in 2018, this three-piece group, consisting of Adrian Govender (guitar/vocals), Sylvester Porizakova (bass/vocals), and Torrance Kam (drums/backing vocals), has been making waves in both the local and international music scenes. They are known for their distinct and powerful fusion of metalcore, incorporating elements of hip hop and electronica, alongside emotionally charged and poignant lyrics.

The band's debut EP, released in December 2022, has garnered an overwhelmingly positive reception since its launch. Both the first and second singles from the EP, Cabin Fever and Vengeance, have achieved chart success and received widespread airplay on radio and media outlets in the US, UK, Canada, France, Australia, and Mexico. Cabin Fever notably reached a peak position of number 3 on the Top 10 list on Valley FM in Australia, leading to a record deal with Europe's Sliptrick Records.

Following two successful tours this year, the band has just released their second music video and is currently working on their debut album, slated for a worldwide release through Sliptrick Records in 2024.

Shannon recently caught up with Chasing Titans - here's what went down:

What does your creative process look like?

Adrian - Usually, I create a guitar riff or synth melody and then work with it for a while, seeing if it evolves into a creative piece with the potential to become a song. I've never written a song just for the sake of it. Our creative process is highly unpredictable, and any of us can start working on a new piece of music at any given time. Much of the inspiration for our songs comes from very different starting points, ranging from movies and music to art and current world events. Our creative process is quite a journey because we never know where we'll end up once we start working on a piece!

Torrance - Generally, a lot of different experiences in life can spark inspirations. As I'm going about my day, I try to note down any ideas that might come to mind, to use for later.

Do you apply the same creative processes to other aspects of the Music Industry, for example, in your approach to marketing yourself?

Torrance - Well, if an interesting idea comes to mind, I might take note of it, but I think I approach other aspects of the industry more methodically.

Adrian - I agree, we've had some really great marketing opportunities presented to us without expecting them, and we always feel very fortunate when this happens. However, most of our approach to marketing and promotion is very planned and typically done months in advance.

Is your creative process something you feel to have locked down or does it generally change on a song by song/release by release basis?

Adrian - It definitely varies from song to song, and this aspect makes the process very exciting for us! We never know which idea or theme will lead to a new song. We all appreciate various aspects of the creative industry, and when inspired by something, we can all come together to create something special and find a way for each of us to express what we want in a specific piece.

Sylvester - I quite enjoy change; the more you can offer, the more you can cater to. The variety of what you can create is limitless, and in this stage and era with music genres and technology, we can not only see how far the boundaries have been pushed but also what we can add to them. It's not always about being different, but rather having your own style and signature while having no limitations on what you can do.

Torrance - I feel it needs to change, as I think it influences the sound of the music. It's nice to have different sounding songs.

What qualities do you appreciate the most in other musicians?

Sylvester - I appreciate a musician who is passionate, who takes pride in what they enjoy doing, and isn't afraid to share it with the world. It takes guts to find something you love and want to chase and turn it into your day-to-day reality.

Adrian - Passion and commitment to turning your dreams and goals into reality are truly what I value, as this is something that resonates with me deeply. I've had the opportunity to meet some amazing musicians both within and outside our genre, and witnessing their dedication and hustle in our craft is incredibly inspiring. It always motivates me to push harder and work diligently to achieve everything we can.

If you could collaborate with another NZ musician/band, who would it be?

Sylvester - Well, he isn't a born Kiwi, but he's lived here for many years and has contributed significantly to the music scene. I would love to collaborate with Jaz Coleman, who is a legend and is mostly known for his band Killing Joke. He has also produced and mentored Shihad. He is one of my biggest influences of all time!

I'd also like to collaborate with Crooked Royals; they're doing so well for themselves, and I enjoy what they bring to the table. It's always inspiring to see a local band go far and really motivate the local scene to be better!

Adrian - I would love to collaborate with Blindspott if we had the chance. I loved their music growing up, and I felt that for a New Zealand band, they were heavily underrated!

Torrance - Shepherd's Reign or Strangely Arousing for sure!

How do you keep an eye to the future in regards to your work and work ethic? Do you generally focus on just the project at hand or are you considering how it fits into a larger plan?

Adrian - I am always looking at the bigger picture while also focusing on short-term goals. Since I create all our artwork, I typically begin months in advance to develop designs and concepts that will eventually become official art for various Chasing Titans projects. Currently, we are in the pre-production phase of our debut album, set for release in 2024, and I started designing its artwork in early 2023. I usually lay out timelines to ensure we are always working within a timeframe and can meet our goals.

Torrance - Yeah, I am constantly thinking about the future, and how the things I work on currently fit into it. But that doesn't stop me from experimenting with seemingly unrelated things!

Where have you had the most success in terms of marketing to the Aotearoa audience? If applicable, has this translated well to an international market?

Adrian - In terms of Aotearoa, our biggest success has been our live shows. We’ve garnered so many fans who’ve just come out for the night and seen us live and have then gone on to become pretty dedicated to the band and what we’re trying to achieve. On the international front we’ve been heavily featured and played on radio in Europe, the US, Mexico and Australia and were fortunate enough to reach a peak position down there (that lead us to being signed). Due to how frequent we’ve been played internationally, our current fan base comprises of more international than local fans which is kind of the opposite to what usually happens with local bands but we are very grateful that this is the case as we have started getting a lot more opportunities to tour and perform outside of NZ that we are very grateful to have!

There are so many resources available to musicians in Aotearoa, such as Muzic.net.nz , Music Managers Forum Aotearoa and APRA/AMCOS. Have any of these (or other) NZ resources played a significant role in your journey so far?

Adrian - Hands down Muzic.net.nz – Lisa and the team have embraced us with open arms and have been absolutely amazing with their passion and dedication to promoting local music. I think it’s incredibly challenging for a heavier band to get as many opportunities within the local scene compared to a band with a more commercial sound and it can be quite a struggle at times to even get your music out there, but Muzic.net.nz have been a shining light and really helped promote all of our tours and releases. I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done for us.

Has having access to these resources led to any break-through moments for you, particularly in regards to crafting a successful narrative in your online presence?

Sylvester - It has definitely helped us with exposure to the local crowd and connected us to people who love the music we make.

Are there any resources that you would recommend to NZ musicians who are coming to terms with the business side of the craft?

Adrian - A lot of the music industry is networking, and this is so crucial when it comes to touring and recording – never underestimate the value of niche music-based social media groups and casual jam sessions or meet and greets as they can lead to very big opportunities!

https://chasingtitansofficial.com/

*****

Shannon Coulomb is the co-songwriter, guitarist and producer for Auckland Based band Impostor Syndrome. He also plays bass for Swerve City and is currently the Head of Music at Birkenhead College, Auckland, as well as a tutor for Music Education at AUT University.

Impostor Syndrome:
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Swerve City:
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About Chasing Titans

Chasing Titans is an alternative metalcore band hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Formed in 2018, this three-piece group made up of Adrian Govender (guitar/vocals), Sylvester Porizakova (bass/vocals), and Torrance Kam (drums) has been making waves in the local scene with their distinct and powerful amalgamation of metalcore, infused with elements of hip hop and electronica, coupled with emotionally charged and poignant lyrics.

The name Chasing Titans, inspired by the Greek Titans, reflects the philosophy of never giving up on one’s biggest dreams and striving for greatness. It captures the spirit of perseverance, and the belief that anything is possible through hard work and determination.

Chasing Titans has gained a reputation for their intense and energetic live performances, with Penrose Underground calling their performance “Superb” and the highlight of the party, and From the Hip declaring them “an EPIC Metal Band” who “rocked so hard there were nails and screws falling from the ceiling boards!”.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Chasing Titans

Releases

Chasing Titans
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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