Interview with Wade Norris of Our Last Enemy and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
WN: We tend to use the label “Industrial Metal” because we love big sounding guitars and drums mixed with electronics but we have a large range of influences. Members of Our Last Enemy are into everything from black and death metal, classic 70’s rock, synthwave, rap and everything in between.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
WN: Our Last Enemy are primarily based in Sydney Australia(With myself living in Brisbane). The band has been around for about a decade but I joined in 2017. We make music because we can’t not make music. It’s like asking how we came to breathe! It just happens because it has to!
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
WN: For me personally my greatest inspirations are the “guitar gods” I grew up listening to like Dimebag, James Hetfield, Devin Townsend and Dino Cazares. I am primarily a rhythm player and those guys just knew how to lay those crushing riffs that were also catchy enough to get stuck in your head. Our singer Oliver Fogwell is big into horror movies and is a massive Mike Patton fan. Our Bass player Matt Heywood loves 90’s Nu Metal and rap. Anything with a really low big bass sound. Our drummer Frank Macri is really into bands like Tool, Behemoth and Gojira. As far as what we like to write about? We tend to just put it all in a blender until what comes out feels right to us. We tend to have lyrical themes across a record. Our last single Long Time Coming is about internal struggles and overcoming them.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
WN: For people to enjoy listening to the music as much as we have created it. I remember that feeling of putting on a new record and sitting back and reading the lyrics while turning it up to 11. And while the times have changed we have tried to keep within that theme with the new EP “As Above, So Below”. Each song has its own sigil which is hidden in the EP cover and has meaning to go with the lyrics and we want people to interpret them as our lips are sealed on that one.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
WN: The band has got to play with some of the greats in our genre so far. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the band when OLE supported Static-X but I know that is a proud moment for the guys. It was a sold out show at the Metro in Sydney and the audience really got into it! For me personally it was supporting Perturbator last year. Just being in front of a sold show filled with fans of Synthwave and being able to win a lot of people over who expected synth and drums really meant a lot to me! The place was so packed with people that it was raining inside from sweat evaporating and creating condensation on the ceiling.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
WN: With being signed to Octane Records recently that has really helped us as we have a team pushing as hard as we are. But in all honesty the hardest thing has been being unable to play shows due to the pandemic. We really strive to put on an entertaining massive sounding live show (look up “Our Last Enemy Low” to get an idea of what an OLE show is like). The best way to get noticed is to still be that band that puts on a great live show. Online it can be difficult to stand out in a climate where anyone can record and release their own music online but a live show is a real experience that you don’t forget quickly when it’s good.
The home studio age is pretty exciting for me though. I have spent the last decade working on my audio engineering skills(and gear hording) with trial and error just because it has interested me even when I wasn’t even in a band. It took me years to actually get the sound I was hearing in my head to come out of those speakers and I think people need to know when to hand their music off to someone else to mix it with fresh ears with less attachment to the material. I always tell people they should know how to record themselves even if it is only to demo songs to work on the arrangements. The tools are all there and everyone should give it a go! But don’t put everything you do straight out to the internet. It could be worthwhile having someone else record and mix it for you so you give the best impression when you want to show your latest and greatest song!
As far as getting or music out there… we have had some help from some very talented people. We produced and recorded a lot of the latest record ourselves in my Brisbane Studio “Icon of Sin” with Vocals being recorded at The Brain studios in Sydney by Clayton Segelov through amazing microphones and an awesome vocal chain of analogue gear. We had As Above So Below’s drums laid down by John Sankey(Devolved) while our Drummer took a break to start a family and it was all mixed by the godfather of Aussie Nu-Metal DW Norton (Superheist). DW is known for having huge sounding mixes that just hit you in the chest.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
WN: We used to book and promote our own live shows but we have recently signed on to Destroy All Lines Agency who now book our shows for us. Unfortunately due to Covid we do not have any performances locked in. We kept planning and having to cancel before we could even announce so we are waiting for the right time to make sure it will go ahead. We do definitely have some in the works though. For a long time the band couldn’t even be in the same city due to border closures but we were able to get into a jam room a few weeks ago and it was amazing being in the same room together again!
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
WN: For me streaming it is about convenience. I used to buy lots of CD’s and carry a cd wallet and a discman when I was growing up and these days being able to just listen to anything on my phone with Bluetooth headphones is what I always wished I could do (but a CD wallet could only hold so many). I don’t buy many cd’s these days but I buy vinyl records and I can’t really take them with me when I am out and about! Spotify is great as a listener but in ways it has really made people invest less in a whole album of music or even an EP. I am one of those guys that likes to listen to an EP or album from start to finish in the order the artist intended me to. With our upcoming EP “As Above, So Below” we really feel the tracks flow well together and want people to grab that cd and have the experience we used to have listening from start to finish and going on a musical journey.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
WN: Cemetery Gates by Pantera. It was the song that when I was learning guitar that I just could not figure out how the guitar sounded like that. I sat there for weeks learning to pull off pinch harmonics like Dimebag did. The guitar I had pretty much couldn’t do it but I kept trying anyway. Plus it is just a great timeless song.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
WN: The Music industry is a competitive tough business that has it’s ups and downs. If anything I would just love if less money was spent promoting the latest autotuned pop single that all sounds the same and more money bringing Rock n Roll back to the public. Bring back loud guitars! But it is the public that love the autotuned sound for now… But it comes in waves. I am sure people will get sick of that soon!.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
WN: Our Last Enemy have just released the “Long Time Coming” so there has been so much to do! The whole team has been flat out ! Me personally I have just finished editing a visualizer for our next single from “As Above, So Below” which is coming up soon… (Dates and which song it is is TBA) and writing new material!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
WN: The best place to keep current on everything Our Last Enemy is to like us on Facebook and comment on our posts so Facebook keeps showing you them!
Preorders and merch bundles are available on the Octane Records store at https://octanerecords.com.au/collections/our-last-enemy
Our Instagram,Twitter and Youtube channel links are available on the front page of our website http://www.ourlastenemy.com along with the video for “Long Time Coming” which was shot by the legends at “Her Name is Murder Productions”.
go is ourlastenemy.com to learn about us. It has links to all of our other socials.
Our Last Enemy links:
Band location – Sydney Australia
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Merch – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – Last Fm
Check our page for Our Last Enemy