Friday, February 3, 2023

When 3 Band Members Left Us with Ravi Sherwell of AS PARADISE FALLS

In this episode of The Rock Metal Podcast, we're chatting with Ravi Sherwell of the band As Paradise Falls about their new EP ‘Madness / Medicine’ out now via Eclipse Records.

During our chat we touch on a lot of great tips for musicians, such as what to do when three band members leave to pursue other opportunities.

'Madness / Medicine' EP was produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shane Edwards & Danny Kenneally at Studio 28.

For fans of Northlane, Trophy Eyes, Hellions


Guest Resource

As Paradise Falls website - Connect with As Paradise Falls!

Guest Music Video

3 Heavy Hitters

1. Finding inspiration for your music from cinema such as Hans Zimmer

2. Finding a producer as weird as you with a great sense of humour

3. Figure out who is the most creative in the band, and hire the rest when needed


Asher Media Relations: Doing PR for everything loud! For your band needs to be seen and heard in print, online and radio!  Let Asher know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

Tue Madsen: Tue Madsen is responsible for producing, mixing, and mastering some of the best metal for over the last 20 years.  Let Tue know Jon from The Rock Metal Podcast sent you.

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Show Notes // Transcript

Jon Harris: Ravi, go ahead and say hello to our beautiful listeners. 

Ravi Sherwell: Hello, listeners. I'm very excited to be in all of your ear holes. 

Jon Harris: And great it is indeed to have you inside of all of our ear holes. Now let's go out and chat about this record, Madness / Medicine. Ravi, what was the greatest moment for you producing this record? 

Ravi Sherwell: Well, it's been a nightmare to get done, so we recorded a single called Bleed for the Crown, and that was in the midst of COVID. So COVID hit. We then went and recorded or started the process of recording with the drummer from Alpha Wolf. So he came on as a session musician for us, and so we recorded those first three songs. So that was Mechanical Hannibals, BATS, and Bleed for the Crown. And then in the middle of that, with COVID kind of ramping up, we thought, well, let's hold this off and put that towards an EP. And so then we just sat on it for such a long time and then went in and re-recorded everything to be part of the Madness / Medicine EP, I think that the best part for us, has just been able to actually get it out after such a long time and so many pitfalls and so many annoyances, completely beyond our control, actually getting it out and getting it to the quality that we wanted has been really our ultimate goal. 

Jon Harris: Wow. Yeah. I mean, recording with the drummer from Alpha Wolf, which would have been awesome having him as a session musician. So you get three songs recorded and then being on hold from COVID anyone can relate to that, raise your hand and then re-recording everything, which, I mean, any other guitar players listening in right now? How many times have you wanted to re-record something? Now's your chance! 

Ravi Sherwell: Haha.

Jon Harris: Now, you mentioned a few things that were beyond your control, and it was kind of a nightmare to get done and a few setbacks, I guess. What was the biggest challenge for you and what did you learn from that? 

Ravi Sherwell: So, I would say the biggest challenge for us was probably we have always run APF as a five piece. And recently, just as I kind of re-entered the band, three of the other guys all kind of decided, hey, I want to kind of step back. I want to pursue, like, personal goals and stuff. And that was cool. I'd already had that time to do that. So I stepped away from the band for a couple of years and went and did my thing, had my girl and got married, bought a house, did all the boring shit. So then once those guys kind of stepped back, it was all basically funded by Danny and I. So going from five income streams to be able to kind of support the beast down to two has been quite challenging. But the upside of that has really been the majority of all the writing has always been between me and Danny. And then it's as I'm sure anyone that's trying to have any kind of group assignments, assessments or music, trying to come up with cohesive ideas with five people is very difficult. But being able to have Danny I have such a long history together of working with one another. We really know how one another thinks, so we knew exactly how we kind of wanted to go about things. So the negative was everything was a lot more financially impacting as well as not as many people to bounce ideas off. The positive for us, though, was we didn't have so many people to bounce ideas off. We know what we want to do. We don't need anyone else to kind of go ahead for it. We're just going to go for it. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. So dropping down from five members to two members sound familiar to anybody? Which, I mean, as you said, though, Ravi, it increases the financial burden because you can no longer divide expenses by five. And if you're not in a band right now where that's evenly happening anyway, well, then I think you know what you got to do. But Ravi also mentioned that it cuts the fat away in terms of being creative, which is a super positive plus, and it's actually worth more than its weight in gold. If you think about how quickly you'll be able to turn things out, eventually the expenses probably won't matter as much because you'll be more creative, you'll be kicking out more stuff, you'll be doing more faster. But Ravi, how do you go about filling in those three spots or those three gaps when you need them? 

Ravi Sherwell: Yeah, our big thing at the moment has been we will get session guys in for shows. Again, the financial burden does kind of sting in saying that, though. I don't think there's ever been a time where I've been more happy doing this in playing with this band is when it's been mean. Danny kind of sitting in a room and it's like, yeah, let's work through this. Let's work through this. Because it's so quick, we have to go through and we're like, we know what we want to do, we know what we're about and we know it works. 

Jon Harris: Knowing what you want, knowing what works. I read that there are some cinematic themes to the record. Take us through that. What are the cinematic themes on this record? 

Ravi Sherwell: In this, I think we counted up yesterday when we were doing a practice and we were kind of running through our Pro Tools rig. I think we had 23 different channels or layers of the varying kind of tracks that we were listening to. So each song had like 23 separate parts to it, which is insane, but he really focused on this record around what he was calling the heartbeat. He got a lot of inspiration from Hans Zimmer and watching movies like Inception, Interstellar and specifically like the Dark Knight movies where they had like this kind of it's not music. It's like a tone that every now and then will kind of creep up. And that's throughout the entirety of the EP. So there's something that's in there. It's a specific track and it will just every now and then it will get louder or quieter and it just pops in and out. And that was really around kind of building the tension. So I think with the music, we really stripped things back a lot so we could kind of get back to the not just heavy music, but the biggest thing that we like is aggressive music. It's not around like heavy bands that still have a really soft kind of approach. That's not what we do. That's not what we're good at. We're really around how raw can we make this while still making it sound like a production to be proud of, as well as having the overall tone there, which is around that aggression. The lyrics kind of jumped between various things that I found to be annoying in adult life over time. I definitely found it to be pretty easy to write once I kind of got into it. So there's things around like cancel culture manipulation and also just like a big thing around victim mentality, so around not allowing things like whether it's a diagnosis or anything along those kind of lines to define who you are. And rather than making it a very uplifting thing, which I think is what we've done in the past and what a lot of bands do, we kind of went the opposite and just went balls to the wall. Very aggressive with it all. 

Jon Harris: The most fun way to be, don't even try to live your life. It's over. 

Ravi Sherwell: Yeah. Fuck, man. Next time is going to be way worse. 

Jon Harris: Exactly. Well, the thing is that I really enjoyed about that, I think a really big, massive heavy hitter or a value bomb for everyone listening in right now is you mentioned Hans Zimmer. I mean, there are so many great composers out there who are doing many different facets of work. And something that he does, as you mentioned, is he creates cinematic tension throughout incredible movies such as Inception and The Dark Knight and using that as an inspiration to craft a cinematic approach to creating tension in a metal record and specifically a Nu-Deathcore. I believe that's what it's called, right? Nu-Deathcore? 

Ravi Sherwell: Yeah. 

Jon Harris: In a Nu-Deathcore record. And even being on the cusp of this new genre, Nu-Deathcore, that decision right there probably was it. And so always look for the greats and it doesn't matter really where it comes from, but learn from the best, stay away from the worst. And Hans Zimmer is definitely one of the best that you could learn from. 

Ravi Sherwell: It's been very cool. And his idea was wild to actually sit down I didn't understand it all to start off with, but then kind of once you kind of sit down and you hear it, especially when you can kind of go through the tracks and you can see it all, it's been very cool to watch. 

Jon Harris: Yeah.  Ravi, how would you define success at this stage of your career with regard to this record release? 

Ravi Sherwell: So, our next biggest goal, so we haven't played a show since the release of Madison. Danny and I also haven't played live together in, I think it's about four or five years now after all the COVID, stepping away to have my child doing all those bits and pieces. So that's really the big next step for us. So we're booking a show at the moment for May in Queensland, which is going to be really good for us, I think the next thing is. So this EP was always going to be, I guess, the re-emergence of our band and around coming back out after a bit of a break between Digital Ritual and this. 

Jon Harris: So this is the first step, hitting the stage, baby, which is super important, especially with the way the world is starting to open up again, being benched, being put on the bench for the last couple of years for a lot of musicians. If you resonate with that, raise your hand. Finally getting back out there and doing what you love to do. But heading into the success question again, you guys got to work with Shane Edwards of North Lane fame for this release. Talk to us about that. 

Ravi Sherwell: We actually met Shane back in 2012 when we just went down to kind of record a single when he was working at a studio called Electric Sun. And we just haven't found anyone, even with most band members that we've just jelled with on such a bizarre level. So he's weird enough that we can kind of walk into a room with him and just feel immediately comfortable. And you need that weirdness. 

Jon Harris: Absolutely. You need that weirdness. Everyone listening in. Right now, you're searching for a producer or an extra band member. You need that weirdness, baby. You need to be able to have that chemistry. You need to be able to jive and gel so that the work just flows. 

Ravi Sherwell: Music has like, you get the best results whenever everything's kind of feeling effortless and free flowing. And I guess the worst thing you can have creatively is someone that's just them kind of just the energy or their persona just is enough to kind of make you kind of clamp up and not really kind of go for any of the ideas that you wanted to try and experiment with. And Shane has always been awesome with that. So I'm pretty sure the first time I recorded vocals with him, he was in the sound studio and I was in the booth and like mid-take, he just pulled up either his or Danny's laptop and while I was just trying to record, he just had porn going and it just completely threw me off. I wasn't expecting that at all, but that's exactly what you need, because immediately all your nerves, all of your tension and everything is gone because two people are just railing each other and you're like, I didn't expect to see that today. Thank you, Shane. We were good for that. 

Jon Harris: And you brought up a really good point, especially for anybody who's going into the studio for the first time, or maybe even you have a budding recording career in the making. Vocals are not easy to record and that was a talented move to make vocals a little bit easier. What was that like for you? I mean, take us back to that moment before he did that and after, where the vocal takes better. What happened? 

Ravi Sherwell: So for me, at that time, I'd only ever recorded a demo and then an EP in someone I go with probably the word peer. So someone like my own kind of age, and that would have been like when I was early 20. So not like an older kind of dude and definitely not like a professional kind of set up. And so we traveled from Queensland down to Sydney, which is where Electric Sun Studios was, which is where we were working with Shane, and that's about a ten hour drive for us. And on top of that, we've had some massive bands that are all recorded there, like Northlane, Trophy Eyes, Helions, some big kind of Australian names. And so going into that environment as like a young 20 year old kind of dude, it was really hard to keep a nerves in check. And especially for me, like, I have this reoccurring nightmare that I'll go in to do something incredibly important music wise, and I'll completely forget how to scream. I can't play any other instruments, so if I forget how to do that, I'm completely fucked. I don't know whether I can swear sorry if hell yeah. And so having all those kind of nerves, it makes you sorry, it makes me the takes. Like, the effort is all there, but it doesn't have that flow and it's like you can really hear it in my voice when it's pushing too hard rather than just doing what I know I should be doing. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. 

Ravi Sherwell: Yeah. So after after that, like, I guess tension all leaving with such an unexpected experience, like, you just kind of really can kind of lean back into the moment and give your best performances. 

Jon Harris: Yeah. Getting the best performance, a ten hour drive to work with the right producer. Having a re-occurring nightmare, forgetting how to scream. Anybody listening in right now? You have a re-occurring nightmare, you're going to give a speech, you're going to be somewhere, you forget how to talk, you forget what you're going to have to say. You're a guitar player, you're going to forget your parts. I don't know. You're a cook, you're on a TV show, you're going to forget how to cut an onion all of a sudden. I mean, raise your hand, baby. You're definitely there with the rest of us, but having a producer like that allows you to, as you said, lean back into the moment. Now, my next question is, what's the number one thing that you want people to do who are listening in right now, Ravi?

Ravi Sherwell: I reckon the best way to go about things is to go over to our YouTube channel or sorry, Eclipse's YouTube channel. So all of our music videos through Eclipse. I think that our music videos are very entertaining and it's not your typical kind of metal stuff where everything's very dark and aggressive. We tried to have some real fun with our music videos, so we tried to make sure that things were aggressive, but also pretty stupid as well. So we found that to be a lot of fun. So that's where I'd be directing listeners. 

Jon Harris: So go ahead and type in As Paradise Falls in the search bar at the top at Today's show notes will pop up with some extra information and all those music videos will be available. Very cool. And then for those who are in Queensland, you can get in touch with all of the relevant links and hopefully see that show that's going to be going on in May. And Ravi, thank you so much for coming on to the Rock Metal podcast today. 

Ravi Sherwell: Yeah, nailed it!


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