With the release of Aussie prog hardcore outfit Surroundings new album Glass Heart set for tomorrow, we are very happy to share an advance stream of the record with you, our loyal readers, right now!
Glass Heart is the result of two years of hard work and growth as a band and showcases a hybrid of rock sounds and structure melded with technical precision and ability.
The band add: “Overlying it all is the band's commitment to polish, detail, and focus... The result is an album which was crafted slowly, carefully, and built to last. Surroundings didn't need to make this album but were driven to produce something special”
Take a listen to Glass Heart now and be sure to scroll down and read out Q&A with vocalist Nick Roberts while you're at it.
Listen to Glass Heart by Surroundings
Q&A With Vocalist Nick Roberts
Glass Heart is the result of two years of writing and growth for the band. How do you feel about where you are now as a band compared to when you ﬁrst began work on the record?
Straight out the gate with a really difﬁcult question! Writing and recording a record has always been a very tiring, tedious but also a very rewarding process for me personally. The growth as a lyricist and vocalist is tenfold what happened during our debut. With very ambitious vocal patterns and styles in mind, it sometimes takes a bit of trial and error until we achieve the sound we are chasing.
As a band, I feel we have honed in on a sound that we are all really stoked on. With the inﬂuence of two different members (since the previous record) all worked into a collective creative entity, I think we've grown and matured a lot since the beginning of writing and by association, the creation of our debut, Of Bane, Burden And Change (OBBAC).
What learnings (if any) did you take from your previous record, that you applied to Glass Heart?
Record everything with the same engineer and as close together as possible! The writing/recording process of OBBAC compared to Glass Heart was vastly different. OBBAC, I believe our guitarists Leigh and Drew were still living together and wrote most of the music together and then forwarded it onto the other members. It was also recorded in Melbourne with Aaron Beale (Foxblood), then vocals were tracked here in Perth with Matthew Templeman, before he was in the band.
Glass Heart was a lot more collaborative. We would all ﬂock to Drew's house and spend time writing together. We all had a lot more individual input. We were also mindful of trying to write songs that were a bit more cohesive and better planned out, rather than just smashing parts together and seeing if they worked. I also bought recording gear of my own, and started pre-production of vocals over demos of songs to begin ﬂeshing ideas out immediately. This brought forth an immense surge of creativity, but also I was a bit too ambitious in parts. Hence a year's worth of singing lessons, and a whole lot of vocal diversity throughout the album!
If you could choose just one track from the record to share with somebody who had never heard Surroundings before, which one would it be?
That really depends on the person. Overall, Chronesthesia is the most palatable Surroundings sounding song on the record, but tracks like March and The Rivers Edge are much more friendly to most people. So it would vary between those 3 songs.
Which is your personal favourite track on the record?
It would be either March or Glass Heart. March I'm most proud of the vocal performance. My growth as a vocalist is embedded in that song. Glass Heart, on the other hand, is just an epic track. Everyone's parts are perfect in my opinion.
Which tracks are you most looking forward to play live?
Slaves, End As Ashes and March. We've already debuted Slaves and End As Ashes, and they were received quite well. Both are heavy and hard-hitting. March, I'm looking forward to challenging myself, to work it in amongst a set would mean I've succeeded as a vocalist. All the new songs are extremely difﬁcult to perform correctly, and I'm always up for a challenge.
What are your favourite Aussie rock/metal/hardcore acts at the moment?
Probably both Perth bands, Idle Eyes and Scalphunter. Idle Eyes are an emotional hardcore band, and Scalphunter is like a southern rock band. Both bands are solid as live.
What’s next for Surroundings? When will we get to see you play live?
We are currently in talks with a few promoters right now trying to set up some shows! So keep your eyes peeled, shows will be posted soon!