There are so many birthdays and events that fam­ily and friends have that you just have to sac­ri­fice,” Make Them Suf­fer bassist Chris Arias-Real tells re­gard­ing ded­i­ca­tion to the metal­lic cause, dur­ing a break from his day job work­ing at a hos­pi­tal. This sen­ti­ment is only ex­ac­er­bated given they call Perth, per­haps the world’s most re­mote cap­i­tal city, home. Thus, even plan­ning an east coast tour can be a prob­lem­atic, fi­nan­cially drain­ing en­deav­our. “But your fam­ily and friends will have that lee­way with you, be­cause they know you’re as­pir­ing to your dream, and what you want to do with your life. So it’s not like a mat­ter of get­ting a hard time about it, they un­der­stand the life­style that this brings.” The graft and un­wa­ver­ing self-be­lief may soon reap sub­stan­tial div­i­dends for the sym­phon­i­claced death­core out­fit. Hav­ing is­sued 2012 de­but, Ne­verbloom, and pre­vi­ously hit the road with North­lane, Bleed­ing Through, Job For A Cow­boy and Thy Art Is Mur­der through­out Australia, Europe and the UK, the sex­tet is un­leash­ing sec­ond full-length, Old Souls. Bristling with charred riffage, black­ened at­mo­spher­ics and ‘ core in­ten­sity, each mem­ber as­sum­ing greater own­er­ship of the ma­te­rial was ap­par­ently cru­cial. “There was a huge dif­fer­ence in the way it was writ­ten. Ne­verbloom was writ­ten pre­dom­i­nantly with two to three peo­ple, whereas with Old Souls every­body has ac­tu­ally con­trib­uted to the al­bum. There are songs that ev­ery­one has con­trib­uted to, both in­di­vid­u­ally and as a team. I think it’s the best rep­re­sen­ta­tion of this band. It’s a lot more spe­cial for us, be­cause each of us has given a piece of our­selves to it, whereas some peo­ple may not have had that con­nec­tion with Ne­verbloom, just in­ter­nally. They were happy to be in­volved in the grand scheme of things, but to ac­tu­ally con­trib­ute, it means a lot more to the in­di­vid­u­als and to the band it­self.” Seek­ing to ex­pand upon their de­but’s scope while re­main­ing co­he­sive mu­si­cally, Old Souls was boosted son­i­cally by a litany of high-pro­file heavy mu­sic per­son­nel, with Ja­son Sue­cof (The Black Dahlia Mur­der, Trivium), Joey Stur­gis (Em­mure, Ask­ing Alexan­dria) and For­rester Savell (Kar­nivool, Dead Let­ter Cir­cus) en­listed at var­i­ous points. “That was some­thing that we wanted to ex­per­i­ment with, be­cause ob­vi­ously com­ing into it we knew that we would work with Roland [Lim] again, that’s some­thing that we didn’t want to change. He’s like the sev­enth mem­ber of this band, ‘ cause he’s worked with us on Ne­verbloom and [EP] Lord Of Woe,” Arias-Real laughs. “But when we did the al­bum, we were look­ing at a num­ber of dif­fer­ent peo­ple to mix and mas­ter, so we thought we would take a gam­ble and say, ‘ Why not get a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent peo­ple to put their touch to it and see how it comes out?’ “I know that might come across as, well, wouldn’t the songs sound dif­fer­ent as a lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence? You might lis­ten to one and think, ‘This song has a par­tic­u­lar feel’; then the next one’s got a com­pletely dif­fer­ent vibe to it, and just gen­eral over­all sound. But it ac­tu­ally has come

to­gether re­ally well. Now we have an in­di­ca­tion of maybe some peo­ple we’d like to work with in the fu­ture. There were some peo­ple also that we wanted to work with that we couldn’t line up the sched­ules with.” Due to bud­getary re­stric­tions, in­stead of trav­el­ling over­seas they con­versed with peren­ni­ally wacky Sue­cof via e-mail and Skype. “He is a char­ac­ter, for sure. He’s like no­body that we’ve ever worked with, but in a good way,” the bassist chuck­les. “I’m sure in per­son he’s even more… He’s a very colour­ful in­di­vid­ual, that’s for sure. He worked on more of the faster songs on the al­bum; they were tai­lored to his strengths. “We al­lo­cated songs to dif­fer­ent pro­duc­ers based upon what type of song it was. For ex­am­ple, the mosh-ier type of tracks were given to Stur­gis, be­cause that’s more his vibe. For­rester ac­tu­ally only did one song. We would have liked to have got­ten more, but we weren’t able to do it un­for­tu­nately. But the song that he did, the ti­tle track, is prob­a­bly the stand­out on the al­bum. Not just in terms of how we feel about it, but also in terms of how it sounded. It’s very dif­fer­ent to any­thing we’ve done with Make Them Suf­fer. That’s prob­a­bly the one we’re most happy with that came back out of ev­ery­one we worked with.”

Old Souls will again be is­sued Down Un­der via Road­run­ner; the sub­stan­tial staffing and op­er­a­tional re­vamp the la­bel has un­der­gone in re­cent years well-doc­u­mented. The tra­di­tional in­dus­try model is reel­ing, but Make Them Suf­fer pre­serves the as­sis­tance, at least in name, of said brand’s longevity and sta­tus. As a rare Aus­tralian act on the la­bel, have they been im­pacted much? “I don’t think so. We had signed with Road­run­ner, but right be­fore Ne­verbloom came out was kind of when the big­ger changes hap­pened within Road­run­ner. Who we were work­ing with at the time [Dar­ren Cherry] un­for­tu­nately was let go. That was a con­cern for us, ob­vi­ously, be­cause he had been there for the en­tire process be­fore we were signed, when we had all the meet­ings he was very much in­volved, and he had such a great vi­sion for us. He was gen­uinely a fan of the band, which re­ally helped. But over the course of the past three years we’ve de­vel­oped a re­ally strong re­la­tion­ship with Road­run­ner and [par­ent com­pany] Warner now. Es­pe­cially com­ing into this al­bum, where I feel we were def­i­nitely feel­ing very pos­i­tive about the sit­u­a­tion.” Strength­en­ing the favourable out­look is an up­com­ing na­tional jaunt. They also have plans abroad, in­clud­ing re­turn­ing to the lu­cra­tive Euro­pean mar­ket in Au­gust. “We’re re­ally go­ing to hit the ground run­ning over the next six months to fin­ish up the year. We’ve only been able to go over to Europe once, and it was fan­tas­tic, ob­vi­ously some­thing we would like to do more, and hope to do more of on this al­bum cy­cle.”

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