Melbourne's BORN FREE have just released their debut LP "Sorrow" through Resist Records and are set to hit the road with TURNSTILE early next year. We caught up with frontman Nathan Garland for a chat...
Let's start with the formalities. How did the band form and does the band sound like what you always envisaged it to be?
Well, funnily enough when I started this band I hit you up to put out the demo on a 7” and I said it would sound like a few NYHC bands, but it sounds nothing like any of those bands. I have come to realize that trying to emulate bands like Breakdown is near impossible, mainly because of technology and the fact that those dudes are much harder than I am haha. As for the formation of Born Free, it came out of older bands I was in falling apart, and turned out for the best, musically and for the relationships with members of past bands.
Shaman Records released your first 7" Evil Hands. How did a band from Melbourne end up on a label from Perth?
George and NG are total legends, good friends of mine and super organized – It was a no brainer haha
When you listen to your demo and 7" is it still a pleasant or painful experience? What do you think has changed since the band’s formation?
I’m still stoked on the demo. It’s sketchy, the vocals are slightly all over the place in parts. We still play 2/3 songs off the demo because people seem to enjoy them as much as we do. We have definitely gotten a lot heavier and a bit more of our metal influences have shined through on our later recordings.
Say you guys are in the van together. Who controls the stereo and what bands do you all collectively agree on?
I dunno, we all have very similar tastes in music. Hatebreed, Pantera, Survival, Early Terror and Bitter End never get turned down..
How did the new album end up being released by Resist Records?
I met Graham on our Evil Hands tour, and just hit me up a few weeks after just saying he was interested in our next release, which was pretty cool. I had been writing at that point to, which was really good timing.
Got a favourite Resist band or release?
Mine is No Apologies – Survival. It’s got it all
What would be your fave song on the record and why?
I really like Sorrow, I feel it has a good groove, and it genuinely feels really good to sing.
Is the track "Human" as close to a ballad as Born Free will ever get?
Hmmm, it is possible, I like the idea of breaking the record up a bit with something less sinister sounding. I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback about this song. I’m not gonna rule anything out, theres no rules.
With song titles such as "Trust No One" and "X Files" I'm presuming you guys are fans of the X Files TV series?
I am a massive fan of the X-Files. The Demo lyrics are loosely based around the idea that we have a lot untrustworthy people in positions of power all across the world.
Have you watched the teaser for the remake? Any thoughts?
I’m all for it, it will be different, but it’s exciting nonetheless. I am always open to anything, so long as its done well.
What do you think about the remake and reunite trend in hardcore? Should bands stay dead and not ruin their legacy or is it a good thing to see a band you be always loved?
I like the idea of seeing bands I would never seen due to swimming around in my old mans ball bag, but at the same time some of these bands died for a reason. I watch footage of some of my favourite bands butchering their own songs and its fucking heartbreaking. Some bands still absolutely kill it, but they usually are still in touch with the scene and not as arrogant as some of the assholes getting around. Granted, if I was in my 50’s and only had 15 minutes of music to show for it I’d be miserable as fuck too. To be perfectly honest, I prefer to see new bands starting. I love demos, they make me smile the most and seeing a band progress makes me more stoked then anything.
Born Free are set to tour the country in Jan 2016 with Turnstile. Is this your first time out on the road with an international band and what do you expect?
I expect these shows to be really good, if not amazing. Plus the general hang will be great. Summer time madness.
We did a small part of the Miles Away/Blacklisted earlier in the year and that was a really good time. Both bands are legends and really looked after us.
Do you think international supports validate bands in Australian hardcore as being worthy of attention?
I believe if you’re asked to play with in International band, you’ve gained someone’s attention, whether it’s the promoter, touring band or whatever.. but there are so many bands in this country that get overlooked for national and international support. Some bands just expect it and get butt-hurt when they don’t get it. It’s a funny one.
How hard is touring and being away from home with a young infant at home?
Generally, I don’t spend more than 3 days away from my family, just because I think its unfair to leave my partner alone to manage everything on her own. Were both more than capable, but its nice to be our little unit all together. This Turnstile tour will be the first time Ill be gone for longer than 5 days. The way the tour is booked, it is quite handy with being back for a few days in the middle.
You've booked a lot of AA shows in Melb in the past and have vented about poor turnouts and attitudes a bit lately. What sort of barriers do you think need to be overcome for more people to show up?
People don’t seem to realize that if there’s no all ages shows, there’s no all ages scene. More than just myself have tried and tried to piece it together, but the majority don’t seem to care. Melbourne has become spoilt for choice. That’s not the attendees fault entirely, because you have 5 promoters not communicating trying to put shows on the same weekend or some scenario similar. Its just a mess sometimes, I can see why people cant be bothered. Since stepping back, and seeing it from the outside, I can see what some of the problems may be. I am not having a dig anyone here, its just how I see it.
Why is it do you think that the majority of people always under appreciate local bands and local shows in favour of touring bands?
Probably because the vibe at international shows are generally better and everyone is more into the show usually. But we have some bands that are as good as any international band coming through Australia wide. Except Ill Natured, Fuck them…
What's the dumbest and most inspiring thing you've ever seen at a show?
The dumbest thing I have seen is pit beef. Fuck that shit, talk it out as soon as possible otherwise it turns into long winded boring fucking bullshit for your friends that don’t wanna feel awkward rocking up to a show with you. That’s goes both ways too. There is just etiquette.
Who else should people check out from Melbourne?
Blinded, Bleach and Prayer Position
How can people hear Born Free or get in touch with the band?
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bornfreemhc/
Bandcamp - https://bornfreemhc.bandcamp.com
Tumblr – http://bornfreemhc.tumblr.com
Twitter - @bornfreemelb
IG - @bornfreemhc
Were also on iTunes and Spotify.
Any final words or thanks?
Thanks to every single person who has ever given this band the time of day. Without that we would not be where we are now.
Listen to World View - https://worldviewyc.bandcamp.com
Support your local scene, start a band, do a zine, do a label..