Breaking into the European music scene is difficult for any band, let alone a young hardcore four-piece from Perth with a difficult and dark past. But that’s exactly what Break Even have been doing over the past few years thanks to some relentless touring and plenty of hard work. Lead vocalist Mark chats about the success of their debut album and some of their plans for 2011.
Hi Mark. Please introduce us to each member of Break Even, what instrument they play and what qualities they bring to the band.
Well we have Simon on the drums, quite a handful type of character until he gets on the drums where you will see him non-stop smiling the whole time. Then we have Perri on bass, a bit of quiet guy who always loves to have a good time no matter what we’re doing. Steffen plays the guitars and brings all the shredding sounds you hear while we play and myself, Mark, I try to sing and talk too much on stage about piffle (utter nonsense).
Your debut album The Bright Side has been called “a story of birth and death and everything in between”, with your band encouraging listeners to find the bright side in everything, whether it is in life, in dreams, or in loss. Where does this attitude come from? What inspires and drives you to focus on this?
Finding the attitude to write The Bright Side came from everyday life and the real parts of life that we go through that people don’t seem to talk about much in music. Inspiration and drive comes through friends and family and just music in general. Without all those parts we wouldn’t have written a CD which people can relate to as much as we can as musicians.
When The Bright Side hit number 17 on the ARIA album chart (Australia), number 7 on the national AIR chart, and number 2 on Triple J’s Short Fast Loud top 100 albums for 2009, what was it like for your band? How did you feel after everything you guys had been through?
After hearing about all these things we were very pleased with ourselves. All we wanted to do was write a CD to reflect on the things that have happened to us as a band and as people. The quote in the CD booklet, “To remember, to inspire and to never forget”, sums up The Bright Side and we hope people took that with them after listening to the CD.
The Bright Side is already available across Australia, but now you are trying to break into the European market. How difficult is it for a young Aussie band to do that? Are you planning to tour Europe anytime?
In April/May 2010 we had the chance of going to Europe and the UK with our good friends from Melbourne, Deez Nuts. Without this chance I still think we would be still finding it very hard for ourselves to break into the scene over there. While heading over there we contacted a label and we got to release The Bright Side on vinyl over there and around the world now too. We are heading back to Europe and the UK for 3 weeks in February 2011 with a band from the UK, Your Demise. We became friends with a few of them over there and kept in touch and now we are touring together which we are all looking forward to a whole lot.
Congratulations on scoring a spot for Push Over 2011. What can we expect to see from you guys on stage?
Thanks very much. We got asked to play last year but had to pull out a week from the event as I hurt my leg, so we are really excited about playing at the 2011 Pushover. The bands that have been announced already are going to make it an amazing day and from what we hear it’s always a huge turnout and a really great day. Expect everything you would from a punk-rock hardcore band but with a bit of a twist as we’re from the crazy side of the country, Perth!
Have you played FReeZA events in the past? How have FReeZA helped you?
We have played a few FReeZA events in the past. Last year we were lucky enough to play the Moonee Ponds Sounds Loud Festival with a lot of great and different Australian bands, which was a great experience for us. FReeZA has helped us out a lot with putting on shows for us. The people working there have always been so helpful and real nice, just great people to work with, which is always great.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your band when just starting out? Do you have any good advice for other young bands who may be trying to break into the music industry?
Listen to as much music as you can, and learn every instrument you can. Share what you know with the people you like or love that are interested in music, and if they aren’t, then get them involved as you can’t quite beat the feeling of playing music on a stage to people or traveling the world playing the music you wrote to people you would never think of playing to.
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