Making the city-change from country to the metropolis is never an easy move. Aside from the logistics, it can be a complete sensory overload. When they packed up shop in Mt. Gambier to relocate to Melbourne, metalcore outfit Pridelands found themselves at a critical point, having to ask themselves ‘Is this what we want to do?’
Following a period of soul-searching, the answer was a resounding ‘Yes, goddamn it’ and the result of their brand new EP Any Colour You Desire. The release takes direct queues from the bands personal struggles and is informed by their realisation that you can fill your life with whatever colour you damn well choose.
Ahead of their headline show in Melbourne supporting the EP, we caught up with vocalist Mason Bunt.
The Neversphere: Any Colour You Desire has now been how for a minute, now that fans have had some time to sink their teeth into it, how has it all gone down?
Mason: To be honest, really good in my opinion. It’s been the best release that we’ve put out reception-wise. We haven’t really seen any negative comments online, which is surprising given the day and age we live in. We’ve fallen under the radar of the internet trolls, or they like us, which is cool.
The Neversphere: I don’t like to spend much time on release names, as they’re often just afterthoughts, but I feel there’s a story behind Any Colour You Desire. How correct is my read on that?
Mason: The title speaks for itself with the record. We decided to run with it because we felt each song had a different colour, and emotion to it. Liam, our guitarist, basically worked out the emotion for each song, then went to a psychology chart and looked at the opposite colour to that emotion. The record has some dark themes in there, personal topics and what not. So, rather than it focusing only on the dark aspects, with the cover artwork, we wanted to reflect the complete opposite.
The Neversphere: It almost sounds like it’s a concept record based on colours and emotions rather than an actual storyline…
Mason: It is, yeah. Each song is about something different but it is conceptually about where we were all at personally over the past two years of our lives revolving around the band. The songs all have the same setting. What we learnt through all of that is you always have a choice to what path you want to take in life, and what you want to do and the person you choose to be. That’s how we ended up with Any Colour You Desire because, in life, it really is about anything you desire, you can follow it and achieve it. It’s all up to you at the end of the day.
The Neversphere: After listening to it, my take was that it’s a dark record…not angry, but with a clear level of aggression and frustration. Did you feel it was dark when you started writing it?
Mason: I guess we did. When the project started we weren’t in a good place. We really didn’t know what we wanted to do. We hit a point where we had to stop and really think about what we wanted as a band, and what direction we wanted the music to go and really, whether or not we were enjoying it anymore. When we decided to continue, we wanted to hone in on what we were feeling at the time. So, I guess it was always going to come out the way it has given the way we were then. It was a very therapeutic process to get it out, and we can move forward now.
The Neversphere: It must have been a big moment to commit to focusing on that specific, and difficult situation for the record. But once you landed on it, did the album start to write itself?
Mason: Yeah, it did. It is hard for me to say that we verbally agreed to write about the hard things we were going through, it sort of just came about, especially on the lyric side of things; It all came out quite quickly. We would follow whatever feeling the song was bringing out then we went with that core emotion and allowed the lyrics to match up. It’s very melancholy…and all that jazz.
The Neversphere: Now we’ve talked about the mood of the tracks, I’d like to know what stories you found yourselves telling on it?
Mason: That’s probably a better question for Josh, as he writes it. But I guess really not knowing your place in the world, and not knowing where you’re at in yourself; not knowing yourself. It was one of those journeys we had to go on. We moved from Mt. Gambier in S.A to Melbourne about 4 years ago now, with the idea to follow the band. Going from the country to the city is a massive lifestyle change. We got distracted, we lost our way a little bit…our lives changed so quickly and with that, everyone around you changes. And you change. This record is about finding ourselves, and learning how to open up to the people around you. It’s about sad topics, but it’s about embracing a change, embracing yourself and moving forward.
The Neversphere: Given the good reception, and the newfound sense of purpose in the band, I imagine you’re itching to get back into the studio…
Mason: We’re in a really good place right now. I can’t really say any more about that. Especially compared to where we were before the release. Moving forward, we’re really keen to get out there and finally do this band. It almost feels like it’s finally a thing now. We’ve gone through so many different member changes – we’ve been through a few drummers – now we’ve got Joe and DJ in the band who made it feel like a real band. We want to get out there, start smacking the road and get out to as many people as we can.
We’ve started writing again already; I can say that. There will be music sooner than people would expect I’d say.
The Neversphere: And where is your head at with the next full release, I imagine there’s some full-length album talk?
Mason: We have our eyes set on an album. Again, we don’t like to keep ourselves boxed into one idea. Leading into Any Colour You Desire we wanted to do an album, that was the plan, it had been a few years and we knew people wanted an album from us. Given the way it went down, we decided we weren’t ready. We decided an EP was the right thing for us now, and we’d take our time with the album…It will be in everyone’s hands soon.
The Neversphere: What’s the latest on the live front? I know there’s a Melbourne gig announced, will there be a more encompassing run of dates?
Mason: Yes! We are working on touring, it’s been a while since we touched certain parts of the country. Our aim with the EP run is to play as many shows as we can…
…And be like ‘Hey, we’re back and this is who we are now.’
Pridelands ‘Any Colour You Desire’ EP Launch
Tickets available now
Saturday, May 26
The Workers Club, Melbourne