2016. február 1.
Australia’s alien-apocalypse-deathcore heavyweights Aversions Crown are currently nearing the tail end of their very first headlining tour in Europe. Last Tuesday the tour made a stop in Budapest, Hungary, which is where we sat down with frontman Mark Poida for an interview. Poida has been with the band for just over one whole year, but during that time he’s more than proven himself perfect for the role, both on tours and in the studio. Before taking to the stage of Budapest’s Dürer Kert, we chatted about touring, songwriting, McDonald’s food, Independence Day, Corey Taylor, and a big floating moshpit on the Moon, among other things.
This is the third week of your headlining tour, how is it going so far? How are the turnouts and the crowds?
Really, really good, man. Basically every single show has been really good. We’ve had a few—about four or five sold out shows on this tour, which is really good for our first time headlining over here. All the shows have been really good. I can’t even think of one single show that’s even been remotely bad. The crowds have been awesome, the bands get along perfectly, so it’s just been a real chill time.
This is the band’s third time in Budapest. Have you got a chance to go sightseeing yet? How do you like the city?
Sightseeing, I guess technically yes, we went and saw—I can’t remember the exact name of the place, but it’s like a big spa/hot spring thing. A big pool outside, and saunas…
It’s not too far from here, right?
Yeah, it’s close.
That’s the Széchenyi bath. It was named after a big 19th century statesman.
Yeah, that’s it! So as far as sightseeing, we went to that place. Every time we’ve been here it’s always been a very tight schedule, like, we’ve just arrived and we’ve had barely even an hour or two hours to get all our gear into the venue and set up. But we did go to that bath place and it was really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Like it’s freezing outside but it’s so steamy and hot and nice when you go into the saunas. That place is the most badass place I’ve ever been. That is probably the pinnacle of Europe for me.
Well just wait until you see the rest of the city sometime! And can you recall the previous shows in Budapest? What were they like?
Both of them were at the KVLT club, I think?
It’s actually pronounced like ‘cult’, but it’s cool that you remember.
So both times we’ve played there were absolutely awesome. The crowd seemed to really like our music. We have some good friends over here, like Robert who does Grindesign, he’s worked with the band on a lot of stuff like artwork and T-shirt designs. So yeah, we have a pretty good following here, the way people take us and listen to us when we play is just awesome. It’s one of my favorite places in the entirety of Europe.
That’s good to hear! Have you seen any difference between the opening gigs and the headlining gigs this year?
I feel when you’re opening for bigger bands, a lot of people don’t really know who you are, you’re more trying to get your music out there to people who haven’t seen your band play and are just getting used to you. So it’s not such a very intense reaction, it’s more of a… not a confused look but they are just like ‘aaah, okay, I understand, this is a cool band.’ Whereas when you’re headlinging, you are somewhat the main attraction, a lot of people already know the music and know the words so they are a lot more into it. But aside from that the crowds are usually pretty similar—people just want to rock out and headbang.
What was your best show ever? Or your worst day ever, when everything just seemed to fall apart and you hated each other’s guts? If such a thing ever happened, that is.
We’re all very, very chill people so we don’t really have a day when we are not getting along. We’ve had little arguments, [but] nothing serious, it’s actually funny if anything—I love McDonals’s and the rest of my band don’t, so the most disagreement we ever have is I’ll be like ‘Let’s go get McDonalds’ and they’ll be like ‘No.’ I don’t think we ever have a part where we fall apart or anything.
No bad bus breakdowns?
No, we’ve actually been surprisingly lucky. No van breakdowns, no bus breakdowns on the Thy Art tour, everything’s always been 100% smooth on every tour we’ve done here. Even in Australia, I think the most intense thing we’ve ever had to do is just long overnight drives, but even then we just gave each other company.
We’ve noticed that Australian bands often bring other Aussie bands along for tours. Like you’ve brought A Night in Texas here now, last year Thy Art Is Murder brought you, and then next week it’s Parkway Drive who will be bringing Thy Art here again. Is it like one huge scene sticking together down there, or is it just coincidence?
Yeah, no, it is. Australia is a very tight scene cause it’s a big place but also a small place. We don’t have many different areas to play, just a few cities and states where everyone plays. There’s not too many bands from Australia, each band knows who each other is, it’s a real tiny community. So basically whenever one band has a chance to go over to Europe or overseas, we usually bring someone else with us, so hopefully they pick up the same path that we went so that they can end up doing the same thing. I’m sure [it’s the] same with Thy Art Is Murder and Parkway Drive. It’s just that whenever we get a chance to take some more Australian talent out here, we definitely will.
How did you come up with the whole aliens thing? Is there a single mastermind behind it and behind the band, or is it more collaborative?
Well, for me, lyrically, I’m a massive sci-fi movie fan, so all my ideas come from watching lots of movies and playing lots of videos games. I’m just coming up with cool ideas [based on] what I’ve seen or kind of got an inspiration from. As far as how it was created, I believe it was Chris Cougan, our guitarist, who came up with the whole alien theme, and he actually writes a good 70% of the music. It’s a big collaboration and we all kind of add parts here and there and do our own bit but I guess Chris is the main mastermind behind the band. He writes most of the songs, he comes up with most of the themes, then we all just kinda throw our own input on what he’s already created.
Do you have any specific inspirations, like a piece of art or an artist? And you cannot say everyday life, ’cause humanity does not get obliterated on a weekly basis.
Haha, yeah. If you consider movies art, I would say Independence Day is a massive inspiration.
How do you feel about the second part coming out?
I’m absolutely stoked! I saw the trailer and I’m so excited. It’s always been one of my favorite movies and the fact that they decided to create another one is just one of the best things on the planet. As far as vocal inspirations, it’s rather generic but I’d always say Corey Taylor from Slipknot was one of my massive vocal idols. So as far as the way my vocals come out—Corey Taylor, the way I write my lyrics and the theme behind it—Independence Day.
It’s been more than a year since Tyrant came out. Then you released a new song last year (Parasites), then another one (Erebus) this month, but we still haven’t heard anything specific about a new album. Is that in the works? How is that coming along?
Yeah, we actually have a new album in the works. It’s actually being written, we are just currently piecing things together, and hopefully shortly after this tour ends and the one with Soilwork which actually follows after this one [ends], we’re gonna get into the studio and start working at it and get it all complete, get it ready for the public. We’ve been working on new songs for a very long time, since I joined the band, so we’re ready to get something out there. So definitely a new album in the works, guess we just kinda kept it…not on the hush, but we like to keep things surprising for people, we like people guessing, so that’s why it’s not so out there at the moment.
You will not be able to answer this one—my paper says “Has your approach to music changed since the previous records?”, but since you weren’t there—How do you see the band’s evolution? You do have an outsider’s point of view on that.
Yeah, the band went through a few changes since their first record. They’ve gone from a more techy style to a more heavy, breakdown sort of deathcore style. But even to now, from where those two last albums were, we’ve been evolving, and the new record will definitely be on another level. The band constantly likes to change with every record, not too dramatically, but we like to mix things up a bit and keep things nice and fresh. Just as human beings get older, our music gets older and more mature and we add new things and new ideas. It just consistently changes from record to record, [it’s] just whatever we’re happy writing and playing, really.
Since you brought up the word deathcore, how do you feel about that label? How do you feel if people, the press or the fans label you? Do you even care?
Nah, we don’t mind labels and deathcore is a very accurate way to describe our band. It’s no big deal. I feel like a lot of people are offended if their band is labeled as a deathcore band, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s a great title and it describes the energy behind the music very well. I’m very stoked to be titled as a deathcore band, but I’ll happily accept metal or death metal band, or even just a heavy band. Whatever you just want to call us.
I think you’d be in the minority with that. And what are the plans for this year? You’ve mentioned you’re going to tour with Soilwork, which is a pretty cool thing. What comes after that in the summer and the fall? Besides the new album…
Yeah, we’re obviously gonna do the new album. Then hopefully try to make our way back over here, we always want to visit Europe at least once or twice a year. Even more—the more the merrier, really—we haven’t really got annything yet that we can 100% put out there, but we’ve got some plans to come back here. And hopefully get over to the States, tour Australia a lot more, so we’ll be around. We’ll be constantly doing what we always do which is touring non-stop and then in between the tour breaks we’ll be writing songs and recording them, then go back to touring.
OK, now time for some not so serious questions. So, if your bus broke down in the middle of nowhere, with no civilization within dozens or hundreds of miles—which band member would be the first to be eaten by the rest?
Haha, that would be me, 100%. Everyone in my band is a hundred times stronger than me, and I would be the first person to start complaining about food and stuff, so it would be me. They would just tear me apart, if cannibalism was a thing.
And you eat McDonald’s food…
Yeah, exactly, so I’d taste a bit nicer than they would!
What if you were actually abducted by aliens, and they gave you a chance to choose which one of your orifices would they insert a probe into—where would you take it?
[with laughter] I would…100% go with the nose! The nose is probably the most easiest out of anything to get probed in…so I’d just grip my teeth and take it.
And the last one: if these aliens were in fact nice folk, and they offered to take the band to any celestial body in the solar system—be it a planet, a moon, a comet, anything—to play a show, where would that take place?
Um… I reckon they would take us to the Moon. We would go straight to the Moon. We’d all be wearing astronaut suits, and we’d be jumping around, floating in the air, headbanging. There’d be a big floating moshpit. It’d be amazing. I’m pretty sure there’s no sound on the Moon, but they will have a way to compensate for that.
Metallica did this show on Antarctica with headphones, so anything’s possible.
That’s right! Yeah, we’ll get some headphones and we’ll all be bouncing around on the Moon. It’ll be a beautiful day.