Forte Magazine

December 19th, 2013
Eyes Wide Open

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Six is the magic number when it comes to hard-hitting outfit Eyes Wide Open. Playing a blend of hardcore/metal, the band is doing the Ballarat heavy scene proud. With an EP out today and more good times on the way, we thought we should spend our last issue of the year getting to know the band a little better.

Eyes Wide Open, thanks for taking the time to catch up with Forte Magazine. Please introduce yourselves to Forte readers…

Hey guys; we are Adrian Sheppard (vocals), Dylan Fowkes (guitar), Jesse Horvath (guitar), James McDougall (drums), Josh Silvey (synth) and Cameron Lofts (bass). We are all from Ballarat and we have been playing with this current line-up for about 12 months.

You guys formed in 2010 and have since been making moves in the field of hardcore. Take us back to the band’s inception – how did Eyes Wide Open come to be?

I [Cameron] met Jesse and our original drummer Jason at a House Vs. Hurricane gig in Ballarat and after chatting the guys said they were looking for a new bass player, so I jumped in right away. Dylan joined a few weeks later and that was our line-up for quite some time. Silvey joined originally as a third guitarist, but soon moved to synth to try something different – and he has been smashing it since.

After some personal differences Jason left and we had an interim drummer for several months until we found James, and he has really filled the spot and brings a whole new energy to the table.

An early exit of your first drummer led to the addition of synth to your assembly. How do you guys utilise the synth when making hardcore. Does it lead to an original sound?

Silvey adds a very unique vibe to our music and is a key voice in our writing process. He is also an excellent guitarist so he isn’t just playing synth; he gets very involved in all parts of the songwriting process. We feel it adds a whole new feel to our music and we couldn’t think of the band without him now.

You must be excited with the release of Limitless today (December 19). How are you feeling about the release; confident, excited, nervous?

We are just very keen to get something out there. It’s been a long time coming and it would be great to see what some new people think of our music. We just want to get as many people listening as we can.

As far as the show goes we are really pumped. We have some great support bands from around Vic playing so it should prove to be a pretty epic night.

How did you record the EP? Was it a slow grind, track by track, or did you pound it out in a session or two?

It has been a bit of a slow process as we have had a few line-up changes and our producer Callan Orr plays in Melbourne’s Dream On, Dreamer. He is touring quite a bit so it was hard to lock in a full recording schedule, but we have punched out the last few tracks over a few weekends and are very happy with the result.

What would you tell fans, and Forte is led to believe there are a few of them, to expect from Limitless?

A few old favourites for our local fans and some new material as well, but mainly just something to take home after a show and listen to again and again. We have put a lot of work into this EP and we hope it shows.

There is a lot said about being a band from regional Victoria, and it certainly has its positives and negatives. How do you find being a hardcore band from Ballarat?

From what we have seen it doesn’t seem to matter where you are from; if you have a great attitude and work hard you can make things happen. We have a great local backing and love all of our home supporters and we hope to spread out in the coming months and bring some great shows to other cities.

We all know with the advent of bands such as Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction that hardcore is booming in Oz right now. How do you guys feel about the state of the genre? Do you feel the current climate is one in which you can aim for success?

Absolutely! We feel the metal scene is massive at the moment and there are so many young bands coming through and so many talented musicians. There are so many opportunities for us and others to get out there and play some shows.

We aren’t aiming for the big time. We just want to have some fun and meet as many new people as we can along the way.

You guys have a show coming up at The Karova. Do the hometown fans always go nuts for you guys?

The Ballarat crowds always make you feel welcome and always have a great time. We have a lot of close friends that go nuts every time we play, and it’s great to see some new faces doing the same. This EP launch should be no exception.

What are the plans for Eyes Wide Open over the next 12 months?

We would like to push this recording out to as many people as we can and start playing more and more shows off the back of the release. We are currently writing more tracks and should have a debut album in the works over the next 12 months.

Anything you would like to add?

Jump on our Facebook page facebook.com/pages/Eyes-Wide-Open/110206805698627 and swing us a ‘like’. Leave us some feedback and let us know what you think.

When & Where: The Karova, Ballarat – Tonight (December 19)
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