Featuring former Machine Head/Soulfly guitarist, Logan Mader, along with Australian vocalist Lauren Hart, California’s melodic death metaller’s Once Human have proved they are a force to be reckoned with following the release of their second album Evolution, bringing their sound to a whole new level.
“The first album [The Life I Remember, 2015] Logan and I were just trying to find out what we wanted to do and find our sound, but it was all very rushed,” Hart explains. “I don’t know why we felt like it needed to be rushed, but I didn’t really dive into myself emotionally for lyrics. I wrote lyrics I thought people wanted to hear, instead of being honest. I was writing lyrics that I was thinking might please people, but I didn’t really write for myself. This album I did. With this album, a lot got thrown out, nothing was good enough.”
Beginning work on the new album following their tour with Fear Factory, it was the addition of guitar player Max Karon that added to the more complex, emotional, distinct, and devastatingly heavy sound of the second record.
“The sound on Evolution is very much Max and very much Logan together, I took a big step back in the writing direction, and I just focused on the lyrics,” she reveals. “It [the music] intimidated me when I heard what these guys were coming up with, I didn’t think that I was good enough and I just didn’t think I had anything special, but that was just me selling myself short I guess. It took a while but I don’t know, I’m pretty proud of what happened lyrically, it’s all true and honest. I think that’s what made the vocals change as well, because I believe what I’m screaming.”
Making the move from Sydney to L.A. in 2014 in search of a fresh start, Hart was discovered by Monte Conner who put her in touch with Mader for a production deal and hasn’t looked back since. With metal flowing through her veins, it’s Hart’s vocals that demand to be heard, coming from hours and hours of training.
“I do screaming which uses a lot of air and it’s really loud, I have to constantly work out and do cardio to keep up with that and be able to do it for an hour on stage – running around and screaming,” Hart explains. “Some of these lyrical melodies and the patterns don’t give me much breathing room so it’s just a lot of air all the time and not much time to breathe so I have to work out as hard as I can to train for this. I do a lot of spin classes, the boys come with me,” she laughs. “I’ve got Max on the spin bikes with me five days a week so that’s nice.
With an love of screaming since the age of 15, the gutturals Hart can now produce haven’t come without pain and suffering.
“When I was a kid I’d scream in a garage band and I would walk out with my throat bleeding, I would taste blood and I was like ‘oh yeah this is metal’ but it’s wrong, it’s so wrong,” she says. “If you can taste blood in your mouth or it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. I had to learn things the hard way, back then there was no google or YouTube so I had to figure things out on my own.”
Now there’s no pain and no blood. Instead she’s just drenched in sweat and out of breath which is exactly what you should expect at their shows next year when Hart returns home. It’s a show that will leave you in awe after witnessing the sheer brutality that emanates from the stage.
When & Where: The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne – March 9, The Tote, Melbourne – March 10 & Miners Tavern, Ballarat – March 16.
Written by Talia Rinaldo