Returning this August for one massive day across two venues and three stages, Brewtality Festival will once again takeover Melbourne’s most iconic music venues, featuring some of the best rock and metal bands from around the country, including Melbourne’s own devastatingly brutal High Tension. We chat to HT vocalist Karina Utomo ahead of the fest.
It’s been out for a while now, but we must say congrats on your album Purge, dropped last year. Unlike anything you have done before and your most extreme statement yet! How have you found the past year, touring the album and sharing it with the masses?
The highlight has definitely been performing songs from Purge on Indonesian soil in September last year, as well as being a part of Download Festival earlier this year in March— as a punter, so many iconic bands were on the Download bill… it felt significant to be in the atmosphere Slayer created, with Slayer fans… as a band we were so honoured to play our set to the heavy music community and be sandwiched in with Converge and War on Women. It was a strong, affirming experience.
Continuing the hype, fans were pleased to see the recent music video for ‘Veil’. With intense animation and visuals with skin crawling vocals, can you tell us a little bit about this track and the video?
From a vocal and word perspective; I approached the song in a fairly abstract manner… visually (in my head), the undertones of the music was so clear, so it was a matter of articulating the text to be paralleled with the music.
These were my notes on the song:
A gaze into the systems of fear through the myth of a parallel universe and their purpose as a means to gain control
Veil is the symbolism, the separation between the human world and the metaphysical, the inner and outer self.
Fire, mutation and distortion alludes to the myth of the Jinn.
The unveiling of truth, the conscious and subconscious existence and the process of unbinding reality and delusion.
Carl Whitbread from Lo! was the visual & animation wizard, poor Carl had to translate our very abstract brief into actuality. I am very impressed with the fire/mutation aspect of the animation.
You’ve landed yourself a spot headlining the Brewtality Festival lineup, alongside some of the best rock and metal bands from around the country! Have you ever been to this fest before?
I’ve been unlucky in the past and timing has always made me miss attending this festival, but not this year! I’ve heard such great things and very much looking forward to it.
Are there any bands on the lineup you’re keen to share the stage with? Any that you recommend punters definitely check out?
Yes, Psycroptic, Lo! & I Exist and always up for checking out new bands and bands I’m yet to see!
Being a Melbourne band and this being a Melbourne festival, is this show a little bit more special for you guys? What have you got in store for the punters?
Absolutely, Melbourne shows are indeed always very special.
What’s the best thing about being a part of a festival like this for you as a band?
We get to watch our friends’ bands.
This appearance, alongside a show in Brisbane and Sydney, are your only shows for 2019. What have you been keeping yourself busy with this year?
Everyone in the band has been busy in their respective domains, Mike (guitar) — producing records, Hammel (drums) — touring the world with her other band TFS, Matt (bass) — directing and being a new dad, this year I had the pleasure of performing in my first opera for Cat Hope’s ‘Speechless’ as well as working on new collaborations (experimental).
What have you got in store for 2020? Can we expect some new music any time soon?
2020 is Year of the Metal Rat — new High Tension music is definitely in the works.
It all goes down August 3 at The Tote and The Bendigo hotel’s. Tickets can be purchased via eventbrite.