Elm Street is far from a nightmare
Elm Street have just a released a ball blistering album full of nailbiting guitar, teenth clenching power vocals, and booming drums.
If you listen to this album you will probably find your clothes slowly turning to leather, and possibly a harley in your back yard.
Elm Street have tackled an increasingly marginalised genre of the metal world and have broken through with 'Knock 'Em Out...With A Metal Fist'.
Having been an active band since 2003 and taking worldwide stages by storm after their Massacre Records debut 'Barbed Wire Metal' in 2011, Melbourne's ELM STREET return with their 2nd full-length album and this time their music packs a METAL punch. '
Years have passed and the years have seen ELM STREET tour Europe on multiple occasions, along with visits to the USA & Australia show with legendary bands like Iced Earth, Sepultura, Coroner, Accept, Tankard & Hammerfall.
These real life experiences, along with many others, have painted a strong sound which ELM STREET now showcases in their new album. Australian & European fans received a glimpse of the new album when the band took their 'Heart Racer EP' on the road during 2015.
We talked to Lead Guitar Tomislav Perkovic in an enlightening interview about the realities of moving from the back streets of Melbourne to the bright lights of the European festival circuit.
Marc Stapelberg: What is your favourite ManoWar album?
Tomislav Perkovic: My favourite Manowar song is Blood of My enemies off hail to England.
MS: You toured with Iced Earth. tell me about the experience.
TP: Yeah, we did a European and Australian tour with Iced Earth. It was amazing. A band we grew up with watching on tv - we watched their concert live in Athens hundreds of times I reckon - to be able to go on tour with a band we love was a dream come true. Their fans are really passionate and they really show passion when we were playing even though we were the opening act. So it was a really, really cool experience.
MS: How did you manage to get on that tour?
TP: Basically years of sending out emails to booking agents to see if anyone wanted to take us on tour. So that was always our goal to get on a European tour and we did one prior to that in 2012 when we lived in the UK. So we based ourselves in London. And we thought as a band we would live in London for a year and just play as many shows as we could. We did a few tours out of the UK around Europe in 2012 and we really, really worked our arses off to play in the live scene. And then we came back to Australia and we got an email a few months later saying did we want to come back over and do two months with Iced Earth around Europe supporting their new album. We definitely jumped on board that it was a really cool experience and I think just hard work, dedication and persistence got us there in the end.
MS: Did you learn anything interesting by being on the road with such a large band?
TP: I think when we did we actually left the title of being a local band. Just in our mindsets we started to label ourselves an international touring band because we were no longer just playing local gigs in our home town in Melbourne or even in Australia. So we started taking things a lot more seriously and focusing on our shows as well because watching a band that you love from the crowd and backstage every single night for 45 days straight really taught us a lot of lessons on how you should treat a show and what you should and shouldn't be in the long run. It really has shaped us into the band we are today. I think that tour was really responsible for how the album was treated, even the music itself was really inspired by some of the scenarios we were put in while being overseas as a touring band. I think it was a life changing moment for us.
MS: Any stories from the road?
TP: Things that are challenging on the road, different personalities for 45 days in a confined space. You mature a lot not being at home and not having the simple thing of being at home and walking to the kitchen and grabbing whatever you wanted out of the fridge. Something that sounds quite simple but when you are on tour and working with budgets and you are working with a headlining act it is not that easy. So you actually mature into a person and it is like becoming a man. You do get worn out playing every single night and that was something that took us by surprise. But at the same time we loved every single moment of it and all the lesson that we learnt from that tour were something that we were yearning for - for years. We wanted to be taught and we wanted to be trained by the musicians form international touring bands because that's what we wanted to do for a living. I think it was a crucial thing to go through and I was just excited we were able to do that with a band like Iced Earth.
MS: How is the AUstralian Tour going so far?
TP: It's been going extremely well. Like I said we treat it a bit more professionally - the way we went about the promotion of it, or the way we went about the shows as well. It's been an extremely different tour to what we've done in the past. I think it's been appreciated by the cities that we've visited and we haven't been visiting the usual cities like Sydney or anything like that. We've been visiting towns that are out of scope like Newcastle or country Victoria we were in Bendigo. So it has been appreciated by those fans and they don't have to travel. The response has been amazing- to play your music that they haven't heard or aren't familiar with and they have a smile on their faces or them banging their heads. It is a really cool thing to see. Again another surprise for us, we still funny about Australia and see how they come out to metal shows, because the metal scene in Australia is so good you have a lot of different bands on at the same time, we still had over a hundred people at each show and that's a massive achievement. It's really good for us and it puts us in a good position moving forward and I think it is really health for the metal scene.
MS: DId ever worry you that you were playing in a sub-genre of metal that is becoming increasingly margenlised?
TP: I guess we never really thought about that. When we first started we were thirteen years old so we were young teenagers and we just progressed throughout the years. Now you look out at the crowd and it is eighteen plus. At some shows for us it is 25 -30 plus because that is the style of music that we play. But recently I've discovered that there are no actual metal labels or metal bands that really cater for younger fans. You named unified or resist records - if you look at their demographic it is actually people under the age of 25. And they they're the people that buy the cds and their people that pack the arenas because their aggressive and heavy music in itself is quiet aggressive and it lets people find that outlet. So I think as soon as metal finds that balance of getting to the younger generation again - if you look at the bay area thrash years it was mainly to under 25 year olds - or finds a way to attract those sort of fans then hopefully we can put them on the map and we can take our music a bit further.
MS: Do you have an inkling of how that might happen?
TP: Not as yet and to be honest with you I actually only started thinking about it earlier tonight when I did a radio interview with a young girl who ran her own local radio show and its dedicated to heavy metal music and she was asking me why we don't play any all ages shows because a lot of young fans want to see us live. And I said 'yeah your correct because when I was 14 I was always wanting to go and see local bands but I couldn't because I wasn't 18.' I think it is actually quite interesting and I think I have discovered something that hopefully in the near future we can start a movement more so going towards that and I think it is going to have to be baby steps. We will have to play a lot of shows t ten fans, and then build it up to twenty and so on like we did in the over 18 scene where we starting playing to our parents and that was all who were in the room . And we just built on from then .
MS: How is the new album going?
TP: We made it to number 5 on the itunes metal chart when it was first released in the first week. It must have made it up there if it had a significant amount of sales to be up there with the bigger boys like Parkway Drive or Amity Affliction. So that was a very proud moment for us to see our name within those names and to know our music reached as far as that. The reviews that we have received and the response that we have received have been extremely positive.
MS: Any horror stories from the recoding?
TP: Well luckily I don't have a story like that. That would have been an absolute nightmare. We were very, very close to not recording any drums at all and that was purely because we had booked out this studio in Melbourne which is a really, really well known studio - a lot of Warner Brothers artist record there. We had actually booked the biggest room in that studio which was going for around $900 per day and we booked it out for ten days. And next door to us was X-Factor and the X-Factor judges were in there and they were working with their artists, and filming and doing everything there. And that was in the smaller room. So they must have thought we were a big time band but really we were just the local boys from down the street. Because this time around we went more of the natural route where we miked every single drum and the sound we got on that day was the sound you get on the cd - we weren't going to patch it or we weren't going to trigger the drums - it was going to be completely natural because our drummer uses a lot of dynamics so we wanted to show that in the music and we wanted to let it breathe and live. But I think it was up to the tenth day and it was the final day and we still had three songs left and we were absolutely panicking because the time constraints we had to get those sounds perfect and to have the consistency between every song was really, really tough .So we nearly had to scrap the whole album and start from scratch again or try to get it done within that ten days. Which would have been a big waste of money. Luckily our drummer pulled a thirteen hour day on the last day to get the last couple of songs done. Luckily on the album it sounds like he did it all on one day but really a lot of hard work went into that to make sure the consistency was there.
MS: What does the band have planned for the rest of the year?
TP: We are doing the rest of 2016 basically playing a few shows every month wherever we can. We've got a lot of cool plans for the second half of the year and then in 2017 we starting off in January with a tour in South America with NWOHM band Grim Reaper, and we are looking at going to the USA after that and then hopefully we are looking at hitting the festival circuit in summer in Europe 2017. So that should be a lot of fun. That's been our goal for years to get on festivals of that size so hopefully we'll make it happen next year.