Battles - Aural Assault
Stopping in for a two-date series at the Opera House before returning to the studio to finish their sophomore record, there’s no rest for New Yorkers Battles. Not that drummer and regular visitor to our shores John Stanier minds, as he tells 3D’s Nina Bertok.
Battles' sticksman John Stanier just can’t stay away from Australia. In 2001 alone the former Helmet drummer made the trek Down Under just about once a month during his time with rockers Mark Of Cain, and ever since then, it seems, he can’t get enough.
“I was counting how many times I’ve been to Australia and oddly enough I’m pretty sure it’s 20 times,” he contemplates. “It’s kind of a ton when you consider the fact that it’s so far away. Obviously, a huge chunk of that was because of Mark Of Cain, but it’s always made me nuts that I haven’t been able to come over for a social occasion. I dream about driving from Broome to Darwin or renting a car from Perth to Broome or something.”
Although Stanier’s upcoming visit won’t give him enough time for a cross-country road-trip, it will give him a chance to play two exclusive Sydney shows before holing up in the studio.
“You’re not going to believe this but I’m actually going to be in your country for less than 48 hours,” Stanier laughs. “I messed up when I was planning the trip. First I thought it was just one show and then I thought it was in the beginning of May, which you can blame on my crazy lifestyle because I’m very disorganised. So basically, I’m travelling at the very last second – I arrive in Australia the morning of the show and I leave, like, the night of the last show.”
It’s certainly a hectic lifestyle and Stanier is getting used to it these days. Immediately following the Australian shows, Battles are expected to complete work on their follow-up to the 2006 masterpiece Mirrored, the drummer claims.
“We’ve been writing our record every day and all day. It’s coming along very fast, way more so than our last record, which I think is mostly because we’ve gotten to know each other so much more as people. We’ve had a couple of ideas lying around for a super-long time so it’s about time we put them on record. When we do start on the record there won’t be much else that we’ll focus on. There’s this technological aspect to Battles that it’s not like a rock band that gets that magic when working under pressure or something. We can’t work in the last hour of the recording in the hope that something amazing will come out. It takes so much longer for us to write our stuff, there’s no half-stepping for Battles.”
Not only will Battles see the release of a brand new album, but Stanier also looks forward to a new Mark Of Cain record in the near future. “There’s another record coming out but it’s taking forever,” he says. “Last time I was in Australia I stayed for months and recorded with them but everybody’s been so busy that it’s almost impossible to get it done. I think the tracks are pretty much done and it’s just a matter of waiting for the vocals to be laid down and to do the mix. Hopefully that will also happen soon.”
WHAT: Play Sydney Opera House
WHEN: Saturday 30 May / Sunday 31