Exclusive Q&A: Sugar Spine (Sydney, Metalcore)

Slipknot – Iowa
I think this is the case for a tonne of artists out there. 2001’s Iowa was a milestone in metal for me. It was chaos at its most raw, and showed me just how powerful music could be at its darkest. Slipknot is my favourite band of all time, and whilst I adored the self-titled album and Vol. 3, Iowa contains blueprints for some of the best heavy music that we know and listen to today. Corey Taylor’s vocals inspired me to scream, and Joey Jordison’s drumming was iconic. Their masks during this era are also my favourite versions.

Stick To Your Guns – The Hope Division
The Hope Division stuck with me ever since I first heard it. The energy is palpable in each track; the hardcore mixed into metalcore with an overwhelmingly powerful production makes for a damn good listening experience that I keep going back to. Stick To Your Guns heavily influences Sugar Spine’s sound, both consciously and unconsciously, and it was an album that hit me right in the feels in my teenage years, so there will always be a special place in my heart for this album. I’ve even got the heart symbol from the album cover tattooed on me.

City & Colour – Sometimes
It’s not metal, but Sometimes by City & Colour is the first body of work that made me want to take writing music seriously. It helped me to think of what the instrumentals in the background are really doing when the vocal melodies are happening. Are they supporting the vocals? Competing with them? When is it the right time in the track to do either? The songs are also just incredibly beautiful and super minimalistic, something I really enjoyed as a good contrast to the other music I was listening to at the time, for example, The Faceless and Brain Drill. A Planetary Duality and Apocalyptic Feasting from the two respective bands are also two albums I’m in love with.

Counterparts – You’re Not You Anymore
Slipknot is my all-time favourite band, but the one band that’s stolen my heart for the past 10 years is Counterparts. I’ve followed them since Prophets was released, but was absolutely enthralled by You’re Not You Anymore. It’s painfully heavy, gorgeously melodic and incredibly technical when it wants to be. Brendan Murphy’s lyrical approach has greatly influenced mine, as has his vocal sound. This album also pushed me to write music that is constantly deliberate, always having a purpose. There is not one wasted moment in the album, no filler at all, and I carry that thought with me when I write. The title track is also one of my favourite songs, ever.

Methwitch – Indwell
Some may laugh, others may scoff, but Indwell by Methwitch is a modern classic, if that oxymoronic term could ever be used. Cameron McBride is the man behind this solo project, and his motivation to go out on his own and produce his own music gave me the encouragement I needed to do this as well. The album is disgustingly heavy, probably one of the heaviest albums I’ve ever heard, but the great thing is how he will still include some clean singing sections that fit perfectly into the hellscape he creates. The production is also wildly different to a lot of modern mixes out there, and it was great to hear from him that the ‘rules’ of production don’t always have to be followed. This makes for unique and engaging sonic works to really dive into and enjoy. Also, the concept in this album is insane, the story is the icing on this tasty demonic cake.

‘Gutter Paint’ is Out Now via lnk.to/SSGutterPaint
‘Mirror Talk’ is available for Digital Pre-orders via lnk.to/SSMirrorTalkEP

1. Gutter Paint
2. 83
3. Mirror Talk
4. The Black Stag
5. Crusader
6. Sensation
7. Pen or Sword (Feat. Nick Rossi from Born Of Osiris)