INTERVIEW: Tom Kiely from PATIENT SIXTY-SEVEN chats new year, new tunes and more
Metalcore mavericks Patient Sixty-Seven started life as a mere passing notion in the garage of its frontman's parents back in the day. But it's those humble beginnings and insatiable passion for evolution that has perhaps best aided the Perth group as their brand of soaring metalcore laced with industrial, electronic and orchestral tinges has seen them firmly stake their claim not just in their local heavy scene, but also in the wider Aussie community.
Rounding out the year (and decade) strongly with a string of new releases, 2020 seems certain to be a belter for the Patient Sixty-Seven (aka PSS) gents as they look to push their sound and themselves into their most ambitious form yet. Intense yet intimate, brutal yet beautiful; there are many shades to the Patient Sixty-Seven bow, and today Tiana is chatting with frontman Tom Kiely all things new material, new year and more. Interview below.
TIANA SPETER: Hey and thanks so much for chatting today, and it’s an especially exciting time for Patient Sixty-Seven with the promise of new music on the horizon and a huge 2020 ahead. But 2019 has been pretty kick-ass too for you lot, recently with Help Inflicted dropping in the middle of the year to some pretty huge acclaim. And before that you unleashed What’s Left Of Us as well…how’s 2019 been overall for Patient Sixty-Seven?
TOM KIELY: 2019 has been really cool! It’s been a year of planning, and finding our feet again as a band. We entered the year wanting to keep building on the release of ‘Four Walls’ and work on finding more of our sound. Overall it’s been great to put out some new music, reaching a few new people and also playing some wonderful shows in the back half of 2019! Hopefully there’s plenty more to come of those!
HELP INFLICTED (PATIENT SIXTY-SEVEN)
TIANA: On the topic of Help Inflicted, it came gifting some stellar blasting moments, but still mixed in with your trademark melodic tinges and some industrial goodness…is this latest material a pretty solid indication of what we may expect from PSS in the lead-up to your new EP dropping next year?
TOM: Thank you! You nailed it. We wanted to bring the intensity up a little, but also find spots where we could mix it up. In terms of whether it’s an indication of our new sound, absolutely. Though I can promise that there’s variety to be had in the new material too, we wanted to keep pushing ourselves in that regard.
TIANA: Talk me through a bit about how a PSS song comes to life, is there a tried-and-true process that you guys dig into, or do you find the writing process changes as you evolve as a band? I read with your previous releases you guys took a lot of time mapping out songs, was this how you approached this latest round?
TOM: It can depend from song to song. Kind of like the last EP - this time around it was a matter of finding ideas that we felt we could build on, fleshing them out, and either bringing them to the studio or writing to them until we felt they could form the basis of a track. There was definitely lots of care taken this time around too in ironing out the finer details…from lyrics to the overall structure of the song working as well as possible. We took the lessons we learnt from the last process, which was a little chaotic at time, and brought them as learning experiences to apply when working through the new material. We were all there for each other and brought the best out of each other. I wouldn’t say it changed as much as the writing process itself evolved with the music. The key difference in terms of the nuts and bolts of it all was having Rory drive it all with his guitar-laden influences on the songs. He’s really talented and helped bring us to another level.
PATIENT SIXTY-SEVEN TRACKING NEW MATERIAL//pic by JV Photo & Film
TIANA: Beyond the usual band influences and that sort of thing, what inspires you guys creatively? Are there any external factors that really play into your creativity as a band that may be a little unexpected?
TOM: It’s different for everyone, for sure. I think across the board we are all really inspired by the artists around us. Both the bands we’ve always listened to that are constantly pushing the envelope and local artists too. Externally, I think I’m really inspired by the work ethic of some of my favourite athletes and entrepreneurs, the way those guys continue to work at getting better and making the next move. I want to aspire to have that same drive, and outside the realm of music (which is no doubt a massive part of shaping what we do) it’s really a place of inspiration for me.
TIANA: I can’t speak with a Perth band and not mention the outrageous amount of heavy talent you guys seem to be producing over there right now. From your perspective, do you feel like the Perth and greater WA heavy scene offers support and opportunity for emerging and burgeoning bands?
TOM: There’s no question Perth has a wealth of talent, it’s an amazing place in terms of the sheer number of bands that are putting out dope material. There’s a lot of support, and I think because we are inherently limited because of our location in some aspects, the community really bands together. Whether that’s people coming to shows, promoting each others music or just word of mouth and talking around what’s going on at a local level, it’s a cool place to be.
TIANA: I believe the band came together after some of you guys were just jamming together for a bit of fun…and you’ve since gone on to establish a name for yourselves as an extremely hard-working and dedicated band. What’s your secret to keeping motivated with all the blood, sweat and tears that go with that level of hard work?
TOM: It’s just constantly wanting to get better, I feel we have so much more to achieve and I want to keep working towards that. We only have so much time here, and I want to spend it on working towards what I’m most passionate about. I know the other guys just love the process, and that’s kind of kept the drive there to keep going. Don’t get me wrong, there’s periods of downturn where it can be hard, feeling like you’re not getting to where you want to be, but it’s about helping each other out and staying on track. We do this because we love writing and playing music.
pic by Emanuel Rudnicki
TIANA: You’ve played a heap of live shows already, and no doubt many, many more on the cards in the future. But is there a bucket-list band PSS would love to tour with one day, whether it’s a local legend or international superstars?
TOM: Great question haha…for me it’s not as much a single band as it would be to play a big festival or two. Just growing up going to Soundwave…having the chance to play an event of a similar stature with just a host of great bands all sharing the same day, that would be incredible! If I had to nail it down to one band, I think Bring Me The Horizon were one of the first heavy bands I ever listened to, getting to play with them would be surreal.
TIANA: You’re part of a heavy band who weaves in some unique orchestral and ethereal elements along the way…what bands or artists really led you into this unique pocket of the music industry, was there a standout band when you were younger that significantly hooked you down the heavy rabbit-hole?
TOM: Asking Alexandria for the first band I listened to early on that I felt really meshed genres. I know that might be a little strange to say, but it’s the truth. The way they integrated electronics into their sound, it got me hooked on those sort of bands. I think all through the early parts of the decade - bands that blended heaviness with accessibility, I loved it. I still do. Bring Me The Horizon I mentioned earlier, their first two records were crucial for me, I loved the aggression on those releases…and then bands like Woe Is Me, Blessthefall, The Color Morale later on that also brought that melodic element…they were big influences on wanting to start a band and play the music we do. I have alot of love for the music I grew up listening to through high school and into early adulthood, I keep plenty of it on rotation today!
TIANA: So the obvious upcoming attention is on your new tunes that will be unfurling in early 2020…but beyond that, what else is bubbling away on the horizon for PSS, anything you can reveal?
TOM: Just that we’re aiming to have a real busy 2020, it’s going to be our biggest year yet! Book it.
TIANA: And lastly, in honour of your previous single Help Inflicted – what never fails to help when you’re having a totally shithouse day, whether self or externally inflicted?
TOM: Running for sure! It helps me to de-stress pretty much whenever. Either that, or a good gaming session (despite my lack of ability haha)
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR BRAND NEW TUNES FROM PATIENT SIXTY-SEVEN IN 2020, BUT IN THE MEANTIME YOU CAN CATCH THEM IN FREMANTLE IN DECEMBER ALONGSIDE BELLE HAVEN AND ALTONA. EVENT INFO BELOW, AND FOR MORE PSS INFO HEAD HERE.
UPCOMING PATIENT SIXTY SEVEN SHOWS
Thursday 12th December, 2019
The Aardvark, Fremantle
with Belle Haven and Altona
Ticket and Event info HERE
BY TIANA SPETER