In Hearts Wake

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In Hearts Wake


“The lyrics and the imagery are all about reconnecting man with nature,” says lead singer Jake Taylor and the focus on restoring unity with our surroundings doesn’t end there. The single (and associated national tour) are intertwined in the broader Skydancer Project. Taylor explains the project’s philanthropic motivation. “It was releasing a song for free but people could pay something for it if they wanted to and they knew that 100 per cent of their donation would go towards non-profit organisations that helped out indigenous communities across the world.”

The project proved quite successful, collecting over 3,000 dollars during October’s fund-raising period, which was split evenly between three charities (aiding Native Americans, Kenyans and Indigenous Australians respectively). Taylor is proud of the fund-raising results but he underlines the most important feature of the initiative. “Money’s 50 per cent of what’s being given to these organisations, but the other 50 per cent of it is raising the awareness. If anything, that counts for more than the money itself. It obviously makes a difference knowing that there’s people that are giving a shit,” he says.

Striving to generate awareness about concrete human struggles is a departure from the concept behind the band’s debut record, Divination. Each track on the 2012 release interpreted a different card from the Major Arcana Tarot deck (for e.g. song titles include Death, Strength, and Judgement). Looking ahead, Taylor suggests that album number two will elaborate on the Skydancer sentiment. “I want to take the Skydancer  bigger-picture aspect to the next level – being more than just about tarot cards or being more than about people working 9-5. We still want to have fun, but [also] be a part of the solution and not the problem.”

It’s likely that the band’s next work will also be a concept album, as Taylor clearly prefers working with a thematic agenda.“I just know that when you do a concept it’s got a stronger voice and a stronger focus in terms of the video clips, the way you write the lyrics and everything. I definitely would like to do something again of a similar sort,” he says.

In Hearts Wake’s drive to distribute a proactive message shows they uphold the peace, love and understanding attitude that permeates their hometown. However, their aggressive metalcore sound seems like an incongruous way to express this. “You can’t have light without dark and I feel that the metal/ hardcore scene has got a lot of darkness, a lot of what people hear as angst, [but there’s] constructive criticism involved,” reasons Taylor. “If you were to tell someone to wake up and change their ways of doing something in life you wouldn’t whisper it to them, you would most probably tell them very loudly and sternly, or shout it. It’s got a powerful feeling to it, the music that we play. To spread messages of awareness and change, it’s a fitting genre that we’ve found that works for us.”

The Skydancer Project proves that this stated intention to generate positive change isn’t simply a clever marketing strategy. Similarly, In Hearts Wake value a hands-on relationship with their audience. “We always push ourselves to be the best role models we can be,” says Taylor. “There’s no on-stage persona; we don’t put on our make-up and get on stage. We’re the same people on and off. It’s all about helping people to realise that we are the same people as them.”