UNIFY Gathering marks Architects’ final stage of grieving

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UNIFY Gathering marks Architects’ final stage of grieving

Photo: Ed Mason
Words by Tammy Walters

Either British metalcore outfit, Architects, are partial to long flights or they have a serious love for Australia.

Having just brought their Holy Hell tour to sellout crowds across our nation in August, Architects founding member, Dan Searle, is currently holidaying in Byron Bay. He’ll be returning Down Under in January with the band in tow to headline Gippsland heavy festival, UNIFY Gathering.   

“It’s weird because we’ve done nothing between the two trips. We finished up the Australian tour, spent time at home and then we go back over to Australia, but it’s always been one of our favourite places to tour and to be and we have a lot of friends here. That’s why I’m here at the moment, not touring, but with my family,” says Searle.

The trip has also included a catch up with good friends, Parkway Drive, between their Good Things headline slot preparation. In fact, Architects have adopted several Australian acts into their band family, many of whom are joining them on the UNIFY bill.

“Perhaps more so than anywhere else, and it’s not just within bands,” Searle explains. “We know a lot of Australian bands, obviously Parkway Drive and Northlane and more recently Polaris and Ocean Grove, and there are also people outside of the band that are dear friends of ours.

“We have a huge network of friends around the country so that also sweetens it.  It’s a wonderful country anyway but getting to hang out with friends that we don’t get to see very often because we’re on the other side of the planet is a massive treat for us.”

Since August 2016 these relationships have grown even stronger. The metal community banded together to support Architects and Searle following the premature passing of founding member and Searle’s twin brother, Tom Searle, who had lived with a melanoma skin cancer for three years.

In their 2017 tour honouring Tom Searle, Thy Art Is Murder’s Sean Delander filled in for the band’s Australian leg. Fellow UNIFY Gathering act, Northlane, dedicated their track ‘Paragon’ from their Mesmer album release that same year to the beloved guitarist. Those relationships extend to international acts from the UNIFY Gathering lineup as well, including Saturday night headliners, The Ghost Inside.

“We’re going to stick around for the second day [of the festival] too because we want to catch The Ghost Inside because obviously they’ve been through a lot and we haven’t seen them in years and years so that will be a special moment. We’ve both been through major tragedies in our personal lives that have affected our bands so it will be nice for us to sort of get together and unite under that because we have been through so much,” Searle says.

Post-UNIFY Gathering, Architects will be taking a much-deserved break from touring to focus on moving forward. Their 2018 Holy Hell album cycle will be wrapped up, a bittersweet moment for Searle who feels the album is the final chapter in their album trilogy and the final stage of his grieving process.

“UNIFY will likely be our only show for the whole of 2020. This will be a swansong for some of our material, this will be more about doing some of these songs for the last time,” Searle says.

“I’ve kind of already dealt with that when we toured Australia. That was the end to me even though we have this show and it definitely felt sad that I was moving away from this whole process because this album meant a lot to me on a personal level. In terms of moving through my own grief and it felt like starting a new chapter, which was scary but there’s obviously a lot of things to look forward to in the future. It’s kind of like a double-edged sword.”

As a final close to the chapter, Architects have released an acoustic version of closing song, ‘A Wasted Hymn’, a taste for their future sonic palette as they take a leaf from fellow UK metal superstars, Bring Me The Horizon.

“To me that song was the most emotionally powerful song on the album in terms of what it meant to me and perhaps some of the subletly or the fragility of the words are lost amongst the enormity of the album version. So I want to set those words in a slightly more scaled back instrumental backdrop,” Searle says. 

“But I like the idea of expanding the band’s sonic range in terms of what we are ‘allowed’ to do and start to stretch what is considered normal for Architects to do because we are ultimately a very heavy and aggressive band, but to tastefully try to pull something like that off is interesting.”

Close out this chapter with Architects when they headline UNIFY Gathering 2020, for what is guaranteed to be a truly special set.

Architects come to UNIFY Gathering which goes down from Thursday January 9 to Sunday January 12 in Tarwin Lower. Grab your tix via the festival website.