14 November 2016 | 4:29 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

We speak with Pridelands vocalist, Mason Bunt, about how 2016 was for the band, 'Battery City', the Mount Gambier scene, & more.

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You might think that as 2016 comes to a close, the press schedules would begin to dry up and the interviews that you'll find here will dwindle away for a month or so until 2017 is ushered in BUT YOU'D BE WRONG! Well, you would only be half-wrong, really; there are still interviews to be had! As such, we recently got in touch with Mason Bunt of Pridelands to talk about how 2016 was for the group, the local Mount Gambier scene, their most recent single 'Battery City', and what 2017 potentially holds for the band. (Just give us a full-length album, goddamnit guys!).

2016 has been a massive year for you guys with Strikehard Fest, multiple tours, and some killer supports lately, like at Foxblood’s launch show. How has the band’s live show grown as a result and is there anything that you’re looking to do to expand it, other than play live really well?

Strikehard Fest was pretty testing for us to be honest. I guess we experienced our first run-in with a classic tour story you always hear about – we finished loading out from our show in Brisbane the night before and drove straight to Sydney to arrive in time to play the festival the following day. I don’t remember too much from our set, quite a blur of a day. I guess we’ve grown as all bands that apply themselves do; touring, playing with quality musicians and just everything you do will make you grow if you allow it to.

You previously stated in your last interview with us that playing under Hellions was super inspiring as you could see they were achieving the goals which they had worked so hard towards. Has opening up for these bands changed the way the band operates behind the scenes and business-wise in order to take things to that next level of success?

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Yeah absolutely, I think I pretty much answered this with the first question. I personally will always look for ways to learn and grow through the experience of the people around me. That’s the beauty of humans in a way, we all individually have so much to give if you pay attention. Whether it be positive or negative.

You guys have mentioned previously that the regional scene over in Mount Gambier was one of the best you had come across in the country. What makes it so special?

What made it so special was I guess the sense of community it had, like many other scenes. There is not a whole lot that goes on in some regional areas, you’ve got to make your own fun at times. Once there is a passion for something it manifests in you, so I guess a lot of the kids coming out when we were younger really brought some strong energy with them to a place where they could express it freely amongst others doing the exact same. Those places are very important. We would love to get back to the days at The Old Gaol just one more time.

Following on from that last question, have you guys encountered any challenges or issues from the metropolitan scenes?

Not really, we’ve been greeted with open arms and have made some incredible friendships. But this environment has its challenges, especially outside of the band. Once again it's all experience and growth brother.

Also, what influenced the title and lyrics of ‘Battery City’? Was it from most of the band living in/around the Melbourne area?

You could say that. Living in a whole new environment and routine can lead to a new sense of escapism enter your life. It is about the desire to break out of the parallel, mirrored lifestyle that routine and drug abuse can reign over someone. Most importantly it's about feeling powerless inside the setting that you love within as if there is no chance of escape. Though people can take it any way they want I feel, it’s a song people our age especially can relate to.

‘Battery City’ and ‘Coalescence’ have a much more dynamic sound to them. What new influences do you think could be making their way into the Pridelands sound?

We like to remain open, so I could say anything. This year was quite a hectic one in all aspects, we’ve all done many new things in life so I guess we all have something fresh to bring to our table.

Obviously, the band will be out of action for a while Liam is in Nepal (the fucking legend). Are you guy going be taking a break from shows or will you knuckle down to write new music or just play shows as usual with a fill-in?

Our good friend Daniel Larry will be plopping his booty in Liam’s spot for our remaining shows this year! Once our little Flower is back from Asia we will be getting stuck into some new sounds for 2017.

It seems to be somewhat of a tradition now for metal/hardcore bands to share each other’s work. So who do you think are some good local names to watch right now? (Editor – Dregg are sick, cheers).

Diamond Construct, they come from a town called Taree in regional NSW. They are also joining us on some shows up the coast next month! Go listen to their EP ‘Event Horizon’, for fans of riffs. And if I could name a couple more, Sleep Talk from Adelaide and Arkive from Melbourne. Get out and see them live as soon as you can!

Peers aside, what is the next big task on the Pridelands ‘to do’ list, whether it be opening for a particular band, playing at a certain festival or in a certain place? Maybe writing the next big iTunes metal chart hit?

I feel we are at a point currently where we need to write, we need to express by all means. What will come out is uncertain at this stage, we hold no specific aim to achieve just one certain goal with what we are doing. I find that exciting.

Pridelands have some live shows coming up next month and you can get ya tickets here