Taming Temptation

16 May 2012 | 6:32 am | Benny Doyle

"After all the shit we've been through, spending eight months writing the record in our studio back home – missing out on having a normal life, going out – you sacrifice a lot, so I'm pretty excited to see what people actually think of the record and hopefully this album can make a name for us.”

Giles, the literal firebrand for metal destroyers Resist The Thought is reflecting on a challenging 12 months, which has seen the band emerge stronger and more assured than ever before. Decamping to California in March to lay down their debut, the four-piece returned with an unrelenting metal behemoth. Although he's in traffic on the hands-free, the frontman is in good spirits and happy to open up further about the recording of Sovereignty.

“Going with Dan Castleman, he's done records with Impending Doom and As I Lay Dying, albums that we've all really looked up to,” he enthuses, “just to have that quality sets us apart from other Australian bands. We don't have access to the crazy technology that other American bands have; they have all the glorious equipment, and just having the studios available cheaply, with the dollar so good it just seemed like an easy option to go over there.”

Making the journey Stateside created impassioned intent for the band, not so much encouraging as forcing them to step up. Giles explains that strict sonic rules were constantly adhered to during recording.

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“In the studio we had five key points written on a white board, like, 'What do we want from the record? What's going to set us apart?' Everybody is doing generic metal – there are millions of bands in the world doing the same thing. We just wanted to make sure that we pulled every element, all the blood sweat and tears into this album. We wrote things like: 'heavy', 'fast', 'melodic', 'brutal', and we just went from there every day. We'd write something and then look at that part of the song and go, 'Does it fit into those categories?' and if it didn't we'd scratch it.”

Waxing lyrically, talkback radio and a heavy dose of scepticism about society's expected norms have helped shaped the content. That and extraterrestrials...

“The way I write the lyrics, I don't necessarily write by myself. Me and the drummer Conor [Ward] get together and we think about what the song portrays in our heads, and so when we think about lyrics we think about what we get out of the song. For instance, Impending Infiltration, without knowing the song you hear the music and the thought in all our heads was aliens – the song sounds like an invasion,” he chuckles. “But overall, the lyrical content on this album is really anti-government, really how we see the world in our eyes.”

Until recently a quintet, a lineup shift prior to the recording of Sovereignty saw Resist The Thought lose a guitarist. However, the shift has barely been felt or heard, Giles admitting that the band are completely comfortable in their current skin and have no intention of expanding anytime soon.

“Tim [Aaron]'s a very solid guitarist; he's switched on and he knows what's going on. But we had to step it up, especially coming into the recording process. Dan Castleman nailed everyone immensely; we all got pretty raped in the studio, so when we came back from recording we were all a lot better at what we do. I can personally tell when we play live [now] that every member has stepped it up.”