Melbourne’s Acolyte have been on a meteoric rise in the past 12 months. The release of their Shades of Black EP saw them support Twelve Foot Ninja, tour Australia in support of the record and begin to really dominate the prog/rock scene in Melbourne. Today, they are unleashing an 8-minute, epic prog masterpiece filmclip, set in desert dunes and featuring the mesmerising vocals of Morgan-Leigh Brown and an undulating, light and shade track that showcases all the talents of the musicians within for SPACE AND TIME and announcing that throughout September to November, they will be touring it to Adelaide, Mount Gambier, Canberra, Newcastle, Sydney, Warrnambool and Melbourne.
This will be the last of the album cycle for Shades of Black before the band releases new music in 2018 – so get in at the ground level before this prog starship takes off. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles did a quick Q&A with Acolyte’s bassist and founding member Jason Grondman
Are you excited to be getting out on the road for this tour?
There’s something very thrilling to us about hitting the road as a band, its where we feel the most true to form and purpose. It’s been a little while since we’ve done our own headlining run of shows and we’re really excited to be bringing the full show along with us again.
Starting the tour in SA makes for an awesome start?
It absolutely does! Adelaide is always a special place for Acolyte to play, and it was actually the first place we played outside of Victoria and the state we’ve visited the most since. We’ve made some great friends from our various visits and the people who come out to shows are always great and a lot of fun
What can fans expect to hear?
A proper conclusion to the Shades of Black album cycle with some of the highlights that have become favourites and those that kicked off the whole Acolyte style. This tour is unique in that it is serving as a bridge to our future direction as well, sort of a baton passing. We’ve grown insurmountably in the last 18 months with our line-up changing shape and releasing our album. You’re going to hear the beginnings of how the Acolyte sound has continued to grow and evolve in interesting new ways as we lead into album 2.
What’s the story behind the song Space & Time?
The song itself was one of the defining songs for Acolyte which helped set the template for our whole direction early on. It began as a very emotive exploration of the light and darkness in our lives and the elements that tie us all together across distances and into the unknown. It deals with the cyclical nature of time on whatever scale you care to view it in relation to and the way we experience everything subjectively. All the conflicting feelings, tonality and intensity are reflected well in the film clip as well and expands on the themes.
How much fun was it making the film clip?
I would say equal parts fun and hard, gruelling work in the desert sun! We love to explore and push the boundaries of what we can accomplish artistically and seeing a musical idea reinterpreted in a visual medium while retaining the same ideological threads is the most fun part. That and hitting the road together as a group is always great fun.
Were the ideas and direction for the video clip all from the band?
Morgan definitely lead the charge on this video, as she has with all the videos in the past in terms of direction and theme. We get to collaborate and bring our own ideas into it on set to serve the creative vision that Morgan and our director Gary Robertson (who has worked on all our videos so far, creating a body of work alongside of us) have.
Sonically, have you thought much about where you might take your new music in 2018?
It’s what we think about the most. Our ultimate goal is to extend beyond Australia into new territory, both conceptually and geographically and we are putting as much planning into 2018 as we can to see this come about. We are folding into the sound some of our new elements to the band’s line-up while exploring further the ideas and concepts that began it all, and the fusing of all these streams of creativity is leading to a new sound that we couldn’t have predicted, which is fantastic.
Looking back what are the biggest highlights for the band during the Shades Of Black album cycle?
So many amazing things came about after we released our album, from touring nationally, big supports, award nominations, headlining shows, seeing ourselves featured overseas it has just been one hell of a ride. On an intimate level just the release itself bore enormous meaning for myself as it saw the years of work and development and hurdles all pay off in the most satisfying way.
Where to next for Acolyte?
Busy writing, demo recording, re-writing, all to craft our next album, which has been our primary focus as this year ramps up. We are hoping to have it all ready to go for recording as early in 2018 as we can but we are taking the care to make the material as strong as possible and as much of a reflection of our current make up and vision as we can so we will not be rushing this phase. Once we have a clear view of the album then the actual recording process will be a very smooth experience as we like to work quickly once we can see our objective and be as productive as possible. Once we’re in the zone then we see it all through to the end and build the momentum. I think people are going to find the next phase of the band to be a real leap forward.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Acolyte on the following dates…