“On Desolate Plains” – an interview with death metal act CLAIM THE THRONE

6 mins read

Australian progressive, folk infused melodic death metal act CLAIM THE THRONE have been virtuoso performers whose works count among the significant and most inventice achievements of their place and time. Focusing on devastating, sheer, and epic scale of sonic deliveries, CLAIM THE THRONE’s new record portrays and showcases their mastery and experimentation with songwriting in a range of influences, spiced up with their own feel. “On Desolate Plains” brings back memories of well-loved masterpieces  and hints at new hooks that have been long out of the public ear. The album seems to be culminating the 12-year charge of an inventive band, but they are surely yet to become everything they are capable of becoming. Check out “On Desolate Plains” below and scroll  down to read out interview with CLAIM THE THRONE!

CLAIM THE THRONE‘s ‘On Desolate Plains’ was released on October 13th, 2017. The band is now touring Australia in support of the record – see the dates below!

Ripping apart folk metal with a merciless assault, CLAIM THE THRONE return with their epic fourth album ‘ON DESOLATE PLAINS’! To celebrate the release, the Perth veterans are bringing the new album around the country for an epic 2 week release party! Not only will there be blistering metal shows with huge local lineups, but also intimate workshops where CLAIM THE THRONE bring their DIY attitude to help other artists learn how to navigate the industry and reach their musical goals!

Hey guys! Thanks for joining us here on IDIOTEQ! How are you? How’s Australia at this time of the year?

Thanks for the chat! We’re doing bloody good as always. Australia is hot as hell right now!

Cool! We’re freezin’ our asses off here in Warsaw, huh.
How did you come across my webzine?

We try and keep up to date with all the active webzines out there, to see what’s happening in the music industry and of course to know where to promote ourselves. IDIOTEQ shows up on page 1 of Google for ‘hardcore punk webzine’ :)

Ha! Awesome :) To be honest, we don’t often welcome straight up metal bands, but it feels great to go outside my usual subject matter and give attention to adventurous folk / death metal opus like “On Desolate Plains”. Personally, how hermetic are you guys when it comes to genres and styles? Give us some details on your background and what led you to form CLAIM THE THRONE in the first place.

Cool, thanks for welcoming a bit of metal to the site! We listen to all sorts of stuff, from acoustic to rock to punk to every genre of metal you can imagine! But essentially our biggest influences are from extreme metal, which we then blend with the melodies and epicness of folk & melodic metal. It all started very casually, just a couple of friends having a jam with similar musical interests. We started writing original stuff and before we knew it we were playing gigs and had enough tunes for an album. After that we just had an urge to keep improving with each album that followed, and enjoy ourselves by touring it around the world as much as is feasible.

How do you feel you have evolved over the years and how much of these 11 years factored into the writing the record?

Our musicianship and recording qualities have certainly come a long way. We’ve refined our songwriting skills and have become aware of our strengths and weaknesses. We’ve experimented with a few things over the years, such as an EP that was entirely upbeat folk metal party songs, but essentially we’re delivering the same style of music as we intended when we began, just a lot more polished these days.

‘On Desolate Plains” sounds like a solid, rewarding culmination of your work over the years. Do you feel that it kind of sets you free a bit? What’s your personal relationship with the record and this new era it started for the band?

Yep it’s definitely our most rewarding effort to date, and an album that we are particularly proud of. I think we now have a distinct style that doesn’t sound too much like anyone else and we’re excited to keep pushing that further, just doing what feels natural and writing the music that we want to write. In the past we have been perceived as just a fun party band who don’t take ourselves too seriously, which is still true to an extent, but the new era will see us be able to battle it out with the best of them.

How did you go about structuring individual tracks for this record?

Most of the songs would start out with one or two people writing them, they then get passed around amongst the band members for feedback and input, then we jammed them out in the rehearsal room to refine them prior to recording. Some of the songs have the standard intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge type thing, whereas others have no set structure and no repeats. Really depends what each song is calling for at the time. Putting 12 songs into a tracklisting order definitely isn’t easy, but we’re pretty happy with how it all turned out.

Lyrically, what objects were you given to write about? How important is the content part for you guys?

We always have a concept, even if just very subtle. I think that helps to create an ‘album’ feeling rather than just a bunch of random songs piled together. We really tried to push the ‘Australian’ theme on the new album. In a nutshell, it’s based on a journey of desolation through the harsh desert. A man is lured into the deep nothingness, dehydrated and hallucinating, grasping for a stream that he can never reach, and feasted upon by the bird who lured him there.

You’re hitting the road in a couple of days. Please tease it a bit and drop us some details on the trek and your expectations.

It’s a 9 date Australian tour, hitting most major cities as well as some regional spots. There’s a great local metal scene down here, so we love putting together different lineups in each place to showcase the strong talent. The metal fans generally get into it a lot with nice turnouts and awesome vibes. We recently finished a tour with Wintersun through Australia and Japan, so we are warmed up, feeling confident and ready to go.

Any hints on the setlist? Hoow do you think the new jams will translate to a live setting?

There will certainly be a lot of songs from the new album, as that is what we are promoting mostly. Mixed amongst them will be a handful of tunes from the other albums too, so hopefully there will be something for everyone!

What does touring mean for you guys?

It’s a huge part of why we do what we do. If we released a new album and didn’t take it on the road then it would feel like something was missing from the full cycle. We love getting around the world, meeting new people, checking out different metal scenes, trying local food, and of course having plenty of drinks and sharing great moments amongst bandmates.

Gig-wise, how thriving was 2017 for Australian metal fans? Is it a good place for the genre?

There were plenty of great international bands that toured here, but the best turnouts are always Melbourne & Sydney for that. We’re from Perth on the opposite side of the country and we don’t see quite so many tours. But there are heaps of local bands and lots of great people trying to contribute to a healthy scene.

Can you name us some of the most incisive aspects of Australia that foreigners should know?

Great scenery, beaches, wildlife, barbecues and all that stuff. Beer and cigarettes are expensive. People use offensive language, a lot of slang, and rude to their friends. If we tease you or call you names then that means we like you!

Ok, so finally, apart from the tour, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?

We plan to take the album to different places, including our first ever European tour happening in June. We also have a podcast and a bunch of new songs already written, no rest for the wicked.

Cool, thanks a lot for your time! If you wish to add anything, feel free to do so! Cheers from Warsaw!

Thanks for your support, and keep up the great work with IDIOTEQ!

‘On Desolate Plains’ Australian Tour Jan / Feb 2018:


Fri Jan 12 – Perth, WA – Amplifier Bar
Sat Jan 13 – Bunbury, WA – Indi Bar
Thur Jan 25 – Adelaide, SA – Enigma Bar
Fri Jan 26 – Melbourne, VIC – Bendigo Hotel
Sat Jan 27 – Bendigo, VIC – Musicman Megastore
Sun Jan 28 – Sydney, NSW – Frankie’s Pizza
Wed Jan 31 – Sydney, NSW – The Record Crate (all ages + workshop)
Thur Feb 1 – Gosford, NSW – Born 2 Rock (all ages + workshop)
Fri Feb 2 – Newcastle, NSW – The Vault
Sat Feb 3 – Brisbane, QLD – The Back Room

CLAIM THE THRONE online: Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Bandcamp / YouTube

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