Hey Mark, thanks for your time mate, tell us how did Under Nights Cover begin?
Back in 2008, shortly after I started listening to Metal Music, I was pretty keen to start a band. I didn’t really know anybody though. I was in an orchestra which I played in for nearly 10 years, and this new bloke named Alasdair joined on percussion. I soon found out that he was heavily into Parkway Drive, which I was obsessed with at the time, we became great friends, and founds heaps of cool bands together, and I eventually decided to ask him to join my “band” on drums.
Around the same time I met Alasdair, I went to a party and met Jacob. I saw this guy with long hair and a Metallica belt buckle. I walked by him playing a Bullet For My Valentine Song on a shitty acoustic guitar and I spoke to him for a while. I became decent friends with the guy, and he introduced me to huge amounts of bands and guitarists. Shortly after I asked him to join the band as well and we tried to organise a practise.
At the time I didn’t play bass yet, so I was tentatively “The Singer”. When we finally organised a practice, in December 2008 we played for about 5 hours. The first song we jammed on from memory was Jump In The Fire, by Metallica, and we played pretty much a sole repertoire of Parkway Drive and Metallica covers
You guys were pretty busy with shows in 2014-15 and took a bit of a break in 2016, what`s in store for 2017?
We really pushed hard in those years 2014/15 properly playing shows. We were pretty ordinary in the beginning, a lot went wrong at our first show at the Factory Floor. So we said yes to every gig opportunity that came up to essentially practice our stage craft. And I know it worked, we are all pretty confident in each other’s abilities and presence on stage now and we won a few fans in the process.
We tapered off a little bit in 2016, we played a few shows early, our first interstate show at Brisbane, and a few out of Sydney shows at Newcastle and Katoomba. After that we were a bit drained from a frenetic pace of playing shows and we backed off for a little while to recharge. We had some good shows throughout the year which culminated in playing the Steel Assassins 2016 show, something we’d wanted to do for a couple of years.
What’s in store for 2017? We’ve got a big announcement in the works, that should come in the middle of the year I would expect. That’s all I’ll say on that
So who is the writing force behind Under Nights Cover or is it a joint effort?
Writing for Under Night’s Cover mainly comes from Jacob. We’re lucky enough to have someone in the band who is such a gifted composer of music. He usually kick-starts songs with a few ideas, be it a riff, or most of a song. And then it will go through a filter of sorts as we all learn it, offer suggestions to try and improve transitions, or insert riffs of our own. The end result is the song goes in a completely different direction to the initial plan for it, and we get songs that cover quite a bit of ground and styles before they finish.
Lyrics are generally written after the song is nearly finished. Instrumental parts have always been written first in UNC and when we’re writing vocal parts we usually write them to accompany the music rather than the other way around. It is probably something we’d like to experiment with, writing music to accompany the vocals, but for the time being I feel this has worked for us.
You released the EP “March Of Avernus” which contained the track “Oubliette” which contains a lot of references to Dungeon/LORD where they a big influence on you guys in starting Under Nights Cover?
This kind of started out as a bit of a gag at practice. We always have working titles for songs, which never end up as the final titles. Oubliette was the working title for a couple of years. An Oubliette is actually a type of dungeon, with a hole at the top and people bracketed to the walls at the bottom. When we needed to put lyrics to this song I jokingly said we should make them all from Lord and Dungeon titles. We did it as a joke, but we loved the lyrics and they actually tell a separate story about a man losing faith in religion, so we kept them.
LORD were the first local band I ever heard. I saw they were from Wollongong and thought it was awesome such a cool (and relatively unknown at that time unfortunately) band could be from so close by. I saw them for the first time at the Liverpool PCYC on Halloween 2009 or 2010 and loved them from there. UNC was already rehearsing then, so they weren’t a huge influence on us forming, but I can say they have easily been the biggest influence upon the band. From seeking endless advice from Andy, and playing support slots with them, they’ve really impacted the history of UNC.
What`s the most memorable moment so far for you with the band?
There’s a million honestly. The first time we played live at Cherrybrook Community Centre in a band competition was great, the first time we played a show with the current lineup after a 1.5year hiatus in 2013 was something I’ll always remember. Sitting on the couch as the mastering studio listening to our EP for the first time was amazing.
In terms of shows, there are two that come to mind. The first was a show we did at UTS. It was the final gig of the UTS headbangers society and there was a huge bar tab and huge crowd. That was by far our craziest crowd and I got to do a countdown for a wall of death which is something I had always wanted to do.
And our first international support at the mighty Rooty Hill RSL supporting Uriah Heep. Playing on a huge stage in front of several hundred people was bloody great. And the fact a good amount of the crowd were oldies who weren’t expecting such an energetic young band made it even better.
Thanks for your time mate, hope to catch up with you soon
Photos © MickG Photography