After a big 2018 for Chicago's hardcore stalwarts Harm's Way which included signing to Metal Blade, releasing their huge record Posthuman and touring extensively, we caught up with drummer Chris Mills on their Australian tour to chat future plans for the band, violence at hardcore shows and more! Scroll down to have a read:
Hey Chris, welcome back to Australia. You've come straight out of Chicago winter into our proverbial frying pan. How are you coping?
Oh we love it! We caught word yesterday that in Chicago it snowed a bunch and it was -2 degrees, while we were kinda just sitting outside at a cafe eating a nice meal in t-shirts and shorts, so we can't complain. We actually had a day off before UNIFY in Melbourne so we went to a beach and spent a few hours there. Tour's only started, but we're looking forward to spending a lot of it outdoors and hitting up as many beaches as possible.
Your latest record Posthuman incorporated some really cool industrial elements ala Godflesh. Did you guys set out to do that or did it just reflect what you were listening to at the time?
Dating back to Isolation which came out in 2011 that industrial sound has been developed and I guess slowly found its way more and more as we've gone on with Blinded and Rust, and now Posthuman. I think as we grow as a band and become more comfortable with experimentation and post-production we expand the box that is Harm's Way. I think stuff of that nature is just going to come up in our sound moving forward.
Have you started looking towards your next release yet?
We began some writing here and there...we're currently actually working on a bunch of remixes of Posthuman songs that are gonna start to come to life in 2019. I can't go into too much detail about that but we're working with a bunch of people right now and re-writing the songs so a lot of our focus has shifted towards that. But as far as the next record, writing for that is definitely under way.
You and James (vocals) have said in the past that strength training is a great outlet to unleash negativity. Is playing in a hardcore band just as effective for that?
Yeah absolutely, and I'm gonna expand on that even beyond hardcore, because I think that just having any creative outlet like music, or art of any nature can be huge for self-expression and huge on a therapeutic level too. It helps getting out raw negative emotion and just processing life in general. Metal, hardcore, indie or whatever is just kind of a huge outlet for me in kind of keeping balance and staying in a good headspace.
How do you feel about violence at hardcore shows?
Yeah you know, I'm not a big fan of over-the-top violence at shows of any nature. I mean I get that people have their own ways of expressing themselves, but in terms of a Harm's Way show...given that we draw from so many different places and so many different crowds, whether it be a hardcore or metal crowd, people from different scenes have different ways of expressing themselves and really vibing with the music. As far as violence, that's not really my cup of tea, even though I grew up in that scene, so I want people to feel safe while feeling like they can be themselves.
There are a lot of great heavy records coming out this year. Are there any releases you're keen on?
Let me think...I'm looking forward to the new Gatecreeper record which should be coming out this year and our friends in Code Orange are heading into the studio for a new record, Knocked Loose are also in the studio...there's a lot of good stuff in 2019 which we're keen for both musically and from the perspective of just watching our friends grow.
What does the rest of 2019 look like for Harm's Way?
We're gonna keep working on the Posthuman cycle, we have a couple of tours planned for 2019 both in the States and some festivals in Europe over the summer. In terms of the writing process, we're gonna be hitting that harder in between tours, but then like I also mentioned early we're going to be working on getting those remixes out. It was always kind of the plan when we released Posthuman to expand on a few of those songs which we admire on a musical and artistic level.
What can fans expect to see at one of your Australian shows?
We're bringing a pretty diverse set-list to the table...obviously there's a lot of Posthuman but some older favourites as well. We're excited to play these shows with Honest Crooks and catch some of the local bands we'll get to share the stage with as well!
Harm's Way are currently on tour with local heavy-hitters Honest Crooks throughout Australia on the following dates:
Listen to Harm's Way now.