‘Damn Demons’ is the follow-up to their 2015 single ‘Visions’ and frontman Alex Rajkowski says the band have found a sense of purpose to their songwriting.
“We made the decision that we didn't want to just whack together five songs we happened to be playing live and then put them out and not do anything with them, we wanted to do it properly,” Alex says.
“So ‘Visions’ was a first step towards that. It was an old song and still in that hashed-together step. But then we put ‘Good Man’ out, which made the EP, and that's got a fair bit of meaning behind it. Now I think the difference in the way we're writing is that we're writing with purpose.”
Released at the end of April, ‘Damn Demons’ features new single ‘Night Crawl’ which embodies the band’s newfound raison d’être. Alex says despite initial hesitation, they’ve been overwhelmed by the response. “We didn’t really know what to expect,” he says.
“It was a goal for us and it took so long because we wanted to put something out we were really proud of, mainly for ourselves and then if people liked it that was just a bonus.
“For us everything from here is a bonus because to have people that you don’t know come to shows and say they like our songs, who have thought about what we’ve written and have taken the time to sit down listen to it and almost deconstruct what we’re doing, it’s really humbling.”
As part of the progression Battlehounds have undergone, Alex says the band focus heavily on crafting songs at every stage of development; from initial inception to the final product. “The process is much more enjoyable, it’s not laborious,” he says.
“Our production has also improved; we’ve gotten better at realising what works and what doesn't and what we do well and what we want to do live, rather than just playing some riffs.
“At the end of the day we're playing rock music, we’re not trying to be Radiohead but we are trying to bring some depth to what we’re playing. We're more aware of what every part of the song is doing dynamically.”
Battlehounds completed a short tour for ‘Damn Demons’ last month and will perform as part of the Umbrella: Winter City Sounds festival at the Scouted event, a showcase of noteworthy, emerging South Australian bands.
While the band seem well positioned for a successful foray into the music industry, and having caught the attention of taste-makers, Alex isn’t letting rock star dreams lead him astray.
“It's been really encouraging and it's fair to say the headspace we're in now is a bit different to the one we were in six months or a year ago,” he says. “I’m not saying we think we're going to be rock stars because we're definitely not, but we're thinking 'let's give this a crack and push it a bit'.”
Battlehounds play Scouted as part of Umbrella: Winter City Sounds (Adelaide) 28 July. 'Damn Demons' is available now.