Backed up by a barrage of thundering drum beats and snarling guitar riffs, faces pale and dripping with black, Darkc3ll proclaim: “hail Satan, God is dead.”
The rising Brisbane-based band who have rhythm in their veins but evil on and their minds (and, if you take their lyrics literally, enjoy pissing on Christian graves), certainly have a dark exterior. But what lies beneath?
“The beauty about art is that people are free to create their own interpretations,” says Darkc3ll frontman, Jesse Dracman. With lyrics like “burn in hell you fucking priest” and “fuck your God of lies”, the band leave themselves open to some pretty wild interpretations. But Jesse insists, “I’m not a Satanist, I’m actually a Pisces.”
Apart from being a Pisces and not a Satanist, Jesse says he loves comic books, video games and, of course, horror movies. Speaking of his band-mates, Jesse is full of love and respect: “Matt [Post-mortem] is a Producer by trade, he loves helping bands sound really cool. J-Man [Macabre] loves teaching kids how to play drums and is a universal thinker. Rit [Derelict] is like the silent Buddha man, he doesn’t say much but when he does it’s all pearl.”
But if they’re not sacrificing the neighbours cats in their spare time, why such a focus on evil, darkness and the devil in their music? “We’re horror movie fans man, we think the devil’s a cool character. It helps create a visual interpretation of what we do and it has a lot of impact. I challenge people to read between the lines when looking at the lyrics and listening to the music.”
So what’s between the lines then? “We’re four guys who love having fun, man. What you see on stage is who we are, we let our personalities shine.” And this simple act of joy and self-expression, sheathed in darkness though it may be, has had a massive impact on Darkc3ll’s growing legion of fans.
While Jesse admits he’s still getting used to the word ‘fans’, a spark of something special ignites in his voice when he speaks about them. “We get people from all age groups coming to us and telling us what a difference we make in their lives. We’re committed to that now. Especially when you get parents coming to your shows and they tell you they’ve got autistic children who don’t respond to a hell of a lot in life, but your music somehow reaches them and you’re just like, ‘wow’. When you think about the rewards in playing music, for me, things like that mean the world compared to making a million dollars or being a rock star.”
This acceptance from parents is pretty revolutionary for the Nu Metal genre. Marilyn Manson, Black Sabbath, Korn and even KISS (who seem so tame now), were all considered to be ruining innocent young minds. While Darkc3ll haven’t completely sidestepped these kind of accusations, they’ve found their reception has been mostly positive. Parents aren’t just allowing their kids to listen to the music, they’re coming to shows, wearing band t-shirts and even getting tattoos.
Jesse believes this strong and personal connection with their fans is what drives the band’s success. Coming off the back of the 2014 Soundwave tour and with a US tour, Jesse has a lot to be excited about. But what got him most animated was talk of their upcoming album launch in their hometown, Brisbane. “We want to give something back to the fans; we want everyone there. By making it a free entry event, no-one has an excuse! We just want people to come and have a really good time with us.”
The Brisbane show kicks off the band’s national album launch tour for ‘Devolve/Destroy’ and the boys are “hell excited” to catch up with friends and fans, play with some of their favourite local bands and belt out their new songs.
Speaking of their recently announced US tour, Jesse admits that it’s still pretty surreal. “Getting on the Soundwave tour was a pinnacle moment for us, one that we’ll never forget. And now to be able to say that we’re going to the United States Of America is the next level for us.”
In Jesse’s own words, it's “happy days ahead” for the band that makes hate sound fun.Darkc3ll's ‘Devolve/Destroy’ is out 1 April.
Darkc3ll Tour Dates
Fri 10 April – VIBE, Indooroopilly Hotel (Brisbane)Fri 17 April – Tatts Hotel (Lismore)Sat 18 April – Venom Agincourt Hotel (Sydney)Fri 24 April – Cherry Bar (Melbourne)Sat 25 April – The Barwon Club (Geelong)Fri 1 May – Hard Rock Café (Gold Coast)