Caskets Want To Hug A Koala When They Tour Australia

Caskets tour Australia May 2024.
Kayla is a music/ travel journo with a love for all things heavy and rowdy. You can find her either on a plane, in a mosh pit or at a cafe sipping lattes.

Leeds-based post-hardcore groovers Caskets captivated fans last year when they joined Aussie band Windwaker for their Australian tour.

This time, Caskets are returning to our shores with their first-ever Aussie headline tour, to celebrate the release of last year's sophomore album 'Reflections'.

"Coming to Australia to play our own headline shows is more than a dream come true!" vocalist Matt Flood says. "It's something every musician dreams of but never really expects it to become a reality.

"We're very proud and very lucky to have this opportunity to come back to Australia and rip up some shows with some insanely talented bands; but first, I must hug a koala!"

The tour welcomes special guests Seattle heavy-pop rockers The Home Team, who will be visiting the country for the very first time. Caskets will also be joined by fellow Sharptone label mates Stepson and pop-leaning metalcore masters Bad/Love.

With the tour on our doorstep, we caught up with vocalist Matt Flood to chat about all things 'Reflections', songwriting and of course, koalas.

It's been a little under a year since Caskets were in Australia. How has this year been treating you so far?
This year has been great. It's been a bit of a quiet year so far. This is the first tour we've done. So since before this tour started, we just went away for a few weekends as a band. Went out, like into a cottage and started writing on album three.

We've just been writing some demos and making sure that everything is ready to go on tour – until the visas didn't come through. But yeah, apart from the little thing we had with our bass player, everything else has been a breeze so far this year.

The response to your first headlining tour has been off the charts, while there were rave reviews of your sets during the Windwaker tour – were you expecting such a huge response to the announcement?
Definitely not, no. We weren't expecting to sell any shows out, never mind Brisbane being the first show, 'cause I'm pretty sure it's the biggest show as well.

So, again that makes no sense to me whatsoever but I can't complain about it. We are really excited to get over and play our songs in front of you loud people again. You were so loud last time we played, it was amazing. I couldn't hear myself through my headphones sometimes. It was great.

This time being a headlining tour, how are you approaching putting together the show?
We've hired a whole lighting rig and a new lighting guy and that's been done to work with the set. . . we kinda don't like to put so much pressure on ourselves, like leading up to tours. A few of us don't do that well with stress (laughs).

Normally when we are on tour we kinda leave things to our manager and our team back home. We spent, god, we've probably spent like a month arguing about the set. What songs should be in the set and what songs shouldn't be.

There is one song in particular in the set that we have not played since before COVID. I'm not going to say what song that is but I'm excited to play it. I'm so excited.

We've just made sure that the lighting system that we've got coming in is the best it can be for the budget we have, and we wanted to make sure that the set had songs from all the albums and one from the EP. So hopefully there is a nice selection of songs for people if they don't like one album but like the other.

Last year, we got a little taste of 'Reflections' in your tour with Windwaker; are there specific tracks you're eager to play for the Aussie fans?
We are going to be playing quite a few songs off this album that we have not done live yet at all.

'Better Way Out', the last song on the album, is one of them, which is quite an emotional song. It's one of my favourites, so I'm super stoked to do that song and I'm super stoked to see how it comes across with the fans; 'cause I have, like an expectation of what will happen – well, not an expectation. I have a thought in my head of what's going to happen in the room and stuff when we play that song. So yeah, I'm really excited to see how that one goes down.

'Reflections' has received exceptional reviews; there is such an exploration and evolution of your sound from 'Lost Souls' – was there any difference in approach to writing this album?
Oh god yeah. When we wrote 'Lost Souls' we had never been a touring band or anything like that. We wrote that album through COVID, so even though we weren't all together, we all had as much time as we needed to jump on Zoom calls and go through demos and stuff like that.

Whereas when we were writing 'Reflections', we were touring a lot more so we were doing a lot more writing on the road. It was a bit more sporadic and a bit more crazier, and we had a lot less time to do the 'Reflections' album.

So it was scary and that was one of the main things that my mental health dumped over, was the fact that we only spent half the time on this album; so does that mean that it is only going to be half as good? Do you know what I mean?

But yeah, it was crazy having to do it on the road and learning how to find those spare few hours in between travelling on a really loud bus where you can't do any recording except soundcheck and play gigs and stuff like that.

I feel like we have grown loads as a writing band. I feel like we don't need to worry about where we are in the world or what we are doing in that moment of time. We can still just whip out the laptop and interface and start recording.

While your lyrics never shy away from approaching darker themes, this album has a more mature, almost less angst-driven, edge to it. Do you feel like the band has grown as songwriters?
'Lost Souls' was mainly lyrically written by me. It was more about stuff I had been wanting to get off my chest for years and years, and I never really had an outlet to do that.

Whereas with 'Reflections', I didn't want to be the sole writer so we kind of, everyone in the band. . . like there is one song that I'd say is owned by everyone in the band. There are a lot lyrics in 'Guiding Light' that James our drummer wrote. There are a lot of melodies in a few of the other songs that Benji wrote.

I wanted them to have that experience of sitting down in the studio and spending hours and hours and hours going through the gruelling task of going through lyrics and going through melodies and why this bit is better than this bit. Then we will spend hours arguing about it and I just used to just sit there in the studio and I was like 'this is great, this is great' (laughs).

It was nice for everyone to see how frustrating it can be to get where you want to get to, get your lyrics where you want them to be and the melodies. Especially working with Dan [Weller] on 'Reflections' that really helped because he kinda guided us in certain songs where we were veering off.

I'm happy that they, the rest of the boys, embraced that challenge because it's kind of a big thing. . . to release an album to the world, on a label and I want you, as the guitarist, to help me write the lyrics and you as the drummer to help me do some melodies and stuff like that. I wanted it to be a bit more personal, we wanted it to be a bit more personal for all of us and not just a personal album for me.

Like you can take this forward together as what you all did together?
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I want them to feel like. . . I didn't want Benji to go away from this album and be like 'I'm just the guitarist, I just help write the music and I do guitars'.

I wanted them to go away knowing there was an actual worded message from them that they got something off their chest in a song as well, and that will help them grow as writers. Like, they just helped me grow. We are a solid team, mate, like we are a really solid team and we are very, very aware of each person's downfalls and how people work.

Being on tour while we was doing 'Reflections' really helped as well, grow as individuals and helped to grow as a group and as brothers. I'm very, very, very easily wound up and they know that so they know if I'm really annoyed, whatever they can do to help me calm down and stuff like that. If there is anything, sometimes they just give me space and I will be fine.

Then it's the same for them. We all know how each other work now and our ins and outs, how to piss each other off and how to cheer each other up. I feel like we are really lucky in that aspect because I know there are a lot of bands out there that are really just there for the music. There's no real brotherhood or anything like that, and I think that is the most important thing to have in a band.

If you don't get along then you don't want to be around, and if you don't want to be around the people your writing music with then the music you write isn't going to be the best music you can write.

You have some solid supports on this tour in The Home Team, Stepson and Bad/Love – what sort of vibe do you think these bands will add to this tour?
It's just going to be a mates fest. I have a photographer friend who has not worked with The Home Team, but who worked on the same tour and has met them and all that and said they are absolutely lovely people.

I feel like being in Australia and Australians have this like, they have their own specific vibe, which is a very good, upbeat vibe. I find it a lot easier to talk to Australians than English people sometimes. You guys are a lot more outgoing and you are not afraid to say what you think and I love that.

Everyone seems really genuine and nice, and because of last year we were looked after so well, everyone was so nice. We were treated with so much respect and Windwaker welcomed us into the tour with open arms.

So I won't expect it to be any different, but I would expect it to be more enjoyable because this time 'round we're aware of the experience and the differences in cultures and stuff like that. I feel like everyone's going to be a dude, you know what I mean? Everyone's going to be chill and we are all going to have a good time. Hopefully have some naughty parties and stuff like that (laughs) get some drinks on.

Since this is your second time in Australia, in your opinion, what things must The Home Team experience for their first time on Aussie soil?
They should definitely go to Bondi Beach – 100 per cent. I never realised it would be that small. Tiny that beach. I thought it would be way bigger. They should definitely come with us, at the same time, to hold koalas because we weren't able to last year and I really want to do that.

On our day off we definitely will be looking to go out and do fun things. We are not one of them bands that on our day off we are just going to sit in the van and be boring. We want to go out and experience new things and stuff like that.

After this tour, what are your big goals you want to achieve for the rest of the year?
When we get back from Australia we are playing main stage at Slumdunk Festival, which is in our home city. So that's a bucket list feature; we are really stoked for that. Then probably have some time out, spend some time with family and stuff and then it will be back on to doing the next album.

We are looking at two more headline tours at the end of the year, but we don't know where or when yet. All we know is that we are going to lock in August-October time to do the next album. So we will do this tour, do Australia, do the festival runs and then plenty of time with family and demoing, because by the time we get home we will have been away for three months or so.

Caskets 2024 Tour Dates

Fri 10 May - Amplifier Bar (Perth)
Sat 11 May - Lion Arts Factory (Adelaide)
Sun 12 May - 170 Russell (Melbourne)
Wed 15 May - Dicey Riley's (Wollongong)
Thu 16 May - Crowbar (Sydney)
Fri 17 May - Newcastle Hotel
Sat 18 May - The Brightside Outdoors (Brisbane)* sold out

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