Interview: Matt Heywood from Our Last Enemy


BearlySinister: First of all, can you introduce yourself and your role in the band?

Matt: Yeah, my name’s Matt, I play bass in Our Last Enemy.

BearlySinister: Your new album, “Pariah” comes out next week, what’s the meaning behind the title?

Matt: The meaning behind the title is the character name that we’ve given to the main character that the album’s based around. Basically, it’s a character that Oli came up with on the record. Basically, it’s a guy that goes around, is around destruction all the time. He’s not good or evil, he’s just stuck around destruction. No matter what he does, through out time he can’t get away, he can’t leave. It’s just something we wanted to come up with on the album and we decided to name the album after that character.

BearlySinister: How was the writing process for this record and who did you work with?

Matt: The writing process? Well, basically it happened in two different ways. Sometimes, we would rehearse together, the five of us. We had a rehearsal room and we’d work on new ideas that we had.Other times, we would send ideas back and forth to each other. Like, one or two of us would work on a riff and then we would send it to another person, they would work on it and send it back and then we would bring almost the complete song to the rehearsal room and we’d all jam on it and work out where it was strong, where it was weak and move on from there. Who’d we work with? We had Christian Olde Wolbers, ex-Fear Factory, who was our producer. It was great to have him in the producing experience, especially with the style of music that we do. It was great to have a guy who was in one of the bands who pioneered it to be helping out with our industrial metal style. We also had Jeremy Blair who was one of our engineers, he’s worked on a few hit records over the years, some of the Guns N Roses albums, and ya know a lot of crazy stories, as well. Our drum tech was Marco Zambrano who was a drum tech for a lot of people. He was actually drum tech for Jay-Z at the time, as well so that was pretty cool.

BearlySinister: What was your favorite part about the whole process?

Matt: Favorite part? Probably getting to see the songs come to life. I mean, I know it sounds a bit cliche’ but that was one of the best parts. Also, for me personally, working with Christian was really really good. He would tell me.. he would say “I’m old school, so I’m gonna teach you old school”. He would be a bit hard on me at times, I think there was one day where I was recording non-stop for probably about 8 hours? He was just like “No, do it again! Do it again! Do it again!” So, it was good… I mean, it was hard but it was fun at the same time so we really enjoyed it.

BearlySinister: Do you have a favorite song on the album?

Matt: I don’t know if I have a favorite song. Um… I guess I have a couple that I like more at different times or the different vibe I’m on at the time? I really like “Devour the Sun” at the moment, it’s one of my favorites. I also like the song “Wolves of Perigord” and I like “10,000 Headless Horses” as well.

BearlySinister: Speaking of: Tell us a bit about the concept behind the video for “10,000 Headless Horses”.

Matt: The concept? Well, we basically just wanted to have a video that kind of incorporated a kind of post-apocalyptic vibe and at the same time, we wanted the band’s playing to be, I guess, uh reminiscent of how we play live. So we wanted to have the band basically just going nuts. Having the vibe of how we play on stage, we always run into each other and try and push each other over and things like that. Then we also had the main character, “Pariah” in the video. We had this crazy mask that one of our friends, who’s an actor, wear to the video.. he spent I think like 2 or 3 hours getting that thing plastered to his face. I think we just wanted it to be a vibe of how the band plays live, a really post-apocalyptic vibe and then also have the main character, “Pariah”, somewhere in the video as well.

BearlySinister: Who did the artwork for “Pariah”?

Matt: We came up with the main idea, what we wanted. We wanted that post-apocalyptic kind of city with the water and the birds flying through the top of it, we also wanted to have the main character, “Pariah” in there somewhere. Then we had a friend, Sherry, who’s a really great graphic designer from a place called Body Cage Media who just kind of took our idea and ran with it and made it look all professional, added all the right colors in there and just added her own flavor to it as well. So we were really happy with the artwork.

BearlySinister: Any plans for another video?

Matt: Yeah, yeah! We’ve actually just finished one. We’re doing one for a song at the time. It’s interesting, we’ve actually just got the first cut back last night, probably about 8 hours ago. We’re just looking at that now, we’re just making our comments to it and then it’ll get edited some more, some things will be cut around it and we hope to be releasing that really soon.

BearlySinister: Is there a song on the album that you feel will be more enjoyable for fans than others?

Matt: Well, with the videos, we try to pick the songs that we think will be the most broadly enjoyed. So I do think the two most popular ones will probably be “Devour the Sun” and “10,000 Headless Horses”. Then, if people like the more traditional… we try to stay away from doing traditional writing… but if people like that more traditional style, there’s a song called “Low”, which I think a lot of people will enjoy as well. Then if people are into a lot more of the heavy, more fast-paced double kicking and tripling, probably our song “Wolves of Perigord”, considering it’s more of a heavy style.

BearlySinister: How does this album stack up or differ from your previous album, “Fallen Empires”?

Matt: Well, It’s got more songs on it. I also think the fact that we were a bit more grown up with the extra songs, our writing was a little bit better, it’s also been produced and mastered a lot better as well. We’ve also got 3 remixes on it, which is something we’ve never done before. We’ve got a remix from Mortis, we’ve got a remix from Angel from Dope and a remix from Travis from Divine Heresy as well. So, I think we tried to make it as much value as we could so I think we kind of got there as well.

BearlySinister: Who or what inspired you to be a musician?

Matt: Oh, wow! Uhh… that’s a good call. I guess for me, I’ve always listened to music. I think when I really wanted to be in a band, I was about 12 and this band over here called Silverchair had released an album called “Frog Stomp” and it just went nuts. I mean, it’s not really a metal album.. it’s more of kind of a grunge sound, a post-grunge sound but I mean.. I was only a little kid and I was like “Oh, I wanna be in a band!” Yeah, that first Silverchair album, “Frog Stomp” is probably what made me want to be in a band. At least, that’s the earliest memory I can think of really wanting to be in a band.

BearlySinister: Were you classically trained or self-taught?

Matt: A little bit of both. When I first started, I told my parents “I wanna learn how to play the guitar”. So they bought me this old acoustic guitar, which I still have, it’s collecting dust somewhere. They said “Well, we’ll get you lessons”, well in that case, great! So I went in and started getting guitar lessons but it was none of the stuff I wanted to learn and it was all on acoustic guitar, it was boring and I was like “This is crap! I wanna play heavy rock and metal.. I wanna be awesome!” So, I got really bored with the lessons but the good thing was that they taught me how to hold the guitar properly, how to hold a pick properly, basic chords. I guess it was a good foundation and then after that, I was just self-taught. I learned what I wanted to learn and then moved over to bass, started doing what I wanted to do there. I did, as a start, I was trained for about 6 months when I was about 13 and then after that, it was just all self-taught stuff.

BearlySinister: What’s the best part about touring in Our Last Enemy and have you had a favorite tour?

Matt: The best part about touring in Our Last Enemy? Probably, we’re all really good friends, we’re all really really close. I mean… we spend so much time together that we have to be, ya know, you have to be close. We really are going on tour with our best friends, so that’s a fun part. We’re always making jokes and we’re always, ya know, we’ll land somewhere and then we’ll all go out and get food together, then go back to the hotel and then get ready for the show, it’s always like a real part of like going out and touring, so we really enjoy it. My favorite tour? Probably the last one we did was a lot of fun, we gained a lot of really good fans outside of Sydney, ya know, which is our home town. We’re getting quite larger outside of the city, we’ve always been really really good in Sydney. Now, whenever we go to any other city, we’re always getting a really large crowd and we just had a really good fan interaction on those shows. It was good, it was a really fun tour to be on.

BearlySinister: What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on a tour?

Matt: *laughs* There was one time… there’s been a couple. We were driving down a highway once and our van door flung open, we were going about 110ks down the road, so that was fun… everyone half asleep and the door just flung open. There’s probably some stories that aren’t good for readers to read but… what else is there… crazy stories… All I can think of is the van door flying open and almost moving our stuff out the door. Oh! There was another time we were catching a plane back from another city back home to Sydney and the plane couldn’t land. So, we ended up flying for 2 hours back to Sydney and the plane was circling the city. All of a sudden, we realized we weren’t landing and they couldn’t land so they had to figure out what they were doing, they had to go back to another city, land, refuel and fly back. So, a 2 hour flight took us about 3 or 4 hours, it was crazy!

BearlySinister: Social media: Necessary evil or great help to your band?

Matt: I think it’s a great help to the band. Social media has taken over from the old times of walking the streets and trying to put up posters everywhere and having different councils or authorities ripping down the posters and have to go out and do it again. Facebook reaches a lot of people a lot easier and also you get into a broader network of people. I mean, it’s great for us. We can interact with fans in different countries and, being in Australia, we’re so far away from fans in North America or fans in Europe so… having social media is great because it’s like we’re not even that far away, we’re just there so. I think it’s a great tool for the band and I think it’s only gonna become stronger for musicians.

BearlySinister: Well, that’s about all I have. Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers, your fans and the general public?

Matt: Just that the album comes out March 11th, we really enjoy it, there’s some great people on it. We worked as hard as we could on it and I really think that people are gonna dig the album and I think the remixes on it are also really really good. We haven’t got a tour announced just yet, we are working on it but stay tuned to our facebook or our website and we’ll be announcing a North American tour really, really, really soon.

Be sure to pick up “Pariah” on March 11th and see how Our Last Enemy is changing the face of industrial metal!