Take Ten with Past Is Practice

Mannequin Republic took ten questions to Sydney hardcore band Past is Practice vocalist and lyricist Daniel Knight.  He gives us some insights on the band’s influences, the state of Aussie hardcore and some tips on how to survive starting out in the local music scene.  Plus heaps of other reasons you should come see them when they tour through Brisbane and the rest of Queensland this winter!

What are you looking forward to most about coming up to QLD in July?

Daniel Knight: The thing we are most excited about would have to be the idea of kids we don’t know coming out to our shows, and hopefully digging our sound and wanting to hear more of us. Also, [it’s] going to be a really good test of our ability to get along on the road, and see if we mesh as a band and mates on tour. Oh yeah, and destroying stages along the way!

Why name your band Past Is Practice?

Daniel Knight: Basically, it means that everything we do in the past is practice for things we will do in the future.  We are a poisitive band and like to look at the positive aspects of everything, even the downsides of life, so, basically that’s what it means: try to look at the negatives in your past as practice for the future.

How long have you been a band and where do you see yourselves in the next year or two?

Daniel Knight: We have been an official band for around 3 to 4 months now, although some members have been jamming since late 2010.  Hopefully this time next year we would like to be headlining an Australian tour on the back of our 2nd EP release, hopefully with some names in support.

Musical (or non-musical) influences for the band?

Daniel Knight: Musically speaking would have to be bands like A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, The Devil Wears Prada, Amity Affliction and Asking Alexandria.  We really dig their sounds in their own rights and try to pull the best from each artist and use those styles to mash up and get our sound. Non-musically, our influences really vary and it would be hard to pinpoint who influences our band that way, although as a band we would probably say Trent From Punchy gives us inspiration to just enjoy ourselves and not take everything so seriously.

What’s the scene like in Sydney and surrounding areas? What are some good venues you would recommend to catch a local band/artist?

Daniel Knight: The Sydney scene has gotten a lot better in the previous year.  Before then, it was fairly flat with no real standouts emerging. If you want to get a good show check out The Stag in Annandale, The Lucky Oz Tavern in St. Mary’s, or one of the Campbeltown PCYC venues.

The state of Australian hardcore? Over saturated or thriving?

Daniel Knight: The state of Australian Hardcore scene has gotten flooded with hardcore bands since the emergence of Parkway Drive, and everyone wanting to imitate them. Definantly not a negative thing.  It really allows the small bands to team up and play more gigs than if there were just a few larger hardcore bands.  On the grand scale I don’t think many of these bands get past a few local gigs, so, I wouldn’t say the scene is over saturated, but, it is doing fairly well, it’s not hard to find a local gig with some good hardcore on the bill.

What bands would you love to tour with one day?

Daniel Knight: On a local scale, bands like Sienna Skies, Buried in Verona, 50 Lions and Amity Affliction.  On a global, and much more distant scale, it would be a dream come true to tour with, or even play a show with, bands like Parkway Drive, A Day to Remember or Devil Wears Prada. We can dream, right?

What inspires you to write?

Daniel Knight: Just every day life.  As far as my lyrics are concerned, life has never been easy, and I write a lot of my lyrics to vent.  So, they seem negative on face value, but having that there is an incredible tool for getting emotions out.  And hopefully they help show other people that they’re not alone in the problems they face.  So, there’s a positive aspect to everything I write, which is my intention: to give people hope.

Favourite bands?

Daniel Knight: We are all going to differ here so individual answers will ensue:
James: Metallica, A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed, Rise Against, Rage Against the Machine, Asking Alexandria, Buried in Verona.
Nathan: A Day to Remember, Blessthefall, Blink 182, Asking Alexandria.
Danial: The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath, Demon Hunter, Emery, Haste the Day
Doug: Acacia Strain, Terror, Black Dahlia Murder, Mindset.
Mike: Metallica, Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Dimmu Borgir, Pink Floyd.

What would your advice be for new bands just starting out?
Daniel Knight: A few basic things; never be afraid to criticize your own or each others work.  Don’t be afraid of rejection.  Don’t think you will get along with your band mates all the time, you will butt heads.  Never settle for good enough.  Take any gig that comes your way, all exposure is good exposure.  Ego should not get in the way of the writing process, let whoever is best at something do that something.  And whether your playing to 5 people or 500 people, imagine you’re playing in front of a sold out show.  Play your heart out!

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