Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Questions by: Nick Parastatidis
1. “Sinner’s Lament” is TABERAH’s third full length studio album. How do you feel about it now that it is complete? Which are your expectations from it?
Jono Barwick (Guitars, Vocals): Really relieved that it is complete. It took us over two years to complete! We worked with Joe Haley (PSYCROPTIC) and Tim Grose (LORD) who both had their own tour schedules to work around. I'm happy we decided not to rush it, though.
2. Before “Sinner’s Lament” you had released an EP under the title “Welcome to the Crypt” which has amongst others 2 songs that you have also included in “Sinner’s Lament” and the one titled “Requiem of the Dead” differs from the original version. Why did you decide to release this EP before the full length album?
JB: The EP was supposed to be a tease/promotion for “Sinners Lament” but I feel as though we rushed its release and failed to get across its purpose. It was not meant to be seen as a standalone release.
3. Also on the EP you have the song “Blueschild” which I really love and as it says it is actually a blues song. How did you decide to do that? Is it something that you plan to do again in forthcoming releases? How are, according to you, the blues and heavy metal music connected?
JB: Glad you liked it - I grew up on rhythm and blues and the stories it told. There is an archetypical narrative that runs through all music of all genres. I recorded those tunes as a plain and simple musical "flex". We here at Tabz aren't a one-dimensional metal band.
4. I have noticed that amongst your releases there is a considerable time gap. Do you do this on purpose? You don’t like to rush things or are other factors that make you release albums with such distance between them?
JB: No absolutely not on purpose. It all just comes down on when we have the songs and money to do it. I can't force songs out. Sometimes they come quick other times they don't.
5. By the way what is TABERAH for you? A band that you want to have some good time with and create nice music or something more? I mean do you take the journey and see where it gets you or have you set some targets that you want to achieve?
JB: When I was young I wanted us to be as big as AC/DC and QUEEN which made me anxious and insecure as our journey didn't appear to be going that way haha! Recently I turned 28 and I decided to simply enjoy each gig as it comes and be grateful I get to play anywhere at all.
6. Back to your new album. Based on the cover, the title and the lyrics of most of the songs I think that it is your darker release so far. So tell us a few things about the lyrics and how they were inspired?
JB: “Child of Storm”, “Crypt” and “The Final March of Man” are the only songs on the album which AREN'T inspired by the blues I had when I was in my early-to-mid 20s. Metal is cool for writing dark stuff because you can get away with saying some really epic shit. I'd hate to think that anyone out there could be silly enough to think I'm singing about actually physically fighting some kind of beast...
7. How does the songwriting process work for you? Do you first write the music and then the lyrics or vice versa?
JB: Nah it all comes together when it comes together. Some of the moments on “Sinner's Lament” were written when I was 17. Timing is everything! I like songs with a good riff, interesting lyrics and a catchy chorus so I try to write like that.
8. We live in a politically – correct era which actually is emphasized by the social media, so do you think that the bands are as liberal as they were in the 80’s to write for whatever kind of theme they like or do you have to consider it twice before writing something? Do you think that lyrics in the song like “Harlott” can be a trouble for you?
JB: Great question! “Harlot” is about giving into temptation and spending the night with someone you really shouldn't - which is such a dumb, cliché story so therefore it's told via a dumb, cliché rock riff/song (clever, yeah?) - But we live in a world that had a band called ANAL CUNT so I'm not worried.
9. I am asking you to compare the new album with your previous two and tell me which the new elements that you bring here are and which the common ground between the three is?
JB: I think the new album is the pinnacle of the mountain we were climbing with the first two. You can hear the growth. We honed our craft and our sound evolved so all 3 have individual elements as well as common ground.
10. Personally speaking I like your musical style because you mix in your heavy and power metal sound many elements of the 70’s rock and hard rock, but which do you think are the trademarks of your sound? The elements that make you stand out?
JB: Our trademark in our sound is our personalities. You simply cannot fabricate the chemistry that happens when the four of us walk on the stage. I think many of our peers exist behind their metal veil onstage and fear how people would react if they came on as themselves. We don't have that worry. We amplify ourselves and let the crowd feel how they want to feel.
11. You have done an interesting cover of the song “Hotel California”. The original version is quite an evil song if you consider the fact that it sounds like a love rock ballad but the lyrics are so satanic. So, why did you choose to cover this song and did you feel any evil presence while you were doing it (just kidding)?
JB: Nah no evil presence to report! There's no great story as to how we decided to do that song. I was learning it on guitar pro one day and decided to copy and paste that typical metal drum beat under it. THE EAGLES are great.
12. As a band from Australia which actually has some very good metal bands I want to know which the biggest obstacles you have to surpass are in order to become known worldwide? Do you consider maybe changing the basis of the band and move to Europe?
JB: I'm not really sure what the obstacles are. Some bands make it, some don't. We haven't managed to get to that next point yet and we may never do it - it's just how it goes. Not hard to see the difference in cost but the boys are all well settled here so I don't think relocating to the UK or Germany is on the cards haha!
13. I consider “Sinner’s Lament” as the best heavy metal release for this year, but how have other fans and reviewers reacted to your new album? Are there any good, bad or funny comments that you remember?
JB: Thanks mate! I enjoyed how a lot of reviewers felt it was a metal's answer to 'A Night at The Opera' because we're big fans of QUEEN. The “Hotel California” cover created some divide but the original stuff seemed to get over well.
14. Before my last question. What does TABERAH mean?
JB: TABERAH is a small Spanish dessert. (note from the interviewee: According to the Book of Numbers, Taberah (Hebrew: תבערה) is one of the locations which the Israelites passed through during their Exodus journey. The biblical narrative states that the place received its name, which means burning, because the fire of the LORD had burned there in anger because of their continued complaints.)
15. Thanks for your time and patience answering my questions. Hope to see you for a live show here in Greece! So, please end this interview in your own way…
JB: Greece? Fuck yeah! If anyone who reads this knows Gus G tell him he needs to have TABERAH on FIREWIND's next world tour. Peace!