By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Whether it be imaginative music videos like “Kill The Misery” or sharing stages with the likes of Atreyu, Trapt and P.O.D., it cannot be denied that Melbourne, Australia-based alternative rock band Chasing Lana have accomplished plenty while together.
After the release of their 2019 debut album ‘The Fight,’ they’d been playing shows right before the unfortunate emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now devastated the live music industry worldwide. They stand overeager to get back on stage and do what they love – perform for people.
Chasing Lana is vocalist/guitarist Dave Cutting, bassist Keith, lead guitarist Robbie and drummer Chris.
The Music Bugle had the chance to chat with Cutting about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Melbourne, Australia to someone who has never been there before?
Dave Cutting – Well, there is no doubt that Melbourne is one of, if not, the most livable city in the world. It’s exciting, entertaining and most of all, the coffee is amazing! (Laughs) I mean it’s known for sports, art, food and most importantly, live music. What more could you want? I love traveling the country and playing music anywhere and everywhere, but there is definitely something special about Melbourne. You just have to experience it for yourself!
Music Bugle – How did you get your band name?
Dave Cutting – We get that question a lot. I honestly didn’t really think about it too much. I kinda just picked a word and a name and we went with it.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your debut album ‘The Fight’ and where does it rank in the band’s catalogue a year later?
Dave Cutting – Like every release, it was a lot of fun. We decided to work with producer Chris Themelco again, he never disappoints. He is a great friend to the band and he knows exactly what we want and that helps a hell of a lot. We worked in three different studios. For drum tracking, we went to Colour Sound Studios and Echidna Studios and for all guitars and vocal tracking, we worked in Themelco’s Studio, Monolith Studios. All studios had great vibes and great atmospheres, which is ideal when creating music. We didn’t have any deadline or anyone telling us what to do, so it was a very chilled and relaxed vibe. Once the album dropped, we did a massive Australian Tour, festivals and had the honor of supporting some great international acts. We can’t wait to get back out there and play more shows for our fans!
Music Bugle – How would you compare your newer music to your older music?
Dave Cutting – We had a lot more experience both in writing and recording the latest record ‘The Fight,’ as every band probably would with their latest release. When I go back and hear tracks from our demo ‘In A World Of Disarray’ and/or even our EP ’Suffocate / Medicate,’ they were very raw-sounding. It was exactly what we were going for at the time – loud guitars, huge drum sound and punchy bass you could feel in your chest. With ‘The Fight,’ we knew we wanted the same as the previous releases, but we really sat down and kind of put things together a little bit differently. We had a lot more guitar layers – both clean and dirty – there’s a lot of heavy guitar riffs, but also a lot of beautiful, clean parts. We also used and experimented with different amps. The drums and bass are still huge and punchy and our producer pushed me to my absolute limits with my vocals and melodies. Whenever I listen to ‘The Fight’ in full, I love that we have tracks that are heavy and have an “in-your-face” vibe like “House Of Pain,” “Let The Demons Out” and “Endless War.” Then, you have deeper, stripped-back tracks like “Save Me,” “Calling Out To You” and “Hollow” and I think that’s a good thing. It’s diversity.
Music Bugle – Which music video was your favorite one to shoot?
Dave Cutting – Out of all of them so far, I would have to say the video we shot for the track “Fade Away” would be my favorite. We shot it at the Beechworth Asylum just short of the border after a very long drive back from a couple of shows in Sydney. The owner was very nice. He also gave us a quick little tour of the place between shoots. They actually do a lot of great ghost tours there too, creepy stuff! The whole cast and crew and everyone involved did an amazing job. We’ve worked with the same director with all of our clips so far. He has a great vision on what he wants to do when listening to a track.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Dave Cutting – That’s a tough one. When done right, social media can be a great tool to sell yourself, to get your name out there and by reaching out to people who wouldn’t even know you exist. It can be great for advertising your music, shows, merch lines, etc.. I mean back in the days of the 70’s, 80’s and even the 90’s, bands would what… put flyers up around town and hope their friends would tell their friends and so on and so forth. Now, every Tom, Dick and Harry are pretty much on social media, so with just one post and a couple of comments, the whole world knows what you’re up to and you haven’t even left the couch! (Laughs) In that perspective, it can be great. It can also be hard in a way, because there are so many bands in this country, in this world! We’re all just wanting to be heard and unfortunately due to “likes” and “followers,“ if you’re not huge bands like, say, Foo Fighters or Green Day, etc., then some of us can get lost in the mix. Due to everything going on in the world at the moment with COVID, I’ve personally taken time away from most social networking. They can be very toxic in a way. I feel it’s good to kind of just back away from it all for a while and just have a break. Even just for a few weeks. Clear your head, read a book or something, kids!
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Dave Cutting – Personally, for myself, it’s been a bit of a mental struggle. Not being able to play shows and tour or even just get with the other boys has been hard. This whole situation is like a very long nightmare I just can’t wake up from. On a good note, the last few months I’ve been slowly building my own little studio in my house, trying to keep positive and the mind active, so that’s been going great! I guess the good thing to come out of this whole situation would be that 2021 is going to be a huge year with music releases! We were very lucky to play two big sold-out shows at the start of the year before COVID hit, one being with American metal-heads Atreyu. Hopefully, we will all be back at it early next year and we can all enjoy some cold beers and some live music!
Music Bugle – Of all the merchandise you sell, which one is your favorite?
Dave Cutting – Well, you can’t go wrong with a band tee! I’d say my favorite CL shirt would be either our “Watcher of the Night” tee, which had a massive owl print and the other would be our “Mystic” tee, which has a human face with three eyes, both prints designed by a very talented artist by the name of Tristan Tait. You can check them out on our website!
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about live shows?
Dave Cutting – There’s no better feeling then playing live onstage and you have the crowd singing along to the lyrics you wrote in your bedroom! I think I miss that the most. Just being onstage and just having fun. Even when you’re backstage and you’re only a few minutes away from performing, you’ve warmed up, you’ve just finished a few beers and your heart is pounding with anxiety and your nerves are going crazy. You walk onstage and hit that first chord and sing that first line and then all the nerves go away and you think, “Man, I fucking love this!”
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge of having a band with four members?
Dave Cutting – What I love about this band is there really isn’t any drama. Yeah, we may bicker a bit and have different opinions on some matters when it comes to creating music, but I feel that’s good. It’s healthy. We all play and write music because we love it, that’s it. We all want to challenge ourselves musically, which is great, but I think the biggest challenge for the other boys in this band is that they all have to put up with my shit! (Laughs)