Byron Bay’s In Hearts Wake have been changing minds and lives since 2012, and with fourth album Ark they are looking to inspire change like never before. Musically, this album pays homage to the past as much as it signals a bright new future for conscious heavy music; as a statement, Ark simultaneously lives within the lineage of Australian hardcore and lights the way forward beyond Southern skies.
Ark is both a dynamic breath of fresh air for the metalcore genre as a whole and a treatise on one of the world’s great impending issues. Today, in some parts of the world, water is already more expensive than oil, a trend that is spreading. In Hearts Wake – comprising frontman Jake Taylor, guitarists Ben Nairne and Eaven Dall, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Conor Ward – are bringing this distressing issue to the world’s attention.
“No matter what side of the world we live on, water connects us all,” says Jake. “Every living thing, and every human being that ever was or will be, is born of water. The plasma in our blood is 92% water, our brains 75%, and even our bones are 30% water. The same water that shapes our Earth is the same water within each of us.”
“This record is an ode to the Ark, that is our ocean planet. Just like a ship, if one part is compromised, all life is threatened. What happens on one side of the world affects the other. If we don’t work together to repair our home and restore the integrity of its natural resources, we will all go down with the ship. Since water is our lifeblood, it needs to be respected, protected, and acknowledged not only as a basic human right, but as an essential human need.”
In conjunction with the release of Ark, In Hearts Wake have joined forces with Tangaroa Blue to lead a series of waterway clean-ups in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and at home in Byron Bay. Marine debris is one of the major environmental issues worldwide and In Hearts Wake – along with their fans – will first tackle this problem on the local level before taking the initiative global with a series of clean-ups in the works for future overseas tours.
“We were looking at scheduling in-store signing sessions during Ark release week when it occurred to us - why don’t we hang out with our fans and work together to do something positive. By doing this we get to spend time with the amazing people that continue to support us, and show everyone that positive actions, large or small, all help to make up the bigger picture.”
Ark follows ‘Skydancer’ (2015), ‘Earthwalker’ (2014), and ‘Divination’ (2012) in further cementing In Hearts Wake’s status as one of the leading lights of melodic metalcore. In 2016 they released the unique collaborative Equinox EP alongside label mates and compatriots Northlane, and have looped the planet multiple times in the name of spreading their ecological, humanitarian and urgent environmental message.
In Hearts Wake have won new friends and fans from multiple US runs including Vans Warped Tour, and stints supporting Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. They have also taken the fight to European festivals such as Download, Graspop, Groezrock and Vainstream and successfully toured South East Asia and are becoming bigger than ever at home in Australia.
The foundations for the band stretch back to the early 1980s, when Jake’s stepdad took the role as frontman for Massappeal, one of Australia’s first-ever hardcore bands. In 2003, when Jake was 13 years old he saw Massappeal re-unite to support Henry Rollins performing Black Flag. From that moment, his path was set.
The members of In Hearts Wake grew up in the hardcore enclave of progressive Byron Bay, inspiring the band to spread a positive message throughout the world. They have drawn from local eco-ethics and applied them on a global scale.
“As members of In Hearts Wake, we believe there’s an opportunity to do good as well as enjoy the journey along the way,” says Jake. “Music is an amazing release from all that’s frustrating and complicated about this world, as well as a lot of fun – we love that side of it. But it can also be empowering and inspiring at the same time. Heavy music, like rock ‘n’ roll in the ’60s, often confronts injustice, ignorance and imbalance, becoming a catalyst for social change. Now like then, people want to move and be moved by the music and feel its message.
“In Hearts Wake are all about the music, the message, and the mosh pit–they run through our blood, like the water running through our veins.”