Interview: Lauren Hart of Once Human
California’s melodic death metal force Once Human will be making their debut visit to Australian shores in early 2018 with an extensive tour of both capital and regional cities in support of their latest release Evolution. The band are very excited to announce that they have added SIX new shows to their already impressive run of dates, taking the tour to a total of 12 shows. The tour now extends to Tasmania, with shows in Hobart and Launceston plus gigs in Ballarat, Adelaide and Perth! Led by former Machine Head / Soufly guitarist Logan Mader, Once Human possess a powerful, dynamic and brutal attack that will leave you in awe after witnessing the sheer brutality that emanates from the stage! The band’s secret weapon however is powerhouse frontwoman: Sydney’s own Lauren Hart who has a growl that could make the earth shatter, it has to be seen (and heard) to be believed! Lauren is excited about returning home and finally bringing Once Human to Australia and we got to talk to her all about it.
Thanks for chatting with us today, how are things going for yourself and Once Human right now?
Yeah good, a little bit slow at the moment just because it's just the time of the year really, but we've got some things in the works. Getting excited about coming back to Australia and now working on a new album, and just preparing for the upcoming tours for 2018.
You just added 6 extra dates to your tour here in February/March, is that something you wanted to do originally or was there just a demand for more shows?
That was always part of the plan, it was just more along the lines of trying to get the venues on board. We want to stay for as long as possible and play as many shows as possible, obviously we'd like to stay longer than that. We're just excited that we get to do that many shows I guess, Logan's been to Australia before with Machine Head and all that, but he said normally it's like 4 shows or maybe 6 at the most and then he's gone. This way I'll get to show everyone around and I'll be driving around to most of the venues, so I'll be able to take them around a bit and show them what Australia's all about.
How long has it been since you were in Australia last?
I haven't been able to go back as frequently as I'd like, but we went last year and I'm missing it like crazy.
Being from Australia, how did you get to where you are now? From moving to the States and joining Once Human as the vocalist.
Honestly, it was a really unexpected time in my life, I came back to American in 2014, I kind of went off the track a little bit with music. When I came back here I decided to buy a guitar and start putting videos up and just get back into writing again. Straight away, I met Logan like within a couple of months and we started writing on the first day, it honestly just seemed like it was fate. I got really lucky.
Do you feel like the latest album Evolution was a progression and evolution so to speak when you compare it to The Life I Remember?
Oh yeah, with The Life I Remember I guess we kind of rushed things and it wasn't as thought out as Evolution was. I mean it was my first time playing live and my first time in a real band, I've been in garage bands just mucking around and stuff, and I've written all of my own stuff like in my house and singing in my bathroom but I've never done a collaboration like this before. It kind of all just vomited out rather quickly and it was so quick, like alright here's the album, whereas Evolution I think after playing the shows and giving it some thought and meeting Max on the Fear Factory tour, he's our newest guitar player, the three of us started writing again and we finally grew into what is now our own sound.
Vocally, your death metal style is very impressive and it kind of reminds me of older Arch Enemy and similar vocal patterns to what you'd hear on a Meshuggah album. When you first started singing did you have an idea of what you wanted your vocals to sound like?
When I first started, no not really, that's just how it came out. I've been screaming since I was a kid, since high school basically. But in my head when we did The Life I Remember I sort of sounded lower than what I sound like now I feel like it's really high pitched and I guess I always like the lower screams, so I worked to get it lower and I think it came with doing a bunch of live shows and learning about different mouth shapes and techniques and learning how to breathe properly. For the next album it was definitely a lot lower, but I'm a lot more focused on getting it down there and it doesn't feel as bad, it feel more correct in technique. I do get a lot of Angela (ex-Arch Enemy) and I do really look up to her so that's nice to hear, and one of Max's biggest influences is Meshuggah, so I'm sure he'd be stoked on that also.
Do you ever see people in the audience who haven't heard or seen Once Human before seem surprised when you belt out those brutal vocals, almost as if they weren't expecting it?
Yeah, they take a look at me and they think it's going to be operatic or something like that. Then the first scream, you often hear people in the videos seem a bit thrown off guard, but yeah it's nice. It's a little bit fun when you can teach people not to judge a book by its cover.
Where do you get your lyrical inspiration from?
I have a notebook that I jot things down on, but for Evolution it was really tedious because I had to dig deep and a lot of things got thrown out, like nothing was good enough. Even in the beginning and early stages of writing the album, everything I had put down didn't seem good enough. But I think it was just because I was too afraid to really get down there and express myself, which is something I didn't do at all on The Life I Remember. I kind of touched on it, but I was for the most part staying on the surface instead of diving into the deep end and that's exactly what I did for this latest album. It was very therapeutic in a way and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
What type of bands got you into heavy music and what are some bands you're currently digging right now?
Well lately I've been listening to a lot of Meshuggah, I know they've been around for ages but recently it's been them and Lamb Of God. I've been trying to listen to bands that maybe aren't as massive, bands that people send me and I try to listen to them, cause you never know, there's so much out there nowadays. Back in the day, what got me into metal was probably the very first album that I ever had was Yngwie Malmsteen's Trilogy, that was the gateway for me because I wanted to be a guitar player. Then it was Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia by Dimmu Borgir, one of my all time favourite albums, probably still is actually, I love that album. Then of course I discovered Blackwater Park by Opeth and Strapping Young Lad, and lots of Devin Townsend. I could keep going on and on.
What are you looking forward to mostly about coming back to Australia for this next run of
There's quite a few places that I've never even been to actually, I've never been to Tassie so I'm looking forward to that. Never been to Perth either, so this is exciting for not only the band but for me as well. We have a few days off in Sydney so I can take the guys around and probably take them to the Blue Mountains and see if I can get them to pet some kangaroos and all that stuff. But mostly, I really want them to fall in love with Australia the way that I love Australia and meet the people, my bass player and guitar player (Damien and Dillon) have never experienced Australia before so I'm really excited. Max has been there on tour but he's never had the time off to do things, so yeah, definitely meeting the people and a few friends down there that I'm looking forward to seeing. I want them to feel that Aussie pride.
Written by Steve Jenkins
Get tickets via MOSHTIX and catch Once Human at the following dates.
Evolution is out now via earMUSIC and Sony.