What if someone told you that you could completely carbon offset an album, and package it plastic free? Well, you absolutely can! Follow in the footsteps of In Hearts Wake, metalcore band from the beachy town of Byron Bay. The band formed in 2006, and after releasing two EP’s, put out five studio albums over the last eight years, with themes of environmentalism, environmental justice, global warming and conservation. The fifth, Kaliyuga, is their carbon offset album, and follows the concept of the natural elements: earth, air, water and fire, which they have stuck with since their second studio album, Earthwalker.
Members of the band include Jake Taylor (vocals), Eaven Dall (lead guitar), Kyle Erich (bass/vocals), Ben Nairne (rhythm guitar), and Conor Ward (drums). Partnered with Trees For the Future, frontman Jake Taylor started the Earthwalker Tribe, a sustainable clothing and product line, where every item purchased is a tree planted. It was named after the band’s second album, Earthwalker. Jake gives back to our environment everyday by constantly spreading awareness, and he urges us to do the same.
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
My parents. They were always playing music and my step dad was in a hardcore band called Massapeal. So watching him take to the stage when I was 11 years old and perform in a band was just so inspiring to watch, like, how the crowd moved, and the energy was powerful. So that was just really my inspiration to become a musician. Yeah, very very lucky, gave me a behind the scenes look straight away.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
I would say always trying to be ahead of the curve. When I say ahead of the curve, it’s doing my best to look at spaces that I feel need awareness or tending to, or areas that are unexplored, and that’s exciting and that is part of my drive, to look at ways in which we can evolve, adapt and grow as a band and as artists. So doing sustainable practices for instance. Trying to green our merchandise, trying to reduce our impact in general. Big album concepts that I don’t feel have been done before, doing double records, you know recording two albums at the same time and releasing them in sequence a year apart. Yeah, just doing things that haven’t been done, and that’s the way for innovation.
Yeah, it’s really housekeeping essentially. It’s our home, and the environment is not separate from the home and where we live and the air we breathe. So it’s looking at ways to innovate and evolve. It’s always a journey, and sometimes you expect things in huge mountains before us, like, how the heck do I carbon offset a record? I had no idea, but it’s sort of a challenge and an adventure. In doing that, I got to speak to some incredible people, find out new ways. Also seeing where we’re being a bit, can’t say wasteful, but like unconscious to the impact that certain things have. So it’s been quite a journey of learning.
Learn how to reduce your plastic usage with our article on plastic pollution!
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
Well I’m honestly usually about two years ahead, always, with like goals and what’s ahead. Now, always allow flexibility though, within that. It’s nice to have goals and things that you’d like to strive for, but not setting them up as failures if you don’t reach them. Now, everyone had timelines in place and they’ve just gone out the window in 2020 so it’s flawed, but these are things that we have as mirrors to reflect upon and look, and maybe we’re not always to blame when those timelines dont go ahead it’s just like, state of the world and things like that. So it is nice to have mirrors and diary entries of pushing forward with what those timelines are gonna be and looking back to see what you’ve achieved.
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What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
Probably, as a young musician, going overseas for the first time. It felt very significant, felt like it was something that was sort of out of reach and kind of unknown. What would it be like to go to another country and how would we ever get the funds to do so. That was a significant leap, to show our band that we could and that it was a success. Second significant challenge that I feel, as more of a mature established band, has been 2020 and releasing a record during a pandemic without compromising the release. Finding new ways to innovate and create opportunity and to really celebrate what is happening and acknowledge it at the same time.
What’s your advice on staying professionally active during COVID times?
Keep a clean space when you’re on zoom. Probably all I can think of, and being self motivated as well. You can’t rely on the boss to come and check in on you in the other room, you have to be accountable and be organised to really make sure you get your work done.
Need advice on how to stay motivated? Check out our article on Tips for Time Management and Motivation today!
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
I mean, it is good to stay informed. There’s a bunch of really good press outlets that I follow and engage with, as well as having regular conversations with people who are in the know is very helpful. I mean yeah, not getting quite up on the TMZ side of things, I mean more like the announcements of festivals, issues, political issues around like, you know, is the line up diversified and where are the investments going. It’s good to have that general area I think, and to be informed when building your own lineups, as well as finding the right times to release tours and records and creating art that speaks to the time is important.
Keep yourself aware with our course on Contemporary Industry Issues.
How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
Well I own a camera, a drone, I’ve got multiple screens going and it’s been through learning to write and direct our music videos. Slowly and surely, cameras started coming into my hands and I’ve been able to create content for the band as a way of translating and expressing the ideas that we want to get out there. So they’re very useful tools, and the technology can be such a wonderful thing, so long as it’s not driving us, we’re driving it.