Australia a country famous for its surf, sand and beaches has little acclaim when it comes to metal music. In fact, before working with James Munro from Great Leap Skyward we had no idea on how big the metal music industry was here in Australia.
Great Leap Skyward (originally formed under Knightmare in Australia) emerges as a modern, darker and deeply explorative metal act creating music best described as: Progressive Cinematic Metal. These Melbourne based legends deliver a very versatile, original and progressive blend of music inspired by sounds from modern and traditional acts both from inside the metal world but also from eclectic outside tastes to create their music.
We recently had a chance to interview James Munro a lead developer by day and lead guitarist by night. James in one of the most humble persons you’ll ever meet with his passion for music matching his skills behind the screens.
AV: What’s your role in the band and how do you contribute towards its success?
JM: My role is essentially logistics, videography and management along with playing guitar. I contribute to the band by searching out opportunities for us, liaising with existing contacts as well as handling video content and managing our stage set up.
AV: Where have you performed? What are your favourite venues and crowds?
JM: Personally (not with GLS) my favourite venues to perform have been Madison Square Garden in Manhatten and the Hollywood Palladium
In L.A. I’m keen to get GLS there. As for GLS, we’re about to do our debut performances in Tokyo and Osaka in early November.
AV: Do you have any upcoming shows? (Might have to change this as the blog will go up late don’t tell this to James as you rushed him to complete it).
JM: Yes we do! We have 6 shows in Japan in November and then more to come afterwards!
AV: Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
JM: Luke is our maestro, he composes and records the songs. Topic wise we tend to choose things that interest or move us. Sometimes they are light hearted and other times quite serious. The latest album is influenced by 60’s westerns (how good are they?), video games, Miyazaki films, and our own personal struggles with the human condition.
AV: Could you briefly describe the music-making process for your band?
JM: When Luke makes the songs we go through a process of recording demos of the songs, showing them to our record label and then after some revisions we work towards a final recording.
AV: You’re prized production.
JM: Our new album “Map of Broken Dreams” the culmination of nearly 5 years of work and suffering. The kind of suffering you think about quitting quite a lot but really love the work you are doing.
AV: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
JM: Since we started to work together I would say that our music has become more cohesive and the vision for the final sound has gotten much broader. It is very exciting and every new step we take pushes our playing ability to a new level.
AV: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
JM: This current album was probably the biggest challenge we faced as a band. After the previous release (as Knightmare) the next album needed to be an evolution of our sound, not a rehash. To do this we had to not only improve our ability to write and record music but also learn new skills in video production, e-commerce, tour logistics and the list goes on. So the challenge really was that we had to grow past we thought we were capable of and be prepared to fail (a lot) along the way and just keep going no matter what.
AV: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Where do you see Great Leap Skyward in the next 5 years?
JM: We’re looking forward to taking our sound and show overseas and find our fans in Japan, Europe and the USA (don’t forget our fans here of course!) – After that we’ll be putting our heads down and writing some new material.
Luke Besley – Guitars/Vocals/Cello/Synths
James Munro – Guitars
Matt McConaghy – Bass
Dave Allen – Drums