This week we’re shining the Meet The Band spotlight on Melbourne, Australia extreme metallers RUN. Vocalist Lochlan Watt gave us the lowdown on their new single, a cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris, and plenty more.
Brendan Crabb: Can you provide a brief history of this project?
Lochlan Watt: After several years of experiencing some success in touring the world as a vocalist for metal bands that I was either a fill-in for (Thy Art Is Murder, Psycroptic) or had no creative input into (Colossvs), RUN was established in late 2019 as a studio project between myself and Mike Deslandes (YLVA, High Tension, Coerce) to bring to life a sound that I felt would be uniquely me and something that I could be in control of. We were rushed into completion of the debut release For You Will Never Find Peace Within Your Quiet due to my brain tumor diagnosis, and then held back from becoming a live band for a couple years due to COVID. In 2022 we finally began touring, were interrupted by a second brain surgery and went through several line-up changes, and now in 2023 it feels like the band is finally building momentum.
Who are some of the major influences on the music of RUN?
I wanted to create a band that embraced the post-black metal sound but transformed it into a stadium metalcore context. Deafheaven and Harakiri For The Sky are just as influential on the sound as Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction. I wanted to write songs that were larger than life and catchy, but also musically creative and low-key technical – Misery Signals and Fit For An Autopsy would be another couple of big names for the sound. To throw a few more names out that have directly influenced creative decisions – Rosetta, Bring Me The Horizon, Converge, Slipknot and Hatebreed.
In February, the band released the single “Everyone’s Cancelled, Everything’s Cancer.” Can you tell us about the creation of this track?
This was the first song that our new guitarist Arron (Parker-Richards) wrote in trying to have a stab at coming into RUN. I think he nailed bringing together all the sounds off the EP while putting his own stamp on things and moving the sound forward. I thought it would be a good idea to kick the first official ‘full lineup’ of the band off with a single release. The aforementioned brain tumor has been a hugely defining part of my life in recent years, and going into the pandemic while immunocompromised due to chemotherapy was a terrifying experience. I started writing the lyrics as a “get fucked” to all the people in my life who turned out to be conspiratorial idiots with a complete disregard for the health of others throughout the pandemic.
This angle didn’t really feel like it was sticking, and it started to become more about poor and/or embarrassing behavior and the proliferation of misinformation from all sides of opinion when it comes to any COVID debates. I tied it up with some bits and pieces about my experience of being a brain cancer patient as a means to expel all the negativity and horrific experiences of the last few years, and move forward so I can go back to waxing lyrical about deeper emotions.
RUN has since followed that release with a cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” You’ve previously been playing the track live, but what motivated you to record a studio version?
The response to playing it live has been consistently great and it would have been a shame to put all the work into translating the song into a post-metal context and not record it. The song has a gigantic built-in fan-base, so of course I also hope it helps expose our music to some new listeners.
Were you concerned at all that some may dismiss a cover like that as a novelty?
I always knew it would work, but my original collaborator Mike did dismiss the idea when I originally pitched it as he didn’t share my enthusiasm for it. He changed his tune after seeing us play it live. We have brought enough evolution to the song to be justified I think. It’s still quite clearly “Iris,” but undeniably RUN.
Can you tell us about RUN’s most memorable or unusual live performance?
Dark Mofo 2022. Our first time playing on a large stage with big production – it felt like the band had finally arrived into the realm it was created for. The response was huge, and playing alongside other bands like Katatonia and Conjurer was insane to us.
Where can people buy and/or hear RUN’s music?
What are the band’s plans and goals for the remainder of 2023?
We are heading out on tour again in June with Deafheaven, which is very cool to me. Unless any offers that are too good to be refused come through, at this stage we plan to spend the second half of the year writing. I have a big concept I’m sitting on for the next record, which hopefully will be out by early 2024.
On a personal note, what’s currently in your heavy music rotation?
The new Lo! album The Gleaners is killer. I’ve been listening to Danish bands Cabal and Hexis a lot; somehow we’re playing shows with both of them this month. The new albums from Bury Tomorrow, In Flames and Spiritworld have been getting a flogging, and I’m really hyped on the latest singles from Svalbard and Cattle Decapitation.
(interview published April 22, 2023)
Watch RUN – “Iris” Video