Caught Within The Eye Of Chaos - Daysend's Mark McKernan

The vocalist from one of Australia's hardest working metal bands sits down to talk with Metal As Fuck.

Australia has been spoiled for choice with the influx of international bands hitting our shores quite frequently over the years, however not many of those gig goers are aware of our local bands who are just as good, if not better than their international counterparts. One of those bands is Sydney's melodic death merchants Daysend who have been touring hard and frequently and have just released their third album Within The Eye Of Chaos, I caught up with vocalist Mark McKernan to discuss all things chaos in the world of Daysend.

Seeing as Within The Eye Of Chaos has been out for a little while now, I asked Mark how the reception has been from fans and critics.

'It’s been amazing so far,' he said. 'The reactions we are receiving have been really positive, both with the album and playing the new songs live on stage.'

Daysend's second release The Warning is considered quite a favourite amongst many fans and really turned some heads when it was released. I asked Mark if the band felt much pressure in writing a follow up to The Warning and how the writing process went.

'When we started to write for this album, we did not set out writing with The Warning in mind, we wanted to take the next step and write the best songs we could within the timeframe we were allocated for the writing process.'

'In regards to the writing process,' Mark said, 'it was very smooth. Aaron (Bibilja - lead guitarist) and I spent quite a bit of time to get together to write and do the pre-production work.'

When listening to Within The Eye Of Chaos alongside their previous releases, I personally found there was a higher emphasis on more of the melodic side of Daysend's material. I asked Mark if there were any preconceptions incorporating more melody into the material, or if it just came out during the writing?

'It was never really an intentional thing by myself or Aaron to write songs that were more melodic,' Mark answered. 'It just seemed to come together like that. But with that said, there are quite a lot of heavier elements to the album as well, so it kind of balanced out when the album came together.'

Turning to international producers and mixers is becoming quite a popular thing with many Australian bands. However, Daysend decided to keep things at home and enlist an up-and-coming metal producer, former Cryogenic drummer Darren "Jenk" Jenkins, to helm the recording process. I asked Mark why the band decided to stay close to home for the recording process and also how the recording process went.

'We have known Jenk for quite sometime and he is a good friend of the band',  Mark explains. 'Apart from that, his work with other bands in the past (Switchblade, Black Asylum) has made him able to stand up against many of the best metal producers in the international market. We would rather support a friend and the Australian scene, it's as simple as that.'

'The recording process was really easy, especially working with Jenk. He is a very relaxed guy and made the whole process run very smoothly. It was probably the best recording experience we have had as a band."

As previously mentioned, Daysend are known for their hard touring schedule, I asked Mark what plans there are on the touring front at home and possibly abroad, what material from the new album is making the set and whether there is the possibility of a live DVD release in the future.

'At the moment we are touring Australia-wide in support of the album, and there are plans to tour internationally as soon as possible,' Mark explained.  'We are pushing the first half of Within The Eyes Of Chaos pretty hard live and they are all getting an excellent response. The crowds really seem to get into the new material ... In regards to a DVD release, there are no plans at this stage, but it would definitely be a possibility in the near future.'

I decided to ask Mark what his personal favourite track is from Within The Eyes Of Chaos, which song sums up Daysend and if there is any bands he might like to recommend to our readers.

'The track Simple Minds would have to be my personal favourite track off of the album. I think that track and See You In My Nightmares  sum up Daysend as they have that core sound that Daysend have perfected over the years. Listening-wise, I have been listening to the new Mnemic album, at home I would have to say the latest album from Perth metallers Dyscord - Tirades. I recommend the readers to go out and pick it up, it is a really killer album.'