Five guys, five years, three (current) towns and one album, with the kind of audience that takes a careful combo of talent and web know-how to reach. Meet the soldiers of Barracks and their debut album ’Ghosts‘.
“We formed in 2010,” recalls bassist Kane Lazenby. “Martin [Mihaka, guitar] and Simon [Power, drums] started writing some songs – they sent me some of the tracks and we just started out with the three of us. We’ve gone through a few changes, but we’re pretty settled on the current set up.”
Over the course of their existence, the common descriptor for the bands music has consistently been post-hardcore, but with different line-ups over the years the sound has inevitably changed.
“I feel as though it’s evolved quite a lot – Judd has a different vocal style, with more melody, so that’s influenced how ’Ghosts’ turned out.”
Singer and relative newcomer Judd Ipsen agrees.
“It’s hard for me to say, since I haven’t been in the band for its whole existence, but I think that through the album there’s a lot of different styles anyway. We try to do as may different ones as we can – try to get in as many influences as we can.”
The five Barracks members are spread across three towns in the Bay of Plenty and neighbouring Waikato, which does provide some hiccups.
“We’ll get together and jam every couple of weekends – but Dropbox was definitely one of the main helpers in writing the album.”
Technology didn’t just help the band share ideas as they worked on the record – it has provided them with some serious boosts in terms of visibility, as Judd, who runs the band’s social media, explains.
“I saw BitTorrent had this new bundle’s platform. I uploaded one of our tracks, Strangers, and then a couple of days later I heard back – one of the content strategists said he wanted to feature us for free on the site.
“When we were recording the album, we were sort of throwing that idea around. We had the decision to either make a bit of money off the album and have some people hear it, or make no money off the album and have a lot of people hear it. I think it’s a path a lot of bands are taking, where they give their music away for free, and try to make some money off merchandise and playing live.”