By Kyra Gillespie
For local hard rock band Empty Worlds, 2018 is already shaping up to be a good year.
Sitting down before their debut headline show in Pakenham on Friday 19 January, the young band delved into their creative processes, recording their debut album and pre-gig jitters.
Boasting a wide range of talent, the Pakenham-based group comprises of Seth Dixon on rhythm guitar, Christian Christofides on bass and vocals, Jordan Dunn on drums, Jordan Fernand on lead guitar and Laurie Smith on guitar.
Only averaging 15-16 years of age, the young talents already have an impressive ten original songs under their belt and an album on the way.
Their gig at Pakenham IYU Reserve, supported by their side project Shredder, was their first proper performance together.
“This will be our first performance as a group,” lead singer and bassist Christian said.
“We’ve done some covers at a few open mics before, but this is the first gig where we are playing our own songs.
“In the last few weeks we’ve written about six or seven new songs, so we’ve been practicing at least four times a week these school holidays to make sure we get it right.”
When asked if there were any nerves in the room about the upcoming show, there was a resounding “yes”.
“I’m a bit nervous about singing,” Christian admitted.
The band has spent the past week laying down tracks for their debut album at Fingerprint Audio which is owned by a local musician and producer.
Inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kiss and Def Leppard, Empty Worlds flaunt inspiration and a mature sound that goes well beyond their years.
“We were originally called Metal Fist, but we changed the name because we wanted to be more diverse and that name just made us sound like a metal band,” drummer Jordan Dunn said.
“We draw inspiration from everywhere, particularly traditional rock bands such as Motörhead and Metallica.
“Most of our sound is traditional heavy metal but we do have some tracks that merge into other genres too.”
The band agreed that there is always a lot of “healthy discussion” when it comes to song writing.
“We do a lot of improvisation when we write,” Jordan said.
“We don’t tend to argue so much as debate – we’d call it healthy discussion.”
“I write most of the music and these guys help out with the melodies,” Christian added.
“I write best when inspiration strikes; sometimes it can take me a month to write a song and other times it takes me an hour.”
Although they all got into music in different ways, the band share a common passion for rock.
“I was a terror when I was little kid; I would grab pots and pans and make as much noise as possible,” Jordan said.
“So my Mum got me a drum kit and put me in front of John Bonham, the drummer from Led Zeppelin, and told me to copy him.
“I guess it stuck because I still love playing all these years later.”
Juggling schoolwork and music is all in a days’ work for the young rockers.
“We love to play so we’re always looking for time to get together and practice,” rhythm guitarist Seth Dixon said.
Preparation for the big show took 6 months, a feat that proud parents Amanda and Mark Dunn applaud.
“They’ve organised this all by themselves which has made us parents really proud,” Mark said.
“Their music is all original so you just don’t get sick of hearing it.
“They practiced that much that when they got to the recording studio they actually cut their recording time by two days; they did such a good job.”
While gearing up for the event, they also scored sponsorship from Kathy Burgstahler Real Estate.
“Kathy has been great in helping them get their album off the ground,” Amanda said.
“She likes looking after kids in Pakenham and wants to do her best to help them out.”
The band’s goal for 2018 is to carve their own notch in the local music scene.
“Hopefully this year we can play more shows, release our album and get our name out there”, Christian said.