Australia. A country so baron that a national tour is only a tenth of the touring potential of any European tour. Add in a population of 24.6 million people, and like all places in the world, hundreds of bands with an even less likely chance of breaking out, and it well and truly becomes a place where drive and determination are the make or break for any musician trying to get recognition.

But luckily for Melbourne’s Windwaker not only have these key ingredients embedded into the very core of their band, but also anthemic metalcore hits that as a fully independent band have already landed them in a #3 in the Independent Aria chart – one of the most, if not the most recognised music achievements down under.

“You’ve got to be smart about pressing on” – Will King 

“Look, the whole situation is mind boggling to say the least.” Muses vocalist Will King. “The reaction was one we originally humoured, like ‘imagine if’. These were all achievements we were all joking about being so out of reach.” And whilst it seems that the consistent Triple J playlisting, sold out shows, and turning the heads of the metalcore community across the globe was once out of reach, it seems that for the five Australians Windwaker is more than just a joke that’s been taken too far. It is five years of hard work, teeth cutting challenges, and overcoming complications that has now come into fruition. “Losing members over the years has been a struggle.” Will is quick to comment. “For a solid year we almost had a different line up at every show. It was embarrassing. You’ve got to be smart about pressing on.”

But embracing the forever turning wheel of band members, and cementing their line up, served alongside an honest approach to self-humility, has all worked out for Windwaker. Parkway Drive slept on pavements the other side of the globe, Polaris went under the radar for years, and Hellions took almost a decade before having ears rested firmly upon them. “In Australia especially it only takes a handful of people, your Parkway Drives and Northlanes, to do something influential and really shake things up.” Will remarks with a sense of hopefulness when asked about the mass of metalcore upon their home soil. But like all scenes across the world, sometimes following ‘the formula’ is also met with a more brash response. “The funny thing about the Australian scene is if you sound too much like another band you’ll 100% be called out on social media. We have a very loving scene but also a savage one.”

“We have a very loving scene , but also a savage one.”

One of the key agendas for Windwaker, and behind their success is the sense of comradery they’ve been bringing to not just the Melbourne, but the national scene. “It’s (supporting your scene) everything!” Will is quick to add when asked about the importance of their ever-growing national scene. “The heavy audience makes up a very small percentage of listeners in Australia, but boy the community supports each other. Australia is building such a cool platform for just launching bands straight out of the country one-by-one, and it makes our scene seem like some sort of crazy machine; it really is.”

With their debut record, Empire being less than a month old it seems that Windwaker have become one of the aforementioned bands currently being catapulted into the stratosphere and onto the top tier of fine Australian metal, with now an almost equally global and home grown audience behind them. But this doesn’t mean that ego has come into play any time soon for the five young men. “I guess it comes down to not identifying with who people think you are, and always keeping on top of what we set out to do. We’ve gotten a lot further as a band than we ever thought we would.” Humbly reflects Will. “So anything from here is just an awesome bonus. I’d say we’d all be devastated if the ride suddenly ended. And one day it will – we are very conscious of that.”

Empire is out now. Stream it below: 



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