One of Australia’s founding fathers of heavy metal is about to unleash his first new music in 22 years!
Steve Hughes, known to the world for the last two decades as the cutting edge stand up comedian who pulls no punches when it comes how he sees the state of current events, was one of the leading lights of the early heavy metal scene in Australia.
Way back in ’82, a bunch of rag tag metalheads from the western Sydney wastelands began to communicate with the rest of the world’s emerging metal scene. While everyone was into ROSE TATTOO, BUFFALO or AC/DC, Steve and his mates went after the heaviest stuff they could get their hands on and finding nothing local to satisfy their hunger, created it themselves.
Enter, SLAUGHTER LORD. ‘Perhaps the earliest and undoubtedly one of the most legendary of Australia’s extreme metal contingent’ – Brian Giffin: The Encyclopaedia of Australian Heavy Metal.
After SLAUGHTER LORD, Steve pummelled his drums for Australia’s most internationally recognised metal act of the era, MORTAL SIN, and then moved onto black metal mystics, NAZXUL before ultimately landing behind the kit playing with indie rockers, Presto.
Then in 1999, Steve packed up and moved to Ireland to begin his stand up career. While in Dublin, the opportunity to play with Ireland’s biggest metal export, PRIMORDIAL, lit the creative fires in Steve and ultimately led to the creation of ETERNUM some 17 years later.
It was a slow burning fire.
While making people laugh in comedy clubs, metal festivals and the like, Hughes never lost his metal roots and eventually, piece by piece crafted the songs featured on his debut EP Alone but for the Breath of Beasts.
Teaching himself guitar, Steve wrote all the songs himself and even recorded them alone. Literally. The drums on Beasts were recorded live with no backing track. Steve memorised the songs in his head and played the drums with no guides, no click tracks, nothing. Then he filled in the guitars and vocals only calling on fellow NAZXUL band mates Pete Petric for a few guest solos and Lachlan Mitchell to produce.
In 2020 things have come full circle for Steve. Musician, comedian and back to musician. Although anyone who is a fan of Hughes knows the two are inextricably linked. Heavy Metal Comedy was the name of one of his official comedy releases after all, but the themes in Steve’s comedy have always been aligned with some of those that are deeply rooted in heavy metal lyrics. Tyranny, globalism, oppression, the NWO, you know, all the good conspiracy stuff. Go listen to another of his stand up releases Conspiracy Realist for more.
Steve explains the lyrical concepts behind the songs, “The EP lead track “Beyond What You See” is about the Cabal’s efforts in mind control and information versus humanity’s shamanic spirituality. Confronting the shadows and dualism that exists there and realising you are more than the three dimensional existence they will have you believe you are.
“‘High on Fire’ is just pure anger and goes back to the second Gulf War in 2003. It’s my vitriol against the lies and actions of those who led us into that unjust conflict, they were literally ‘high’ on fire.
“The dark side of monotheism is the topic of ‘Jesus Serpent Blood’. How those ‘most holy’ of institutes are rotten to the core and have been infiltrated at the highest level.
“‘In Lies We Trust’, that’s certainly true right now. Fake news is all around us, people blindly following their leaders, even when they are caught lying to them. The Antichrist is real kids.
“‘Hail the Gods’ is my nod to the old school of metal. The originators and pioneers. Those like me who were there at the start. Others have made lyrics from bands and song titles before but it’s fun to do and is for the OG’s like Greg Morelli – RIP. There’s nothing else to it, here’s some riffs, go bang your head.
“The last track is ‘Inverted Reason’ and sums up the world in 2020. Mind control, fear, the sense of loss we all face in a number of guises and the physical and spiritual corruption bestowed on us by the very people we ask to protect us.
The artwork on Beasts features Steve with a demonic hand on his shoulder. He explains the concept; “It’s holding up that mirror to society and to ourselves. The idea comes from my mental breakdown and realising that the false self has been in charge for too long. Pandering to what people what from me, from us. You might thing you’re in control but it’s the ego, the demon, that’s steering the ship and you have to take control back, otherwise you’re just headed for disaster.”
As for the title, Alone but for the Breath of Beasts, itself? “You’re alone, look after you don’t worry about the outside, focus inward, do it for yourself by yourself….no one is coming to save you!”
And of Steve Hughes – ETERNUM as the name of the project? “Eternum was the last track on the first NAXZUL album so I named it that. Just like Motörhead was a HARKWIND song, so I guess I pulled a Lemmy!”
Alone but for the Breath of Beasts is out now via Dinner for Wolves smarturl.it/eternum