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“Everyone has been really cool about it, we’ve been received warmly and we couldn’t have asked for more at this junction. A lot of people that we haven’t spoken to in years have gotten in touch with us about listening to this record – which is fucking cool.”


Opera Obivia is their most defining piece of work to date and one of the most exciting things to happen in Australian music this year. It is a collection of carefully intertwined songs, structured as a theoretical presentation that tackles the vast subject of life. There are highs and lows with everything in-between – just how life can be.


“When we were in the studio we realised that we could intertwine all the songs into a very loose opera,” Gravolin explains.


The album flows effortlessly from one soaring chorus to another. It can be viewed as a celebration of experiences and memories that is sure to stir an emotion in all of us. The album opens with a song titled ‘24’ that then leads you on a journey to then conclude with
 the titled track ‘25’. It is evident that this record is a direct reflection of where the Hellions mindset has been the last year or so. Gravolin likes to think of the album as a “celebration of consciousness,” as each song is inspired by lessons that he’s learnt with each passing year. Recorded at Karma Sounds Studios in Thailand, Gravolin expressed that there was no hesitation to record overseas – something that they have done in the past.


“The main reason for recording in Thailand is to work with Shane Edwards. Anthony and I started working with him ten years ago with a band called The Bride. Everything I’ve done musically, Shane has recorded. He possesses inside knowledge to how our brains work. He knows what we are tying to do before we do it. He has a crazy insight to our music and you can’t really put a price on that. That’s why we recorded with him in Thailand. We wouldn’t be able to find that anywhere else and it doesn’t hurt that it’s paradise there. All up we were there for probably just shy of a month, I wasn’t complaining.”


Before arriving at the studio, Gravolin fleshes 
out the skeletons of every song, musically and lyrically. This can take him anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Once he is happy with the content he then presents it to the rest of the band, where they will “pick at it again and again and then reassemble it.” He acknowledges that it is possibly the most frustrating way to go about it, but he’s also found it to be the most rewarding way.


“The cardinal difference this time around is that it took so much more time. We put so much more effort into it. It would have to be hundreds more hours and more perspectives from people that we admire within the scene, but I couldn’t be happier with what we have produced.”


The perspectives that Gravolin refers to are the collaborations on Opera Oblivia with artists Jonathon Deiley (Northlane), Sam Bassal (Ocean Grove) and Duane Hazell (Heroes For Fire). There’s one song on the record that Gravolin and the band have a particularly strong connection with.


“I don’t mind saying that the final song, 
25, is my favourite and everyone else’s favourite. We all feel like we struck oil with it – there’s something about it that makes us all feel the same way. Maybe that comes from all the years we have spent writing music. I feel like this song represents what we set out to do within this album, there is just something about the chorus that’s just got me.”


Hellions are about to set out on a headline tour with sights set on Europe and the US. “We have some plans in the pipelines, it’s just a matter of fleshing it out.” Hellions have put in the hard yards, confessing to me that they’ve been sitting on this record for months while keeping busy with European festivals and writing – yes, they are writing again. 
“It’s a very natural thing for me to keep writing, Gravolin explains. “We’ve also learnt by now that
it creeps up really quickly to start the next phase. The better prepared you are, the more ideas you have, the better off you’ll be. Obviously a quick turnaround is the goal so all of that helps.”


Presently, Hellions are itching to get started with their national tour and show fans what they have been working on, their proudest accomplishment to date.

Opera Oblivia is out now via UNFD. Hellions are currently touring nationally. For tour dates visit facebook.com/hellionsaus.