I Killed The Prom Queen Bio
The next phase in the life of Australia’s foremost purveyors of modern-day metalcore has begun. With the imminent release of their much-anticipated third album, Beloved, I Killed the Prom Queen are primed for a relaunch of epic proportions.
“We’re back and stronger than ever,” warns guitarist and mainstay, Jona Weinhofen.
By their own admission, I Killed The Prom Queen have endured a decidedly chequered past. They have experienced multiple vocalist changes and other personnel exchanges, side-project sojourns and moonlighting in other bands, hiatuses and break-ups. Yet through it all, their musical output both live and on record has remained thoroughly inspired.
Since forming in Adelaide, Australia in 2000, I Killed The Prom Queen have maintained a standard of excellence that has placed them head and shoulders above the pack. Hitting their peak around 2006 with the release of their sophomore effort, Music For The Recently Deceased, the five-piece garnered local chart success and built a loyal worldwide following.
In 2008, mounting pressure and internal strife led to their premature demise. Yet, ironically, the hugely successful ‘Say Goodbye’ Australian tour, which was to be the band’s swan song, gave them the impetus to continue.
However, by then Weinhofen had joined American metalcore stalwarts Bleeding Through, and was soon to link up with UK heavyweights Bring Me The Horizon. For several years, IKTPQ lay dormant. But they couldn’t stay dead.
I Killed The Prom Queen understand they have something special, something that can’t be found in just any band – a sound, a style, a collective history, a legacy that very few of their peers can match.
“Playing in Bleeding Through and ’Horizon was amazing,” says Weinhofen. “They were all great guys and I got along famously with them, but it just wasn’t the same feeling as the band you started with your mates and continue to do with your best mates.”
In 2011, with new vocalist Jamie Hope (ex-Red Shore) on board, IKTPQ made a stunning return to the live arena, playing the ‘Destroy Music Tour’ across Australia. The positive reaction from fans, coupled with Weinhofen’s departure from Bring Me The Horizon, paved the way for a full-blown resurrection.
August 2012 saw the release of the first new music from the group in six years in the form of the track “Memento Vivere”, which provided a mere glimpse of what was to follow.
In August this year, a revamped line-up of Weinhofen, guitarist Kevin Cameron, vocalist Jamie Hope, and a newly recruited rhythm section comprised of long-time friends of the group, bassist Ben Coyte (ex-Day of Contempt) and drummer Shane O’Brien (ex-Confession, Buried In Verona), headed to Sweden to record with Music For The Recently Deceased producer Fredrik Nordström (Bring Me The Horizon, Dimmu Borgir, At the Gates and In Flames). The result is the formidable new album, Beloved. A veritable tour de force from start to end, Beloved picks up where Music For The Recently Deceased left off, then blows it out of the water. Featuring guest vocal spots by Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork and Jon Vigil of The Ghost Inside, and additional instrumentation such as strings and synths, the 11-track opus stands out among today’s metalcore multitude.
“We’ve really extended ourselves,” says Weinhofen, “But we’ve done it in a way where it’s tasteful and it makes sense with the music. It’s not like we’ve gone from sounding like a metalcore band to sounding like Dimmu Borgir. It still sounds very much like Prom Queen.”
Album intro “Beginning of the End” creeps up slowly, as Hope’s blood-curdling growls are accompanied by atmospheric synth and delicate piano, before the serenity is destroyed by a violent metal storm that rolls into “To The Wolves”, a mind-whirring metalcore assault full of mood swings, tempo tantrums and rhythmical tics. “Bright Enough” launches a three-pronged attack, with a thrashy but catchy riff that turns deathly and violent, leading into a cleanly sung chorus that reaches for the heavens.
“Melior” is a crushing wave of death that’s sure to open up circle pits from hell when IKTPQ play it live. “Thirty One & Sevens” is a signature Prom Queen tune encompassing everything the band does well – monstrous riffing, jackhammer drumming and vocals that run the gamut from possessed death roars to emotive melodic overtures.“Calvert Street” bursts to life in a maelstrom of speed and brutality but then switches gears to allow the voice of Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork to flex its significant muscles during the chorus. In addition to his guest appearance, Strid also assisted the band on the production, in particular on the recording of the vocal tracks.
Named after the Norwegian word for love, “Kjærlighet” sees Hope truly come to the fore. The words, written by Weinhofen, describe the desperation and longing behind a long-distance relationship, which Hope carries off with the most tender, emotional and accomplished singing on the album. The merciless barrage continues through “The Beaten Path”, “Nightmares” and “No One Will Save Us”, the latter featuring a cameo appearance by Jon Vigil of Epitaph stable mates The Ghost Inside.
Inspirational closer “Brevity” brings the curtain down hard. Imbued with dark subject matter, it’s ultimately an uplifting experience, as the vibe swings from impossibly brutal to incredibly uplifting, gently bringing the listener back to grim reality.
Having overcome so much adversity during their 13-year existence, I Killed The Prom Queen have a fresh lease on life and a newfound desire to leave an indelible mark on the world stage. Look out, planet.