Hailing from Perth, Western Australia, Patient Sixty-Seven is a metalcore-and-more band that is using their dynamic sound and boundary-breaking mindset to rise through this world’s constant noise and chaos. Layering lyrics that capture honest reflections of deeply personal moments and inner-thoughts, on top of strikingly powerful instrumental elements – Patient Sixty-Seven has created something unique and overcome countless challenges to stay true to their voice and to build that sound from the ground up.
The band, comprised of Tom Kiely (vocals), Rory Venville (guitar/vocals), and Declan Le Tessier (guitar), was formed by Kiely in 2014, but admittedly are just beginning to take true strides following the release of their 2018 EP “Four Walls.”
“We’ve really only picked up steam in the last year or so,” Kiely tells heirwaves via Facetime – liaising with a 14 hour time difference, “I came into this with no experience, literally nothing. I just loved music, I loved the idea of being in a band and I wanted to make that happen.”
Looking at the big picture, he sites the EP as the band’s first major ‘building block’ – all leading up to where they are right now, closing out 2019 with two single releases “What’s Left of Us” and “Help Inflicted” and an upcoming record on the horizon in the New Year.
Kiely discloses that the band’s journey leading up to that release, however, has far from been without obstacles – and while their home city of Perth is known for its stunning, idyllic sights – it’s entirely isolated in the grand scheme of the country.
“In Australia you can’t just jump into a car or a van and drive to the next town,” Kiely explains, “If you do, you’ll be driving for days. There’s no entry-level touring type things without flying. The typical path a lot of growing bands take isn’t really on the table.”
Despite the isolation, they’ve found beauty in directing the base of growing their network and fanbase to marketing – specifically via social media. “That’s my favorite part about all of this – it’s honestly connecting with people within the industry and in different circles that you never would otherwise have met,” he exclaims.
Another aspect to the band’s growth has been based in the creative realm of not allowing themselves to be boxed into one specific genre or sound – something they’ve experimented with through their cover songs. Through their rendition of Dua Lipa’s “IDGAF” and Post Malone’s “Wow” – the band has not only opened themselves to a different sound, but a different audience alike.
“Those covers are a really good chance to let loose a little bit,” he says, “I think there’s even a stigma around doing covers to an extent in the music scene that has heavier bands in it because it can be a little bit closed off… but we’re not afraid to take those chances.”
In taking those chances on covers, the band has not hesitated to take immense risks through their original work as well in a way that is entirely personal to them and true to their own voices.
“I love creating,” Kiely confesses, “it’s just building that emotion, and finding ways to connect with the audience through music. For me as a vocalist, that’s through the lyrics.”
Admittedly, his lyrics are full of deeply candid thoughts and stories – and he’s not holding back. “I’m actually really honest and upfront with what I’m saying to the point where someone who’s reading them might feel a little bit uncomfortable because they feel like they’ve read a bit too much,” he shares.
While writing a song that may call for certain pop elements, or “cheesy” elements, or even if it needs to feel heavier – they’re far from afraid to break those limiting boundaries that a genre has been defined by, as long as it remains true to the honest voice and message that they strive to capture.
“The more I started to evolve doing the writing process, I realized I wanted to be honest with myself because I think that brings the best out of the songs,” Kiely says, adding that the vocal performance is so much stronger when you wholeheartedly believe the words you’re singing.
“I want the listener to be able to get an insight into what I’m going through at that moment,” he explains, “I can always stand behind our songs knowing that they’ve been written with meaning behind them and people can find meaning in them.”
“I can always stand behind our songs knowing that they’ve been written with meaning behind them.” – Tom Kiely, Patient Sixty-Seven
Finding that meaning often comes with an introspective search that requires writing the words that are difficult to say out loud for most. Capturing their own personal mental health battles in their lyrics, Kiely admits that it’s very important to him to voice those personal hardships out loud.
“I think there’s so much good awareness going on but really you can never do too much with this in this space,” he explains on the topic of mental health. Sharing his personal experience, Kiely sheds a light on the importance of empowering others to take a look at their mental health and more importantly, on taking the next steps.
“When I wrote the last EP I literally, for the first time in my life, went and saw someone about what I was going through,” he reveals, “Music was a great outlet for me… but speaking to someone was a great outlet as well.”
“I think giving people that opportunity to use music as a chance to self reflect, I think that’s really fucking powerful,” he says.
With an ultimate message of overcoming hardships and becoming the best and most genuine person you can be, for Kiely and the band, that parallels the immense amount of pride that comes from balancing the workload of a full-time job while building a creative outlet that they pour their hearts into.
“There’s been sacrifices,” he admits, “It’s not just touring musicians making that sacrifice… it’s people as well who are trying to make it work as a side hustle when they want it to be their main hustle.”
While the hustle has not been without obstacles, sacrifices, and location limitations – Patient Sixty-Seven has discovered a unique and powerful niche that has the ability to captivate and connect listeners regardless of who they are or where they are from. That niche being: honest transparency in their stories and voices, immense passion in their work ethic, and the refusal to conform to any label that is not authentic to them.
“There’s so much music out there. There’s so many artists. I just think the people that have given us their time, it literally means everything to us,” Kiely says expressing his gratitude in conclusion, “the guys in the band are all genuine hardworking people, and we just hope that you’ll stick around to hear what we’re doing.”
Patient Sixty-Seven’s latest single “Help Inflicted” is available for streaming and download on all platforms now.
*header image by Georgia Sassenfeld