INTERVIEW: With Level H frontman Jack Duncanson

Level H have been rocking out hard since 2012 and are one of the best local Gold Coast Metal bands around right now. With their aggressive and melodic sounds these guys are doing really well in the local Metal scene. Shannon-Lee recently spoke to Jack Duncanson about the band, upcoming gigs and the future of Level H.

So Level H has been around since 2012, how did the band first get together?

In year 9 Chris, our drummer moved over from Canada and came to my school and we had a couple of classes together.  We exchanged iPod libraries at one stage and we just couldn’t believe it, we were like oh my god, we listen to like all the same bands! So he plays guitar and drums and at the time I was just playing guitar so we thought let’s have a jam. He had the drum kit at his house so we just jammed away doing Metallica, Black Sabbath and Amon Amarth covers. We are still covering Amon Amarth to this day.

What inspired you to get into music at such a young age?

Metallica’s Death Magnetic. It came out 2008; I would have been pretty young. From when I was a little kid my Dad pretty much shoved rock music down my throat, but Metallica’s Death Magnetic was the first Metal album I owned and yeah, my taste has got heavier and heavier from then on. We try to incorporate some traditional influences into the heavy extreme music we make. 32153189_10209514111249885_2062407385317638144_n

Who are some of your biggest influences?

For the band, I reckon all the guys can agree that Metallica is a pretty big influence that we all share. All of us would agree we listen to them a lot less now but we started there. And for me personally, recently, I have been getting into a lot of Opeth. Mikael Åkerfeldt would be my guttural vocal inspiration. Amon Amarth is a big one for me, I was learning all their songs when I was learning to play guitar in my bedroom.

So the question you knew I was going to ask, where did the name Level H come from?

Level hemorrhoids *laughs* no basically, the idea at first was to be like Level Hell, in like an elevator, but I don’t know, we never really stuck with it and we were never really comfortable with calling ourselves that. So we have just been anything really, Level hemorrhoids works it’s been a joke for a while, *laughs*

The band has had a few lineup changes since you started out, how is the current line up going?

Great! Camo is a true good investment, he says he didn’t even play a lot of guitar before he met us and within a year he had picked it up really well and has put the time and effort into practicing at home and stuff and he is a big help with the song writing. Shayden  only just joined, Odinfest was his first gig with us and he is awesome, he has learnt all our stuff pretty quickly and he has had a solid influence on the writing as well. Chris has been our drummer the whole time, he is great, he plays hard and he is a founding member of the band.

And so you started on guitars but now you do vocals as well?

Yeah, that’s right. I have stepped up to do vocals as well, which I enjoy and hopefully the guys in the band are happy with my efforts. For me personally, I am always trying to better myself there with my vocals.

I saw you guys at Odinfest at The Back Room recently and you really blew me away, you have some more gigs coming up, can you tell me some more about them?

Yes next weekend, we have our first headline gig ever, which is going to be pretty amazing. That is at Kirra sports club, through BTM Management, which is really cool of those dudes. We are playing with some awesome bands, so it is going to be sweet.32231601_10209514107769798_1945581199669854208_n

Then after that is the Metal Of Honor 200 at The Back Room?

Metal Of Honor 200, yes that’s right, and Wartooth are headlining, those guys are awesome, they have come a long way. The Metal Of Honor line up is always good and what Mousey does is amazing. He is a top bloke, he pretty much owns the metal scene in Brisbane at the moment I reckon.

Then June 22nd is The Espionage gig at The Brightside, we are supporting them.

Your EP “Blackhearts” was released in December last year; do you have a favourite track from the EP that you love to play live?

Live? I would definitely say Catalyst. It keeps me on my toes, clean vocals will always stress me out a little and it is a more upbeat song, it is sort of punchy and the middle section  mixes it up a bit, so it is pretty cool.

The Gold Coast and Brisbane Metal scene has some extremely talented and awesome bands and musicians right now, who are some local bands that you love?

Well, Wartooth, from Brisbane, definitely. When I first went to the Metal Of Honor gigs, I saw Wartooth there and we were watching Wartooth gigs anywhere really. When Jackson, one of my closest friends joined the band, on bass, it was just unbelievable, so now every Wartooth gig is a big party! I love seeing those guys and they are doing so well. Headlining the Metal Of Honor 200 gig is great. Caligula’s Horse are a big favourite of mine, they are making some serious waves, if you can still call them a local band. Medics of Pain, I really dig those guys, those dudes just are so nice, they just love the scene and they are always there to support other bands and it is just great.

So my final question, what does the future hold for Level H?

Well, we are writing at the moment, the EP was out in December, which wasn’t long ago, but it feels like forever ago. We have written two songs we are really happy with so it might take us a while to put something together, but we are working on it. In the meantime, we will always be writing and doing as many gigs as we can. We are definitely going to be looking at going interstate and creeping into the other cities. That is a big plan of ours at the moment.

Level H are amazing to see play live and you can catch them at the following venues on these dates:

May 19th – 10 Bands For 10 Bucks – Kirra Sports Club, Coolangatta.

June 9th – Metal Of Honor 200 – The Back Room, Chardons Corner Hotel, Annerely,  Brisbane.

June 22nd – Espionage – Digital Dystopia Tour – The Brightside – Brisbane.


For more information and updates on the band, follow them on Facebook and Instagram:

Photo of Jack taken at Odinfest by Brandon Shields Photography

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