Elm Street: Heavy Metal from the Down Under with an Old School Vibe
Bursting onto the scene in 2011 with their debut full length ‘Barbed Wire Metal,’ Australian old school heavy metal outfit, Elm Street, has been tearing up the pavement with their old-meets-new style that brings the sounds pioneered by bands like Accept to a new generation of metal heads.
Officially formed in 2003 as Raid, Elm Street took shape when a group of teenagers came together with a passion for heavy metal of the 1980’s. They quickly began crafting their style of speedy heavy metal and eventually changed their name to Elm Street, which vocalist Ben Batres says was basically a nod to the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More than a name, Elm Street gave the band’s early fans an idea of what they could expect – horror movie-related lyrics. And though the band’s debut album reflected these themes, their later releases, including their most recent full length nixed the horror elements in favor of more traditional heavy metal themes such as their lives as musicians. According to Batres, the band hopes that the more realistic lyrics will provide for “a better delivery” and allow for the fans to engage the music more. As for the new album:
“It’s awesome to finally get it out. It’s took us two years because we wanted the music to mature compared to our first album when we first came out. To us it’s a world quality product,” says Batres. “It’s something we feel can compete with the big boys.”
Hot off the release of their newest album ‘Knock ‘em out with a Metal Fist,’ the band has been touring their native Australia since early July and will be heading down to South American between January and February, 2017 in support of Grim Reaper. After a few months back home, the band plans to hit the European summer festival circuit and possibly revisit the United States.
With as much touring as the band is doing, one wouldn’t realize that one of the greatest challenges facing Elm Street is just that. Though they’re signed to Massacre Records touring the world doesn’t come cheap. The band works hard to scrape up the cash to keep touring and though life on the road has cost them two members, Batres says the band will keep marching on.
“We knew what we wanted when we started the band, and that’s to make music and play the worldwide stages,” he says of touring and the perils of chasing your dreams. “It’s been tough, but we always managed it. We never say never and we take every opportunity by the balls.”
As for what you can expect from an Elm Street show? Batres says it best:
“We wear our influences on our sleeves. When you see us live you know what you’re going to get. We’re not trying to hide that we’re 80’s metal fans,” says Batres, so expect an over the top heavy metal experience.
Over the years the band has played just about every continent and wowed crowds they thought only existed in their dreams. On the path to success they’ve played with the likes of Iced Earth, Accept, Hammerfall, Night Demon, Skullfist, and Sepultura. And though they loved every second of playing and hanging out with these bands they haven’t yet achieved their biggest goals and that’s to play with Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden, and Metallica.
To achieve these lofty goals, the band is doing everything they possibly can to get the word out and their music heard. As a result, Batres remarks, “Everything we achieve overseas, whether it’s radio play or this interview, we’re really happy about. It’s bright future for us and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”