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Interviews

The Demons Amongst Us – an interview with DEAD MAN’S CHEST

DMC hardcore
With their new 10th Anniversary album ‘Violent Days’, featuring guest appearances from TERROR, MERAUDER, FIRST BLOOD, 100 DEMONS, STAMPIN’ GROUND and HEAVYWEIGHT, London beatdown / heavy hardcore band DEAD MAN’S CHEST are ready to bring in their heaviest, darkest, and most complex material to date! Self-produced and recorded with Stu McKay (MALEVOLENCE, DESOLATED, COLD HARD TRUTH) at Studio 6 near Swindon, England, the record sees the band sounding more raw and visceral than ever. They’re backing it up with a new crushing track called ‘Insufferable’, feat. Heath Crosby of STAMPIN’ GROUND. Listen now and ready the full interview below.

‘Violent Days’ by DEAD MAN’S CHEST comes out October 7th via Beatdown Hardwear label. Down-tuned feedback-driven Slayer-esque riffs and bludgeoning Hatebreed rhythms combine with new vocalist Martin’s distorted, brutal growls to create DMC‘s signature blend of hardcore, metal and punk. The result is a slab of grisly, bone-breaking hardcore that proves that no matter the decade, hardcore is always relevant, savage, and irresistible! Violent Days is the sound of a band that has spent over 10 years brewing an anger that will leave you wanting to crush and confront the negativity of human existence head on!

Photos by Peter Csongedi.

Hey guys! So, you’re back with a new record! Please drop us a couple of lines about the idea for this new offering and how you decided to move onto a new chapter this Summer.

Hi, 2016 is a very special year for us, as we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the band. Exactly 10 years ago, Andy had the first band practice with his friends. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get along with each other. ‘People come, people go’, he remained as the only founding member. Our newest album tells a story of struggle, suffering and hard work that we had experienced during that period.

Has the line-up been stable since the release of “Negative Mental Attitude”? Who’s the newest addition to the DMC crew and what each of you guys bring to the band?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our guitar player & vocalist left DEAD MAN’S CHEST. We have been auditioning for the past two years and no one could understand the vision of our music. Most of them wanted to change the direction & ‘be in a band’. Regarding the position of the guitarist, we did a ‘radical’ change. I have swapped bass for guitar. I have to admit, that this wasn’t easy, as I had to forget all of my bass habits. If I can be honest with you, that was the greatest decision in my life. It was refreshing for me as I became more focused and open to the world.

The second major change in DMC is the vocalist. His name is Martin and he used to sing in the Czech metalcore band ACTION. Personally, I can say he is the best. He works hard, shares new ideas & experience within the band. What more can you ask for?

DEAD MAN'S CHEST!

There were a bunch of guest appearances on your previous record. Did you team up with some outside-band personas this time as well?

Of course! I think this has become our ‘tradition’!

We hate the stereotype of ‘boring hardcore vocals’ – we want to shock the audience with diversity on the album. We have invited Scott Vogel (BURIED ALIVE, TERROR), Heath Crosby (STAMPIN’ GROUND), Anthony Pines (ONE LIFE CREW, INTEGRITY & HEAVYWEIGHT), Jorge Rosado (MERAUDER & AKANI), Carl Schwartz (FIRST BLOOD) to perform guests (there is also a guitar solo performed by Rick Brayall of 100 DEMONS!). We are extremely proud & happy to have them on ‘Violent Days’! We were supposed to have one extra person on the album – Jody Taylor, but he passed away while we were in the studio tracking the guitars. We wrote an acoustic song, especially for him.

Can’t wait to hear that! STRAIN were really essential for the 90s hardcore scene and Jody was clearly a nice guy, plus a crucial persona for the band. How about yourselves? How do you go about songwriting? Do you all contribute or is there a principal leader in your ranks? How do you eventually reach a consensus?

STRAIN were unique for 90s hardcore, a brilliant combination of heaviness & metal riffs. That’s why we wanted Jody to do a guest spot in one of our songs on the new album. Jody was a close friend of Andy’s (drummer) and he spoke with him to help with lyrics for a song. A few hours later, we received a message that Jody had passed away. We were speechless. That day was hard for every one of us, especially Andy. A pure shock.
We came up with an idea to create an acoustic song. My bassist (Calvin) wrote a masterpiece. You can literally feel the soul of Jody coming out of that melody!

The songwriting process is reserved for Andy & I, however at final stage, there are major & minor changes suggested by Martin & Calvin. Usually, I am recording riffs on my PC, sending it over to Andy, so he can familiarize himself with the melody and be ready for band practice. What else can I say. We are the team and we work hard to achieve our goals.

DEAD MAN'S CHEST

What goals or aspirations do you have with this new record?

Our main goal is to play tours, be as professional as possible and have fun doing it, but…

DEAD MAN’S CHEST has always struggled to play shows. I think that, the major problem is our location & genre of music we play. You may ask, why is location a problem? All of us come from a metal/hc background where every band was getting paid for the show. No, we are not trying to be a big band from Nuclear Blast or other label. We are asking for money to pay petrol, train tickets and other basic expenses, there is no profit from it. Unfortunately, these days, the hardcore mentality of promoters has really changed. You are not gonna get paid, unless you are a full time touring band. This is a vicious cycle.

Hard knock life, ain’t it? Speaking of thoughts on harsh stuff around us, lyrically, what can we expect from the new album?

We have never tried to be a ‘cool’ band, we are not even interested in people’s opinions, we do what we do, musically and lyrically. This is what hardcore is about. We have our own path and there’s nothing positive and pop(ular) about our lyrics. DEAD MAN’S CHEST’s lyrics have been consistently rooted in the demons that live amongst us. The harsh reality of life if you will. The hard work we put into our lives and the band itself. All four of us were involved in the writing process and I personally think we came with something deeper and in your face more than ever before.

DEAD MAN'S CHEST

If you could change one thing about hardcore scene these days, what would it be and why?

It’s sad to say, but one thing is not enough to change hardcore and make it as great as it used to be…

No music genre & scene is perfect, and we have to be aware that hardcore has changed throughout the years, in my opinion, for the worse. The examples are easy to notice at shows. If you show up at some local gigs, you will clearly see that the audience is different. Why? ‘Youth crew kids’ will not show up to metalcore shows and vice versa. Same with every other group.

Local bands. At the moment, most of the hardcore bands are boring and I am not saying that, because I am trying to be rude towards others, it is all about their attitude of performing & creating music. As an artist, you have to give 100% to it, otherwise, you lack passion. Practising, rehearsing, investing in musical equipment and being professional, that’s what is currently missing in hardcore.

What are some of the reasons for that? Also, what can we do to resurrect the spirit of the 80s/90s honesty in underground creative arts and change your assessment? Is it even doable?

Andy: It’s impossible to be honest. It would be so hard to resurrect the spirit in these times, especially when internet and iPhones are in charge of our own lives.

You can’t go back to tape trading anymore, when music is available to download on any blogspot. Let’s ask ourselves a question, do they really listen to the mp3s they’ve just downloaded? I don’t think so. Back in the day, you had to wait for the postman to deliver your package with audio cassettes, your patience was rewarded.

Same with zines, they are long gone.

Internet literally ruined the spirit of hardcore.

Haha, and here’s the harsh truth. IDIOTEQ sucks and will never replace the spirit of good old printed zines, haha. I totally agree! :)

Ok, so back to DEAD MAN’S CHEST, when and where can we catch you guys live doing some sick gigs? What are your next steps?

The next show we play is SICK OF IT ALL & KNUCKLEDUST at The Underworld – London (20th August), 29th October – No Way Out Fest in Niesky, Germany and we also play a huge European tour with a popular US band…

Haha, cool, to lift the curtain on any further details? When do you plan to announce the details?

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a confirmation from the promoter, so I cannot really say anything I’m afraid…

Alright, looking forward to it. Thanks so much and have a great gig at The Underworld! Cheers from Warsaw. The last words are yours.

Support your local metal/hardcore/beatdown scene. Support those who put passion in their music!

DEAD MAN’S CHEST Facebook
DEAD MAN’S CHEST Bandcamp
dmcbookings@outlook.com
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