Metal-Roos: First of all - it must be pretty exciting to head over to the US for a tour - whereabouts are you heading? Any particular cities or places you're especially looking forward to?
We are really just excited to experience life on the road in a whole new part of the world, not only the landscape and the culture but playing our music to an entirely new audience. We've all got a little bucket list of things we want to check out, however it really will come down to managing what little spare time we have between shows to experience as much as possible. Sleep will definitely be the enemy!
Metal-Roos: How do you think you would have reacted when you first played with Darkc3ll to know that you'd be heading over to America with your band only a few years down the track?
I am the most recent addition to the band, joining just in time for Dead of Winter Festival in July 2013 so for myself at least, it has been a whirlwind journey. We've all been in the scene in various ways for at least a decade so opportunities like this really just drive us to push to the next level. I think it's safe to say we all have big dreams when we start out in this game, but to see it actually come to fruition, that is something to cherish.
Metal-Roos: It must be pretty exciting to head over to the US for a tour - whereabouts are you heading? Any particular cities or places you're especially looking forward to?
It truly is an exciting time for us at the moment, 2015 is shaping up to be a year to remember! I can't go into detail about places and dates as yet, as nothing has been officially released. [Update: tour dates now available at bottom of page] It will be the most concentrated run of shows we've ever done.
Metal-Roos: Can you tell me a little bit about your new EP? What should the American crowds expect from Darkc3ll when they come to see you play?
The new EP, 'Devolve Destroy' consists of 5 brand new tracks that build on the sound we have established over the last two albums. These songs are made for playing live and we cannot wait to unleash them. Anyone who comes to a Darkc3ll show can expect a party. We love what we do and don't hold back when the energy starts to flow.
Metal-Roos: A few Australian Metal bands head over to Japan or Europe for their tours. America's a big undertaking! How did you decide to head to the USA for your tour?
We have been working towards an international tour for some time as it is the next logical step in our growth as a band. We were offered the tour and with the new EP about to be released it just seemed like the right time.
Metal-Roos: From what I've gathered, this will be Darkc3ll's first international tour, although it's not the first time you've hit the road - for fans not so acquainted, Darkc3ll have previously toured with the Soundwave festival - how is this going to be different from your Australian tour? International touring sounds like a logistical nightmare!
This is Darkc3ll's first international tour. We have toured Australia pretty extensively over the last year on the back of our album 'Dark Verses' which did include the national run with Soundwave last year. I imagine the most contrasting difference between touring Australia and somewhere like the U.S is both the length of the tour and the concentration of shows. We can cover most major parts of Australia over a few weekends, whereas this tour will see us away from home for a month, living on the road and playing nearly every night, it is pretty much the experience most musicians dream of from the moment we start our first band. Logistically, yes it is a heavy undertaking, one which we are in the thick of right now, organising travel, visas, accommodation, itineraries, the last few weeks has been a bit of a blur. It is a lot of work, but the end justifies the means.
Metal-Roos: Tell me about the other bands on the lineup - anyone there you're particularly keen to share the stage with, or have a past history with?
We toured with Ill Nino on Soundwave so it will be great to spend some time with those guys again. The tour also includes Kittie, 36 Crazyfists, Davey Suicide, Motograter, Thira, Lydia can't Breathe and a heap of special guests at various shows. It's one hell of a lineup.
Metal-Roos: The touring schedule sounds really intense - playing show after show for a month. Many metal acts are notoriously taxing for the players, especially to put on lively and engaging shows, or playing the kit. Some bands I've spoken to really practice themselves to the extreme, but others take a different approach of being in a stress-free mindset before the tour. How do you feel about playing so many gigs? Have you guys going to approach such a marathon?
We usually approach a tour with some weekly rehearsals in the month or two leading up to the first show. This is of course going to be the most extensive touring we've done so far so we'll really be focusing on bringing our 'A' game for the Australian shows. I think that will definitely help centre us before the Civil Unrest tour.
Metal-Roos: Can you tell me about travelling as a drummer? One of the obstacles many touring metalheads I've spoken to face is dealing with different kits at every single show, or being stuck with a kit for a whole tour which doesn't quite suit them.
As a drummer, it isn't always feasible to take your own gear, maybe cymbals and kick pedals at most. I have always embraced the opportunity to play different drum kits. I understand the solace that comes with playing one's own gear but I think it is important to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then in order to grow as a musician. Another very important factor of being a touring drummer is to create relationships with fellow drummers, you never know when you might need to use someone's gear or someone may need to use yours. One of the most important things in this business is to network, and for drummers touring without the bulk of their own gear, it is essential.
Metal-Roos: There's a fair bit of travel time involved in tours, driving/training/flying from city to city. How do you wind down from shows, and how do you spend your time when travelling between gigs?
Downtime between shows is often spent driving/flying to the next show, we run a pretty tight schedule when touring Australi , more often opting to drive/party through the night than to spend money on a hotel room. When driving, it's all about the tunes, Jesse will often bust out his 'Devilicious' mixes to get us through the wee hours of the morning. I expect the same for us in the U.S., except maybe a few extra stops to take in some sights.
Metal-Roos: Also - if money or shipping was no obstacle at all, what would you bring back with you from the states?
I could definitely deal with bringing back a new drum kit! We wish the lads in Darkc3ll the best for their US tour! Here's a list of their dates! Jun 3 - The Black Sheep - Colorado Springs, CO Jun 4 - The Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO Jun 6 - Skyway Theatre/Studio B Minneapolis, MN Jun 7 - Mojoe's Joliet, IL Jun 8 - Q&Z Expo Center - Ringle, WI Jun 9 - Emerson Theater - Indianapolis, IN Jun 10 - The Reverb/Spicoli's - Waterloo, IA Jun 12 - The Music Factory - Battle Creek, MI Jun 13 - The Warehouse - Clarksville, TN Jun 14 - The Ready Room - St. Louis, MO Jun 16 - Trees- Dallas, TX Jun 17 - Scout Bar - Houston, TX Jun 18 - The Dirty Dog Bar - Austin, TX Jun 19 - 210 Kapone's - San Antonio, TX Jun 20 - Jake's Back Room - Lubbock, TX Jun 21 - Tricky Falls - El Paso, TX Jun 23 - Club Red - Phoenix, AZ Jun 24 - LVCS - Las Vegas, NV Jun 25 - The Whisky - West Hollywood Jun 26 - Fulton 55 - Fresno, CA Jun 27 - Club Hydra - Long Beach, CA Jun 28 - Corona, CA - M15 Concert Bar
Interviewed by Duncan Therkildsen Jones
Ever since Duncan Therkildsen Jones discovered metal at the age of 14 he's been obsessed with putting it under the scalpel. His twin passions of Heavy Metal and classical music saw him found a Sydney Speed metal band, and complete an honours degree in music studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of music. He is currently studying a Masters degree in Musicology at the Con, specialising in ethnomusicology/ethnography of Heavy Metal.
Jul 15, 2014
Interview with Darkc3ll - Industrial Rock 'n' Rollers Darkc3ll from Brisbane are recording their new album. Metal-Roos spoke to singer Jesse Dracman.
Metal-Roos: How long have Darkc3ll been together for?
The band has been together just for two years. Darkc3ll is predominantly Postmortem Matt and myself - we initiated it as a studio project and we wrote and recorded what became "Reboot:Repeat". And yeah, next came an opportunity up to support Combi Christ in the USA and thought what a great chance to teats out the material live and support one of our favourite artist. Looking back since then, it's been a awesome ride.
Metal-Roos: How would you describe Darkc3ll's music?
Gotta be careful my choice of words here... in a nutshell... unrelenting, industrial awesomeness... no, to be honest, we're the kind of band that make hate sound fun. That's what a music critic once wrote about us and it kinda stuck, you know. We have recently started being given the tag of a modern day KISS. I take that as a huge compliment. What better way to be compared to than one of my favourite bands? Well, I'll take that rather than be compared to 20 bands that sound all the same.
Metal-Roos: What about your image... to me I can see the KISS influence but can see more of a Rob Zombie feel going on?
We're the type of band that's not shy to admit that we have influences. People would tell us that we sound like other bands and we're like, yeah, you know what we do and do you know why? Because we're the type of band that likes to celebrate the bands that made us want to play music. So to come to the image: It has been an evolution, an amalgamation of all of our heros. It felt right... let the image be as loud as the music. So for us the music has alway taken the front of the equation and the theatrics and image is secondary.
Metal-Roos: I have seen of Facebook updates on the new album. How is it progressing?
Yeah, it's awesome. Can't get enough of it! Don't get me wrong, we love playing live on stage but we absolutely love being in the studio. It's a sanctuary for us where we get new ideas. We play around with them and we have a great vibe. Yeah, it's coming along really well. The album's pretty much written, so we're in the process of recording the tracks now.
Metal-Roos: What about a title for the album... anything yet or still too early?
There are ideas but nothing concrete yet. So basically the title will come when the tracks come to life. Right now we have a pretty good idea on the direction. All I can say about the album in the moment is that it's gonna be high energy step up for us.
Metal-Roos: What was your Soundwave experience like?
Man, to put it into one word: surreal. The whole experience, you know, for us it was our Rocky Balboa moment - getting that one shot of a lifetime to get out there and step into the ring with a slot of bands we have looked up to for a long time. To gain the respect of these band is phenomenal. When we played in Brisbane, Phil Anselmo from Pantera was on the side of the stage checking us out, loving it. The guys from Living Colour became friends and big fans. Rob Zombie and the guys from Korn, they all got curious so came to have a look. We bonded with a lot of these bands, yeah, so a pretty surreal experience.
Metal-Roos: I saw Duff McKagen at Soundwave when Alice in Chains were playing and was awestruck...
It's pretty cool, you know, like you would be backstage and all of these guys would be walking around and the fact that they treat you like normal people... well, they are normal people but have an interesting career. It's the small things like I'd be walking around and someone would come up to me and ask how my day's going. I'd be sitting down to breakfast with the guys from Five Finger Deathpunch just shooting the shit. It gave me a good insight into things... it really cemented that this is what we want to do - as long as we get to create the music we love and get to play in front of an audience, no matter how big or small, we will take it.
Metal-Roos: At Soundwave I saw Darkc3ll play a Nine Inch Nails cover. Are they one of your musical influences?
The intention of playing a cover was completely by accident. It's one of those things we would always joke about playing around in the jam room. It soon became a reality for us and we found NIN a huge influence on us. For anyone who loves industrial music, they will cite Nine In Nails as an influence or at least say something good about them. For us Head like a Hole was just an anthem for a new generation. For us we honoured that. Every time we get to play it it's an absolute pleasure and the audience loves it as well.
Metal-Roos: If you had the choice to open for any band who would you choose?
Ah, that's a good one, well. We would love to open for Marilyn Manson. We have been privileged to open for Wednesday 13 and Rob Zombie and some of our favourite bands already but if we could add Manson to that equation, it would be phenomenal.
Metal-Roos: What was it like to see the video for "Death of Rock'n'Roll" on channel V?
Mate, I shit myself it was really cool! It's one thing seeing your clip on YouTube but to see the channel V logo in the corner and seeing it on air... it was a really cool feeling. Days like that you get to know that the hard work pays off. It's the little moments like that that make it worthwhile.
Metal-Roos: What about working with Dan Jensen (Darklight Productions) on the project?
He's an absolute maniac - a true gem. He has the mind of a mad scientist and is pleasure to work with. We have worked with him on a couple of occasions now. He's definitely on the rise as a filmography talent. He previously was a finalist in a short film festival and he is definitely one of the good guys to work with/for.
Metal-Roos: Where do you see Darkc3ll heading in the future?
Onwards and upwards, I say. We're like a juggernaut at the moment... there's no signs of us slowing down. It's a very exciting time - like a high powered freight train heading at a hundred miles an hour. We're looking towards the future making more records, touring a lot more and having as much fun while we are doing it.
Metal-Roos: I would like to say a huge thanks, Jesse, for your time and wish Darkc3ll all the best for the new album with many more to come... and more tours and more hell raising.