Dead Label – The band that are building their own empire.

Posted on by Oran

Just take one look at what Dead Label have achieved in their short career and it will put most bands to shame. The Dublin based three piece have a relentless driving force that has seen them open for Machine Head, record their forthcoming new album “Throne Of Bones” with famed producer/engineer Chris Rakestraw (Parkway Drive, Huntress & Danzig) and complete a North American tour! The words “no” or “not possible” just don’t seem to be in the bands vocabulary.


Overdrive caught up with Dead Label during the tail end of their North American tour on a day off, as the band enjoyed the relaxing surroundings of a Starbucks coffee house in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. The three piece that consists of Dan O’Grady (Bass/Vocals), Danny Hall (Guitar) and Claire Percival (Drums) are in good spirits while missing home a little and are looking forward to packets of Tatyo’s, Irish Tea and some proper piss taking banter from their mates back home.

OD – Let’s start with how you came about to record in America?

Claire – To me, America has always been this illusive mysterious place for European bands, especially bands of our level so when the opportunity for us to come over here and get a glimpse behind the curtain arose we jumped on it. We are signed to a small independent record label called Nuerra Records who believed in us enough to get us over here and put down these songs that we have been demoing for nearly 2 years. They felt it would be more beneficial to us to come state side to record so we could include a full US tour at the same time.

OD –  The title of the new record, is it still “Throne Of Bones” and if so, what is the meaning behind the title?

Claire – The new album is called “Throne of Bones”. We took the name from the opening track on the album. The song itself is about corrupted governments and war and innocent civilians getting caught in the cross fire, but mainly we used it because this is a metal record and metal records have to have cool names (ha ha).

OD –  With the recent recording process with this album, can you elaborate on how much it differed from your previous albums?

Dan – This time round the recording process was a lot more intense than anything we had done before. There was a lot of, “do it again and do it again”, to get that one take that had the tone we were looking for. We have gotten away with murder on previous recordings we had done in the past, but this time our producer Chris Rakestraw really put us through our paces abd it has really paid off and you can hear it in the performances. We also switched studios half way through recording which is something we never did before. We were in East/West studios for the drums to get that live big drum sound and for guitars bass and vocals we moved over to Sonora Studios in Los Feliz CA.

OD – Claire is it true that you are using Dave McClain’s (Machine Head) kit and if so how did this come about?

Claire Percival  - Dead Label

Claire Percival – Dead Label


Claire – It is true. Dave really came through for us. I’ve known Dave for a couple years now and it’s such an honor to be able to call one of my idols a friend. When I was over in Edinburgh to see them on their recent European tour, Dave and I got to talking about what was I going to do for drums when we came to the states. After a killer show and couple of beers, he offered me one of his Yamaha kits that I play back home. The dude is an absolute legend. So when we got to America, we rented a car and drove up to Machine Heads practice space in Oakland to meet Dave and his wife Belle and their dog Indy to pick up the kit. Those guys treated us so well, they bought us dinner and gave us a god awful hangover too. We can’t thank them enough.

OD – I understand that you have been friends with Machine Head for some time now, do you ever think there will be a chance for you to do a full tour together?

Claire – Machine Head are one of our biggest influences in playing music and if the opportunity ever arose for us to play together again we wouldn’t hesitate to answer the call. As I’m sure, no metal band in their right mind wouldn’t hesitate either.

OD – You are currently on tour in America and have been for quite some time now, how did you come to booking so many dates being from Ireland?

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Dan (left) & Danny (right) of Dead Label


Dan – Claire did all the booking by herself. She really did a great job in getting in touch with promoters in different cities and states and putting together this whole tour. Next time we just need to work a little on our routing hahaha.

OD – How has the gigs been going?

Danny– The shows have been great. Some more then others like weekend shows doing better then week day shows. Nobody really knows who we are over here yet. We are basically starting from scratch in a new market, but people have been showing up to the shows getting pits going, buying merch talking to us after shows and wanting to know when we were coming back so to us. It’s been really successful and we have been having a great time.

Dan O'Grady - Dead Label

Dan O’Grady – Dead Label


OD –  How much different is the live Metal scene in America to what is happening over here in Ireland?

Dan – America and Ireland both have really good metal scenes. Where America wins is its size and population. There are just so many people here that people show up to things. People go out to shows whether they are big bands or local bands. A lot of the places we have been playing big bands don’t really pass through that often so when there is a local metal show on people show up and support the bands.

OD –  Do you have any tips for bands that are looking to break out of the same day in day out routine in Ireland and get to play new territory?

Claire – Just do it. If you want it just go for it. Make it happen for yourself, because it’s not going to fall into your lap. It’s not easy and it can be extremely difficult at times, but it will benefit you in the long run. And never underestimate the power of a good quality music video too.

OD –  When can we expect to see the new album out in 2015?

Claire – We want it out as soon as possible. We are pushing for a January/February release date, but we will have the single out before the end of the year. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We are very proud of this album.

OD – Will you be planning an Irish or European Tour upon it’s release?

Danny – We are planning to be hitting the road hard, as soon as the album is out. We already have a few European festival shows booked for next year with plenty more to come.

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OD – In terms of artwork for the album, do you have a concept in mind and if so can you elaborate on it?

Dan – The artwork is being put together by Ken Adams of K3n Designs (Lamb of God, Suicide Silence, Hell Yeah). It’s going to be an actual throne of bones as the focal point of the image with tapestries and cartouches through out the booklet to tie it all together to a Medieval-ish back drop. What we have seen so far has just been rough ideas, but they are fantastic and I’m not remotely worried about the artwork as I know Ken will knock it out of the park.

OD – When can we expect you back in Ireland?

Claire – We will be back in Ireland in December at the very latest because that’s the limit of our visa.

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OD –  Overdrive are launching the Metal 2 The Masses competition in the next few weeks with the intention of 36 bands taking part this year to play the festival, will Dead Label be interested in taking part this year?

Claire – We had an awesome time playing in the competition last year. We got to play with some great bands and made some great friends and we would recommend all bands looking to promote themselves further to take part, but with the album coming out next year and how busy we are planning on being, we won’t have the time to commit ourselves to the competition unfortunately. We would like to wish all the bands that do take part this year the best of luck.

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Words – Oran O’Beirne

Photography  – Selection of works by photographers (See tags on pics)

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