OD – With your North American tour behind you, what is the plan for Dead Label for the remainder of 2015?
CLAIRE – Well, we would love to return to the States as soon as possible to do it even bigger and better this time! The first tour was amazing, but we learned so much over there and we got so much advice from bands and people we met on the road, it would be a shame to put it to waste. We plan to return when we can and do it all again! Right now, we are working on getting a van and then hitting the road. We have some festivals booked, so we plan to tour our way to and from each festival.
One thing America thought us was, there is much more to be gained by playing everywhere you can on a route! We have just received the very last mix from our album “Throne of Bones” and it is being sent to be mastered, so when everything is all perfect we will be preparing to release it! We are so excited as we have been sitting on these songs for a while now. To be honest we actually have actually started writing album three! We plan to busy as hell touring for the next year and onwards, so getting some writing started is no harm! So, to answer your question, practice, tour, tour, practice, tour n release the album!
OD – You had taken part in the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland event last year and made it all the way to the finals and now it has just been announced that you will be performing at this years Bloodstock Festival on the Sophie Lancaster stage, this is a tremendous opportunity for the band, can you talk a little about how this came about?
CLAIRE – Well a lot of it is down to the fact that the people behind Bloodstock are true Metal heads and have a vested interest in helping the younger, new breed of Metal. They are preserving Heavy Metal music and giving bands like us a chance, which is just amazing. We took part in last years competition, like everybody else, with the hope of winning, but either way I knew that taking part would only be a good thing. What I didn’t foresee was the amazing people we met who work behind the scenes to make Metal 2 The Masses Ireland happen. I knew Steve (Dempsey) from Down the Barrel Photography briefly through my best friend Jim who works with him for Planet Mosh, but it was by taking part in the competition we got to see his talent and SEVERE dedication to helping out the Irish Metal scene. Same with Oran (director of Overdrive), and Kev Kirwan (Jetrocker Events). That competition did a hell of a lot for us. We also upped our game a lot, as the talent in the competition was just so high.
When Dead Label made it to the M2TM final last year, all six bands that were taking part were really nervous and rightfully so. I really had my money on Aesect or Killface, but Psykosis were equally welcome winners. But I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed, you take part in a competition to win, and we didn’t. However, usually when things don’t go our way it fuels us to work harder and better. We drove home that evening not defeated, but pumped to work harder and better than we ever had to achieve what we wanted. I don’t think we deserve the Bloodstock slot more than anybody else who took part in the competition and I firmly believe that the talent is here in Ireland for many Irish bands to be gracing the stages of Bloodstock for years to come! Just keep the head down lads and work hard!
The fact that we didn’t win last year, but we are getting to play an even bigger stage this year will inspire our good friends taking part in the competition this year to bring their “A” game for the entire competition. The final this year will be killer and I am confident Vile Regression will be there alongside five other whopper bands, who will be ripping the roof off Fibber’s on May 9th. But no matter what the result is, I really hope our good news inspires all the bands to show Simon Hall (Team Bloodstock) what they are capable of, because that man gives chances!
OD -Do you think that most bands don’t focus enough on the business side of things when looking to secure festival slots and high profile support slots?
CLAIRE -To be honest when you pick up your instrument and you picture yourself playing to thousands of people, the last thing you think of is yourself in a onsie with a cup of tea on the internet. However, the business side of things is down to the band these days, especially until you are really doing well. Always ask yourself, why would someone want to help us if we don’t show the potential we have? There are thousands of awesome kick ass metal bands in the world, but if you are not willing to do the hard work behind the scenes you won’t get heard. The days of a suited up A&R guy showing up telling you that your band are the next big thing are over!
I don’t think a guy in a suit would be allowed into Fibbers anyway ha ha! I think a lot of bands do work hard, especially on social media etc., but its not what most people sign up for and that can only take you so far. A willing band who delegates their work is just as important as having good songs and a good live show! But the internet makes it easy for us all, so the best thing is just to keep your head down, reach out to promoters, bookers, agents, festivals, tour packages etc. and just really believe in what you are doing and have confidence. Present your band to these people the very best way that you can, by using good professional photography, a well designed EPK (Electronic Press Kit) all your links to social media and your web address. This just shows that you are serious about what you do and as a result you are respected and treated with more consideration.
OD – When looking at the Metal scene in Ireland, do you feel that things have improved over the last few years, or would you say that it’s still a challenge to get noticed by promoters, booking agents and the media?
CLAIRE -Its a tricky one; in some ways it is very hard. There aren’t many platforms here in Ireland, but events like Metal to the Masses and the Wacken competition are helping things a lot! It forces bands to befriend each other, which helps the scene and it provides a lot of advertising and hype for bands! Plus it gives the opportunity to go play these festival slots that thousands of bands worldwide are vying for! But in Ireland itself, the only big platform here is a good support slot for a band coming here on tour, even at that it has to be the right band and it has to be maximized because the opportunity are few and far between! But I think the bands that are emerging in Ireland are slowly but surely making a name for themselves and changing peoples opinion about Metal in Ireland.
OD – What would you like to see happen for Irish Metal in terms of media outlets, venues, support slots and promoters?
CLAIRE -I think if there was more radio play for Metal, it would help things considerably. The Moshpit on Dublin City etc. are great, but even more radio programming like this and bigger platforms for these shows would be great. Maybe a little bit of TV exposure, like Scuzz and Kerrang! in the UK but an Irish version! The promoters here are doing a great job, but if they themselves had more support that would be great. EHT, DME, Jetrocker, Bad Reputation work tirelessly, if they themselves could get a little government help, I think it would sky rocket, because they have all done so well independently and they could flourish further with a grant etc. I also think the support slot situation is a mystery, we can only hope that all bands get the chances they deserve!
OD -The video for “Salvation in Sacrifice” was released last month and generated a couple of thousand views in the first week, although it’s a costly investment, how important is it to have a well produced video for bands in today’s music business spectrum?
CLAIRE -I think a music video is worth its weight in gold. I cannot stress how important video has been for us. Our first video shot by Fiaz Farrelly, was the best decision we made. The internet is flooded, people rarely listen to a track without video, why would they when they could check out those hilarious thug life videos! When we did our second video, “Are you Ready to Kill”, this helped us so much. When we went to Spain they were shouting “Are you Ready to Kill” because the promoters had used it to promote us. It was just clear as day that video translates and really connects with people. The higher production enables it to get on TV, so we decided to go to Burning Chariot for the first video off “Throne of Bones”, as we really hoped i would make it to Scuzz and it did! The lads at Scuzz are super helpful and helped us to go through all the broadcast details the right way, so we were in with a good chance of broadcast. It worked! 🙂
OD – The new album “Throne of Bones” is due for release this summer, will you have physical copies available or will you just be releasing it on a digital format?
CLAIRE – We most definitely will have physical copies and are even looking into the possibility of vinyl! We have put a lot of thought into the artwork and track layout etc. Lars Ulrich says in “Some Kind of Monster” that you had to buy the record and get the whole vibe the band are trying to portray with the package. I appreciate the digital age, as it makes bands like us more accessible and gives us better chance of getting some worldwide listeners, but having physical copies is amazing and we will hopefully always release physical copies of every album now and in the future!
OD – As well as playing Bloodstock this summer, Dead Label will also be playing Aggressive Music Fest in Czech Republic and The Unleashed Festival in Ireland with Heart Of a Coward and Red Enemy, can we expect a bunch of new material from “Throne Of Bones” at this time as the album will be out by then and if so can you mention any song titles that would possibly make the set?
CLAIRE -Yes, we already have most of the album in the set, I actually think there are only two tracks on the album that we don’t play live yet! We will certainly be playing “Throne of Bones”, which is my personal favorite to play, “Void”, which is usually at the end of the set or at least the bottom half. “Salvation” is in there all the time too and “Exhume the Venom”, which is a a lot of fun to play live. We are working on some even newer stuff too, so I reckon there will be some of that at Bloodstock for sure!
OD – “Salvation in Sacrifice” was the first video / single from the forthcoming album, will there be any more videos coming later in the year?
CLAIRE -Yes, we really hope to do a second video sooner rather than later, as the whole process is quite long. Creating, filming and editing etc, is a long process, so we will start to look at that in the near future. The hardest part is deciding on what to release. We are all very happy with the whole album, so I think the choice would come down to the song length to try and narrow the choice!
OD -With the festival season fast approaching, most of the touring bands will be making stop offs in Ireland and the UK for side shows, are there any bands that are coming to Europe this year that you would particularly like to tour with?
CLAIRE – GOJIRA!!! Man I would sell a kidney to get a chance to play with those guys! I mean we would be happy to play with any hard working Metal band making their way here, but if we were lucky enough to play with Gojira I think i would never sleep again!
OD -What bands are you all listening to now that we should know about?
CLAIRE – GOJIRA. Sorry. But its true. Also Whitechapel, Lamb of God, Machine Head, Caliban, Pantera, Metallica, Architects and Simon & Garfunkel. You probably know all those bands already, maybe not the last one though? 🙂
OD – For someone that has yet to see Dead Label live, how would you describe the experience?
CLAIRE -Noisy! Ah no, I would like to think we put on an energetic bouncy performance. We like to keep the energy high and get people moving. We like to keep things bouncy! We plan on getting a t shirt saying “Its all about the bah bah’s” as in the type of riff that’s get heads going! I think our songs are relatively easy to get into if you haven’t heard them before. So that may make for an enjoyable time even if you never heard of us ever before!
OD -Who are you most excited to see at this year’s Bloodstock Festival?
CLAIRE -What a question! My friend Conor joined Xerath and I am MAD excited to see him rip the place apart! Maybe Sepultura also, but its so hard to pick just one band! There are so many! I can’t wait! I think Rob Zombie’s performance is going to be wild too!
OD -Finally, can you tell me the one song that literally made you pick up the drum sticks and bring you over into the glorious world of Metal?
CLAIRE -One song…one song…there are drummers, albums, but one song. The song that mad me buy a double bass pedal was “Vim” by Machine Head. Awh man what a song! Have a listen! 🙂
Dead Label will be performing at this years Unleashed Festival, Aggressive Music Festival and Bloodstock Open Air Festival. Find out more about tour dates on the links below.
The bands video for “Salvation in Sacrifice” is now on SCUZZ.
Find out more about Dead Label on the links below:
Words – Oran O’Beirne
Photography – Fiaz Farrelly