We aren’t really a party band, we like to focus all of our attention on the studio or the show.
Paul Castles catches up with Dead Label drummer Claire Percival to find out how the Irish trio are feeling about making their Download debut at Donington Park in June.
Q: Hi Claire thanks for taking time out to talk with Midlands Rocks. Things seem to be going great guns for you all with the news that Dead Lines have been booked to play Hammerfest next year and of course you’re at Download next month.
A: Yeah we are extremely happy with all the good fortune that is coming our way!!! We are so lucky to be asked to play at these amazing festivals! We have a lot to look forward to!!!
Q: How much are you looking forward to Download in June?
A: We are extremely excited!!! It’s a dream come true for us and we can’t believe it’s so close!!! The line-up is amazing too, so on top of playing one of the best shows ever we also get to see bands like System of a Down!!!
Q: The new album is called Throne of Bones, how pleased do you all feel with it?
A: We are so happy with the response to it. We always write music for ourselves. If we’re happy with it and it’s enjoyable to play that’s the main thing. However, it’s awesome when other people like it too! The reviews were amazing! People really got it, that’s so important to us!!!
Q: In what way does it build on your debut album, Sense of Slaughter? Is there a natural progression?
A: The difference is night and day!!! We were very young when we wrote Sense of Slaughter and we also had very little studio experience when we recorded it. We took our time with Throne of Bones and made sure we were happy with everything about it. Musically we had more experience, just like we have more tour experience now with the next one!!!
Q: You worked with Chris Rakestraw (Megadeth/Children of Bodom) – what did he bring to the table?
A: Chris is a rock star! He’s the coolest person you’ll ever meet. He is so talented too. He has a way of getting the best out of you without realising! He has an attention to detail that is so perfect, it makes you better! He has so much to give!
Q: Did things come together as you hoped or were there any studio problems?
A: Yes everything came together the way we hoped. No problems in the studio, just got in and got things done! It was a very enjoyable experience!
Q: The album was recorded in California. How did that all come about logistically and did you have time to party a little or was it full on work in the studio?
A: We aren’t really a party band, we like to focus all of our attention on the studio or the show. Partying is more reserved for when you don’t have band work! We much prefer to be busy with band stuff though. We had to work a little harder to make sure we had the right equipment but it was worth it!!!
Q: The video of the new single ‘Pure Chaos’ has been picked up by the likes of Scuzz, it’s an impressive piece of work with that kind of religious cult warning running through it. Just tell us a little about it.
A: ‘Pure Chaos’ is a really fun song. It’s about Chaos!!! We went to Crooked Gentlemen (The Video Producers) with the song and they came up with the idea for the video! They are very talented and did the song justice!!!
Q: How’s the scene in Ireland at the moment, some great bands around like The Crawling. Does it feel that there’s a buzz with the underground metal scene.
A: Absolutely! The amount of talented bands in Ireland is incredible! It’s underground but it’s getting out there now! More and more bands are starting to go to other countries! It’s brilliant!
Q: Do any particular shows stand out that you’ve played in the last 12/18 months.
A: Metal Days is definitely up there as one of the best shows we played in the last year! That festival is in Slovenia and I highly recommend it to anybody! It’s in this beautiful mountain area with a lake and it’s just full of awesome bands, people and sun!!! It’s a huge festival but it’s almost like a secret! I think anybody who goes to festivals should go there, it’s amazing!!!
Q: The band has almost been going 10 years now – How do you feel about that?
A: Wow!!! It feels good! We have some cool stuff under our belts and a lot more to do!!! It’s amazing how quick time goes when you’re having fun!!!
Q: You’ve been on the road with bands such as Machine Head, Fear Factory and Gojira – How much can you learn and take from experiences like that?
A: There is nothing like playing with bands like that to teach you some things. The professionalism. The dedication. The work! The talent! We learned what works live, what doesn’t! The importance of merch and lights and routing! There is so much to it when your favourite band rolls into town!!!
Q: Do you think your approach to song writing has developed and taken on a bit more depth as the years have gone by?
A: Absolutely!!! We have been meticulous with our writing for years. We have just built a lot more skill. So we can actually do the things we want to now, musically! It’s so much fun, writing!
Q: If you had the chance to support a real major metal act on a big tour, who would you like to take a call from?!
A: Metallica! Every day, it would be the ultimate tour!!!
Q: Thanks for talking with Midlands Rocks! Finally, after Download what plans have you for the rest of this year – I see there are some Euro dates in July?
A: Thank you for having us!!! We have shows in the U.K. and we are playing at Wildfire Festival as well as Aggressive Music Festival and some support slots with Nervosa!!!