Interview by Mike Andes
Photos by LizM Photography
Dead Mens Dreams played an awesome set at the all day festival held at Club Firestone on Saturday, June 5th, a birthday bash for Alex (Abra Cadabra Entertainment). And even though I wasn’t able to catch up with the birthday boy to celebrate, DMD was no strangers to the stage and their performance is testament to that. Now a 5 piece band, DMD has come back to show a different side of them as they welcome a new bassist Mike Vettel and leaving guitarists Alex and Claude to run back and forth with killer riffs. As most of us on the metal scene know, this is not new news but a collaboration and understanding that all the members of the band are ecstatic about. I was able to catch up with DMD for an interview and get an insight on how things are going.
OB: Dead Mens Dreams has taken some time off of the music scene to write and record one song every few months. So, the burning question everyone wants to know is when can fans expect a new full length CD?
DMD: Well, I think what we’ll be doing is releasing an EP, maybe 4 or 5 songs, maybe some live stuff as well. We recorded the Dead Are Dreaming in 3 weeks straight, before we played our first gig, and while it was a great experience we also were under a huge time restraint and looking back as artist do, there’s a lot we would have done differently. So this time we’re going song by song. Making sure we get the best representation of DMD.
OB: Back in January 2010, DMD was featured on Native Noise promoting the song “Prophecy Rising”. Any plans to go back on the air to promote any new songs or should fans expect to wait for the CD to come out? And if so, will you be showing off the new material at shows?
DMD: Yes, we actually just recorded a new song called Lifeless Eyes at Catacomb Studios in Orlando, which is where we recorded Prophecy. It’s been part of our live set for a while now and it always gets a great reception so we decided to give it a proper studio recording, we’ve just got a few tweaks to make and it’ll be done. L.T and Supa Dave have always been very supportive and have given us an open invitation whenever we’ve got some new stuff to play, so I think we will go back to Native Noise when the track is ready.
OB: DMD shot a video for “Prophecy Rising” back in 2009. Any future plans for another video?
DMD: We’d love to finish Prophecy first!! Actually we did most of the shooting for that and then Mike joined the band, so we decided to put off finishing the shoot. It’s a great song and a great concept behind the video and we’re all anxious to get it done.
OB: How would you describe the new music DMD is writing and what can fans expect?
DMD: The new stuff is leaps and bounds ahead of what we wrote on the first record. It’s a very cliché thing to say “it’s the best stuff we’ve written”, but it’s also true. As soon as Mike joined the band, Alex moved over to guitar. Claude and Alex do some pretty interesting playing together. All of the riffs from the first record came from Claude, so this time around he’s free to pick and choose his best stuff and bounce ideas off of Alex. We’re pretty happy with the 2 guitars sound, it’s how we always envisioned our sound. Heavy riffs, lots of harmonies, and some haunting vocals from Strain, that’s what fans should expect.
OB: Any new shows planed for this year or is the band going to continue concentrating on writing and recording?
DMD: Nothing planned as of now, but we’re a live band so we’ll always be playing. We do have plans to hit the studio again this summer but I think we’ll be playing some gigs too. We’ll also be throwing some new songs into the set to see what works and what doesn’t.
OB: Can fans look forward to any new merchandise? (T-shirts, hats, stickers)
DMD: Strain is our mastermind artist and he has some WICKED new shirt designs! I’m really excited about what he’s come up with. We’ll have those available soon. Aside from getting the jest of what has been going on from the DMD camp, I sat down with Mike Vettel to get his perspective on what it’s been like for him since joining the band some 9 months ago.
OB: As a well-known band in Central Florida, What’s it like being with DMD?
Mikey V: It’s a lot of fun. I have a great time. There’s a lot of exposure and it’s a great way learn different ways to write. Their rhythms are completely different so it’s a complete learning experience for me. I’m incorporating the way they play which contrasts my style of playing and that blend can only produce a better music style.
OB: Do you think your style of playing compliments their style?
Mikey V: The only proper answer to that is yes. If I didn’t think yes, that would mean that I thought I was a horrible musician, so, I have to say yes.
OB: Where do you see yourself in the years to come with DMD?
Mikey V: I always want the best of the best. I would never play with some one if I didn’t think the best of the best wasn’t possible. I spent 6 years with my last band that was the best of the best. Being part of the best of the best, I expect to pay my bills. I expect to be able to take care of my loved ones, based on what I love to do.
OB: So being with DMD has made you happy?
Mikey V: I like their music, they’re fun, they’re great guys, and they know what they’re doing.
OB: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start a band or someone who wants to join a band?
Mikey V: First of all decide if it is something you want to have fun with or something you want to do forever. If it’s something you want to have fun with then who cares who your playing with, if their having fun too then it’s fun. If it’s something you want to do for the rest of your life, then find those that feel the same. Even if you don’t make it at least you have the same mind-set and dedication that they have. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Rock star.
OB: How do you feel about the Orlando music scene?
Mikey V: I like the bands, I like the music, there’s a lot more drama then there should be. If you like a band, great go see them and if you don’t, then don’t go. The Orlando music scene, like any music scene; it’s pouring your heart out into your instrument, so enjoy it. It’s like a coffee house only louder.
If you haven’t seen Dead Mens Dreams with new bassist Mike Vittel then you are missing one awesome show. Make sure you check them out at: www.deadmensdreams.com www.myspace.com/deadmensdreams www.facebook.com/deadmensdreams