If you like your metal Swedish tinged then you might as well check out American Dagon. Dagon might be extreme metal’s answer to Mastodon when it comes to nautical themes. Anders Ekdahl ©2011

What is it about the sea that is so fascinating that you keep returning to it lyrically?
-The sea is a truly epic thing! It holds mysteries humans are still unravelling, it’s been an integral part of human history, and it’s an untamed force. The sea is just really metal.

When you take influence from some of the greatest authors of their genre how much do you actually take from them?
-The influence of these authors is mostly limited to atmosphere and word choice. Poe and Lovecraft were masters of creating dark moods. Alan Moore’s years at the helm of DC comics’ Swamp Thing put a deep human side to horror characters. These are techniques that inspire our lyrical process. Also, many of our lyrics are period pieces, so it’s important to write with words people of that time would use. Gothic authors were writing 150-200 years ago, so they are a great source of archaic vocabulary.

Your band name doesn’t say anything to me. Where have you found it and what kind of associations does it bring to you?
-Our name comes from the Lovecraft story “Dagon” and the Stuart Gordon film of the same name. It’s oceanic, it’s dark, and it’s easy to remember. Some people in the Christian market have read too deeply into it and the association that comes out of it is with ancient Mesopotamian Paganism, but that is not really what we’re about. Dagon loves telling a good story and playing quality heavy metal. If we have one at all, our core message is definitely, “Let’s all enjoy good music together.”

When you come from Michigan most everything is about motors. How hard was it to not play some fuel induced, gritty and blues based hardrock?
-We haven’t avoided it entirely 😉 Chris’ solo style is very blues/hard rock influenced. But otherwise, I suppose it hasn’t been that hard. Metal is all about being different. With the popularity of that style, it’s simple for a bunch of metal heads to stray away from it.

Being a Swede I don’t understand why anybody would want to be influenced by anything but Swedish bands. What is it to your ears that make the Swedish bands so uniquely good?
-Swedish bands do a great job of blending melody and aggression. We love a good hook. American bands like Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, and Slayer have all influenced us as well, but they are not melodic bands. We turn to them when we want to get really heavy, but our melodies have more in common with the Swedes. Our biggest influence though is not from Sweden or America: IRON MAIDEN!!

In being a three piece how much do you have to limit yourself in the studio in order for it to be manageable onstage?
-Actually, we’re a four piece, so we’re pretty much able to do everything that we do in the studio live (except eating Bugles).

Is it necessary in today’s metal scene to come up with a sub-genre all your own in order to stand out?
-Are the other less industrious ways of getting noticed and attracting the music lovers?
I think good music always stands out. If it’s a new style, that’s a quick way to get noticed, but excelling in an established style works too. Death metal has been around 25+ years, but there are still new bands coming out that deserve recognition for doing it really well.

How do you promote your band the best way when there are thousands of other bands competing for the same attention?
-The best thing you can do is practice hard so your live show rocks. People remember great shows.

When you have a couple of records to your name how much easier does it become to book tours and get gigs? Does it get easier with every new record or do you feel like you are back on square one every time?
-For underground bands, it’s always hard. The fans know you, but the club owners don’t. Also, with the rough economy, venues often come and go faster than bands can put out records.

How far are you willing to take Dagon and what will it take to achieve that goal?
-We want Dagon to be as big as Nikki Minaj! I think it will take a consistent output of good music and some solid Internet savvy. Online presence has become hugely important.

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