DARK DESIGN I knew nothing about really until I heard their latest album. So I wanted to know more about them. And what better way to do than an interview. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Just so we know what we are dealing with could you please give us a short introduction to the band?
Ray Lewis : The band began in the summer of 2008 , but reached it’s present form in late 2009. Andrew Bertrand on lead vocals , Mike Joyner on guitar , Ray Lewis on guitar , Matt Mercer on bass , and Robbie Mercer on drums. We have put out two demos and September 2013 we released our debut album ” Prey For The Future” on Heaven And Hell Records.
How hard is it to come up with a band name that works on all levels?
Ray Lewis : It’s hard coming up with a band name on any level. You have to come up with something that fits the band and it’s image , that in itself is tough. Picking a name everyone in the band likes is probably toughest part of it. To make the name work on all levels , you have to live it and love it.
What is success to you? How do you define success?
Ray Lewis : Success has many levels , at the top would be,being a household name like Elvis or The Beatles and selling millions of albums. Then there are varying degrees of success including selling enough albums to make a living without a day job. And on one of the lowest rungs of the success ladder , would be people buying the album and coming to shows to see you , but still working the day job. I can work with any of them.
What kind of reactions have you had to your latest recorded material? What kind of reactions did you expect to get on it?
Ray Lewis : The reactions to the album have been really positive so far. We feel we have a strong album and hope people like it as much as we do.
Now that almost everybody has access to the internet and can reach out to the whole World how important is a strong local scene?
-Ray Lewis : The local scene is really important . It is the starting point for all bands to build a following. The internet is a great tool for getting your name and material out beyond the local scene. But playing the local circuit and word of mouth is important too. Word of mouth carried Metallica long before the internet.
What kind of respect do you get from your regional/national press? Do they recognize local bands or is it just the big bands that come through on tour that gets the “headlines”?
Ray Lewis : Not much for local bands. The big bands get some mention but the media doesn’t go out of their way for them.
What ways has been the best for you in order to promote the band? What do you do to reach as many interested as possible?
-Promotion starts with playing shows. Social media works well. We’ve also have placed ads and work with a PR firm.
How easy is it to get blinded by 5000 Facebook likes or 3000 hits on Youtube and think that you’ve made it big? How do you best utilize the interest you get on social media to actually have it mean something in real life?
Ray Lewis : It’s cool to think 5000 people like the band , which is a good start. However , to put it in perspective , 5000 people would make one small town. And there are hundreds of thousands of towns. So that is a drop in the bucket. Posting on social media outlets keeps the band fresh in peoples minds , plus as people share new people pick up on it. Social media is tape trading in the space age.
Is playing live a good way to get people to notice you? Do you detect an increase in traffic on social media after you’ve played live?
Ray Lewis : Playing live is a good way to get people to notice the band. They see the whole package live. Plus at shows , you can talk to people and promote the band in person. People get to know you , they get to like you.
What would you like to see the future bring to the band?
Ray Lewis : World tour and platinum album sells. Until then we’ll settle for people enjoying our music and playing as many shows as possible.