DEADHAND SYSTEM might be new to most but you really should check them out. A cool new metal band. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl
As I know close to nothing about you could please enlighten me?
-We are Deadhand System, a relatively new extreme metal band from Chicago, IL. We formed just under a year ago and have been working on material since. So far we have a solid handful of finished songs, and we chose to record two of them as a “sample” for metal fans to get a glimpse of what we are about and what we are capable of. These songs make up our “Pandemic” EP.
What experience do you have from other bands? What do you bring with you to this new one?
-Members of the band include former members of Epicurean, Malevolent Creation, Against the Plagues, and a few others that cover a wide range of metal’s sub-genres. What myself and the rest of the band bring to this new band is a writing approach that focuses on creating music that is as catchy as it is brutal.
When you formed did you have a clear vision of what sort of metal you would play? What bands were your guiding stars?
-What sort of metal we wanted to play was not set in stone at the start, but we definitely wanted to write material that was modern and can compete with the younger bands out there. There is a lot of competition when it comes to the newer well known metal bands, and the bar has been raised significantly in terms of writing and skill level. Our finished product has been a balanced mixture of old school and modern riffing, with simple enough structure for listeners to get into.
Some bands that influence, and have influenced us are: Hate Eternal, Nile, Dying Fetus, Napalm Death, Asesino/Fear Factory, Testament, Decapitated, and Meshuggah to name a few from a very long list.
How do you view lyrics? Is it important to have a message?
-I feel lyrics do have a good degree of importance in the writing process. Having well thought out lyrics is very important because a majority of metal listeners are very intelligent, literate people in comparison to fans of other genres.
Not only do lyrics have to be intelligent, but they have to be catchy and compliment the music. A poorly phrased vocal performance can take a lot away from a well written instrumental composition.
Is it important that your art work has a message or can it just be nice to look at?
-A subtle message in the artwork that relates to the lyrical content is good, but I feel that artwork that is well executed is just as important, if not more important. Album artwork can have the most profound message, but if the artist is not talented enough, bad artwork can be a distraction or even a deterrent.
How important is image? Has the thought of what image is changed with the times?
-Image in metal has changed significantly in that many different looks nowadays are acceptable. Despite the fact that it has become slightly less important, a solid professional image continues to be taken more seriously. Even though us metal fans have become more open-minded, we all still have a small hint of elitism.
How fierce is the competition in establishing a new band, to build a name?
-In terms of quality, there is certainly a lot of competition and a lot of excellent new bands. However, I believe the most difficult part of establishing a new band is standing out above the thousands of really bad bands. As a listener or potential audience, it is extremely easy to simply ignore a new band because you are constantly bombarded with bad music. As a result, one becomes conditioned to not want to listen to anything new. This can be a really big challenge for a new band that is working hard to be successful.
How important is visibility, to be seen on the right places?
-It is extremely important. Hard work, talent, and patience are crucial, but luck can make the difference between being a permanent local band or a successful touring band.
Has social media still the same impact on spreading a bands name today? Which social media is the best?
-Yes and no: It can help tremendously in terms of spreading a band’s name, providing exposure, and creating fans. However, this same technology is used to the same extent by bands that really don’t have very much skill, therefore social media sites can create an even playing field between a highly talented band and one that may not be worth listening to. An even bigger problem is that bands that can (and do) pay for Facebook likes, pay for Youtube views, and pay for other details that give a false impression of success. In turn those same bands end up using their fake “stats” to negotiate better, bigger shows with promoters when those opportunities can be given to a more deserving, more talented band.
How much touring can you do in smaller venues before it becomes stale and counter productive?
-I believe you can do as much touring as possible as long as you can keep up with your writing of new music, and your new material is as good, if not better, than the music that put you on tour in the first place.
What does the future hold?
-What we have planned is recording and releasing of the rest of our material, a music video for one of our new songs, and live performances starting this late spring. Hopefully metal fans enjoy our current and future music, and hopefully we can play for more and more audiences as we move forward.