DERELICT fucking blew me away. After having heard their latest album I had to run out (well I sat by my computer) and buy all their records. Can’t remember when I was this impressed the last time. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
Your latest album “Perpetuation” isn’t your first. Why is it that I only heard of the band now? How much of a Canadian secret are you guys?
Max: Haha well for starters we have yet to tour outside of Canada so that may explain why you have yet to hear about us. We’ve also gained a lot of experience as far as PR and general online exposure is concerned so hopefully more and more people will start to hear about us and, more importantly, get to hear our music.
When you release albums on your own today what is the biggest challenge in doing it that way?
Jordan: Getting exposure. We’re doing all the promotion ourselves, booking all the tours, approaching the press, etc. It has taken a long time to build up a good list of trustworthy contacts; if we were with a big label, those relationships are already forged and the path is laid out. When you do this independently you need to factor in the time it takes to do that.
How much blood, sweat and Canadian dollars have you invested in the band and how much have you?ve gotten back in return that you would not have gained had you not done this?
Jordan: Well, it’s safe to say we haven’t gotten a return on the money invested just yet. We’ve worked very hard on this album, suffered many setbacks including members leaving the band, financial issues, etc. But what we can say is that we’ve released three full length albums (all but one independently), toured the country three times, made tons of amazing fans and friends, had some great times on and off the road, all because we wanted to get our music out there. Even though the dollars and cents don’t add up, the experience itself is more than worth it.
I was mightily impressed by the blast the album is. Where do you draw inspiration from? What is it you want the album to say to me as a listener?
Max: Thank you very much! As far as inspiration is concerned, personally speaking I draw inspiration from bands like Death, Atheist and Decapitated as well as bands from other genres like The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa and Hiromi Uehara whom all have a palpable energy that really inspires me. Musically the album is obviously brutal but our musical objective is tro try to contain the chaos and technicality with solid songwriting.
When you don’t have any financial backing from a label is it harder to find people willing to work with you than had you had that backing?
Max: We have yet to encounter any real problems getting people to work with us due to the fact that we aren’t on a label. I can maybe understand that it could prevent us from attending some major festivals but I wouldn’t consider it to have been an issue thus far.
How do you go about finding the right people to work with? How do you know that they will deliver?
Max: Throughout the years it has unfortunately been trial and error. When you’re first starting out you try to get any gig you can find. After a while you get to develop a few good business relationships and are able to move forward that way. There a lot of aspects of being in a band that are very much like business ventures. Discussions take place and as a band we have a few things we look for and if we see a match we go for it. One thing some promoters may or may not realize is that bands talk amongst themselves. After a while you work with people who have a reputation for being trustworthy in the scene.
When you are without label support how hard/easy is it to get the right kind of support gigs that will take you one step further?
Jordan: The best place to start is to play a bunch of shows in your area to build up a following and get your name out there. Play out of town to gain some road and stage experience and build your credibility. If you’ve built your reputation as a popular band with an awesome live show, promoters will contact you when they have big touring bands coming through. The more of these you play, the more you’ll get. One thing to keep in mind is that once you’ve established a good buzz surrounding your band, limit the local shows you play. If a big promoter is interested in putting you on a bill but they see you’re playing every other week in town, they’ll assume your draw is saturated and pass you up.
How easy is it to overestimate the support you have online with the actual support you have in real life?
Jordan: That depends on what you mean by real life. Most fan interaction happens on the internet these days, so online numbers can be a very accurate way of gauging how much support you have. Will all of these people come to our shows? No, probably not. But we have noticed that the number of people marked as attending on Facebook invites is usually roughly the same as how many people actually show up.
Do you see a topping of the online support boom that is happening now? Will people abandon their computers and actually come out and support you in real life?
Jordan: I don’t think anyone will shut down their computers permanently for a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re not coming out to shows also. Live shows give the fan something they can’t get in front of the screen; a real live performance. Loud sound, mosh pits, adrenaline, the social element and the chance to hang out with the band after the show. I think we’ll see some more streaming performances live on the internet, but nothing can replace the raw energy of a real live performance.
What will happen now that the album is out?
Max: The first thing that we’re going to do is play a bunch of shows all around our home province of Quebec as well as a few shows in Ontario and an East Coast tour of Canada where we will finally hit the Maritimes! After that we are hoping to potentially tour Canada in the fall. Hopefully we’ll be able to play a few shows south of the border and finally get to interact with some of our American fans.