DF, or DYLAN FURR BAND are new to me but as I liked what I heard I had to interview them. So here is what they have to say for themselves. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
Dylan – To be a blend of progressive metal, fusion, and djent while appealing to a wider crowd than any one of those alone would. Concept albums are always a must so we have emotions to write around and a story to tell through the music, not just notes.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
Elijah – I like to take what I hear from different bands and combine it with stuff I do myself. I don’t want to copy other artists but some people just do stuff that works in amazing ways. I try to mix it so it’s largely unnoticeable, but some of it comes through. Personally people like Ashe O’Hara (Voices From The Fuselage) and Howard Jones (ex-Killswitch Engage) are huge inspirations for me vocally, and people tell me they can hear it in the music. I love their sounds and their styles, and while I don’t want to directly mimic them I want to take a bit of what they have and make it mine. I think I do that.
Dylan – We are still working on that! I feel like that is a never-ending search even when you find it. We look to Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Katatonia, Opeth, TesseracT, Guthrie Govan, Lamb of God, Gojira, and so many more for inspiration. Another thing is playing what feels right and is fun to groove to, not just what blows peoples’ minds.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
Elijah – Dylan and I are writing stuff all the time. I’ve got a ton of material just waiting to be put to music and Dylan has several albums worth of songs ready to be recorded. We just like to get together to go over ideas and changes, and that can be difficult with the way our schedules work. So we do what we can during the little free time we have. We keep in contact through Facebook, though, and even during a lot of the recording process we would talk about ideas through it if we couldn’t get together, but most of our ideas flow better in person.
Dylan – It depends on the release. If it’s a single, we could knock it out in a month no problem – start to finish. A full album takes a bit more. The toughest thing though is coordinating schedules to collaborate and work things out in person, so much of the process is done through sending feedback back and forth. It’s done by writing guitars first, then drums, then solos or vocals, bass and keyboards.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
Elijah – I don’t think so. Single songs are great, but they can only hold an audience’s attention for so long. I think the trend of the single-single-album formula has been engrained in everyone’s head, so much so that we seem to expect an entire album the moment a new single drops. Technology simply allows artists to produce more music faster and better than ever before, and to me honestly its amazing.
Dylan – That is extremely true and every band struggles with that now I think. That is one reason why I’m so adamant to put out concept albums. A good album’s story can’t be told through just one song, just like a book with chapters, albums should have a build up and resolution. Singles are cool every now and then but the only reason for those (for myself at least) is to showcase new products, a new skill set or sound developed, or if you just want to release something while working on putting out a new album in the next year to hold over fans.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
Elijah – That right there is gonna kill music, if anything does. Just the expectation that artists are supposed to throw away their craft for free as a means of “exposure” is almost offensive. And downloading music has become so much easier now, its like one-click pirating. But that’s not to say that people don’t buy music anymore, they still do. It’s just not as popular as it used to be. I totally believe that music has a future. There will always be artists who want to share their love of music, there will always be performers, and there will always be an audience for all of it. But as for the industry itself, things are going to have to drastically change if it’s going to get any better.
Dylan – Yup. This is entirely true and why I tell people to just pay for their music or at least stream it, but don’t just give your CD to a friend to burn everytime. Especially for your favorite bands. Support bands you want to see stay around for a long while or they will slow down their output or could hang up the towel for good. Bands tour now to get money but even then it’s tough to really make much profit and it’s tough on members. The days of CD buying are pretty much gone, printing CDs is almost always a loss now unfortunately. The issue with digital is that it is so easily shared and decreases incentive to buy since they could get it for free from a friend or stream it for free (also a small issue since artists make fractions of pennies for plays). Hopefully this changes with locked MP3 files or something but I highly doubt it will, and as a result we will see record companies and wide spread media be the determiners of who becomes famous to even more of an extent than media was before. More power to the media, labels, and artists with the biggest wallets will soon be the only ones that ever show any success. Quality also suffers on independent musicians since the ROI on selling music is a difficult one to really make work long term. So many of those smaller bands will spend less money producing albums or getting good gear for good sound since they won’t make back any of that money from sales. It is a tough cycle to break now, but hopefully there is a change.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
Elijah – We’ve had a LOT of positive feedback on this album in particular. It’s been pretty insane. We’ve both had people we barely knew that we hadn’t spoken to in years hit us up and tell us how great the riffs are or how cool the vocals on this song are, and we really appreciate it. We’re so thankful to have so many supportive fans, especially for a band like us who’s just getting our feet wet.
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
Elijah – We’ve had people like Angel Vivaldi, Aaron Marshall, and one of the guys in Polyphia check us out. Even caught Herman Li at one of our shows. Sumerian Records has liked our stuff on Instagram multiple times, and even if that doesn’t mean anything it’s still pretty cool.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
Elijah – It absolutely does. I’ve kind of always been the odd man out wherever I go, and for the most part I still pretty much am. But when I’m at a show, nobody thinks I’m weird or out of place, nobody thinks I’m going to rob them, I don’t get weird looks or side-eyes or staredowns. And when I hang out with and meet other musicians it feels like I’m home. The community as a whole argues and bickers with itself online constantly. Always talking about who’s better and why, which bands suck, which genres suck. But when we get together at a show or even just to hang out, it seems like we’re all of the same mindset: let’s just rage. Lets just have a good time, you know? The friends I have in metal are some of the best people I know.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
Elijah – We live in Orange County, California, maybe a 30 minute drive to Los Angeles without traffic. There’s a bunch of venues that have a ton of shows out here. But it seems like the scene is a bit stagnant. It’s just a lot of the same around here. I can go to a local show and promise you I’ll see at least two deathcore bands.There’s nothing wrong with deathcore when it’s done right, but I can’t hear it all the time. I need some variety, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough of that in Southern Califrornia. That being said, playing live definitely helps build an audience more naturally, but in the age of the internet live shows will only get you so far. You can’t perform in front of everyone in the world at the same time, but the internet helps you do that, or at the very least helps to spread the word about your music so that people come to shows, people buy your albums, buy your merch, help you support your craft. Live performance does build a following, especially if your performance is good, but overall it’s only a part of the process.
What plans do you have for the future?
Elijah -We definitely want to drop a new record, a full length, probably next year. More shows and even a possible tour is in the works. We really want to take this show on road, maybe tag along on a big tour and show this country what we got. 2017 has been really good to us as a band, and I think the future is only looking brighter for us.