In a world were there are so many bands to keep track of I want to bring my two cents in presenting you to this interview with DIALITH. Anders Ekdahl ©2019
A band name sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
Alasdair: We really wanted a single word name, but all the good ones were taken! Dialith is a made-up word consisting of Greek roots that means “Through Stone.” We like to think that it evokes the image of nature’s triumph over human constructs. For me, it was just playing around with word roots until ‘Dialith’ came to me. I knew it was the right name as soon as I envisioned it!
Krista: I wouldn’t say that it was hard to come up with a name, when we were deciding it was just Alasdair and I and we shot a couple of ideas back and forth and Alasdair had mentioned that “Dialith” was a name that he’d been considering for a while.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
Krista: Listening to bands like Nightwish and Epica were the real reason I wanted to sing in a symphonic metal band. As a singer specifically and as someone who is a natural soprano, Sharon den Adel and Simone Simmons were vocalists that I tried to emulate, and I also wanted to add in the dramatic flair that singers like Tarja Turunen and Vibeke Stene had brought to their respective bands. Of course, I’ve also always admired the power that Floor Jansen possesses.
Alasdair: From a compositional standpoint I’ve always admired Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish. He creates some of the most epic music ever written but can also make you cry with his ballads. For that, he’s my hero! From a guitar point of view, I take most of my inspiration from Arch Enemy. Michael Amott really knows how to write creative riffs and melodies and still keep it sounding heavy.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
Cullen: Playing ballads such as the Wraith or The River Runs Dry involves a different mentality, especially when writing and tracking parts. For example, in the studio it was a challenge to lock in with a slow click and I had to sit behind the click and really feel the music in order to get a good take.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
Krista: For me, the biggest difference between live shows and the studio is the goal. In a live show, you want to give the best performance possible, even if that means sacrificing perfection. If I mess up, I just have to move on like nothing happened and engage the audience in a more visual or physical way. In the studio, your goal is to produce the best sound, and I can do it over however many times I need to in order to get everything just right.
Cullen: In a live setting, I play to a click track with in-ears in order to keep everyone in time while locking in with the symphonic arrangements. With this setup, we end up sounding pretty close to the recorded music.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
Krista: Honestly, unless we’re going to tour, I cannot see a reason for a label. The biggest negative consequence for readily-available music is that we end up putting a lot of time, effort, and money into a project and then not seeing much of a return. But it’s a double-edged sword, because unless the music is readily available then it won’t reach an audience.
Alasdair: I agree with Krista, though a huge benefit to staying independent is we hold all the rights to our own music and that’s important for us.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
Krista: While I do agree that band “loyalty” is waning, I don’t necessarily feel like that’s a bad thing. It’s okay to like a band overall but then say, “Hey, I don’t really like this album/song.” It also gives people the opportunity to explore similar bands to those that they already like.
Alasdair: I think band loyalty is based on something beyond the music itself. Some bands represent a lifestyle or an idea that engages with the listener. I think the best recent example of this is Ghost. They have a great image and lore behind the music and characters, and it really paid off for them!
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
Alasdair: To me, a great front cover should not only represent the music, but give the potential listener a sense of excitement and wonder for what they’re about to hear. We hired the extremely talented Marta Sokołowska from Poland to do the illustrations for Extinction Six and we’re stoked with how it came out!
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
Krista: Until I discovered Nightwish and Within Temptation on the internet when I was about 13, I had no idea what metal even was. I honestly wasn’t even really into music until I discovered those bands. As a result, I don’t think that metal is very popular in the US at all, which is fine, you just have to do your own searching to find what you enjoy.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Krista: As streaming becomes more popular, bands have to make money selling merchandise and concert tickets. Not being able to make money off of the thing that you put so much money into is definitely daunting, and it makes funding future endeavors uncertain. Humans have always made music, though, whether it made them money or not.
Alasdair: A big reason I wanted to print physical CDs is to be able to hold one in my hand and have tactile proof that I helped create something! In the future we will adapt ourselves to deliver content in the best way for the fans.
What lies in the future?
Alasdair: We have no plans of stopping! We want to create as much quality content as possible and I already have new music prepared for beyond this first album. We also plan to put more emphasis on music videos rather than the traditional album format. We hope the fans will join us on this journey!