“I am constantly in awe and confusion as to what music is and where is comes from” – Watkykjy interviews Dead Letter Circus

In Watkykjy Interviews deur griffin1 Eiertjies

Ons het op’n moerse lekker band van Brisbaine, Australië afgekom. Dead Letter Circus is die perde se naam en ons het vir hulle so paar vragies geskiet. Obviously in Engels – ons gaan mos nou nie soos Beeld of Rapport maak en sulke simpel woorde soos “vertonings” en “toeskouers” in hulle monde sit nie. Hulle tunes is voorwaar piele en hopelik bring ons tjommies in die musiekbedryf hulle so bietjie oor Suid-Afrika toe volgende jaar. Hulle klink lus…

dead-letter-circus-2You guys made your start in 2007. What has your musical journey been like for you from then until now?    
In reflection the journey as a whole has been like a rock n roll dream come true.  We didn’t spend long in the beginning stage playing to no one at our local bar  as we chose to do things another way.  Instead of jumping out and playing our first show the moment we had 10 songs,  we wrote nearly every day for a year until we had 10 really good songs and entered the scene sounding like a mature band.   We put 2 songs on Myspace and things exploded, our eighth show was touring nationally as a support to one the biggest bands in the country and ended up clocking in over 100 shows that year and had supported every relevant band in Australia. Both our  debut album This is the Warning and our follow up The Catalyst Fire somehow came in at number 2 on the charts in Australia and then took us around the world touring to some places I’d dreamed of visiting since childhood.  But I guess that is the journey music took me on.  As far as my relationship with music has been,  it is still as mysterious as the moment I felt the call.  We are writing our third album right now and I am constantly in awe and confusion as to what music is and where it comes from.  Is it an expression and extension of personality? Or is it some infinite  ever evolving presence somewhere in the ether that you learn to tune into,  and if you are lucky become the vessel for a particular shade of it’s voice? Honestly I lean towards the latter and feel grateful everyday for being one of the lucky ones.

You’ve cited Deftones, among a few, as one of your influences. South Africa had a chance to watch them perform recently. In what would you say they influenced your music and songwriting?   
We love the Deftones and I have to say what I loved most about them when I discovered them was the contrast of the lighter vocal over the heavy moments. They were undeniably pioneers of so much modern rock and so original. We got to watch them perform on a touring festival day from side of stage for a couple of weeks and even in 40 degree heat where people were fainting,   they were bringing it so hard without compromise every single performance. I think about this often when I am gasping for air on a hot stage.  They are very inspiring.

Take us through the concept behind and imagery of the music video for Lodestar from your album The Catalyst Fire.
We wrote the clips for Lodestar and I Am as a continuous storyline revolving around a possible bleak post apocalyptic future where a boy has an awakening of sorts. The concept of the album The Catalyst Fire was ‘the spreading of an idea, a fire for change burning from one person to the next. Basically capturing the way this slow burning revolution that is in place around the world at the moment is happening,  person to person.    In the clips the boy is walking awake painting these fiery mandalas in the view of masses who are in varying stages of extreme control and waking them up to confront their hidden masters. These things are hard to convey in short spaces of time but we’ve learnt a lot and will be taking all this into our next album of clips.

Your latest EP is Stand Apart. You do you feel this, your latest offering stands apart from your first self-titled EP?
Well,  it being an Ep of re-imagined acoustic based tracks from the last album,   I’d say quite a bit.

You’ve had 3 guitarists over the bands career thus far, why the changes and how have they affected your work process?
Very positively.  Each change brought a new level of evolution and deeper connections within the group. The changes occurred due due to the state of the industry,   it is a very hard time to be a musician at the moment financially due to the moral grey area of what music is worth. I’ve read a lot of commentary from people with impressive vocabulary’s regarding musicians needing to toughen up and not be greedy in expecting anything in return for all the work. Living the truth of this moment is a very different perspective though. Things need to change in favour of the artist or culture will suffer, it’s that simple. Streaming sites like Spotify claiming to be the modern answer to anti piracy and the artists champion are simply making these claims to tell you what you want to hear so they can make money from artists. What do I think the answer is? I’d say it would start with education through example of the next generation of listeners. Don’t illegally download, don’t stream, find a way to directly support the music you love as the soundtrack to your life. Going to a show is great, grabbing a T is great, but if the most time you spend with music is in your iPod or device immersed and tapped into that place where only music can take you,  show your gratitude by not stealing it and especially if you like non pop as their is no machine behind those artists.

Are there plans for another full length album?  
Most definitely, and it will be next year.

Can South Africans hope to see you guys soon, and if you are planning to pay us a visit, what should we expect from you guys, and what would you look forward to? 
We fell in love with the country and the people, invite us anytime and we will come!

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  1. Wayne

    Dead Letter Circus SA Tour Nov 2014 tour dates:

    14 November – !Arcade Empire
    Ticket link: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/dead_letter_circus_live_in_sa/837977499/0/61077587

    15 November – Sundowners (Alberton)
    Ticket link: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/dead_letter_circus_live_in_sa/837977499/0/61077600

    19 November – Rumours Lounge – Bar – Restaurant
    Ticket link: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/dead_letter_circus_live_in_sa/837977499/0/61077606

    22 Nov – Mercury Live Lounge, Cape Town
    Ticket link: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/dead_letter_circus_live_in_sa/837977499/0/61077595

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