Kerrang! (UK) - - HOTTEST BANDS OF 2018 -

Wel­come to band prac­tice. It’s in these pokey re­hearsal rooms that mu­si­cians cut their teeth and set off on their right­eous paths to star­dom. It’s where songs come to life, and bands forge iden­ti­ties in a mar­riage of en­ergy, sweat and noise. to­day, ris­ing Lon­don rock­ers Dead! have opened their doors to Ker­rang! to re­mind us why they’re one of the most im­por­tant new Bri­tish rock bands around.and this, as they say, is where the magic hap­pens…

“This is how we started,” shrugs gui­tarist Sam Mat­lock. “we were do­ing this for years be­fore we got picked up on any bigger tours or shows. It was us set­ting up our PA, in our re­hearsal room or at house par­ties, play­ing to a few peo­ple at a time. The con­nec­tion is way stronger when you are two feet from some­one, shout­ing in their face!”

“I think bands should be able to grow, so their shows can fit bigger stages,” adds vo­cal­ist Alex Mount­ford. “if you watched Biffy Clyro play a fes­ti­val years ago, it was so dif­fer­ent to how it is now.the stage show has grown or­gan­i­cally and naturally. There’s no point in us putting a fuck­ing load of lights up in a tiny room, be­cause we have to hone our craft and make it what it is, which I’m look­ing for­ward to do­ing. One day we’ll earn that full-on pro­duc­tion.”

There’s true in­ten­tion be­hind those words, as to be ex­pected from any band set on tak­ing such painstak­ing own­er­ship of their des­tiny. From leav­ing foot­prints on peo­ple’s liv­ing room ceil­ings na­tion­wide, to run­ning their own ’zine (Burn The Press) and craft­ing cus­tom screen-prints and merch, the quar­tet are ev­i­dently hell-bent on go­ing the ex­tra mile when it comes to artis­tic in­vest­ment.

It’s the same kind of think­ing that turned Creeper into one of Bri­tain’s most trea­sured bands in re­cent times. How Dead! op­er­ate is a throw­back to the glory days of old; when word of mouth served as ev­ery­one’s in­ter­net browser and lega­cies were built from the un­der­ground up. Sam, though, is quick to stress how a young band in their shoes shouldn’t get too doe-eyed over a past they weren’t there for.

“We could call it ‘the good old days’, but we weren’t around, so how good it ac­tu­ally was is up for de­bate!” he laughs. “our DIY ethos comes be­cause I don’t un­der­stand how you can be in a band nowa­days and not do things your­self. I guess the rise of the in­ter­net – which has been a very fuck­ing pow­er­ful tool for us – has de­val­ued and over­sat­u­rated things. there are fewer fans and more bands. Our way out of that is to work hard on­line, but never re­lin­quish the phys­i­cal side of things. Bands like The Rolling Stones never changed the world with a spon­sored Face­book post. they changed it by writ­ing good mu­sic, get­ting out there and work­ing hard. A good song will al­ways win and get there in the end.”

That faith was put to the test when Dead! re­leased their de­but al­bum, the Golden Age Of Not Even Try­ing; on Jan­uary 26, its 12 di­verse tracks throw­ing el­e­ments of grunge, pop-punk and Brit-rock into a wreck­ing ball of con­ta­gious kitchen-sink en­ergy.

“We’re still fig­ur­ing our­selves out,” Alex ad­mits. “This al­bum isn’t ac­tu­ally about any­thing other than grow­ing up. we’re an es­capist band, so we don’t want to get caught up in what’s hap­pen­ing right now.we have a punk spirit about how we op­er­ate. But there’s a deep ap­pre­ci­a­tion for pop in there, too.”

What, ul­ti­mately though, does Dead! stand for? Or, rather, what would they hope to stand for? “The mo­ment that sums it all up for me is the mid­dle of The Golden Age… where it cuts to just vo­cals, then everything comes back in and just fuck­ing hits,” of­fers Alex. “it makes me want to kick shit. More than any mean­ing or lyric, that’s the defin­ing mo­ment for me. It’s about the feel­ing and the mo­ment, rather than what’s ac­tu­ally be­ing said.”

That’s a pretty brave thing for a singer to ad­mit… “Peo­ple of­ten de­scribe mu­sic as be­ing hon­est or gen­uine,” he con­tin­ues, “and if you’re go­ing to use those two words to de­scribe what you’re cre­at­ing, there’s no room for ar­ro­gance. that’s the com­plete an­tithe­sis to be­ing a gen­uine cre­ative. when the pas­sion from your lit­tle bed­room stu­dio has to go out into the real world, and come into con­tact with other peo­ple’s opin­ions and per­cep­tions, 50 per cent of the time it’s amaz­ing.the rest is con­fus­ing or con­flict­ing. you’ve cre­ated this baby, and it’s some­thing so nat­u­ral that even you don’t know what it truly is, but then you have to start ex­plain­ing and jus­ti­fy­ing it. For me, that’s the hard part…”

He need not worry too much about that, mind, be­cause the ideas swirling around this band sug­gest they will be liv­ing in a golden age of their own soon enough. The dawn of the Dead! starts now…

No se­ri­ously, it’s re­ally, re­ally low Care­ful mate, the roof is re­ally low…

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