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Vance Mook's Blog
|Interview with Deadron (formerly Tarantulahawk)
|The following is an in-depth interview I conducted with Deadron late last week. The band conformed all of their answers during a practice as we discussed their upcoming full-length, the Along With Ghosts EP from earlier this year as well as the awesome new Deadron Cover Series. Enjoy!|
Aaron: I guess first off, since not all of our readers will be totally familiar with the lineup, who plays what in the band?
Deadron: Ron Oxley sings, Andy Golz sings and plays guitar, Marley Van Raalte plays guitar, Brendan Carter plays bass and Zach Peterson plays drums!
Aaron: Awesome, thanks so much. So first, I have to admit- Along With Ghosts was my introduction to Deadron (formerly Tarantulahawk). I obviously enjoyed it quite a bit and I think it was a good place to start, but can you tell me if you had any other releases under the Tarantulahawk name?
Deadron: Thank you! Yes, we released a split with our friends in Cardinal entitled “…Happy Again.” it’s available on Still Here Record’s Bandcamp.
Aaron: Is Still Here a local label?
Dearon: Yes, it is actually owned by our drummer, Zach!
Aaron: That’s awesome! Alongside Deadron and Cardinal, are there any other labelmates? Would fans of Deadron generally enjoy Still Here releases because of a certain vibe, or do the artists vary distinctly in sound?
Deadron: The only other bands on Still Here are Victory Verdun, From the Mire and Hear This. Victory is a revival emo band and Hear This is a hardcore punk band (since broken up). The only thing all the bands on Still Here really have in common are that we are all friends. Otherwise, the sound very distinctly varies throughout the bands. I think if people are open minded and just enjoy good music, they can find a lot of good music on our label.
Aaron: Okay, so there’s definitely still an incentive for fans of Deadron to still check out the other artists on Still Here. Whenever I hear a band I love talking up another band they’re friends with or enjoy listening to, it always motivates me to spread my musical palate. Having only two releases under the Taranutlahawk name then, can you tell me if/how difficult the name-changing process was? Was the other band polite about the situation? How was the name Deadron chosen?
Deadron: Absolutely, you should check out or friends Tundras from Rockford Illinois. They rule and they are awesome dudes. It was difficult, we were all worried about losing fans. The other band was wonderful, very polite and reasonable with their request for us to change. We all want to kill Ron so we decided it was most fitting. (Laughs)
Aaron: I could definitely see that being one of the biggest concerns, but does it seem like everything is going well thus far? I have to say, with that explanation, Deadron is just as awesome of a name as Tarantualhawk (Laughs). So obviously, Along With Ghosts is entirely acoustic. I love how full the tracks feel with just the right amount of percussion. This may be a stupid question from someone who hasn’t heard the split and has yet to catch your live show, but was the acoustic sound something specific for AWG? Deadron generally an acoustic group, or do you play full-band/plan on releasing full-band material in the future?
Deadron: Everything is going great so far, people still seem interested in us. Thank you, we recorded AWG live and straight into a mixer and into a cassette deck. We had always wanted to record something to cassette and we had the equipment lying around to do so. One afternoon, we sat down to record it and everything just fell together wonderfully- those were second and third takes of those tracks. Deadron has always been an electric group, we just love to play acoustically. AWG is meant to be a preview to our upcoming full length…same songs but full band arrangements.
Aaron: That’s an awesome way to do it. As a musician, I’ve always been interested in two very different sides of recording, whether the band records something live in order to convey the raw energy or utilize the ability to be able to fix and edit anything they want to through heavy production. From the sounds of it, that’s going to be one beast of a full-length. Is there anything else you can tell us about this full-length? A title, release date, perhaps any songs that have been played live that fans can expect…etc.? I enjoy each song for their own merits, but I’m very excited to see what kind of energy a song like “Andrea” or “Leech” can pack live.
Deadron: We have been road testing some of the new material for the full length and we are writing new songs. In the meantime we are doing a split 10” full band, with our friends in TUNDRAS. The split will come out before the full length. As far as title, release date, and songs those are under wraps.
Aaron: That’s awesome to hear. I’m sure the split will get blood amongst the fanbase pumping for what Deadon has in store. As far as the songs of AWG go, did the band go into writing with any certain theme or idea? What significance is behind the title, ‘Along With Ghosts’?
Deadron: Hopefully! Well all three of our originals on AWG were written by me, Marley. They are some of the first songs ever written for Deadron and really set the ground work for the sort of band we want to be. Currently, we have taken to writing songs together and that has been fun watching the new songs develop into something entirely different than AWG. AWG plays into the idea of your memories being like ghosts and you have to decide whether to let them haunt you or travel with them. Also, check out Yokai Monsters. a series of creepy old Japanese kids movies, one of which shares that title.
Aaron: Does that include both the lyrics and I’m assuming guitar work, and is there a prime lyricist in the group? I definitely feel that meaning throughout the EP, and that last bit is quite something to take inspiration from. I’m sure after reading this, fans will be looking into it. So now, just a few questions about the “Speed Trials” cover and the Deadron Cover Series. Did the former do anything to inspire the latter? How did you decide on “Speed Trials” for inclusion on AWG?
Deadron: Yes, I was the primary songwriter, including lyrics. I still write a lot of the lyrics but Ron and Andy have taken to writing lyrics also. In our lyric booklet, we will say who wrote each song so fans can get an idea for how differently we write from one another. I hope to write stuff that inspires people, so that means a lot to hear. Andy decided on “Speed Trials” randomly. We all like Elliott Smith and agreed it would be fun to cover. I suppose it had some inspiration, but I love playing other peoples songs so this is just another outlet to play our favorite bands’ music and show people what music influences us the most.
Aaron: One of those bands being Modest Mouse, I presume, based on the first entry in the series being a cover of ‘Little Motel’? I have to say, the cover is absolutely terrific. I love the original and Modest Mouse has always been one of my favorite artists, and I think you definitely did the song justice. Can you tell us any other artists you may cover that we can look forward to, and what are some other main influences the band shares? I have no idea if this is coincidence or not, but I get a heavy Jesse Lacey (and now that I hear about full-band, possibly Brand New) vibe from several of the songs from AWG.
Deadron: We will always put a lot into our artwork and packaging, as it is also our favorite part of getting a physical copy…fans can expect to get their money’s worth. I am a huge Modest Mouse fan and they were a band we could agree on right off the bat, so we went with it. I think “Little Motel” is an often overlooked song but has some of the most beautifully sad lyrics in MM’s catalog. I think covers can be done just like the original or be made into a new composition. I don’t think covers have to be one way or the other, just as long as it’s good. So thank you, we’re glad you, and others, have enjoyed the cover. We are excited to put up more. A few bands we are thinking of covering next are Say Anything, Heatmiser, and Low. We have very ranging tastes as a band and individually so we want to explore what styles we can do on acoustic guitars. We have gotten that Jesse Lacey comparison a lot. We all like Brand New, it was a heavy influence in the beginning stages of Tarantulahawk but has since been replaced by other influences. Brand New’s style is so simple yet so well done that it is often easily copied but not easily mastered, so we want to distance ourselves form any one genre or band (a great compliment none the less for Ron; Jesse has a phenomenal voice).
Aaron: I can definitely agree with that, and I believe sad songs are often the most beautiful. The EP does a very fine job of walking that line, without ever being mopey or whiny. They’re sad, beautiful songs for people who need to hear that someone else may be sharing a similar experience as them. Say Anything is my favorite band, so I personally cannot wait to see how that translates. It’s good to be able to channel any influence without ever really replicating it, and I also believe AWG does a swell job of that.
Deadron: Thank you! We love writing sad songs as much as we love listening to them. Thank you for the kind words about AWG,this was a delightful conversation. We hope to talk to you again soon.
Don’t forget to check out our review and of Deadron’s recently released acoustic EP, Along With Ghosts, available on the band’s Bandcamp.
|Tags: deadron, tarantulahawk, along with ghosts, ep, interview, best new music