It is without question that Dreadzone have produced an album that perfectly encapsulates the joy of playing music. A refreshing, joyous, intelligent trip through multiple genres and sonic templates, the band have returned all guns blazing and it is a particular honour for SonicAbuse to have been given the chance to pose the band a few questions.
1. On your new album, particularly with tracks such as ‘Beyond
the rock’ you seem to have relied more heavily upon guitar than in the past –
is there a reason for this, or is that just the direction the band is
heading in now?
Iit is true there is more guitar, the new man Chris Compton has
brought something fresh to the sound and we thought it best to
utilise him rather than just have some skanks and picking . Beyond a
rock is the only real rock tune but that is also nod to our BAD days
gone by. This tune came about naturally and perfectly reflects the
subject matter. His riff really drives tunes like ‘tomorrow never comes’ and he has such a
good melodic sense that it has influenced the song writing considerably
2. Dreadzone has an element of ‘genre-hopping’ – do you find
that helps you to stay fresh and original and do you ever think there’s a danger
that a band can become inconsistent if they keep flipping musical
I have been asked about the various styles that our sound incorporates
and it has occurred to me that whatever genre you may think it’s from,
we don’t sound like anyone else. So I would say ours is genre free,
something many bands could equally qualify as these days, quite
rightly refusing to be pigeon holed to help people explain what the
music is. It’s dread music, it’s our own genre. What genre is vampire weekend or mgmt or any interesting people from the past , the orb massive attack , we may think they are a certain genre but some of the best bands have a unique sound that defies description. There is a thread that runs through our music and I guess the only thing that works against us is an easily identifiable slot for punters.
3. ‘Eye on the horizon’ is a much more lyrical album than past
efforts – can you tell us what prompted the change?
Maturing as lyricists, having more to write about, having some
emotional turmoil and approaching a place where our storytelling is
enhanced. Our last album was a hint that we could tackle songs with
confidence and even as far back as the vocal version of little Britain
there has been a small poetic voice residing within. Myself and spee
have pushed each other to bring out the best in ourselves , there is
some nice healthy competition going on …anyway we have been through
so much in the last few years with losing people and personal upheaval that it felt natural to express what we have experienced.
4. You use a lot of samples in your music – does that ever
become more of a hassle than a benefit?
It is always a benefit to kick-start a tune with a sample that inspires
and dictates a mood. It helps with composing , the only hassle is the
clearance when they ask for too much money or refuse to let you use it. The more the band gels
as a writing unit the less reliant we become on samples.
5. You were very much championed by the late John Peel, did
that help to raise your profile?
I guess it did, it went along with all the other stuff that was happening
around us years ago. We have always been true to ourselves with our music as well as having a
strong live show and consistent output. That’s what he picked up on…That’s
why we are still here and its thanks to the support of people like John Peel
and others over the years who can hear the quality we keep our story going.
6. It’s five years since the last album (excluding your live
disc), why the wait?
Well there was a matter of losing people and having to re invent the band
and come back from a very dark place. And then writing the songs and letting
them grow naturally…The last year was getting the machinery to release
the album ourselves with the help of our management.
We have built a strong team up around us so it will be easier to move more
swiftly from now on. The delay has kind of helped with building a buzz and a larger following
which will help with the release.
7. You’re playing a variety of festivals this summer including
Bearded theory, what can we expect from a Dreadzone festival performance?
You can expect one of the best live bands around giving it their all with
tunes old and new. We seize the moment on festival days and try to make
everyone’s experience of the show memorable.
8. The music industry has changed an awful lot since you first
started out, with the major labels in particular being targeted for their
perceived intransigence – do you feel that issues such as downloading
have helped or hindered music?
Well it hasn’t really helped that people feel it’s ok to just obtain something
for free, on the other hand more people get to hear about us and the word
can spread through various channels on the web. With this album we have let a lot of streaming happen and might just help with creating a buzz. We just hope that a certain amount of those people feel it would be good to own the album for real and give something back to a music world that just keeps on giving
9. With a fantastic new album out and lots of live shows what are
Dreadzone’s plans for the future or is it too early to tell?
It’s too early to say but a three year plan has started to emerge with a
solid push on this album, re releasing of some choice elements of our back
catalogue and working on some new songs to record in a new way, which is
just basically the old way…Write some tunes and go into a studio and nail
them in an allotted time. We have just started a label so will be utilising
that element more. Thanks for the compliment and support. We will endeavour to continue.
SonicAbuse would like to thank Dreadzone for speaking to us.
Dreadzone’s fantastic new album ‘Eye on the horizon’ is out now.
Edited by Phil