Jonathan Sillence catches up with York’s “Twins Of Metal”, Matt and Simon Dawson of Pantheon to talk about their latest inspirations and ideas.
“We want to put British metal back on the map”
S] What made you want to be in a metal band?
Matt] “I think when you’re growing up you soon realise that while most people are happy with the music that’s around you and constantly pumped out of the radio, you’re just not satisfied
with that and you end up not listening to music at all. When I discovered my first Iron Maiden album it was like nothing else. I think we were drawn to metal in the pursuit of something different and metal has a totally unique energy and sense of rebellion. As you dig deeper into the genre you start to get a taste of the hard work and honesty involved with building something from nothing and the sense of achievement that’s it brings. You want to be part of it and it makes you want to get up there and write your own music and achieve that lifestyle for yourself. It’s by no means an easy road, but ultimately that music immersed, hardworking and travelling lifestyle is the appeal for me to be in a metal band.”
S] What inspires your lyric and music writing in Pantheon?
Simon] “We feel the best music and lyrics are honest and come from raw emotions, as that is when you feel most strongly about something. You can’t write honestly about something unless you’ve actually experienced it, so what we tend to write about is real or something that we can relate to. The lyrics are usually well matched to the dynamics of the music; ‘Voice Of Hate’, for example builds and dips with rhythmic sections and stabs to create emphasis and a feeling of anger. In a similar way, the lyrics are written from the point of view of a suicide bomber and his resentment and growing anger towards the invading forces. While we obviously weren’t there, we can still speculate on it from the amount of press the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have received.”
S] What is your general philosophy in Pantheon?
Matt] “Our outlook in Pantheon is to be honest with ourselves and our music. If something isn’t right or isn’t working, we know that we need to do what needs to be done to improve it. We’ve never believed that one day someone will simply walk in to a local Pantheon show and throw down a record contract on the table. We’ve always known that it’s going to take a lot of work and sacrifices to get to where we want to be. We’re taking our time now to make the right steps in that direction.”
S] What is it like working together as twins in the same band?
Simon] “At times it can be difficult working with a brother of the same age. You’ve got two equally strong visionaries in the band with often different ideas and interpretations, but we always work together to create the better result. For the most part it’s a very unique element of Pantheon and I’m not aware of many metal bands founded by blonde twins. It makes for plenty of drive and creativity in the pool when it comes to writing and performing live.”
S] What is your vision for Pantheon at this point and in the future?
Matt] “Our current vision for Pantheon is clear and realistic. We just want to work our way up to a sustainable level by writing the music that we write and to achieve some recognition and fans for what we do on the way. In the near future, we can see there is real gap for British metal bands with something new to bring to the table. It would mean a lot to us if we could contribute to putting British metal back on the map.”