In our latest band spotlight, we chat to Manchester shock rockers, The Dead XIII.
What have been some of the major challenges for The Dead XIII over the last few years?
Since the release of our last album, ‘Catacombs’, our main challenge has been to grow as a band. We’ve always wanted our music to evolve and for us to constantly grow as a band. It’s been two years since our last record and we really wanted to bring show our experiences over that time in what we have recorded.
As with most bands the current climate for live music is a massive challenge. Venues up and down the country are closing down and it’s becoming harder and harder for band to get out on to the scene. We are absolutely blessed to have an incredibly supportive fan base who support us all around the world. They have allowed us to do things we couldn’t have dreamed of, which is incredibly humbling.
With that in mind we decided that instead of trying to go down a more commercial route, we would try to fund the album using crowdfunding. Release the album that we wanted to, without anyone trying to change what we wanted to release. It’s been a real challenge to do all of it ourselves but the response to our campaign has been amazing and we have managed to pull it off.
What are The Dead XIII’s goals? How have the band’s goals and aims changed over time?
Our main goals haven’t really changed much from the outset. From day one we said we wanted to make music that we love, give it our all, and have time for our fans/supporters. We’re five years in now and we are hungrier than ever to make music and take it on the road to see as many of our fans as we can.
We are always trying to grow as a band. We try to target things we really want to achieve and giving them are all. Our next big goal is to play in Europe! We’ve been wanting to get over there for a while now especially Germany. The music culture in Europe seems to have a different atmosphere, we’ve built so many fans outside of the UK that we are dying get out there!
How important is the band’s image to you?
Our image is really important to us. Its something that was a focal point when we started as a band, we wanted to do something that just wasn’t being done in our home town. It’s not just an image its become a kind of ritual! There’s something about the whole process each gig of getting ready that really hype’s us up. It gets us focused, gets our minds into performance mode and unleashes a whole different side to our personalities.
The makeup process also gives us an bit of time after the hectic load in to relax and reflect on just how far we’ve come, it’d feel very strange playing a show without going through that process.
What were your first experiences of touring? How has your attitude to touring changed and developed?
In the last five years we have done a hell of a lot of touring, from supports to headlines, festivals to matinee gigs. Its true to say we have definitely tread the boards in a multitude of situations. When we first started as a band we just wanted to play as many shows as we could anywhere we could to anyone. The first few tours we did were all about us cutting our teeth and really learning who we were as a band. If touring is guaranteed to give you the best memories and funny stories that will stay with you forever. We have had some of the best times imaginable out on the road.
As we’ve toured more and our fan base has grown, we really focus on delivering the best show we can. It means a lot more focus on keeping healthy on tour, eating healthier trying to at least have a few nights off partying! As our tours have got longer, Kurt’s been putting loads of work into maintaining his voice for the full tour.
We also try and see things when we travel now, which is something we hadn’t done before. We will try and plan our days to allow us to see something in every city we go for, even if its just going somewhere to sit down and have a coffee or a beer. It breaks the monotony of the hotel, van, venue repeat cycle. It’s great to actually see the cities.
What motivates you guys outside of music – think people, places and games/movies for example?
We find motivation in anything and everything. We’re all big fans of Horror movies and games and that’s clearly had an impact on our songs. Mental Health has also been a strong motivator for this album, the is all about the darkness within your own mind.
Music allows you to vent those feelings and hopefully help other people feel like they’re not alone. For Kurt, it’s his life experiences and the hurdles he’s overcome. Especially with this album, he tried to put as much of himself and his own experience into every song.
What direct experiences inspired, ‘Bloodlines’?
The inspiration for ‘Bloodlines’ has been the change in relationships. How people can get closer, and further apart over time. A situation you find yourself in can feel right at one point but prove to be destructive. It’s not all doom and gloom, it’s these experiences that allow you to move on with your life, grow stronger as a person and make you the person you the person you’re destined to be!
Tell us more about ‘Dark Days’?
‘Dark Days’ is about the psychological horror that comes with life. The obstacles they we all have to overcome that hide in the pit of our minds. No one is alone and we all experience these things, there’s always someone there to turn to, a way to get through the dark and into the light.
As a band we’ve been through some difficult times in the last couple of years, things that could have easily broken us. This record is about those struggles and overcoming the Dark Days.
What else do The Dead XIII have coming up?
2018 is shaping up great for us so far, following the album we will be hitting the road for our longest ever tour! Following the success of last years run we will once again be supporting Misfits legend Doyle in March. This time our friends in Killus are joining us. Being in the studio is great but 2018 will definitely be a year for relentless touring. We just cant wait to get back out meeting you guys!