Interviews: Dissentience

This is a new interview with the Death Metal/Thrash Metal band Dissentience from the USA. Check out the entire interview and give them a follow on their FACEBOOK PAGE

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

When we started playing together back in high school, we went under the name Why We Fight but after a few drummer changes and trying to focus more on a heavier, more death/thrash-influenced sound, we decided it was time for a fresh start and that meant a new band name. After countless hours of brainstorming and then Googling names just to find another band had already taken the ones we'd come up with, we decided to go with Dissentience after the Protest the Hero song of the same name. At first, it was just a bit of an homage to a band we all were really into but the meaning of the word has become kind of the mission statement of the band, to set ourselves apart from the norm and carve our own path.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

When we started, the goal was (and still is) to just make heavy music that follows in the footsteps of the bands we admire which range from old-school thrash and death metal bands to newer progressive and NWOAHM acts. We try not to pigeonhole ourselves into a genre corner but I'd say the roots of our sound are pretty heavily based in melodic death and thrash metal with dashes of a lot of other genres we like sprinkled in. That being said, there's material on the new album that's a lot groovier like "The End (And All Between)" and stuff that's sludgier like "Darkness Perennial," so we write whatever we think will get heads banging and bodies moving in the pit whether it's fast or slow, melodic or dissonant, progressive or raw...we just aim to sound heavy.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Jimmy and I were both playing sax in our high school band and actually took lessons from the same guitar teacher but wanting to start a band is what ultimately led to the beginning of our friendship. Jimmy and Langer knew each other for a while before the band started but it wasn't until he started hanging around while Jimmy and I were jamming that I really got to know him and asked him to pick up the bass. Like I said, we had some drummer changes early on and Nick actually found us through an ad we put out online looking for a replacement. Despite living about 4 hours west of the rest of us at the time, we figured out a way to make it work and we're all glad that we did but had it not been for placing that ad, we'd probably still be on opposite sdes of the state.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Connor Valentin - Revocation

Jimmy Vitale - Protest the Hero

Sean Langer - Gojira

Nick Scherden - Carcass

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

We take inspiration from a variety of places whether it's real-life situations, societal matters, or even fictional stuff that we just find interesting. I think we tend to lean toward finding interesting concepts we dig and trying to twist them into something we can yell about for a few minutes. For instance, our latest single "Clinical Psychosis" spawned from watching the Netflix documentary Wormwood which was about an unwilling MK Ultra participant and thinking about how crazy it would be to have been in that guy's shoes, with a head full of acid surrounded by CIA suits turning you into a lab rat. "Ubasute" off the new record is loosely about this ancient Japanese practice where once you reached a certain age, you were basically taken to the forest and left for dead. "War of Belief" is about how flawed and dangerous the concept of "influencers" can be on an already disconnected social landscape. And then there's songs like "Lost in Rage" which is pretty simply about being pissed off and losing your cool. Much like our music, we're pretty all over the place with our lyrics as a way of keeping things interesting and not falling into any sort of pattern.

6. Where was your last gig?

We just played The Alternative Gallery in Allentown a couple weeks ago on a whim after a couple bands had to drop off. Paul Caravasi, the promoter there and the guy behind Soulgrinder Zine, is a close friend of the band so when he asked us to hop on the bill a few days before the gig, we jumped at the chance. The Alt Gallery is like our home away from home and Paul is almost singlehandedly keeping the metal scene alive in our area so we always appreciate being invited to play one of his shows.

7. Where would you like to act (perform)?

Anywhere we haven't played yet! We want to play on as many stages as we can, big or small, and get our music to as many new listeners as we can.

8. Whom would you like to feature (perform) with?

Any of our favorite bands...Carcass, Protest the Hero, Revocation, Megadeth, Gojira...the list is infinite. The Black Dahlia Murder was always a bucket list band to share a bill with as well since the Majesty DVD is basically our band bible but with the recent passing of Trevor, I don't know if we'll ever get the chance.

9. Who not?

Any band that wants to start drama instead of trying put on a good show. No matter how shitty our day's gone so far or how many people are in the crowd, we get on stage to have a good time and throw down and we just want to be surrounded by fans and bands that share the same attitude.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

We definitely all had stage fright our pre-show anxiety to some degree early on but I think we're all over it at this point. The best things you can do to shake it are to practice until the songs are second nature so you can focus on putting on a good show, to not let one bad note ruin your attitude for the whole show because chances are no one even noticed it. The best remedy is to just keep playing out because eventually the anxiety disappears and all that's left is the unbeatable high of being on stage performing music you love.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

I could name a laundry list of bands that have inspired us musically, from Death to Mr. Bungle to Trivium to Exodus, but there isn't enough space to list them all so I'll go with the one that influenced us as a band more than any other: The Black Dahlia Murder. I picked up the Majesty DVD on a whim back in high school after getting into their album Ritual and I had never seen a band that was that intense musically seems so fun to be around offstage. All the other death metal bands I knew of portrayed this super serious, evil image in media where Black Dahlia was just a bunch of dudes who wanted to party and blast riffs and that's exactly what we wanted to do. Jimmy and I must've watched that DVD almost every day after school and it's so burnt into our brains that we still quote it probably once a practice.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

A hug after a show. We lay it all out on the stage so, by the end of the set, all of us are drenched in sweat and assorted other fluids so why anyone would want to even come near us immediately after we play is still a mystery to me.

13. What do you think of your fans?

We're forever thankful for anyone who supports what we do, even more for the fans that make it out to shows and match the energy we try to bring to every show we play. Every time I look out and see people losing their minds to our music, whether they're in the pit or headbanging up front, it truly makes all the long drives, back pain, and time spent honing in the songs worth every second. 

14. What do you think of our site?

Breathing the Core is great! I really appreciate that you guys focus on actually reviewing music, talking process, and having an ear to the underground instead of spewing gossip and clickbait like a lot of music sites tend to do nowadays. It's tough to find a music-centric site that isn't just a whirlwind of random headlines so kudos to you guys for keeping it about the music first and foremost.

15. Something to add?

Thanks so much for the interview and to anyone who hasn't heard of us before, our latest album Empire Anatomy is available to check out on all major streaming platforms! If you like what you hear and want to support the band, give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what we're doing, hit to grab a CD, T-Shirt, or any of the other merch we've got up there, and tell your local show promoters that you want to see us on a stage near you!

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