Interviews: Botolph Dissidents

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Metal band, Botolph Dissidents from Japan. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

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

The name Botolph Dissidents was planned and it’s a combination of two important elements of our music: My hometown is Boston, Massachusetts which is named after the original Boston, in England, which is a contraction of “Saint Botolph’s town.” It also has a deeper meaning for us personally, as Dave is from Australia, Hideo is from Japan and I am from Boston. We all met up having traveled the world and converged in Japan. As Saint Botolph is the patron saint of travelers it’s very fitting for us as a band. The “Dissidents” part of our name ties into the fact that we continue the metal tradition of using our songs as a form of music journalism to fight political and systemic oppression, give a voice to the voiceless and draw attention to social causes. Metal is power, and we can use that power to make a difference in the world.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

As a professional musician, and guitar teacher, I respect, appreciate, and have to be able to play all musical genres, but my heart belongs to metal. My identity, comfort zone, and home base are metal and have been for thirty years and will continue to be as long as I’m breathing. As I’m an 80s metal kid, I have to confess that I’m not overly familiar with specifications on how to label the modern sub-categories of metal. I listen to and enjoy all genres of metal and I think organically our music has elements of all the basic metal genres, but I’m still not quite sure how to label our music specifically, genre-wise. I know at the core, we have strong old-school thrash and power metal roots. One of the biggest things I’m looking forward to is hearing from our fellow metal brothers and sisters and their thoughts about what genre they would label us as, and also what THEIR favorite bands are. It’s always so exciting and an honor to find out that someone who likes one of our favorite bands and influences, also likes US!

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

We met by chance working gigs in Tokyo. I was running rock and metal jam sessions in Tokyo while looking for band members so I could play my originals live and record them. Dave and Hideo were also by chance, looking to form an original metal band. I showed them my demos and they jumped on board and the band was born!

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Dave and I share similar roots having grown up with 70s and 80s rock and metal. Our old-school favorites include Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Priest, Maiden, Scorpions, Sabbath, Deep Purple, Van Halen, and Dream Theater to name a few. Dave is always listening to modern metal and striving to blend traditional metal beats with modern approaches. Hideo’s wheelhouse is blues and old-school progressive rock like King Crimson, Genesis, and U.K.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

As we use music as a form of musical journalism to give a voice to the voiceless and fight political and systemic oppression throughout the world. The daily tragedies in the world around us inspire me to write.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig before I had to rush back to the States to tend to my mom’s illness and subsequent passing was in Kawasaki Japan at Serbian Night.

7. Where would you like to act?

My dream would be to play at The Waken Open Air festival or any other outdoor metal festival.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

The dream is to play with any of our influences.

9. Whom not?

We would be honored to share a stage with any of our fellow rock and metal bands throughout the world.

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

Absolutely, all day every day, haha! I can be such a perfectionist sometimes and if I make the slightest mistake I won’t be able to sleep for days. The key, traditionally, is practice, knowing your material inside and out, warm up, and being physically and mentally ready to play. I think anyone who cares about their music and their performance will get stage fright to some degree, because they want to put on the best performance possible and there are so many factors with managing equipment, travel, etc. Even with all the confidence and practice in the world, stage fright will still creep in, so here’s my never-fail method to overcome it instantly. Play your music with passion, whether it's for 1,000 people or 10 people. Make contact with the audience and when you see the real live audience members enjoying and connecting with your music, the stage fright disappears, as you are now one with the audience and the music.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

We’re inspired by any band that performs live, releases a CD, makes a music video, or posts any creative content.

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

Since we run a lot of jam sessions we’ve had to provide a lot of services from learning songs, teaching others songs, repairing gear, giving folks rides, buying folks food, and all types of personal advice and assistance. We truly are a band of people!

13. What do you think of your fans?

We have the deepest respect, admiration, and gratitude for anyone that would take time out of their day to listen to our music. Our fans are our lifeblood and we do this all for them! This music has such a deep and personal connection to us; we’ve poured our blood, sweat, tears, and souls into writing, recording, and performing these songs. When our music connects with you, it connects you to us on a deep and personal level. I’m always thinking of the listener and imagining a live audience when I write because we are a live band. What you hear on the album is what you get live. So, I think of how I can best create a groove, melody, and lyrics that will move and bring us all together.

14. What do you think of our site?

I think that it’s very honorable that you are giving this opportunity to indie bands like ours. Since we as bands spend the majority of our time and effort composing, performing, rehearsing, and recording we struggle when it comes to promotion and getting the word out, especially when you don’t have the power of a major label to do all that work for you. Breathing the Core Zine gives us an opportunity to make a real connection to real-life listeners that are seeking out honest indie music and we also get to learn more about our fellow indie bands and discover new music!

15. Something to add?

I want to say thank you again for taking the time to learn more about us and I hope you enjoy the album. We are looking forward to getting out and playing shows to meet our current and new fans! If you liked the album or would like to see us live, we would love to hear from you. Also if you could help us figure out what genre we are, let us know, haha! If you know of anyone that may enjoy our music please share it and pass it on. It would mean so much to us to know that our music gets spread organically from one metal fan to another as we are a grass roots band and movement, working together with you to make honest music that can make a difference. We also are working on finally getting some merch made, so keep an eye out! You can keep up to date with the latest band news via the links below:

Thank you very much! Sincerely, and respectfully, on behalf of Botolph Dissidents, Andy Hear Now - link collection page 

 Andrew McGuire personal music page 

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