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Dr. Living Dead
Dr. Living Dead completely blew me away when I heard their release of incredible crossover hardcore/metal. Trust me this band is the real deal. Here is an interview with Dr. Rad from the band:
MC: Let's get the boring question out of the way. How did the band form and what is the current line-up now? How many line-ups did you go through before you got to the current one?
RAD: The band was formed back in 2007 by Dr.Ape and Dr.Toxic. They didn't know at the time that it was going to be a real band but did it rather as a project because they weren’t happy with what their old band was doing. They did the first demo with Ape on drums and vocals, and Toxic on guitar and bass. I joined later in ‘07 and then we’ve had 3 or 4 different drummers up until the beginning of 2010 when Dawn joined and that’s the line up right now.
MC: How long did it come about before you think you found your sound? For those who have never heard of the band, what would you say you sound like?
RAD: I think when Ape and Toxic did the first demo they kind of established the foundation of what sort of influences the band would draw from, but as we’ve been playing for a few years now I think we’ve sort of understood how we can do it so it really feels like “the Doc”, if you know what I’m saying. It’s kind of obvious that we are big fans of stuff like Slayer, Suicidal, Anthrax, S.O.D. and Nuclear Assault to name a few but we are really open minded people so sometimes you get ideas from different kinds of areas but you work on them so they get that feeling you want it to. The most important thing so far for us has been to make music with a certain energy that gets your heart pumping and that’s probably what we’re going to continue doing, but maybe try a few different things along the way. We’ll see.
MC: How did you come up with the band name and were any other names considered?
RAD: We never really considered anything else. Ape had made a small sketch of this scary dude that just happened to lay around when they wrote the first couple of songs and he ended up on the cover and then it was such a great thing to come up with ideas around, from stage-preps to artwork and lyrics.
MC: Where you are based out of is there at least a decent metal scene and do you get to live around your area often? Do you think your a good live band?
RAD: There are a few metal bands in Sweden right now that are really really good, but there is not really a scene, at least not for the stuff we do. In Sweden we mostly play at hardcore shows and stuff, which are great usually, and at festivals. Personally I think we can fit in anywhere from thrash, hardcore, punk, death metal or whatever. Some people should be more open minded when it comes to mixing up shows and stuff. I let the audience decide if we're good or not but I can say for sure that we put 100% into performing live, no matter what.
MC: Speaking of playing live, have you done any type of touring and is there any live clips of the band on sites like You Tube?
RAD: We recently came off the road from a european tour supporting Evile from England. There are some clips on Youtube yeah.
MC: Do you feel there is way too many bands in the underground now and it makes it that much tougher to get noticed?
RAD: I don't know, I think if you're good enough you'll get noticed sooner or later. I think it has always been hard to get noticed in a way, in the 80s there were also tons of bands and everyone had a demo, so it was a bit like it is now with the exception of the internet. But then again in the 90s it sure wasn't easy to get noticed either because the stuff wasn't considered cool and no labels wanted to release your records. It's just different times but it's always goin to be hard I think, talent and a bit of luck is the only way to go I would say.
MC: How did you end up on Tribunal Records and were any other labels interested and how has it been like working with them so far?
RAD: Well, the album was released in Europe by High Roller Records in August 2011 and then it has been licenced via Tribunal for the states. HRR is a good and important label for up and coming bands, they have been easy to work with and stuff. I hope they keep growing as time goes. So far so good.
MC: How as it going into the studio and recording? Did everything pretty much go smoothly and do you feel comfortable in the studio?
RAD: It was all good working with Fred Estby, but the schedule was a bit scattered and it was about 5 months from laying drum-tracks to finally getting it mastered and everything. Next time we're gonna be in his new studio and it's going to be even better and far more efficient.
MC: Were all the songs that appear on the disc pretty much ready to go before you went in the studio?
RAD: Yeah, apart from a few lyrics and details that were changed in the last minute basically. And obviously half of the songs also appeared on the demos but in earlier versions.
MC: Do you have any other releases out prior to this latest release? What has the response been to it so far?
RAD: Yeah we have two demos, from ‘07 and ’08. So far the album reviews have been great and a lot of people seem to dig it, which is very cool!
MC: Where do you see the music scene in the next say 5 years? Do you think almost all releases will be digital only and that CDs will fade away?
RAD: Hard to say man, sure hope that it won't be like that. Hopefully the vinyl revival thing will last and grow even stronger. As long as people realize the importance of supporting bands and getting their records I think it's gonna be alright. The enthusiasts will always be there though I think, browsing through 10 boxes of crap just to find that one LP that you're looking for. It's a special feeling that cannot be replaced by file-sharing.
MC: If you could pick one cover song do to, what song would it be and why?
RAD: We did a couple live already, we did record an Excel tune when we did the album, it may be released somewhere, somehow, we'll see. Why? Cause it fuckin' shreds!
MC: Does the band have any short term or long term goals for yourselves?
RAD: Right now that would be to finish the new album during this summer, and make it the best we possibly can. Then we wanna come out and tour again, we really wanna go to the UK and the States, and also come back to South America again!
MC: How does a song come together and are lyrics important to the band? What was the easiest and hardest song to write and record?
RAD: It's really kind of different with each one, usually the music comes first though. We have different ways or writing and sometimes we piece it all together in the rehearsal room and sometimes at home. The lyrics are important, but some more than others. I dunno about the easiest but the hardest one on the album was probably Reptiles Beneath.
MC: Tell me a little bit about each band member.
RAD: I'm sorry man that kind of information is strictly confidential.
MC: Do you hang out as a band even when doing non band related things?
RAD: Yeah, we hang out a lot. But not as much as I would like, we all have jobs and girlfriends and shit.
MC: About how much time in a given week is spent doing band related things? Do you guys practice much?
RAD: Not too much right now. It's hard to find enough time.
MC: Tell me the funniest thing that happened at one of your shows and what are some of the bands you have shared the stage with?
RAD: We played a show back in ´08 in Stockholm where the Doc grabbed a kid out of the audience and stuffed toxic fries down his throat and then threw him back in the pit. That looked pretty awesome.
Like I mentioned earlier we just got off a tour with Evile and Portrait in Europe. Other than that we've opened for Slayer which was really cool. Obviously a lot of Swedish bands like Hårda Tider, Undergång, Guitly and Interment to name a few. We're opening for Slapshot next week and then heading off to Rock Hard Fest in Germany where Bolt Thrower are playing and shit, really looking forward to that!
MC: Plug any websites and merchandise you have for sale?
RAD: Follow us on www.facebook.com/drlivingdeadofficial, for news and stuff. Also check www.deathfuckingthrash.com and for merch and records go to www.hrrecords.de or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org ...that about it!
MC: When will you sit down and start to think about your next release?
RAD: We are in writing mode right now, trying the get everything together for the recording. So keep your eyes/ears open!
MC: Any last words. Thanks for doing this interview.
RAD: Alright, thanks for supporting the Doc! Check out the album on Tribunal / HRR / Itunes or what ever you want. Question yourself and the world around you, it's not always what it seems. Remember to eat your vegetables!