INTERVIEW: DEAD LETTER CIRCUS

Dead Letter Circus

With a new record hitting your speakers and a national tour on it’s way, Dead Letter Circus can’t wait to hit the road. We sat down with drummer Luke Williams to chat about ‘The Catalyst Fire’, the Australian music landscape and rocking all over the world.

By Emma Dean

Your new album ‘The Catalyst Fire‘ was just released – how are the fans reacting to it? What are you most proud of with the new record?
The fans have been so supportive of this new record! They’re loving the heavier, more progressive sound we’ve gone for, while still maintaining our signature style. I’m super proud of everybody’s personal touches on the record. That’s what makes it what it is – a collaborative tapestry of musical moments.

Was the recording process much different from your last album? What was inspiring you throughout the process and how do you feel about the end result?
The recording process was much the same in that some of the record was written and conceived in the studio when recording, [and] some of it was very well thought out and structured before we entered the studio. I think both techniques have their merits in that while structure is great, sometimes you can’t beat that spontaneity of laying down something totally fresh in the studio. It has a real excitement to it. Everyone in the band is super proud of the end result!

You’ve had a lineup change since the last album – how did the new perspectives help with songwriting for the new songs?
You can definitely hear the change in personnel on this record, but it’s certainly for the better. We used three different guitar players to help create the amazing guitar symphony you hear on the record.  Our live guitar players Clint & Tom worked with our studio guy Luke Palmer to create this beautiful hybrid of ideas that really complemented what was going on with myself, Kim and Stewart.

The Catalyst Fire‘ is your third collaboration with producer Forrester Savell – how does he push you as a band to bring your best to the table?
Forrester is a great friend and our producer. What you get with him is complete honesty and a real passion in the project. I think he takes great pride in everything he does, so he makes sure that what we put out is only the best stuff we can come up with. [He’s] another filter, if you like, of band ideas. He gets what we do and just complements it perfectly. He deserves every accolade he gets!

Do you have any particular favourites from the new album? What tracks go down live the best?
We haven’t really tested any of these songs on a live audience yet. My faves would have to be The Cure, Alone Awake, Insider and I Am.

With all the generic indie rock currently hitting the airwaves, do you think the Australian music scene is losing it’s edge?
I don’t think so. Trends will come and go, but at the end of the day, people will still respond to good music if it’s put in their faces. I hear a lot of talent coming out of Australia, and when we travel overseas,  people are always saying that Australia produces some of the best music in the world. And I have to agree there.

You’ve been quite successful overseas – how useful do you find events like SXSW? Do you find they bring more fans or industry contacts?
Our experience at SXSW was crazy. It was so chaotic and massive and stressful, but it can open up doors if the right people see you. I think you need to have a buzz around you already for that event to be of any great importance to you though. In saying that, we’d go back in a heartbeat, because it’s just so damn exciting!

What are your long-term goals for the band? Are there any particular artists that impact on yourselves as a band?
We’d just love to keep this as our careers and possibly expand it further overseas so we can see the world. All of us love the idea of seeing the world together as this progressive gypsy tribe of travelling brothers. I recently watched the Parkway Drive DVD “Home Is For The Heartless” and that really summed up how I want my music career to pan out. Visiting foreign countries, playing rad shows, then travelling around that particular country soaking up its vibe. Those guys have got it sorted!

What is up next for the band?
The National tour starts on August 29th and goes around Australia until September 20th. Then we head to South Africa for a couple of festival shows, then off to the UK for a run of dates, and then back to the U.S for a big tour. Busy times indeed!

Are there any awesome local up and coming bands you’d like to give a shout out to?
I really love Twelve Foot Ninja, those guys own! We’re taking out Closure In Moscow and Sleep Parade on this upcoming Aussie tour – those bands kick serious anus as well. Check them out if you haven’t already.

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Many thanks to Luke for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out the dates for the upcoming Australian tour at: https://pushtofire.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/news-dead-letter-circus-announce-new-video-tour/

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