10 Questions we ask every band...
Daggers Drawn got in touch and were good enough to answer some questions for us - the results were, well, lets just say it's the most entertaining interview we've ever conducted! Read on to find out how the band got together, what's in the pipeline for them and how Darren rides a 'crotch rocket'.....
1). Members Names:
Darren Hircock - Vocals
Matt Epps - Drums & Vocals
Daniel Couch - Guitar & Vocals
Rhys Jackson - Bass & No Vocals
2). When did you get together?
(Dan) Matt and I started jamming some stuff in 2008 after our previous band broke up. We had a need to do something heavy and I had a few riffs lying around so we tried some out, liked the results, and here we are! Oh, and Matt's responsible for the band name too. So blame him.
(Rhys) I joined Daggers Drawn around November/December 2009, they already had around 7 songs written at the time so it was just a case of learning the tunes and getting used to playing with a new group of musicians. Darren joined more recently to take on vocal duties and has really taken to the songs well and we can't wait to show off the new line up as soon as possible.
(Matt) - As the current line up, about a month ago, but Dan and Matt go way back, So far back in fact that the common "reach around" becomes quite an easy task at band practices.
(Darren) I joined only very recently, around 2 months ago.
3). How did you all meet?
(Matt) - Dan and Matt were hanging around outside Rhys's school last year, Dan tried to cop onto Rhys's Sister by saying he had an extra 7th string that needed strumming, Rhys got very angry and pulled out an almighty 6 string bass to fend off the oppressive Mr Couch. Dan fought back with a dictionary of verbal abuse that only a college professor could understand, in the Melee a calmly spoken Darren rode up on his crotch rocket and convinced the warring factions to team up. Rhys's good looks, Matt's charm and Dan's "experience" would serve them well with copping onto ladies. A band might not be out of the question either.
(Dan) - Evidently we're not going to get any sensible answers from Matt... I know Matt from our previous band, Wishlist, which disbanded in 2007. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson... The others we met through the typical 'dating ads' you put out on 'musicians wanted' websites, you know the type of thing - "young, supple bassist and seasoned male vocalist wanted to complete band, interests include sweating in an airless rehearsal room for hours and country walks, GSOH required"... Darren is the newest member, we knew of him from another Plymouth band he was helping out for a while years ago, and when we heard he was looking for a new band we got straight in touch 'cos he's awesome. Our previous vocalist was Matt Chapman, who left to concentrate on his other band, Athura, he's the guy doing vocals on our 2010 Demo. Rhys also plays bass in Athura now... we're kind of like a non-league football team who unearths local talent, then the Premier league teams come and snaffle our star players... and we don't even get a transfer fee! Actually, I'm still waiting on my call from Slayer as a touring stand-in for Jeff Hanneman, and Matt's waiting for Nickelback to give him a call. He chose not to join Dream Theater as he is too busy with his covers band...
(Rhys) - I was headhunted by Mr. Epps via 'joinmyband', he sent me a song to learn and I went for an audition. It must have gone well because I was asked to come back and we took it from there!
(Dan) - Actually you're still on trial!
(Darren)- to be honest, we'd all mostly known each other through friend bands and partners..I'd taken a good chunk of time out of playing, and mentioned on facebook to a friends that I was looking for a band to join, and Dan contacted me. Went from here.
4). How would you describe the music you make?
(Matt) - Complicated and un-dancable.
(Dan) - much to Matt's dismay...
(Rhys) - It takes an influence from every member of the band. We all have our own individual tastes and inspirations (from Matt's favourites Nickleback to Dan's obscure grindcore) so it can end up pretty diverse. Generally it's fast and heavy metal with a slight progressive twist.
(Dan) - I'd say it's a fairly modern, up-tempo take on metal, full of killer riffs and strong melodies, filtered through all of our influences. Oh, and we don't really rely too heavily on breakdowns, so that could be good for some of the older metal fans (such as myself), who yearn for the days of actual riffs rather than a bunch of stacatto rhythms. Although I like stacatto rhythms and atonality, obviously. More recently, I've been listening to a lot of fusion, which is starting to show in my guitar playing, so expect the new songs we're about to record to show more of those influences.
(Darren) - Yeah, what Dan said! Lol. It just is what it is. Think to much and it just becomes boring.
5). Who are your major influences?
(Matt) - Rhys's Duck, Nickelback and un-dancable "internet" bands
(Dan) - You'll have to ask Rhys about the duck. I've been into metal for about 20 years, especially old school stuff like Carcass, At The Gates, Morbid Angel, Emperor, Discordance Axis and also newer bands like Ulcerate, Deathspell Omega, Gojira, Burnt by the Sun etc. I also love classic rock, blues, grunge, jazz, whatever. I'm also into a lot of solo guitarist / instrumental stuff like Ritchie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan, Greg Howe etc. I hope you can hear all of those influences in the music, haha!
(Rhys) - For me, I'll always be a fan of Dream Theater so some of my writing and playing style comes from there. But I also try to keep a very broad taste in music e.g. a lot of my chord based playing is inspired by John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers. Other influential artists for me include people like Cloudkicker, Animals as Leaders and Protest the Hero.
(Darren) - My word, there are to many things to list. Everything from music.....to being cut up in traffic. It's all good baby.
6). Complete the sentence - one day as a band we hope to....
(Matt) - Feel young again.
(Rhys) - Write and record a stunning album with no beat replacement, programming, looping or anything like that!
(Dan) - I second that, there's a disturbing current trend for 'perfect' metal music, which can, in some cases, suck the soul and individuality out of a lot of stuff. And it means the bands don't even necessarily have to be very good at playing their instruments to sound awesome on a recording. I'd love to turn things around and do it all a bit more organically, and show that modern styles of metal can still sound good the old fashioned way. But for the next EP, it's Line 6, Drumkit From Hell and Autotune all the way! ;)
(Matt) - We're gonna call the next EP 'Quantizing the Edits Through a Trickery Pokery Sea of ProTools'.
(Dan) - Spoken with no trace of irony.
(Darren) - Get paid to tour!!! Lol.
7). Why should people listen to your music?
(Matt) - Because the sound of experience never gets old.
(Rhys) - I think out music aims to be a bit outside the box, we don't set out to conform to any trends or styles. We write as it comes and as a result I think our music would appeal to anyone looking to explore something a bit different to what they might be used to in the metal scene.
(Dan) - I don't even need to answer this after Matt's answer. However, I like waffling, so..... There's so much stuff out there, and it's so easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of bands doing their thing these days. It's a lot harder to get noticed and to an extent we're not even really trying that hard to get noticed, we're not really too concerned with the amount of 'Likes' we can amass, we're happy writing and recording and playing gigs from a personal achievement point of view. If anyone discovers us and likes it, it's a bonus. Also, some of us are getting pretty decrepit (well, I am anyway), so make some old men happy and listen to us, that just about answers the question! We've had some great reviews so I'm hoping there's some truth in them...
(Darren) Simply, because we fucking crush!!!!
8. What are the plans for the coming year?
(Matt) - Join Athura.
(Dan) - Ouch. Sick burn Matthew... Recording, we're intending to go all out on the next EP and make it a triumph of DIY recording and production. Expect lots of gnarly riffs, and some ripping solos. And I suppose there'll be some drums, and a bit of bass maybe if we can find time! Rhys is really coming into his own as an engineer and a musician, and we're happy to exploit his skills to make us sounds great! We're gonna continue writing music and shaping our sound and hopefully one day I might come up with some stuff that Matt can enjoy.
(Rhys) - We've got exciting plans for the next EP which pushes our boundaries further than before. We'll be tracking drums for that in early July. After that we hope to promote it with plenty of gigs and crack on with writing new material.
(Darren) - Record, write, gig, and have a good time. Sorry if that's a bit lame, but everyone these days seem so intent on getting signed and all that, it takes the fun out of playing. And that to me is what matters most.
9). Where can people get hold of your album?
(Matt) - Back of Dan's Van, Stonehouse Car boot sale, every sunday.
(Dan) - Or at the 'virtual car boot sale' - off good ol' Uncle Internet. For free, or you can make a donation on our Bandcamp page. Someone actually paid a quid for it, some random South American dude, which was nice! I expect he was bitterly disappointed though! You can buy physical copies from us, but we also like to provide freebies in keeping with our DIY spirit!
(Rhys) - Our current 6 track EP, released in 2010, is available for streaming or download for free from our band page: http://www.facebook.com/DaggersDrawnUK
10). Finally - say something profound which will make people think...
(Matt) - Don't miss the donut by looking through the hole.
(Rhys) - Nothing profound, but here's some interesting Daggers Drawn facts:
1. We have a combined total of 13 strings in the band, what does this mean?!
2. I'm pretty sure my rack system can dispense twix bars, I just haven't found the right button yet.
3. Matt E carries a black marker at all times, just in case he chips the paint on his drums. It's all about the image...
4. Occasionally I try to write complex riffs to throw at Dan in the rehearsal room to see how long it takes him to learn. My record is 15 minutes. It took me 2 hours to write.
(Dan) - Fact-tastic! Can't really think of anything... how about, in the words of Bill Hicks - "play from the fuckin' heart!". And, support your local music scene!
(Darren) - OK......how can Brian the dog (Family Guy) be an atheist if they had Jesus round for dinner!!??? Huh??? I'll leave you with that one.
If you want to find out more about Daggers Drawn or want to hear their music, check out their Facebook page HERE.