Dreaded Silence – Traces of Hope

Wednesday, 15th June 2016

Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the major differences between the band in the studio versus live performances? And what have been some of your favorite moments/places to play in your career?

Ken: We’ve been lucky enough to play in some interesting places with a lot of cool bands and watch some of the local bands we’ve shared the stage with go pretty far. Ralph’s is a great place for metal, so I always enjoy playing there.

Scott: I think the biggest difference between the two is that it’s impossible to replicate all the layering we do on record when we play live. Speaking for myself, it’s also very difficult to focus on more of our unorthodox sections while not being a statue on stage, especially when adding backing vocals into the mix.

As for particularly memorable experiences, opening for Katatonia twice definitely stands out, as well as playing with Woods Of Ypres, both of which are among my favorite bands. The CD release show for Jet Black, Blood Red was a fantastic time, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t add my first show with the band way back in 2003. For venues, Ralph’s Diner in Worcester, and The Skybar in Somerville (RIP) have been my favorite places to play, in large part because of MT Booking’s Chris Farmerie and the late Anderson Mar of Dark Sky Productions, who always manage(d) to put together great lineups.

Chris: Listening to the record the songs are so much more dense and layered than they are live, you’ll never hear that live, but for me the live performance of these songs will be the most memorable. The record will last forever, but the organic and raw feeling of playing and hearing these songs live will always be my preferred way to remember them. Like the guys mentioned above, Ralph’s would be the number one spot during my tenure with the band.

Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the New England metal scene – it seems to be quite healthy in terms of creative bands of varying styles plus a lot of hard working promoters and clubs to develop a following? Where do you think improvements need to be made either from music or public support perspectives?

Scott: I’ve always loved the New England metal scene, and the incredible amount of talent has obviously translated to national and worldwide success. We’ve been privileged to not only play with some fantastic bands, but count them among our friends, and a large part of that is due to the general camaraderie of our scene. It’s been harder for us to “fit in” at times due to us not fitting neatly into one particular subgenre, but there’s enough diversity to make it work. As for improvements, I think it comes down to venues and booking. A lot of promoters get burned out, and a lot of venues don’t last very long. That’s one reason why we love Ralph’s so much – Chris has been putting on fantastic shows for almost 10 years now, which is incredible. It would be great if another venue could have that amount of stability.

Ken: There’s a lot of diversity and talent in New England and a lot of good people who support it. There’s never a shortage of shows going on, no matter where you are in the region, so it’s hard to get bored. I like seeing other bands from this area get the recognition they’ve earned.

Dana: The New England scene is probably as healthy as you could expect a metal scene in 2016 to be. It suffers from the same ailments as all other small, niche music scenes and that is apathy on the part of music listeners. People just don’t care as much about going to see live music as they used to.

Chris: Got to agree here, the NE metal scene is fantastic, all genres are represented, and we get some incredible shows lined up at the local and national level. My only criticism would be a lack of venues. In my town alone I’ve seen at least a half dozen clubs open, show great promise by hosting sick shows, and eventually get sold to make way for churches, restaurants and bars with a karaoke night, but no live music. The bands are hungry and want to play, and they just need a place.

Dead Rhetoric: Has work begun on the follow up to this record – and if so, what direction do you sense the new material taking?

Scott: We’ve thrown around some ideas here and there, but nothing concrete has come together. It’s obvious when we’re trying to force things, so we end up throwing a lot of ideas aside. I wouldn’t say there’s a particular direction with what we’ve been coming up with, but it’s certainly in line with our other material.

Ken: I’ve been accumulating lyric fragments and ideas over the years. Some are more developed than others, but I’m not sure which, if any, will make it into whatever we write going forward. I have some riff ideas too and Mike has recorded some of his. We’re all going to get together soon and see what we can come up with. Considering how long ago we wrote The Last Vestige of Hope, I expect the new stuff will sound very different.

Dead Rhetoric: What are five albums that everyone in the band believes are monumental to the total outlook of Dreaded Silence as a whole – either in terms of musical ability or promoting that connective feeling?

Ken: It’s hard to pick five, but I’ll try.

Sentenced – Crimson
Katatonia – Discouraged Ones and Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Dan Swano – Moontower
Amorphis – Elegy

Scott: Speaking for myself:

Opeth – Still Life and Damnation
Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Megadeth – Youthanasia

Dana: I don’t think we could even agree on five bands, let alone five albums. I’ll throw in my two cents on the five I would choose though;

Porcupine Tree – In Absentia
Opeth – Blackwater Park
Death – Symbolic
Katatonia – Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Chris: The beauty of this question is that everyone’s answer is going to be different since we all draw from diverse influences as individuals, and that’ll show in which albums we feel connected to. Way out there compared to the rest of the guys, but these records were on repeat for me when we were hammering this material into what it is;

Opeth – Deliverance & Damnation
Yes – Fragile
Between the Buried and Me – Colors
Meshuggah – Chaosphere.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you see the rest of 2016 for Dreaded Silence in terms of promotion and shows for the new record? What types of goals do you set for yourselves?

Scott: It’s hard to chart our course from here. We’re spread out in various parts of Massachusetts, which makes it hard for us to get together as often as we’d like to, especially when factoring in jobs, families, etc. It’s also definitely in our collective natures to pull back from the world for stretches, which doesn’t help matters. I know we’re hoping to get some shows together and focus more on promotion, but time will tell.

Ken: I want to dive right into working on new material. There was a lot of time between the completion of songwriting and the end of the recording process, so the new album doesn’t feel very new to us. We definitely need to focus some of our effort on getting the word out about the record, and this interview definitely helps that cause, so thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to us about the band.

Chris: I’m sad to say that I’m going to be moving from Mass to Florida this summer, so 2016 is a year of serious change for me. I’m going to be keeping in touch with everyone, and hope to jump immediately into building a studio to record in at home. Everything else is up in the air, we’ll see what happens when I head south.

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