Dead By April are one of those bands you may or may not have heard before. They have gone through line-up changes over the years, released countless material, and toured everywhere possible. Now the band has found a solid line-up, have just released their third album with touring to follow-through so now all they would like to do is to "Let The World Know". Vocalist Zandro Santiago discusses about their third album, touring coming up and some back history on the band's past, present, and future activity.
1. Who was the one to be Dead By April? Can you tell me as to why you wanted to call this band Dead By April? Does the name having a meaning or representation
Zandro: The name represent the contrasts in our music. "Dead" being the metal/heavier stuff (or whatever label one would like to put on it) and "April" being the more melodic stuff.
2. Do you ever see the "original" line-up to ever get back together?
Zandro: No we don't. Finally we've managed to find a line-up that feels solid.
3. Since formation you guys have dealt with line-up changes and as of now only have one original member. Why do you think this had to happen? Why couldn't you guys all remain an "original" set from the formation?
Zandro: We made an official statement about Jimmies departure which can be found on our official Facebook profile. This statement explains why that decision was made. To be an original member or not is to us completely irrelevant. Whomever the line-up consists of, it must have the band's best interests at heart at any given time or situation. It's as simple as that.
4. Speaking of line-up changes, how do you go about finding a new member, that you know clicks with the band and meshes well with your music?
Zandro: Well, that can be a struggle. But we consider ourselves lucky having Marcus Wesslén in the band. Don't know how he does it, but he is amazing at finding great musicians. We did a lot of ground research to make the decisions we made so far, we wanted to find a solid line-up that could go on forever.
5. Do you think that this line-up as of now is the "one"? As in no more replacements or changes to be made or is there no telling?
Zandro: It's impossible to predict the future like that. But that would very much be our wish as the current line-up is working as it's supposed to. We get along, we look forward, we work hard and most importantly - We have fun and respect each other.
6. You guys have been around for 7 years, will you be doing anything when it comes to the 10 year mark?
Zandro: We have no such plans at the moment. But now we might start thinking about that :-)
7. Would you considers be considering playing your debut Self-Titled release in its entirety at any point? It's as of now, in its 5 year run, what do you think of bands doing this sort of thing?
Zandro: I guess we can do that. If that's what people wanna hear I'm sure we can play the first album on a couple of shows. I (Pontus) think it's a good thing. As you build your catalog of songs and albums over the years, people will always have different favorite songs. I think new songs shouldn't necessarily exclude old ones.
8. Will we ever see an acoustic rendition of your material in terms of a album or EP release?
Zandro: It's definitely not impossible. As for now there are no such plans though.
9. You guys are on your third album to date, "Let the World Know" what do you want to let the world know?
Zandro: We want to let the world know that Dead By April are here to stay. Most media said that we wouldn't survive the success with our self-entitled debut album. But here we are touring the world with our third album to date. We have a bigger fanbase than ever, we are entering new markets and we're getting offers from all over the world where they want us to play.
10. How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
Zandro: It has been fantastic! No. 1 on the Swedish hard rock charts. And no. 5 on the main chart. With this album we also managed to climb on the German billboard chart which is new to us. The general Dead By April fan base response is that "It's the best Dead By April album so far". Which is totally amazing. Hard work pays off.
11. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
Zandro: Recording-wise and counting 24 hour working days it'd probably be 3 weeks, spread out on a 3 month period or so. Although the writing of the "Let The World Know" album started almost immediately after the release of our second album "Incomparable". LTWK even includes a song that was written for the "Incomparable" album but didn't make it. That track is called "Done With Broken Hearts".
12. What kind of "sound", production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Zandro: I (Pontus) wanted to really capture the energy of each instrument. To make it sound as qualitative as possible in the production, but also make each instrument punch through clearly in the mix. I wanted the guitars to be more prominent and more "raw" in comparison to the "Incomparable" album. I think the drums was the toughest challenge. I wanted them to sound musically right as they must be able to carry songs like "Same Star" and "Infinity x Infinity" but also songs like "Replace You" and the title track "Let The World Know".
13. What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Zandro: Well, I (Pontus) produced the album and I was very much involved in every process. I like to involve whomever I work with in the process. Take the vocal recordings for example. I want to bring out the best out of Zandro and Stoffe of course to achieve the desired result according to how the song was written. But it's also important to me that they feel free when we record. If Zandro or Stoffe comes up with an idea we always try it out and if it fits we'll keep it. I'd like to think that it's not entirely up to the producer how it should sound. It's very important that the artist is satisfied with the result as well.
14. Are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Zandro: We're very proud of all of our albums but we agree upon this third album being the best sounding Dead By April album so far. We all put a lot of hard work into this album and hopefully people can hear that.
15. Did the producer use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Zandro: No. Not really. :)
16. Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Zandro: No, in my opinion the songs must write themselves. I (Pontus) consider myself being a tool to try and write every new song as good as that particular song can be written. But the song itself decides what the outcome will be. I like the idea of an album being as wide as possible song-wise. In the writing process I like to challenge myself that way. To uniquely characterize each song as much as possible so it doesn't become repetitive to listen to them. That also keeps me motivated.
17. Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
Zandro: Not so far. I get most of my inspiration from Michael Jackson and think he had a very healthy relationship to his music writing. I live and breathe music. Without it I couldn't proceed with my daily life. Compare it to a religion if you will. The sheer joy I get back from writing and performing is another thing that keeps me motivated.
18. Are there any "crazy" behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Zandro: Sorry, no.
19. What does the touring cycle look like for this album, when can we expect you guys over in the States?
Zandro: We look to come to the US right after summer as it seems, we're looking at different options right now, we played Webster Hall Studios a year ago, sold out, it was a magic experience for us to meet the US fans.
20. Aside from touring and this release, what else do you guys have planned for the rest of this year?
Zandro: This year will be all about touring as it seems, we're going one more round in Europe, a big one in the Nordics + The US, we'll be kept busy.
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