Monday, 7 August 2017

Interview with Danny Finch of Dead Soul Communion

While still being a fairly new band, there's a lot of very experienced hands on board with Dead Soul Communion, featuring members of Steve Harris British Lion, Synaptic, and former members of Devilment and Dearly Beheaded among others. They've just released their self titled debut album which is already making a big impact on people, including many listeners of the Dark Side Of Metal show who've been in touch and commented on just how impressed they were when they were played on air. Hopefully the future will bring good things for them, and I was recently able to speak to Danny Finch from the band and find out more about them. Here's what he had to say...

Firstly, thank you for taking part in this interview. For the benefit of anybody who may not be familiar with Dead Soul Communion, could you briefly introduce yourselves and describe your music?

Danny: I’m Danny Finch, I'm the guitarist, founder and songwriter for this album. I also do the clean vocals, but I was never meant to be the vocalist. But just couldn’t find anyone who would do it ha ha. I’m never comfortable ever describing my music or giving it a genre, I don’t like to label or kind of box in what I do. I think overall it’s just metal, and we dip our foot in some other styles too. You’ll just have to buy the album and you can tell me what our music is ha ha.

How did you all get together and what made you decide to form Dead Soul Communion?

Danny: I put DSC together right after I left Devilment, I wanted to take the ideas musically of what I was doing with that band and take it to the next level. There are a lot of changes , but it’s still very much the root of what I do. Simon (Drummer) and Kev (bassist) were both in what I think was the definitive line up of Devilment. I missed working with those guys, so as soon as I left, I started writing and made the calls to Simon and Kev who were both wanting to work with me again. You have to remember that Simon was the guy who I wrote all the Devilment stuff with for that first album, we got the sound together. So it’s only natural that we could take it to the next level, and he knows what I want, and I know how he plays and it just works. 

Who are the biggest musical influences on you as a band?

Danny: When I’m writing I tend not to listen to music, not anything that’s metal anyways. I find I’ll end up writing something that sounds like the last album I heard. So I’ll listen to a lot of podcasts or audio books or ambient music or soundtracks, something like that. I listen to so much stuff, and I have thousands of albums. I think maybe I take a little of everything, and you can hear all those styles and sounds in what I and the band does. 

You’ve all been involved in a number of other bands prior to forming this one, including Steve Harris British Lion, Synaptik and Devilment. In what ways has the experience of being in those bands as well as the sound of those bands carried forward into Dead Soul Communion?

Danny: Simon is in British Lion and Kev is in Synaptik, and of course as I mentioned before we were all in Devilment, including Dan Jackson who supplied some solos on this album. I’ve been playing since I was 14 and been in bands since I was 16. Myself Edwin (vocals) met in college in 1995 and we had an industrial death metal band called Episeed. We did a lot of demos on 4 tracks, and of course now were doing stuff on Logic and thinks are just different in the way we write and record, I never liked the whole computer based recording, but over the years I saw the advantages to it, not only from a production point of view, but as a tool to write with. I think I learnt a lot of over the years about how to write music and how to record it. I listened a lot to the producers and musicians that I’ve work with, and other bands too. I never spend any time trying to play guitar better, but I just practice writing songs. 

I think that maybe my experience over the years has taught me about the business side and the profession side of what I do. I’ve been ripped off and fucked over by so many people in the industry that I try and do things on my terms and that of the band too. We look out for each other and our business is good. We’re doing well and its growing, but it’s all on our terms and within our control. I think that’s the most important thing for me and for the band, and if you want to call it “The Product” as a whole 

Your self-titled debut album came out on July 28th, can you tell us a bit about it? What can we expect from it and who might it most appeal to?

Danny: I think it crosses a few genres and lines, I think it will appeal to not only the metal fans, but also the hard rock, the prog fans and maybe even the goth fans. I know a few people who don’t even like metal, like some of the songs they’ve heard. I’m really proud of it and I think it’s my definitive moment musically. It’s a good hard metal record with atmosphere and epic melodies. 

How was the writing and recording process for this album?

Danny: It was pretty good, I wrote most of the album here in my home studio. I guess it took about 6 months to write this album over an 18-month period, but I took a year off in the middle while I was doing the Bloodshake chorus. We recorded the drums at Simons house and everything else music wise was done here in my home studio. We did the vocals at Scorpio Studios which is my friend Jordan from Scream Serenity’s studio. 

I love writing and recording, I love the creating songs from nothing. I like how they form themselves and become songs, just from an idea or a jam. It’s the best part of being in a band. Paul was really helpful, he kind of controls my madness and helps me get to the point I want to get it. Ed was great and helping me craft the lyrics to make sense. It was a great process and it works for us. 

What sort of themes do you explore in your lyrics?

Danny: There’s a lot of emotional content in these lyrics, from break ups, to sadness, depression and suicide, to drink and drug abuse. it all kind of talks about the last three or four years of my life. I went through a real dark period in my life. I turned to heavy drinking mixed with drug abuse. I did it to cover the depression and anxiety, but I had to face it with a clear head. I had so much anger and bitterness. I’m in a really good place now and I’m clean and sober. I feel the best I’ve felt in years and musically I’m writing my best work right now. 

You also have a video for the song Suicide Lullaby, people can watch this on YouTube, can you tell us about the inspiration behind this video?

Danny: Originally I wanted a fight scene done by my friends Machete 88. I just wanted like 30 seconds of footage, but they delivered me this whole story. The video kind of took on a new vision, and it works well with the lyrical content. The lyrics and the video are about self-destruction through alcohol abuse, leading to suicide. It’s kind of how my life was a couple of years back, I wanted to drink myself to death. The concept of the video is about fighting your internal demons, hence the violence portrayed. The girl in the video is meant to symbolise an angel. Right at the end the two demons look at each other and nod to say job done. It was a great video to make and were planning to do more with Machete 88 guys in the future. 

The album has been available and selling for pre order for a while now, as well as having received a fair amount of reviews and airtime in various places. How has the response so far been? Are you happy with the response and is it what you expected?

Danny: it could be more, but we're doing it ourselves, and we're doing well. I got left with a lot of debt from the Devilment thing, so money for me is really tight. We didn’t have a massive budget to record the album, and we don’t have any money for promoting it. We're just going old school and learning how to promote this thing as we go along. 

Do you have any touring plans once your album is released?

Danny: Not for this album, but were looking to put a second album out in May 2018, and were already setting up some festival shows around the UK for the summer of 2018. Right now we are just putting our attention on to writing. I want to have a killer tight set for when we play live.

What has been the most enjoyable part of being in Dead Soul Communion so far? Also, what has been the most challenging?

Danny: Challenging has been the lack of money and budget, plus also trying to get this album to be reviewed and even listened to. The most rewarding part was handed my little girl last week the finished CD and she jumped around in joy, ha ha. 

What’s next for Dead Soul Communion once after your album has been released? What would you like to see happen in the future for the band?

Danny: We’re taking the summer off then in September we start writing album two. I’ve been messing around with ideas but in September we go full on, with plans to start recording in January 2018. I think I’d just like to see us grow, and were doing that. It’s a long slow process and a lot of work, but the pay off its gonna be worth it. It’s nice to know we are doing this ourselves. 

What are your thoughts on the metal scene in 2017? What do you like most, and least about it?

Danny: I have a big issue with the some of the labels and bands, I see so much greed. I understand that everyone is trying to make money and keep their band alive. But I see bands making big mistakes and becoming a product. It’s not so much about the music anymore it’s about “Look what crap product we have to sell you”. There seems to be a lack of original or innovative bands right now. Everyone is trying to sound like everyone else. We are certainly not doing anything new, but we take some many ideas and influences to make our sound, but my issue is bands just basing their sound on one or two bands. It’s just disposable music. I hate how many people just sit there a bitch and moan, there just doesn't seem to be the support like there was. I can see us moving away from the metal scene in the future, and I kind of wish there was a second metal scene, one that doesn't have the bull shit this current one does. I have over the past few years taken a step away from it. I still on a Friday listen to all the new bands releases that come out on apple music etc, and I’ve come across some good ones. I’ve started buying vinyl again. But I stay away from things like Facebook and YouTube, and I don’t read the comments. I don’t want to see that shit. People are just fucking it up for themselves you know, and it seems to be the younger generation that our doing it. They just want to destroy and moan, and metal starting to be separated again. Back when I was growing up you had Thrash vs Glam vs Grunge, and then there was nothing. Now you have people that only listen to Djent or EMO or Black Metal or Hardcore etc. I listen to everything and I like most styles of metal. People freak out if you listen to stuff that’s not metal. I just like what I like you know. and that’s how it should be. But I can’t stand this whole product vibe, its killing it and I’m losing respect for certain bands, but I think it’s more a thing of labels pushing that. Labels are just getting so greedy you know.

Finally, thanks again for taking part, is there anything else you’d like to add or say to people reading this?

Danny: I just want to thank yourself for giving me the time and giving us the support for our band. Thank you.