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Interview: Our Dying World
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Oh man, I have no idea. Music has been such a constant in my life from such a young age that I can’t really imagine life without but if I had to pick, I’d probably say I’d be doing something involving geology. Around the time I picked up a guitar, I had a love for paleontology and rocks so maybe something with fossils.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Usually playing some sort of video games. Most of the band in one form or another are some pretty big nerds at heart so Elden Ring, Overwatch, Mass Effect, Diablo are all really fun things for us to come together on.
How long has your band been around?
Our Dying World was started in 2019. Tom got to recording the EP and after assembling the band, we played a handful of really cool shows before we got shut down by the pandemic. We had a lot of time to write and restructure a few core things and when we returned, there was a fresh lineup, new songs ready to go, and we started pushing forward again.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We all met in Los Angeles, but as cliche, as it sounds, we’re from all over the country. Tom is from New Jersey, Dave is from Mississippi, Ray is from up north in a small NorCal town, Graham is from Chicago, and Austin and Nick are from here. So our influences are from all over the place. I think that’s partially what made the tunes so unique and fresh for us.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The band name kind of came naturally when you consider the last decade or so and the decline of so many things in our world. The state of humanity, music, the world’s condition in general; it all just feels like it's going south so it didn’t take much to put an umbrella over the concept. Hopefully the name reminds people that they can and should do better.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
To date I (Tom) remember the New Jersey Metalfest opening for Metal Mike of Halford as my most memorable. I was playing for a bunch of friends and family and it was our third show playing on the other side of the country. I think for all of us at the time, it felt like a big deal. Most recently we opened for Swallow The Sun at the Whisky and it was our first tour run slot. But I think most of the guys would agree with me in saying that the Wacken Battles were some of the most intense shows we’ve had. We had a chance to really study our performance, refine what we do, and we were met with so much love and support along the way. We came in second place by two points and if a relatively new band is pulling that off, we have nothing but high hopes for what’s to come.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
So far I think we had a really amazing show at Brick By Brick in San Diego. Nice wide stage with some really pro sound on stage. We’ve already played at all the iconic shows on Sunset but I think we all have our eyes set on the theater stages like Wiltern, Regal, Fonda…those are the ones I think all of us are really looking forward to.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Ideal show I think without limits would be Children Of Bodom, Lamb Of God, Wintersun, and ourselves. I think we’d really fit in with those bands well. I really wish we’d had a chance to open for Bodom. They were such a massive influence on most of us in the band.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Allow yourself to make mistakes and be patient. This is a long road that is going to take time. Practice in the meantime cuz when you get up there, you’re gonna wish you had whether you did or not. And if you don’t, the journey will be over quick. Dedicate, make rehearsals, and don’t stick around people who don’t have the same goals. If you wanna tour, do it. If you just wanna gig around, do that too. But be on the same page with your bandmates.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
The fire you felt is real. People allow it to go out and dim, but it’s going to be why you’re at the front of the pack after time goes by. Keep the fire let. Don’t quit. Let your mind run with creativity and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I think Survivor means the most at the moment. It highlights a really dark period in my life and trying to figure out how to overcome massive culture and social shock after being isolated from the world at a school convicted of child abuse and being able to finally face the experience and write about it. The guys were incredibly supportive and attentive to the subject matter and their support while the song came together means as much as the songwriting itself. It really was a massive mountain to overcome in my personal life and I definitely feel like I’ve come to terms with a lot of it because I was able to outlet it in this way.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Culticide is definitely an awesome song for us to play. It’s such a smack in the face from the stage and it almost always gets a pit going. We’ve made it our unofficial opener because it just starts the set off so strongly. As for songs we get asked to play, we’ve recently (this year) incorporated two of the new songs into the set, but before that, we played everything we had and that would fill a set so we’ll see what people think of the new tunes and get a feel for what they want to hear because now we’re past the point where we can play everything in a set.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Up until this record, Tom was doing everything, including the recording because it was frankly just easier to track and then have the members learn it. With Hymns, Graham took the songs and make them incredibly more dynamic. David wrote lyrics for the first time on Diary Of A War Dog, and Ray basically sculpted all of Under The Hunter’s Blade from a single riff. It’s safe to say that the process is definitely changing but we’re figuring it out. Graham is always coming up with cool riffs to send us and eventually I’m sure those will all come together as a cohesive unit of material.
Inspiration just kind of hits when it does. We don’t go into the process thinking about a certain subject until the music is written unless it hits hard and then says, “Ok this needs our attention”. But this cycle we talked about personal experience, death, the paradox between personal freedom and loneliness, and self-empowerment. The music usually helps us feel out where we want to go with a song lyrically, and then the subject gets written about it from there.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We like to talk about content that makes a typical reader or listener uncomfortable. That means you’re feeling something about what we’re doing. In that, we can safely assume that we’re making an impact. The music also has to back that up. The subject matter usually coincides with the band name so you can safely assume the messages are about grim realities and truths that not everyone feels good about addressing.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We’ve definitely had some disagreements and without going into too much detail, ultimately we’re all open to the possibility that we could be wrong and a group conscience is the best. When it comes to business decisions, there is definitely a minority of us who make the calls, so we have a heavier level of trust when it comes to things like that but I think we also trust each other well enough in other things that if we’re outweighed on something, I certainly trust the guys enough to let me know if I’m wrong and they’re looking out for all of us. Personal accountability is how we keep it going.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
The plan is to really move up to the next level in the circuit with the new material. We’re trying to make a name for ourselves as LA’s symphonic death metal band and what you’ll see from us is going to showcase that. We’re going to start trying to get ourselves on the opening slots of the tours coming to town and we’ll start there. Ultimately the goal is to get out on the road ourselves but we can’t run before we walk. You can help us out by pre-ordering the record at www.ourdyingworld.com/music ! We’ll see you out there!
Music Video - Veil of The Reaper -