Dead Label are a talented band who are on the rise. They’ve broken out of their native Ireland to support bands like Machine Head, Fear Factory, Gojira and Raging Speedhorn and graced Download Festival this month. Recently I spoke to guitarist Danny Hill about his musical journey, their excellent album Throne of Bones, playing Download Festival and what comes after Download for the three piece.
Jack: Hey thanks for taking the time to speak to me. How are you doing?
Danny Hall (Guitars): Yeah, no bother. I’m all good.
Jack: What was the first instrument you picked up?
Danny: The guitar. I have three brothers that play so there was always guitars lying around, I just picked it up automatically I suppose.
Jack: What bands got you into music?
Danny: Guns and Roses and Metallica, they got the ball rolling for me I guess, I was just obsessed with guitar solos, I realised after that the songs were unreal. [Laughs]. But I was just after the solos when I was a kid.
Jack: Were you surrounded by music growing up?
Danny: Yeah, I was brought up on Queen, Thin Lizzy, Dire Straits, that sort of thing. It didn’t really grab me by the balls until I heard night train though.
Jack: What’s the music scene like in your hometown?
Danny: Well my hometown is small, me and Dan went to an all boys school run by priests, only 700 students in uniform, so the six metal heads in school was really something *laughs*. We live not too far from Dublin City so I guess that would be our “hometown” in terms of a metal scene, yeah the metal scene is really good in Dublin and there is a lot of great talent.
Jack: What was the first metal album you bought?
Danny: The black album, blew my mind! And still does!! Its a slippery slope from there, before you know it you are listening to bludgeoning heavy shit.
Jack: How did your shows with Raging Speedhorn go?
Danny: Yeah, they were awesome! Great crowds and they guys from Raging Speedhorn were so friendly.
Jack: Throne of Bones came out last year, looking back how do you feel about the album?
Danny: Looking back I am proud of that record and will stand by it forever, with any artist I suppose you are always looking ahead what’s next, and with each album you learn so much, about what you are as a band and where you want to go.
Jack: Is there anything you’d change about?
Danny: No, no regrets, we are the band we are today because of that album, and musically I’m excited about what we are writing right now.
Jack: You just released a video for ‘Pure Chaos’ which is about “a religious cult leader, who, after forcefully expanding his congregation, gets his comeuppance.” What inspired this video?
Danny: Well mostly we wanted something visually that people would remember, people get bored of just watching a band playing in a room.
Jack: You worked with the Crooked Gentlemen for the video track, what was it like working with them and how involved were you in the creative process.
Danny: Yeah the guys were great to work with and it was a great experience to work with people who film at that level, it was very professional and quality was always paramount.
Jack: Are you happy with the response to the song and video?
Danny: Yes we are very happy, for a band at our level it really seems to have reached a lot of people and it’s been getting a great response.
Jack: You’re playing Download this year on the Dogtooth stage. What can we expect from your set?
Danny: Heavyness. [Laughs] We basically write our music for the live setting so we really wanna bring it, but we try bring it for every show we play, we put every bit of energy we have into it.
Jack: Have you ever been to the festival before?
Danny: No, I’ve actually played more festivals than I’ve been to to just watch. [Laughs] I’m really looking forward to Download.
Jack: You are also playing Hammerfest next year, is this your first time at the festival?
Danny: Yeah also another first, it’s great not having to pay for a ticket for these things!
Jack: Your new album is dropping next year, how will it be different to your previous album?
Danny: Well it will be heavier, I guess it will just be the next chapter for our band, we have had a lot of experience on the road and festivals since Throne of Bones so I feel the new songs will really translate a lot better live and kick you in the face a bit harder.
Jack: What other plans do you have coming up?
Danny: We have a hometown show planned! Then Download, Wildfire and Aggressive Music Festival. We have some European shows with Nervosa too.
Jack: Finally, what album has had the most impact on you as musician?
Danny: Master of Puppets, I say that because I’m still learning from it today.