Let’s start our interview talking about the Vans Warped Tour. It just ended after 24 years. We would like you to share with us your best memory of this important festival.
It was definitely in 2012. My past project Vampires Everywhere was asked to play Main Stage in Las Vegas. We ended up opening the stage to over 10k people! I got into the crowd and had my shirt ripped off and was sucked into the crowd itself. It was a crazy experience and one I’ll never forget. I cannot thank Kevin Lyman enough for having me on the tour & letting me live my dream.
In your opinion, how did The Warped contribute to the growth of punk/rock music scene in USA?
I think without Warped’s influence it would’ve been a harder pill to swallow to introduce punk to the conservative mainstream. Warped made new school punk music a household name & broke many amazing artists. It provided a giant platform for new & old bands to showcase who they are to a large audience & get their music out there. It was definitely more than just a festival, it was a movement!
Now, let’s focus on lyrics, we want to know, how do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
I like to be influenced by my surroundings. I try to take lyrics from moments in my life that either plagued me or genuinely changed my life. It’s very easy for me to write whats on my mind but definitely harder to use the words as metaphors without sounding cheesy. There is a real art to writing lyrics. I can’t just dive into a song. I need the perfect setting and mood to write. If I’m a bit rusty & haven’t visited this mental state in a while I try to write anything & piece said words together. Kinda like a giant puzzle. The process usually leads me right back into the mental state I want to be in. It is definitely a stress reliever to spit words onto a computer screen & use that part of your brain.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
I’d have to say “truths”… If all your words are fabricated and mean nothing to you it is painfully obvious. It may not be obvious to all your fans but it’s pretty transparent to artists that take pride writing from the heart. If someone is writing the words for you, that’s ok, but the person writing should know all about who you are and what you stand for. Authenticity is so important!
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Yes! To be honest it’s very hard for me. I find myself using metaphors more than blunt statements about who I am. It is easier for me to hide behind riddles than bluntly state “I have a sex addiction” ya know? I am working on breaking this wall down and hopefully will take more chances on the sophomore DGA album.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
You & I we are the perfect lie…
I wrote this lyric directly after I broke up with my fiancé. I was forced to enter the studio a day after & the words just flew out of my mouth. Luckily I was able to mask it in metaphors or she probably would’ve caught on lol. The whole album was about her.
What inspired “No Way Out”, part of your latest album “Alchemy”? And “Everything”?
No Way Out is about being stuck in a toxic relationship. The kind of love that keeps getting worse but the pain is addicting. Toxic relationships are like bad drugs & even though the trip was insane revisiting it is somehow appealing.
Everything is about the social climbing & fake people in LA. The idea that you can have everything & still be miserable! It’s easy to lose yourself in this city & even easier to be manipulated by people. The result being an emptiness inside and a struggle to find yourself in the turmoil. The moral of the song is finding your real friends amongst the wolves!
Do you remember the day you wrote “Conversations”?
I most definitely do! I actually wrote it for another band of mine called The Killing Lights. I wanted to write something ambient yet profound. I am a big fan of the Deftones. I wanted something dark & reverb driven similar to them. It’s hard to find yourself in this crazy world & even harder to find your self worth. Conversations is about my struggle understanding my work is worth something. That I am an artist and can achieve my dreams. I am beyond happy it made it onto the DGA Album.
What are your plans for 2018?
We are stoked to be touring with From Ashes to New this Sept/Oct! I love touring with amazing bands & learning all I can from the experience. We will be hitting the UK in December which will be amazing! We have a ton of amazing UK fans & it will be great to connect with them this winter. I am also looking forward to the release of both our music videos for ‘Cannibal’ and ‘Far Away.’
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “Alchemy”: Transformation.
- The best show you ever played: Amsterdam 2018.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Jack Daniels.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Phil Collins.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Disarm / Smashing Pumpkins
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Don’t stay because it’s comfortable.