There’s a really refreshing and exciting feeling about London-based rockers Dead!. Not only do they have an amazing, attention-grabbing name – with an exclamation mark and everything – they also create awesome music.
The four-piece of brothers Sam and Louis Matlock, bassist Sam Chappell and lead singer Alex Mountford, who hail from Southampton originally, aren’t fussed about creating a unique sound, they just want to create great songs. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
The band name in itself is a statement. It comes from German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, who was famous for coming up with GOD IS DEAD! as part of his theory on nihilism. We spoke to guitarist Sam Matlock this week, and he told us: “It’s actually got a mad carpé diem vibe, that’s where we took it from. Looks great on t-shirts too.”
Dead! have also been pretty out there in terms of making statements about the written press, so we asked Sam for the band’s take on the media.
Sam said: “Firstly there’s no direct attack or beef toward the media, but you have to understand for young people in 2016 it’s frustrating to see independent print going under, thus everyone else panics and plays it very safe. We don’t want safe, we want interesting. Bring back the creativity, when people had a favourite journalist the same as they have a favourite band.”
This is obviously something that I personally echo – given the whole reason behind this blog is to help people find out about new bands and get them listening to new music from said bands. And this line of thinking led us on to discussing the wider music industry.
Sam continued: “Everyone knows there’s less money in music. Spotify is fucking great but the amount that streaming cuts off your bankroll is mental. Luckily artists these days can take matters into their own hands – record their own EPs, shoot their own videos, build our own websites all from the confines of our bedrooms.
“It’s weird. I can never work out if there’s too many bands and it’s become oversaturated, or there’s not enough to fight back. I think you just need to accept that affording the live production, studio or producer you want is probably unlikely, unless you make it to stratospheric levels of success. It’s time to think outside the box. Then collapse the box. Take a knife to it. Make a stencil and go spray paint some council buildings.”
Talking of the music, Dead! are heading out on the road for a tour with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, which starts in Manchester tonight. And it’s safe to say they’re excited about the prospect of it.
Sam said: “We’re mad excited to tour with The Rattlesnakes, their creative output is brilliant. We have no idea how the heavier crowd will react to us but we aren’t there to sell ourselves, we’ll do what we do every show. You’ll get a bunch of songs we love, played by a bunch of boys who love live music. Love or hate, it is up to you. Are you coming?”
Personally, I’d love to go. Dead! have a great brand of enjoyable rock, which is portrayed perfectly by latest single Something More Original and the awesome track Skin. Big funky guitar riffs and fun, singalong choruses are prevalent in their simple but effective, and hugely entertaining, plain old-fashioned rock’n’roll. Check out the video for Something More Original below.
Sam explained: “We aren’t trying to be unique or individual. We’re just trying to write some great songs and put some cool shit out there. If people find something original in the sound that’s brilliant, if not and they enjoy it anyway who cares?
“For me personally, a lot of movies influence me to write music. It’s so easy to just be inspired by a certain glow you catch walking under a streetlamp or the things you hear people in the pub talking about but those moments are fleeting. I love that you can take a vibe from a movie and rewatch it and hone that vibe into a pop song.
“We always try and remember the sensibilities of pop songwriting and keep things simple and concise. Not to sell more copies or anything, it just makes for a better song.”
After the Frank Carter tour, Dead! are heading into the studio. Sam said: “We owe people a decent body of work before next summer for their patience and support. Some might even call that body of work a ‘debut album.’ Next year’s gonna be mental.”
There are certainly exciting times ahead for Dead!. They’re fun, cool and they clearly love making the great music they continue to throw our way, so go and check them out. Now!