When a rock legend of the ilk of Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford goes out of his way to champion a new band, you can rest assured that you’re dealing with something pretty special. And that’s exactly the case with Sheffield rockers Deadset Dream.
Having formed in 2012, the quintet of Shiney Lingwood (vocals), brothers Dan (lead guitar) and Conor Burridge (drums), Alex Hudson (rhythm guitar) and James Yeaman (bass) look set to be going from strength to strength on the basis of their latest single.
We had a chat with Shiney this week to find out more, starting with how the Rob Halford connection came about. He told us: “Rob reached out to me on a forum as my profile picture was of me singing. He asked for some links to our music so he could give me some feedback and simply signed it off with ‘cheers, Rob (Judas Priest)’.
“I genuinely couldn’t believe it, as you can imagine, and so I bombarded him with links like an excited child! To have someone as influential and as experienced as Rob supporting what we do and keeping close contact with us is just incredible, everything that leaves his mouth is gold dust for us and we will forever be beyond thankful for his help.”
The band has just released superb single I Fancy Your Chances Kid, which kicks off in punky fashion with Shiney’s vocals and palm-muted guitars before flying into a big blast of guitar chords and smashing cymbals. A verse of winding, higher pitched vocals with funky guitar bursts and big bass follows, and leads into a big, melodic chorus that ends with a big smash of guitar and drums in a mini-bridge. Big vocals are followed by a brief quiet period that gradually build with layered vocals before launching into a big guitar solo and a final heavy rendition of the chorus that brings the track to a rocking conclusion.
And if our thoughts on the track aren’t enough, then how about Halford’s? The Judas Priest man said: “An excellent track in every aspect, packed with talent, this band has got what it takes.”
On the new track Shiney told us: “We are really excited about the track as we feel the message in this one will really grab people – especially young people! As the song stems from my personal rage towards the education system and how we pressure 13/14-year-old ‘kids’ into choosing what they want to do for the rest of their life. They are expected to know what to study at GCSE, they are expected to know which of those GCSE’s they want to study at A level soon after and they are expected to know what ‘career’ they want shortly after that.
“I’m almost 24 years of age and I still don’t know what I want to do when (if) I grow up! So the brighter side to the message is basically keep your chin up, keep smiling, don’t let anybody change who you are and don’t let anybody put you down.”
The band has already garnered enough of a reputation to play alongside Welsh rockers Funeral For A Friend, one of this writer’s favourite bands ever.
Shiney told us: “It’s one of my fondest memories with the band so far, the guys in FFAF were lovely and supportive. I too am a big FFAF fan so to be sharing a stage with a band I’d grown up listening to was a real eye-opener and probably the first time I started to believe that our hard work is taking us in the right direction.”
This certainly is a band heading in the right direction, evolving from an inexperienced pop rock outfit in its early days to a more polished sound that’s pushing the alt-rock genre to its heaviest boundaries. Last year’s single Snakes and Ladders has the catchy feeling of pop-punk at its finest, while Hallways, the opening track from last year’s EP Battlecry, is much heavier and rockier driven by its big blasting guitar riffs and powerful vocals. Check out the latter in the video below:
Shiney explains: “The band as a machine has grown up a lot since we first started out in 2012. I know we’re not exactly death metal, we’re just heavier than we used to be, and I think over the last 10 to 12 months we’ve kind of finished that transformation and found our own sound. Our next few releases, including I Fancy Your Chances Kid, will take a lot of people by surprise and hopefully be exactly what we need to put our brand and our stamp on the alt-rock scene. We’re here to take people by storm with bouncy riffs, catchy hooks and eventful/memorable live shows!”
Having said all that, Deadset Dream very nearly didn’t make it past 2015, when a couple of former members decided to call it a day, leaving Shiney and Dan with a big decision to make.
Shiney explained: “We took the opportunity to find some like-minded musicians with the same drive and passion for music and I feel it’s really paid of. Alex was the first guitarist we auditioned and to be honest we didn’t feel the need to keep searching as he fit right in with his ability, his creativity and his personality. Alex then invited James down for a jam as he knew him through their time working for DMF Digital and rumour had it he wasn’t half bad at slapping the old bass. The rumours were true, he could play and his dry sense of humour was exactly what I needed in my life!
“Conor was the final piece to the puzzle as we’d had a nightmare trying to find a reliable, dedicated member to play the sticks. If I remember correctly we sent him our demos on the Tuesday, he came for an audition on the Thursday, played his first show with us in Manchester with Autumn Ruin on the Saturday and hit the studio with us the following week -talk about seemless!”
The band’s alt-rock sound is influenced by a wide range of musical tastes, with Shiney quoting You Me At Six as his all-time favourite band, alongside All Time Low and Deaf Havana, while Alex is more into classic metal like Alter Bridge and Avenged Sevenfold. Dan is a little more eclectic from jazz and 70s disco through to drum and bass, with his main influence from the likes of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, Conor is more into techy stuff like Periphery, and James is more of a pop-punk man with a particular penchant for State Champs.
Shiney adds: “The amazing thing about music is that it can come from anywhere, happiness, sadness, silliness, whistling while washing the pots, you never know when the creative spark is going to hit you!
“I always try and write about things that have happened in my life as I find it much easier sharing my feelings/emotions rather than making them up for the sake of a song, all of our songs have a story behind them.”
Deadset Dream have big plans through the rest of the year, including some festival announcements, big shows coming up and new music and videos, which will all be revealed in good time.