Sunday, June 11 - The Avalanche Stage
By Eric Mackinnon
Being championed by Radio 1, earning slots at prestigious festivals around Europe, including a slot at this summer’s Download Festival, and having rabid fans is both exciting and daunting says Dead! vocalist Alex Mountford.
Blending alternative rock and punk with infectious melodies, Dead! Are band building momentum and on an obvious upward trajectory.
“It is exciting yes…but daunting also,” commented Alex. “It’s great to see support coming from all angles, and the fact new people seem to be discovering us through all these channels is very exciting.
“However it does make you sit up and think “damn, better get my act together now, better write better songs, better play better live” which I’m sure is common for any creative person.
“It’s good to feel the pressure and try to deliver to it. But sometimes you find yourself thinking about what you’re doing so much you forget to enjoy it.
“You're so set on putting on the best possible show for people at a festival you forget to stop and breathe in and really embrace the day. That’s one of my aims for this year, to stop and “smell the roses” a bit more.”
The four lads in the band are now shacked up sharing a single room in London which Alex says has been good for creativity and provided the inspiration for two new tracks and stood the band in good stead for the rigours of life on the road as an upcoming band.
“If there’s a time to pick up sticks and move to a bedroom in London with your mates and try and make this band thing happen, your late teens/early 20s is the only real time to be able to do it,” says Alex.
“Of course you sacrifice a few things to make this happen, your personal space, your privacy and also a small portion of your mental wellbeing. But it’s something we felt we had to do and to be honest it was our only option what with London rent prices being so high it could make a trust fund baby wince.
“But through this of course it breeds creativity, if someone has a song idea or a new merch idea or any general band related idea it means we can hash it out instantly and through that productivity rises. There’s a song or two we’ve written and recorded recently that addresses the issues related to spending so much time together and to the area we live in.”
He continues: “It’s something that i think has been paramount to the dynamic of the band and its a good test for the (hopefully) months of touring we will embark upon together in the future.
“We actually visited The Rolling Stones Exhibition in the Saatchi Gallery a few months ago and inside they had recreated one of the old bedrooms that they used to live in together, and sure enough it was three single beds arranged identical to ours at our place. That was quite funny. There must be a method to the madness right?”
Alex is keeping his card close to his chest when pressed on when fans can get their paws on Dead!’s debut album but he promises something is coming.
“We spent a while in Dean Street Studios in Soho, just before Christmas with a producer called Charlie Russell. Where we recorded our most recent single ‘Enough Enough Enough.’
“We may have spent that time recording a catalogue of other songs as well…but that’s to be revealed at a later date. Something is coming, and we’re immensely proud of the direction the band is taking.”
Dead! Can be heard on the Avalanche Stage at the Download Festival this summer on Sunday, June 11, and the date falls perfectly in the band’s timing for dropping new music and new items for their fans.
“The timing of Download is pretty perfect for us,” he said.
“We're going to be going headfirst into a new campaign with new songs, new artwork and generally a slight peace of mind that people are finally going to get to see who we truly are.
“We’re immensely proud of some of our older songs, but some of them don’t necessarily say what we want to say anymore. They don’t sound like we do anymore. Hopefully people will get to see Dead! the way we want them to see us. After years of being able to figure out who we are and what kind of act we want to be.”
Alex added: “For me personally I’ve never been a huge fan of the heavier side of rock but the rest of the guys have been going to Download for years. However that weekend last year really opened my eyes to that scene, and how accepting it is. And also how nice it is! I didn’t see one fight that weekend, i didn’t meet one sketchy festival bloke…you know the kind you find walking around shirtless with a neon visor screaming “ALAN”? and for a major UK festival that’s quite an achievement!
“Playing any festival is a tick off the bucket list, let alone a festival so well organised and curated as Download (even with the rain, we camped and it was great)
“We also ended up playing three sets that weekend! One on the Dogtooth stage, one on a stage made of tyres and one in our management's gazebo/tent/piss up tent backstage. It was a hell of a lot of fun.”