Following on from their Band of the Day appearance earlier this month, the band invited us to throw a few questions their way. They’re a new act to us so we went for the basics. Huge thanks to the entire group for putting so much effort into their responses.
Don’t forget they’re hitting the road with Ashestoangels and Farewell My Love next month. Click the poster to the side there for a bigger version with all the dates. I may well take them up on their offer of a party if I can escape from the kids for the evening!
So here – in their own words – is a bit more about horror metal group The Dead XIII…
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
How did you meet?
We all knew each other from around the Manchester music scene and playing in various bands but we always felt there was something missing. We grew up listening and going to see bands that put on a show and a spectacle, instead of just some guys in jeans and a t-shirt. We wanted to create a show and songs that people could get involved with, and have a great time whilst still having substance and meaning.
How long have you been playing together as a band?
Just over two and a half years now, the time is flying by.
What are your influences – individually or as a band?
As a group we have a pretty eclectic taste across, but there a definitely a fair few common ones. So going round the room:
Kurt – “Motionless In White, Avatar, Wednesday 13, Barry White.”
Symon – “Rammstein, Dope, Static-X, Combichrist, Murderdolls”
Ste – “Slipknot, The Defiled, Wednesday 13 & Backyard Babies”
Spike – “Coal Chamber, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Led Zeppelin & Rammstein”
Paul – “Chimaira, Rammstein, Hatebreed, The Misfits, Fear Factory, Bullet For My Valentine”
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music’s definitely evolved from the first record to this one, we have delved into a lot more synth work and guitar harmonies. Our sound has progressively got heavier as we have honed our skills in the live arena.
I suppose that’s what makes us unique, our sound is our sound because we have grown together to make it that way. We have had a lot of experience on the road, good, bad and some of if it just unhinged. But it’s all been channelled into what we do.
Downtuned riffs, guttural vocals, piercing guitars, haunting synths and deafening drums. Our music is made for people who like a no holds barred, full volume assault on your senses.
Catacombs is your debut album. How did you fund it?
It’s a fully self-released album so purely by working our asses off playing as many shows as we could and by having awesome fans buying our t-shirts, EP and other merch. We couldn’t have even come close without our fans!
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our show is all about feeding of the energy of the crowd, pushing it further every night to make every show different.
As far as how many we have played, we lost count at around the 100 mark. It’s quite a few, if we aren’t out there performing and meeting people, we aren’t doing our jobs, right?
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Symon – “I always use Ibanez ART/ARZ guitars, I could open a shop with how many I have now haha, and either your standard for metal EMG pickups or the Ibanez LZ’s if I want a brighter edge.”
“Amp wise I have two rigs, one old-school and one fully digital depending on what we’re doing. My analogue rig at its core is an Orange Dark Terror into an Orange 412 and some pedals like an old issue Ibanez TS9, MXR ZW90 Phaser and a Digitech Whammy.”
“My digital rig is the POD HD500X which I have just fallen in love with. With that one unit my digitally created rig is two 5150’s into Mesa 4*12’s each mic’d differently and all my pedals essentially created to suit my liking. All Emulated. Digital amps have come a long way from the original fizzy horrible things they used to be!”
Ste – “Guitar wise, I go pretty bare-bones. I like things that are simple and things won’t break off. My go to guitars over the last few years have been Fender Jim Root signature models, I’ve got the strat and the tele. I want the jazzmaster too, but that’s another story.”
“I love ‘em because they are a real simple setup, string through body with two EMG’s. They are literally like a plank of wood with strings on, which I love. They also have a cool matte finish that takes on all the players’ characteristics, so after a while on the road they all have their own vibe going on.”
The rest of the rig is a little bit more complicated. Essentially the main points are a digitech whammy pedal, Ibanez TS9 and then a wah pedal mounted on a G Labs true bypass pad. That probably my favourite item of gear, it’s a pressure sensitive pad that turns your wah on, no switches! Essentially the main points are a digitech whammy pedal, Ibanez TS9 and then a wah pedal mounted on a G Labs true bypass pad. Then it all feeds into an Orange Rockerverb MKi Head, into an orange PPC 412. I chose the MKi over the MKii, because it runs 6V6 power tubes, which I think seem to run better for what we do. The MKi is my favourite, although I’ve not tried a MKiii, Yet..”
Spike – “Ive always used Pearl Drums ever since playing an old 5 piece back in my youth i instantly fell in love, im currently using a 5 piece Pearl Silver Chrome Birch model with 22″ Bass drum and an Evans EMAD2 batter head. 10, 12, 16 inch toms and a 14×5.5″ Snare all with Evans Level 360 Black Chrome heads top & bottom, guess i have a thing for shiny stuff haha.”
“When it comes to hardware im using “Gibraltar” they’re sturdy, reliable, do exactly what they say on the tin and not way overpriced like some hardware companies are these days. For Cymbals I play Zildjian, always have and always will, there was something about the name that caught my eye as a kid and after testing out a few Paiste & Stagg cymbals i knew Zildjian was the way to go!”
“I’m currently using: ZBT 14″ Hi-Hats ZHT 17″ Crash, A Custom 10″ Splash, A Custom 18″ Crash, A Custom 18″ China, 9.5″ Zil-bel mounted on my old 20″ ZBT Ride. Most of our sound relies on driving a heavy Drum Sound so i need stuff that’s reliable and can take a serious beating.”
Paul- At the moment im using a G4M Harlem bass with humbucking pickups but I tend to use Peavey and Aria Bass Guitars mostly. I just like the way they sound and feel as they don’t weigh that much so while im on stage I can move them around a lot more and i use the D’ddario 135 gauge bass strings to give me the punchy and gritty bass tones i need.
I currently use a Fender Rumble 150 combo bass amp with built in overdrive functions and i partner that with a Boss ODB-3 Bass Overdrive pedal to give me the grit in my bass lines.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done on tour?
There is a lot we could say here, but for now we will leave it at this:
We aren’t just a band, we are a group of 5 best friends and on tour we go all over the country together. We drink about a bottle of jager a day (each), and all like to party hard. Sh*t gets real crazy, real fast, every single night.
So instead of us telling you, why don’t you come party with us and find out?
If you could be part of any 3-band line-up (as support or headlining) who else would you have on the bill?
Again, as far as dream linup goes, it varies with everyone so around the table:
Kurt – MIW, Avatar and Us. Ticks every box in my view.
Symon – Dope, Killus and us. That would be killer!
Ste – “Slipknot, the Defiled and Us. Imagine the carnage!”
Spike –”Rammstein, Coal Chamber and us. Now that’s a fiery show!”
Paul – Us, The Defiled and Avatar. That would be one hell of a tour..
Any of them would be insane! But as a band we are really excited to be hitting the road with our friends in AshestoAngels and Farewell, My Love! This July in our own British Horror Story.
Come party with us!