Before their show in Glasgow last monday, I had the opportunity to chat with Kurt and Symon from The Dead XII. Initially, it proved difficult to find somewhere to record it given that the venue also had practice rooms which had bands practicing in them. We eventually found somewhere and we set about discussing the current tour and whole host of other things.
“It’s been great actually,” remarked Symon. “It’s actually the first tour where we’ve never met the band in person before. They’re really nice guys though and we dig their music so it’s been great so far.” Moving onto their most recent album, Catacombs, the guys mentioned that it had been their best release so far. “The response when we play these songs has been amazing. On this tour, we have slightly longer to play so we’ve brought out some songs we’ve not played before,” Kurt explained. “Not in our wildest dreams did we think this album would do so well. It’s sold and is still selling really well.”
When it comes to their fans, the band take them seriously and genuinely care about them. “From the get-go with this band, we made sure that we socialise with the fans and chat to them before and after.” Symon mentioned. “When we were younger, we wanted to speak to the bands we liked and most of them sadly hid back stage.” Kurt then followed by saying, “We do the complete opposite from those bands. We stand in line with the fans, we chat to them after the show and try and speak to them when we can. Without the fans we wouldn’t be doing what we’d be doing so we try and make sure we give as much to them as we can.”
Coming onto their music, Symon mentioned that they don’t have a real defined writing block. “We had over 30 songs for Catacombs which we had to whittle down to around 10! I’ve got a folder of just over 100 songs at my home and we write about 1 new track a week. That means we have a never-ending supply of ideas for the next album!”.
We then started talking about their gear and Symon’s face immediately lit up. “Me and Ste have just been endorsed by Blackstar and we use series one 6L6 heads. They are beautiful and I really enjoy using them. In terms of guitars, I use Ibanez guitars which are really good. Our drummer uses Pearl drums, he’s a big fan of them and they sound good.” Symon then gave Kurt a nudge to wake him up (he was very tired!) and explained that he now uses a Sennheiser wireless mic.
It was then time for the traditional question of what advice they’d give to new bands. “Always keep going and don’t be disheartened if you get haters,” Kurt suggested. “It’s very important that you make music which comes naturally to you”. Symon said, “We formed this band and we all had this common vision which has now sort of come to fruition”.
They both then mentioned that this doesn’t happen overnight. Which is very true in this day and age of bands that are dropping out the scene due to lack of funds. They both also agreed that you need to have a backup plan with a job to fund the band in the beginning.
Finally, we briefly touched on their coverage by Kerrang which they were really happy out. “We were really shocked and kind of smug when we saw that we got a ‘4 K’ review on our album. We saw that bands that were way more famous than us getting 2 and 3 star reviews so we were a bit smug,” remarked Symon.
Thanks to Lisa at Rage for organising and Kurt and Symon for their time.