Infidel Interview #136: Dance With The Dead
First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
We are Justin Pointer and Tony Kim from Orange County, CA. We have known each other for about 18 years or so, however we officially started Dance with the Dead in 2013.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
We're very influenced by the Horror / Sci Fi genre. A lot of artists we love include John Carpenter, Hans Zimmer, Rob Zombie, Misfits, Motorhead, King Diamond, Ministry, etc.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes?
We generally lean toward the theme of horror. We've just always been a fan of that genre. Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What is your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?
We don't really consider ourselves as part of a scene I guess. A lot of people tend to put us in the "synth" scene. We are huge fans of the metal genre, as well as a lot of movie scores using synthesizers. Are you musically self taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop?
We are both self taught.
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
I (Justin) currently live in Washington not too far from Portland, Oregon. The music scene is pretty awesome as you can always catch good live music around town. Tony still lives in Orange County, CA and the music scene has always been strong there since the late 70's.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
Its a constant growing process and we love it. Pursuing music has definitely changed our lives for the better. It has taken us literally around the world and we've met so many amazing people. We are constantly evolving in all of those aspects.
When you write music there is a lot of trial and error. Would you consider yourself a person who goes into production with a defined sound in mind, and you work at it until you achieve the closest to the results in your head? Or would you consider yourself more of a person who feels and grooves music, letting songs progressively evolve and define themselves throughout the creation?
Once we both have a solid riff or motif, then we usually just work at it until we feel that the song tells a story. Most of the time, we feel the songs start writing themselves. Trying different sounds can often change the direction of the song, so we definitely let the songs progress on their own half the time.
When it comes to making music it can be difficult to balance atmosphere, song progression, musicality, and excitement. Do you have any tricks, techniques, or methods that you commonly use to help your music sound coherent and engaging?
Nothing too exciting. We usually have movies playing in the background in the studio when we are working. One tip would be just not to rush. If you think you have a great idea, leave it alone for a week, then come back to it with fresh ears. Sometimes you get more excited, but other times you can say "what was I thinking!".
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What's your relationships with presets? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?
We use a fusion of both hardware and software, however we tend to lean more towards software at this point because soft synths are just that good nowadays. Presets are a great way to get a base of the sounds you're looking for. Crafting sounds can sometimes be tedious, but worth it in the end. At the end of the day, it's not about us, it's about the song. Finding what's right for the song is all that matters, weather its a custom patch that took a day to make or just clicking on a go to preset. LennarDigital, Spectrasonics, Soundtoys, Waves, U-He, ToguAudioLine, Rob Papen, and Xfer all make incredible software.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
We absolutely love what we do, so there's no real need to keep a focus on things. We are lucky enough to do this for a living so we can put in as much time as we'd prefer.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
I can't really remember an challenges per say, except for just being persistent and remaining positive and focused when things weren't going out way.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?
We see more touring, more records, and a bigger production on our live show. I feel like we are also expanding musically and trying new territories of audible story telling.
Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity? If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them?
We are currently working on a concept E.P. with Cody Carpenter, who currently play keys and composes with his father, director John Carpenter. Not sure when it will surface, but it's been a work in progress. Musicians that would have just been amazing to mess around in the studio with would be Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Muse, Ministry, Hans Zimmer, John Carpenter, and The Beatles.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
Drinking whiskey! We love just hanging out with our close friends. Video games are a must as well. So many incredible games coming out these days.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us! We have a lot of great some coming this year including a brand new full length album!
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