Monday, March 25, 2019

catching up with Dead To A Dying World

It's been a while since I  checked in with Dead To A Dying World, and they've hella been busy since then. In addition to re-issuing their debut and releasing their Roadburn set as a live album, the Dallas-based ensemble completed work on their third album Elegy, which is set to be released through Profound Lore Records in April. Bassist/guitarist James Magruder was kind enough to catch me up on what his band has been up to.

Dreams of Consciousness: Hey James, it's been 4 years since I interviewed you. What have you been up to since then?

Man what a rollercoaster. We’ve done a couple tours, one in Europe. I successfully alienated people whilst covered in glitter at Roadburn. We’ve had some more lineup switches. Eva moved to France or wait... Oregon. Sean moved to Virginia because Charlottesville has looked really appealing recently. But really he’s keeping up the good fight out there. (Fuck that proud boy MAGA bullshit). It’s been a blessing logistically. We found out Mike could sing, put out a reissue of our self-titled album with a little tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, Roadburn released a live record of our set, and wrote a new record.

DoC: Your third album Elegy is set to be released in April. Where was it recorded, and what were the sessions like? How would you compare it to your previous albums?

As per usual we went with the Echo Lab in Argyle, Texas. They’ve done all the True Widow records and couple of Pinkish Black ones. It’s the go-to spot in town. We had Billy Anderson at the helm again. He’s a blessing as always. All of our records have very different feels but there is definitely still a cohesive thread between them all.

DoC: A number of guest musicians appear on the album, including Jarboe and Thor Harris from Swans. How did they get involved? What was it like to work with them?

Jarboe and Thor were a dream to work with. The collaboration went seamlessly. They are both personal heroes of mine. It was surreal. We also had Pablo from Sangre de Muerdago contribute the intro to “Empty Hands, Hollow Hymns”. Catch them at a cathedral or a forest, pure magic. Emil Rapstine of The Angelus made a lot of the songs come alive in ways we were not expecting. Dylan Desmond of Bell Witch, my favorite bassist of all time and all around best dude, laid down some haunting vocals. And last but not least Tim, formerly of Sans Soleil, nailed some fancy cello passages that really provided depth to the sound.

DoC: Elegy is said to be the last part of a trilogy that began with your first album. What links the three albums thematically? How clear of an idea did you have for this trilogy when you recorded your debut?

Well the basic synopsis is in three acts. The fall, the rebirth and tribulation, and the tragedy and grief. When the first album came out we never thought there would be a second.

DoC: Your music paints a bleak picture of humanity's future and our relationship with the environment. What can you tell me about the album's concept? What inspired you to write about this? On a scale of 1-10, how positive are you about our future?
Ha! Fucking goose egg about the future of humanity. We will probably be OK. Unless we live to see the water wars or antibiotics become ineffective. Our children though. Woof.
The album is about the last human on Earth, fated to die, as we all are, grieving the loss of humanity and errors of our ways. Inwardly and outwardly.

DoC: What's next for Dead To A Dying World?

Presales are up at Profound Lore. We’ve got a west coast run up to Northwest Terror Fest. Then we are heading East in July. Maybe Europe? Hopefully Europe.

Dead To A Dying World on Facebook

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Dead To A Dying World on Bandcamp

Pre-order Elegy via Profound Lore's Bandcamp

A History of Violins:

an interview with
Dead To A Dying World (2015)
an interview
with Squalus
an interview
with Völur