Saturday, March 14, 2015

Interview with Tyler J. Harvey of Cleveland band Deadiron

For those who might not know the name Deadiron then here's the scoop. This fresh and original heavy metal/ power metal band has become the new face of Cleveland's metal scene thanks to top-notch studio work and high-impact local live shows that have become the stuff of legend! Having recently-released the killer "Into the Fray" (one album that is a must-buy for fans of N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired power metal/thrash metal as well as metalheads that just love emotional/thinking man's metal!) band-member/super cool & insanely nice guy Tyler J. Harvey (lead guitars) was kind enough to sit down and chat with us about the new album, Deadiron's past, present and future plans and why Cleveland has some of the greatest fans in all of metal! I want to thank Tyler for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us and if you haven't already done so then be sure to check out my review of "Into the Fray".

 Andy-First things first Tyler and that is I have just got to congratulate you on your band's new album. I must say it's nothing short of fabulous! It simply shreds!

Tyler-Thank you! We really appreciate that. We think so too!

Andy-Speaking of the band would you please introduce the rest of the members of Deadiron and tell us about your newest member?

Tyler-Alexander Van Ness handles vocals, Tom Walling is on the drums, J Bennett is on bass guitar and backing vocals and CJ Langmack on rhythm guitar.

Andy-How did Deadiron first come together?

Tyler-Deadiron first came into being when AVN met our original founding guitarist Sunny Kolattukudy. They jammed as a 3 piece for a number of years with our first drummer, Mark Rheaume. It was a few years later when I showed up in 2010. I met Mark at a party and met the rest of the guys through him. We played out as a 4 piece and I decided to stay in Cleveland to be with the band. Then we just started upping our game on all fronts. We brought in Tom, then J, who really gave the rhythm section a massive, tight sound and new life. It also allowed AVN to focus on frontman duties which he excels at. (Editor's note: I couldn't agree more!). Then there came a time when Sunny decided music was no longer in his heart and we parted ways. Fast forward a few years, and couple rhythm guitar players, and here we are today.

Andy-Early on your sound was more hardcore in nature. Was this carried over from the band Brazen Rogues?

Tyler-This was more from both Alex's and Sunny's mutual interest in hardcore music. Bands like Wisdom in Chains were, and still are very influential to us. We love the aggressive sound, the angry and true lyrics, and the real as hell outlook bands like them offer.

Andy-Now, you mentioned Sunny (Sunny K-former rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist and all around nice guy!) and that brings up a good point. Deadiron has had it's fair share of line-up changes over the years and yet you've come out of it all stronger. Still that could not have been easy right?

Tyler-It's never easy. While it's fun to joke that we've developed a Spinal Tap syndrome, it's hard to either watch guys walk, or let them go. Everyone one of those guys who came and went made a lasting impact on us personally, and we remember the lessons we learned from all of them. We feel really good about our new guy, CJ Langmack. He came in just in time for the CD release show and really nailed it.
Andy-Let's move from the past now and get back to the present. Could you talk to us about the creation of "Into the Fray"? Your new album sounds slicker than your debut.

Tyler-It certainly is an improvement over "Out of the Rust and Ruin" in a production sense. Everything was tracked side by side with our producer, David Piatek, of Dave Piatek Recording Studio. Drums and bass took only a few days to track, while the guitars and vocals were a longer process. The guitar tone is a huge improvement over Rust and Ruin thanks to some lovely gear at our disposal, as well as being able to really define what we didn't like about the first record. However, it really is the vocals that have improved the most. Alex Van Ness did a wonderful job in the studio, and Dave did a great job demanding the best from him. We wanted to go for more clean vocals to help open us up to a much wider audience who may have been turned off by Al's earlier rough vocals.  It's also what you get when you work with the same producer for a follow up album. Everyone has a better working relationship, and everyone is just more adept at what they do.

Andy-When "Out of the Rust and Ruin" was released a lot of fans and critics described your band as a cross between the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas and bands such as Metallica and Megadeth. On "Into the Fray" though there are elements of not only N.W.O.B.H.M. and power metal/thrash, but seemingly everything from Black Sabbath to Volbeat. Is this the result of fresh blood or is a natural progressive for Deadiron?

Tyler-Well, that's pretty great you can hear all those things! This is simply what you get when you mix our writing styles of the "Core Four" (AVN, TH, TW, JB) and the production style of Dave Piatek. We aim to be true to metal and ourselves, yet we want to bring it to a wide audience.

Andy-The new album also seems more personal than other work. Could you tell us about the heartache and struggles that are represented in the songs?

Tyler-This album is definitely a bit of a gut wrencher at times. There are so many stories involved with the songs that it's hard to really highlight all of them. Most of them stem from AVN's personal life and history, while others come from the rest of us. We have always felt as a band that metal lyrics can be rather superficial, so we try to sing about real things in the real world. I could go into detail about what each is about, but I encourage all of you to come to a show or even just message us to get the scoop!

Andy-Who handled the bulk of the songwriting verses instrumentation arrangements?

Tyler-Deadiron is a unique band because we are all partly or equally responsible for the music we make. Even if one member brings the stem ideas on the table, the rest of the band's input is what truly makes it a Deadiron piece. Songs like Travisty and Whiskey by the Mound were written long before Deadiron was a band, yet only after the collaboration does it take on new life and become Deadiron's. Alex of course writes a bulk of his own lyrics, but he accepts input and isn't afraid to change something for the better simply because he didn't write it. Same goes for everyone else and their own parts. In short, while we may have defined roles in the band, the music making process is shared by all of us.

Andy-I agree with you about the lyrics. When they are more personal they tend to have more of an impact. It certainly allows the listener the change to become more in sync with a band. And really that is the one thing I've always taken away from Deadiron. You guys seem to have a real connection with your fans. Is that a fair assessment?

Tyler-We love our fans. We've learned however that our fans tend to become actual friends of ours. We have people from all over the region who come out and support us, but it's really like going to see your old buddies from high school. Calling those types of people "fans" almost feels insulting to us. But yes, we love meeting and interacting with people who care enough about us and our music to come see us. It's an amazing thing.

Andy-Speaking of Deadiron fans, scratch that as I meant to say friends(!),  you just recently had your CD release show. How was the reaction from your friends and loyal followers?

Tyler-That CD release show was an incredible event. It was really the pet project of our drummer Tom Walling. He and our bassist, J Bennett, were instrumental in making this show run smoothly and beautifully. Thanks to Tom, we had a diverse bill full of excited bands. Thank to J, we had an amazing looking stage complete with ego boxes and backdrops. He is very experienced in stage managing as well so he really led the troops that day. We had an amazing response at the show, people are in love with the new record and they love seeing us play the songs live. We made a whole lot of new Deadiron fans that night! And of course, there were plenty of our favorite armored minions wrecking havoc in the pit!

Deadiron live at the "Into the Fray" CD release show
Andy-You guys obviously have a lot of love for Cleveland just as Cleveland has a lot of love for Deadiron. For our readers who don't live in Ohio would you explain to them what makes Cleveland so special?

Tyler-Well, I probably can't answer this as well as the rest of the guys who are Ohio natives, but my outlook as an outsider turned Clevelander has taught me a few things about the city. Firstly, it's the people of Cleveland who truly make the city special. So what we don't have a great skyline, or a cool lakefront, or whatever, or whatever. But what we do have are some of the best friends and supporters you could ask for. People from Cleveland care about their city and their own in a way that is much different from other places. The reason I decided to stay here was because the music scene was so supportive. People actually came out to see your band. It's a beautiful thing.

Andy-What are some other local bands that you would suggest our readers check out?

Tyler-Well, we've played with a lot of really great bands in our time here. Some have moved up and onward, while others have disbanded. Right now, I'll suggest you check out Visionaries, Hawkeye, Craic, This is a Lifetime and Purveyors of Fiction. These guys did a superb job playing at our CD release show, and brought the heavy in their own unique ways. Of course, the best thing you can do is simply make it out to a local show somewhere once a month. Get to know your scene!

Andy-You're now signed to Auburn Records right? Could you tell us how that deal came about and what it is like to be signed to such a classic label?

Tyler-Bill Peters was turned on to us by the wonderful Chris E. of Olathia. We played a show for her band Cellbound at the time, and she loved our music, and recommend us to Bill. That was back in 2012 I believe, and since then Bill Peters has been a staunch supporter of us. He's always believed we were heading upward, and he wanted to take us overseas where our sound could really take off. The timing was right for the new album, and we signed with Bill and Auburn because it was a pretty easy decision to do so! And as for what it's like? It's quite nice. :)

Andy-Speaking of which, when will our readers be able to pick up a CD copy of your new album and where should I point them to do so?

Tyler-The album is out NOW! You can buy it digitally at OR buy the physical CD at in our merch section!

Andy-Are there any upcoming shows that you would like to promote?

Tyler-We are playing the Empire Concert Club in Akron on April 18th with some sweet power metal bands. This is a classic line up! Here's a FB event page: Other than that, we are still in the process of booking regional weekend warrior dates!

Andy-You're right Tyer. That show on the 18th of April sounds like it will be stone-cold killer! Beside Deadiron you've got Power Theory, Wretch, L.A. Knights and Axemaster! That's wicked stuff right there!! So, What does the rest of 2015 look like for Deadiron?

Tyler-Lots of growing up to do. We are all preparing for the biggest and most important show of our lives. As a band, there is a lot to learn from this experience, both logistically and professionally. We are very lucky to have an extremely solid group of people helping us. Auburn Records and Bill Peters, our Manager, Karoline Kramer-Gould, and our Social Media Directer, Rick "Truth" Walker. 2015 will be about becoming an even more finely tuned machine, set for worldwide destruction!

Andy-Awesome! Now, I always give bands the last word Tyler so the stage is all yours! Is there anything we missed that you would like to talk about? Is there a book or two that you would like to recommend? Have a favorite drink mix you want to share? Predictions for the Browns in 2015? The mic is yours and yours only so let freedom ring!

Tyler-Ha! Well, let me first just thank you for this chance to talk with you about Deadiron. I'd like to thank my bandmates for letting me grab the mic on this one too! Other than that, THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has ever supported us, ever came to a show, or ever bought merch from us. You are all valuable people, and the reason we keep driving forward! We will make all you Clevelanders proud! Buy the album!!! - Tyler J. Harvey

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home