Australian, Best Things You've Never Heard — August 4, 2013 at 7:48 am

Dead Letter Circus

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From Tour Release: The Catalyst Fire is the follow up to Dead Letter Circus’ hit debut album This Is The WarningThis Is The Warning peaked at #2 on the ARIA Charts, recently achieved Gold sales, was nominated for an ARIA Award and was voted as one of the triple j Hottest 100 Albums of All Time. A hectic touring schedule has seen the band criss-cross the globe over the past 3 years, and helped catapult the Brisbane 5 piece to the forefront of the Australian Rock world.

DLC have spent the last nine months writing and recording The Catalyst Fire with long-term producer and collaborator Forrester Savell. The album brings a new level of maturity, while retaining the energy and soaring intensity DLC are known and loved for.

In the midst of shooting another skit for the release of the album we caught up with Dead Letter Circus bass player Stewart Hill to talk about the new album, touring and snuggies… and if you haven’t heard of these guys before, well check them out as they are one of the Best Things You’ve Never Heard…

You’re just about to release your second album ‘The Catalyst Fire’ in the three years since your debut, what shaped the songs that have ended up on it?
Blood, sweat and tears basically, I think well in that period we lost a guitarist and gained another two, so we had another two or three different minds on guitar to help shape that. I think also touring with heavier bands overseas kind of inspired us to get a bit more heavier. I remember one day I put on my distortion pedal and started playing it like a fat guitar so to speak as I’m a guitarist as well, and one thing lead to another and we started working around a heavier sound.

Tell us the meaning behind the name of the album…
The Catalyst Fire, yes absolutely, the catalyst fire is like that spark you get, you know when somebody inspires you to want to be able to do something that they might be doing, and it’s inspiration really to want to be something else I guess, be something better. Sorry to be a bit vague.*laughs*

It really is a bloody good album if I may say so, so as it is your second album, here’s your chance to give us your mini review, oh but only using two words…
Heavy and angry…

Did you set out to do anything differently this time around compared to your last album?
Yes, we had a bit more time to focus on the bass this time around, which worked out well for me *laughs* we worked heaps on filling up the sonic spectrum rather than fifty thousand layers of guitar and do that you know? So we trimmed the guitar layers and bumped up the bass.

On the other side of that, what if anything do you feel you were able to do on this album that you weren’t able to on your debut?
Well we had more time to work on it, I think the debut album for me was more of a learning experience in sound wise, but coming from my perspective as a bass player, I kind of went into the first album still refining a sound and not really knowing what I wanted to capture, it was a lot of just what happened at the time. This time around I put a bit more thought into how I wanted it to sound and do my best to achieve that, so there was that aspect of it. It was more hands on song writing wise for the whole band, a lot more ideas coming a lot more from the band and then growing them as a band, which was kind of how it worked first album but it wasn’t as even as this time around which was pretty cool. I think that might be all I’ve got.

So tell us a bit about the idea behind the Inner Circle
Well with the first album we had ‘Project DLC’ where it’s like a lead up to the album, behind the scenes of how we recorded the album, a little insight as to how we are as people, and we carried it on this time around with ‘Project Dead Letter 2 – The Inner Circle’ it was quite fun last time but this time we’re a bit more prepared for it with more footage and getting involved with the skits etc.

I particularly liked the video on you recording bass, how much fun was that?
Oh it was awesome fun *laughs* at first I was like is it too weird, are people going to get it? Are people going to think that I actually wear a zebra snuggie and blow mountain horns over guys wearing wool shawls? No I don’t actually record bass like that *laughs* but yes, it was so much fun. In between the video skits we’re doing Q&A’s and answering questions for them and we’re also doing rig rundowns and going through our gear and stuff, and talking about the songs. So there’s some serious stuff coming as well, it’s not all us being big idiots.

How have you seen the band evolve musically in your time together?
We’ve been doing it for so long that everything just works as one now, it’s kind of become easier in a way but at the same time we’re stepping it up so there’s always a challenge. I’m not sure… it’s moving forward in a way that I want it to which is a good thing. In my mind it feels like we’re going forwards so hopefully that translates.

Has there been a high point in your career so far that you can share with us?
The one that comes to mind firstly is probably India, going and playing a show in India was amazing. The two thousand, maybe three thousand Indian’s going crazy and singing along to the songs and we’re in another country and people are getting into it, crazy and full on, treating us like rock stars, it was really, really weird but awesome at the same time. I think we all had a bit of a moment there, all I can say it as awesome and definitely a career highlight.

You’re also hitting the road in Australia starting late August, are you excited to get out there and play these new songs for us?
Yes, yes, we’re in the process of rehearsing the shit out of them at the moment, so it’ll be good to get out of the rehearsal room and actually deliver it on stage to everybody and hopefully everyone’s had the album long enough to learn it so we can have some sing-alongs and exchange some craziness.

What can we expect set wise on this run, a bit of a mix of everything?
Yeah, some of the old, some of the new, still have the solid classics in there, but at the same time start bleeding the new ones through.

A couple of Britney Spears covers maybe?
Yeah, we’re working on ‘Oops I did it again’ at the moment… it’s proving quite challenging for Kim.

Really?
No we’re not *laughs* but we did do a cover of a song called ‘Nameless’ by Florence and The Machine for our American label, Sumerian have done a compilation, a tribute to Florence and The Machine and we got asked to do ‘Nameless’ and it turned out pretty cool.

You’ve played overseas numerous times, do you have plans to head back soon with this release?
Yes, we’re actually going to South Africa in September for a couple of shows which should be awesome, then we go to the UK and Europe, and we’ll see what happens from there.

What does the rest of 2013 look like for Dead Letter Circus?
A lot of touring, a lot of shows and delivering the album. *laughs*

Lastly, do you have a message for you fans for the upcoming record?
I just hope everybody enjoys it as much as we do. Learn it, get it in your head so you can sing along at shows, we’ll go crazy together.

Plus wear your zebra snuggie to a show and receive a discount…
Yeah bring your best zebra snuggie *laughs*we should’ve done Dead Letter Circus snuggies *laughs* hey we just coined that idea together…

I’ll take 5%…
Alright cool, deal. *laughs*

Essential Information

From: Brisbane, Australia

Band members: Kim Benzie – Vocals, Clint Vincent – Guitar, Stewart Hill – Bass, Luke Williams – Drums, Tom Skerlj – guitar, keyboard and percussion

Website: http://www.deadlettercircus.com

Forthcoming release: The Catalyst Fire (August 9 – UNFD) – Check out our review HERE

Catch Dead Letter Circus on tour at the following dates:

THE CATALYST FIRE TOUR  – AUG/SEPT 2013
Tickets on sale now!

Thursday 29th August 2013
HQ | 1 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545.  All usual outlets.

Friday 30th August 2013
The Wool Exchange | 44 Corio St, Geelong, VIC.
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Saturday 31st August 2013
The HiFi | 125 Swanston St, Melbourne, Vic
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Wednesday 4th September 2013
Zierholz @ UC | 1 Kirinari St, Bruce, Canberra, ACT
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Thursday 5th September 2013
The Metro | 624 George St, Sydney, NSW
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/ & www.ticketek.com.au
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets

Friday 6th September 2013
Waves | 170 Pioneers Road, Wollongong, NSW
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/ & www.moshtix.com.au
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Saturday 7th September 2013
The Cambridge Hotel | 789 Hunter St, Newcastle, NSW
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/ & www.bigtix.com.au
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Thursday 12th September 2013
Kings Beach Tavern | 43 Burgess St, Caloundra, QLD
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Friday 13th September 2013
The Spotted Cow | 296 Ruthven St, Toowoomba, QLD
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Saturday 14th September 2013
The Hifi | 123 Boundary St, West End, Brisbane, QLD
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Thursday 19th September 2013
Prince of Wales | 41 Stephen St, Bunbury, WA
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

Friday 20th September 2013
Metropolis | 58 South Terrace, Fremantle, WA
w/ Closure In Moscow & Sleep Parade
Tickets: http://tickets.newworldartists.net/
Phonecharge: 1300 762 545. All usual outlets.

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