Interview with Dead Inside

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MAR: I’m here with Jack Boaden, guitarist extraordinaire of Dead Inside. Jack, could you describe your band’s music for those who haven’t heard it yet?

Jack Boaden: “Guitarist extraordinaire” hahaha! Sure! Well our first EP’s coming out in about a month and I guess you could make comparisons to British hardcore bands like Brutality Will Prevail or Desolated, and maybe even the European beatdown bands like Circle of Death, Nasty and Balboa.
MAR: With bands of similar sound such as the ones you listed, do you feel you draw from only hardcore, or are there other genres that influence the band when writing?
Jack Boaden: I find that in hardcore, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of churning out incredibly generic music. One of my favourite bands in the genre, Desolated, mix some aspects of doom metal to create their pretty unique sound. Desolated are definitely an influence for that reason. Lately too I’ve been digging more and more metal. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve listened to nothing but stoner metal for the last two weeks haha, Electric Wizard are too good. They’re definitely an influence, I’d certainly like to capture some of their riffs on the next release. I’ve also been listening to a lot of downtempo stuff as well – super low tunings and incredibly slow tempos, and I want to try and feed some of that into the next release too.
MAR: I definitely agree; the scene is turning into too many bands sounding the same. With that being said, do you feel that Dead Inside has something unique to say lyrically? Does the band have a socially conscious agenda, or is it brutality for the sake of brutality?
Jack Boaden: To be honest, I’m not really the person to ask about the lyrics. Dave (vocals) takes all lyrical duties. Knowing him personally though I know he loves the lyrics to the Continent record by The Acacia Strain where the major theme was the apocalypse and misanthropy haha. That being said though, while we may not have something unique to say lyrically, we may do in the future when we’ve found our own sound.
MAR: Misanthropy certainly is interesting in and of itself anyway. In terms of writing, what is the band’s formula when it comes to writing songs? Is there a primary songwriting member, or do you all share the duties?
Jack Boaden: I pretty much handle all writing duties, which has positives and negatives on either side. On the one hand, I can get the songs to sound exactly how I want them to sound, and I can bring in whatever influences I want, so long as it sounds heavy, y’know? On the other hand though, I’m not the best riff-writer in the world and it can be quite stressful haha. We’ve just hired a new drummer and a new bass player, so I’m hoping in the future they’ll be able to contribute more, but we’ll see what happens.
MAR: Well, the demos sound incredibly heavy and the guitar tones are great. How long has Dead Inside been a band?
Jack Boaden: Me and Dave discussed the idea of a band heavier than my previous punk band Rational Choice, similar to Trash Talk and Ceremony but a little more melodic November 2012, but we really got our shit together in December and played our first show towards the end of the year. After a line up change, a dramatic change in sound and a tonne of shows (including our first tour!) booked, we’re here, stronger than ever.
MAR: It sounds like you guys have been through the wringer. Do you feel like a more permanent lineup has emerged now?
Jack Boaden: Oh, definitely. We had to drop our old drummer purely because other commitments were keeping him from shows, which may have had to result in us cancelling our first tour. Whatever though, there’s no bad blood. It could have been a lot worse haha!
MAR: Absolutely. Now, you guys have a tour coming up soon, correct? How many shows will Dead Inside be playing, and what kind of area will it cover?
Jack Boaden: Well, the tour was initially supposed to be three days, but then we kept getting more offers, so now we’re playing five shows in five days which I’m beyond stoked for. We’re from Nottingham, UK and we didn’t want to be too ambitious so all the venues are around the East Midlands, which is cool. We’ll be hitting up Worksop, Leicester, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Rotherham and we’ll be playing alongside our friends in No Excuse, Journey’s End, Shot Down Stay Down, Set In the Skies and even two of the biggest upcoming UK metalcore bands Demoraliser and Odessa. That’s like a dream come true for me haha!
MAR: That ‘s quite the tour! Do you feel that this tour will give greater exposure to Dead Inside? Also, does this tour coincide with the release of new material?
Jack Boaden: Oh for sure. I’ve been recording the EP as of late, only got the vocals left to do next week, and then one or two weeks for mixing and mastering and stuff. We might be cutting it quite close but the EP should be out before tour. We’re planning on burning it to 100 blank discs and selling them for £1 while we’re on the road. Hopefully we’ll have enough to start printing shirts haha. But yeah, I mean, we’re gonna share it round like an STD when it comes out, I won’t stop until my Facebook feed is full of it! Hopefully good things will come of it too – it’d be cool to start playing more and more shows outside of Nottingham.
MAR: Will there be a way to listen to the new release online? Should we expect a heavier sound than the demos?
Jack Boaden: The first track on our bandcamp page is the intro track to our EP, just unmixed and unmastered. The guy we’re working with, Ande from Hunting Helen, his production is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to what he can do with our tracks. And yeah, I’m a big fan of the internet, I love the bandcamp site, the interface is so easy to use, so it will definitely be up there for free download.
MAR: That’s great to know, are you guys excited to play these new songs live? How has crowd reception been at past shows?
Jack Boaden: We’ve played three shows so far, before taking a few months off to write this EP. The third show we played in Derby was absolutely insane. We had a friend filling in on vocals for us (Tom Kelly, Betray Your King, check them out) and he was stage diving all over the place. We played some well known covers too including our Desolated cover (twice) and we got so many people throwing down and circle-pitting, it was terrific. Hopefully when the EP comes out people will learn the words and stuff.
MAR: So in terms of songwriting, what band is your number one influence?
Jack Boaden: Difficult to narrow it down! Probably Circle of Death or Desolated. Circle of Death are one of the first beatdown bands I got into, and they’re from Europe which is even better – I find that European beatdown is leagues heavier than their UK/US counterparts. Or Desolated, as mentioned previously. They’ve started gaining success really rapidly since their latest record – 2012’s Verse of Judas – came out, so I guess it’s something to aim for haha.
MAR: And for a goofy sign-off question, what is your spirit animal?
Jack Boaden: *Googles what a spirit animal is* Okay, I just took a quiz and apparently I’m a wolf haha: “”Family comes first” could be a Wolf’s motto. You form deep connections with close friends and family members, and they know you’d do anything to protect them. You’re loyal, devoted, and passionate. Your worst fear is being alone, but be careful not to drown your loved ones in too much emotion.” Deep.
MAR: Deep indeed. Well, thank you so much for your time Jack, and be sure to check out Dead Inside; new material coming soon!
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