We at Metality see Daylight Dies as one of today's most awesome doom metal bands. It doesn't really matter, whether you would call them doom metal or not, because they're a band that doesn't stop exceeding our expectations. Daylight Dies were on our first compilation album (click HERE to download). Since then, they've released A Frail Becoming in October 2012 through Candlelight Records.

Our Editor-in-Chief, Kareem C, caught up with bassist and vocalist, Egan O'Rourke, who spoke to us about touring with Katatonia, his influences as a singer and musician, as well as the pros and cons of being involved in an active metal band;

1. Hey Egan, how’s everything going? 

Pretty well. I just moved out to CA and got my studios set up so everything is an adventure right now. 

2. What’s the reception been like for “A Frail Becoming” since its release in October 2012? 

Well, time has certainly flown by but I think the album was and continues to be well received. The critical reception was positive and the fans seemed to really identify with the material. One thing I’m really proud of is how much variety there seems to be when our fans pick favorite songs. To me means that means it’s solid front to back.

3. Each Daylight Dies album has a similar musical foundation, but takes different shape. That being said, “A Frail Becoming” definitely has a sound that stands out. What was the writing process like for that album?

The writing was an entirely different undertaking. When we started Barre, our chief writer, lived in LA, Jesse lived in NYC and the rest of us still lived in North Carolina. Historically Barre would write riffs and bring them to rehearsal where we’d jam on them and argue until we had an arrangement.  Then we’d demo it, rip apart the demo and build it again. That was the process from 1999-2009. 
With everyone spread out I started writing some riffs and some of them caught the attention of the other guys. The first full song I sent was “Dreaming of Breathing.”  At that point I think Barre started to get excited about writing again and sent out what would become ”Hold on to Nothing” and “An Heir to Emptiness.” From there there was some back and forth but Barre actually moved back to NC in the process and we finished up the instrumental side. Jesse came back for rehearsals and Nathan, Jesse and I hashed out the vocals with some lyrical input from our old singer Guthrie

4. It was great to hear you sing more on “A Frail Becoming”. Who are your favorite singers, and how did you start getting into singing? 

I think I ended up singing more this time because I was writing more and so it was just a natural extension. I got into singing for this band because I was better at writing clean vocal melodies than Nathan who is a good singer in his own right. The problem is we have different ranges so it just made more sense to have me do them. I’ve been singing for a long time. I don’t have any formal training but my Dad is fairly accomplished at singing and playing folk songs so I grew up with that stuff. I sang in other bands in high school and college. 
Vocally, the early-mid 90’s were really important to me. Guys like Mike Patton and Lane Staley were huge to me in my teens. The use of harmony and atonal elements always intrigued me. There are also guys like Dave Gahan, David Sylvian and Peter Gabriel who just know how to deliver a powerful melody without the need for any flourishes. That’s something I aspire to.

5. Do the lyrics of the songs relate to personal experiences, and do you feel that the sort of topics you feel strongly about expressing change with each album?

I think it depends on the song. One thing we’ve always tried to avoid is the generically dark lyrics that plague some doom bands. What I think we’ve gotten better at is expressing a mixture of both specific situations and general observations across the course of an album.  I like to think our lyrics are improving as a whole.  Certainly some songs are intensively personal but I think the change in themes stem from the fact that we’ve grown up and have had new experiences to draw from. 

6. Do you have a favorite Daylight Dies song? Why/Why not

I don’t really have a favorite song but certain songs do have more weight than others. Sometimes it’s the song itself or the lyrics but sometimes it’s the experiences associated like the writing, recording or something that happened on tour. 

7. Any memorable experiences on tour or on stage you’d like to share with us

There are lots of little stories but the most outstanding and humbling experience of our careers was when Relapse sent us on our first tour…on a bus…in England…with Katatonia…and Les Smith from Anathema tour managing. Here we were, basically kids, on a bus with our idols and it turned out they were all as nice and humble as you could hope for.  It was at once amazing, intimidating and humbling. 

8. When you’re not with Daylight Dies, what do you usually do in your spare time?

I record and edit audio for a living but I try to play and write at least a little every day. I also consume large quantities of coffee and try to work out regularly. 

9. Before Nathan Ellis joined the band, you guys had Guthrie Iddings handling harsh vocals, who was also on Daylight Dies’ debut album, “No Reply”. Why did he leave, and how did Ellis eventually join

Guthrie was a friend of Jesse’s from high school and a huge fan on our style of music. I think it’s fair to say that he never expected thing to get as serious as they did. After “No Reply” he was faced with a choice between going to grad school or continuing with the band and he chose school. At the time it was a major blow, but since then he’s been a huge proponent of the band and a great friend. 
We were searching for another vocalist for a long time but Nathan had been a friend of the band for as long as I’ve played with DD. It happened that he was in another band at the time but when he quit we snatched him up quickly. 

10. What’s been on your playlist these days? 

In the last week Onnium Gatherum, Ulver, Daughter and Talk Talk

11. What are some of the biggest difficulties of being in a metal band? What advice would you give for young musicians who aspire to be in an active metal band at one point or another

I think with all bands the most difficult thing is getting personnel stuff right. You need people who can play, but are also reliable and have similar goals. The thing is all of those factors evolve over time for each member. 
That said, if I was going to give a single piece of advice I’d say “go play with other people.” It’s really tempting with today’s technology to sit at home and do the one-man-band thing but there is a lot to be gained getting other perspectives and new idea. It also has the potential to be a lot more fun. 

12. What’s next for Daylight Dies? Are you guys going to start working on a new album? 

We’re kicking around ideas for what to do next. I’ve been writing some and I think Barre is as well. There are no big secrets to reveal but something is brewing. 

13. Any last comments for and its readers in the Middle East and elsewhere

I’d just like to say thanks. One of the most amazing things about music is that it transcends borders, language and culture. The fact that folks in countries halfway around the world care about music I was apart of is truly humbling. 

We'd like to thank Egan O'Rourke for taking the time to talk to us. Be sure to keep up with the latest news and updates on Daylight Dies through the following channels: 

1 comment:

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