Exclusive Interview: From Dawn To Dusk talk writing and recording!
It’s been one hell of a time for everyone over the past 18 months as we’ve all endured what we’re affectionately calling The Great Plague. For Toulouse France based Metalcore merchants From Dusk To Dawn with a pair of EPs floating around cyberspace they made the decision to simply keep going, sticking to what they know and continuing to write and record new material. The fruits of their labours have been a trio of singles that have blown our socks off and so for the second time this week we’ve spoken to guitarist Axel Ané, this time about how the band goes about their work…
What did you learn from the studio time for 2018’s “Dead Sun”. Did it help with the recording of 2020’s “Blooming »? “Both recording processes were very different and we definitely learned from both, but I’m not sure there were benefits from the first to the second one. For Dead Sun, we didn’t have the knowledge to be autonomous on the mixing process, nor the recording side of things. We went to a sound engineer from our area called Plume, he produced the vocal and drums recording as well as the guitar and bass re-amping, then did all the mix. It was a great experience and a relief to have no mental burden at all, we knew we would have very decent sounding material to share. Several months later when we started to work on Blooming, I wanted to have more control on the production side of our music and decided to give it a try as I was taking mixing lessons for several months already. Everything was different and I had to take so many decisions that I didn’t even realize Plume was taking for us back at Dead Sun. It took really long and was a lot of pressure, but I’m very happy I did it. It was proof that I could handle such work and the opportunity to relocate an important part of our budget.”
Having got 41k Spotify Streams for “I Belong To Myself” and “Play Pretend” combined must feel like a real win and proud moment during a pandemic when you can’t tour? “Of course we are pretty happy with it, but we hope it’s only the start. We are aware that digital strategy is a key pillar of the progression of any band, and as it was the only one accessible this year we had to capitalize on it. We hope that those numbers will be materialized as more people in our live shows”
How does the writing process of a new From Dusk To Dawn track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? “It depends, we don’t have rules for that. Starting with a riff is the approach we used the most so far, but when joining a sick riff to another one, then to another one, you quickly get the « patchwork » song feeling, it lacks a cohesive overall. In opposition to this writing process, Pessimist Fantasy or I Belong To Myself are two songs that I started by writing lyrics before any guitar part, and I feel the end result is a more « feeling-centered » song, which is very interesting. You can put the lyrics at the very center of your song and capitalize on a strong message. However, it may be harder to find inspiration to write lyrics from scratch without an audio direction”
Looking at recent single “Suffocating” as a single example; you’ve got moments of Metalcore, Deathcore, Tech-Metal and even Post-Hardcore all wrapped up in one tidy package. How on Earth do you go about finding the right balance within those death defying sub-genre leaps without it sounding like a train wreck? “I’m really glad you said such a thing about our song! We don’t want our music to sound as « generic » metalcore and to avoid that, we try to blend several influences and open doors when possible. I’m really happy you feel the genre crossover here! There’s no receipt to find the balance, but there’s definitely some elements we know we like and that fit into our music, we just try to add them and see where it goes. We like catchy choruses where people can actually understand the lyrics and stick them in their heads. Florian’s vocal-style is very well suited to Deathcore and I wanted more aggressive guitars. I love ambient and emotional Post-Hardcore stuff, blend it all together and there goes the foundations for a song like Suffocating”
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “Suffocating guitars have been recorded with an ESP Horizon FR II with Seymour Duncan Nazgul on it, strings are Ernie Ball 12-54. The unusual part may be that it is tuned in Drop C and recorded through a Digitech Drop pedal to bring it to a Drop A# tuning. Doing such a thing darkens your Guitar’s DI sound, you have to compensate with an EQ to clarify it before reaching your amp. The reason why we do that is that we don’t have a high enough scale on our guitars to have a decent sounding tone in lower tunings. Benefit is that we are not limited to a single tuning, we change it from one song to another. For the Guitar Rhythm I used the Neural Gojira Plugin, for the leads I am unsure but probably the same amp sim. The drums used in the studio is a Tama Superstar, and the snare a brass Pearl free-floating 14×6,5, with sabian cymbals (AA/AAX) and Evans Drumheads”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “As I have never seen such a contract, I have no clue what it offers and what are the counterparts so I have no opinion on that. But anyway, I don’t feel we are lacking gear to be creative and write any music we like. But… I may be wrong, who knows? If someone from a guitar brand reads this someday, please dm me haha”