Exclusive Interview: From Dusk To Dawn talk lockdown singles and touring life!

Bringing their Metalcore offerings to the World from Toulouse France are From Dusk To Dawn, a band with influences in modern Metalcore from the likes of While She Sleeps, Crystal Lake and Architects who have smashed down a few walls with a pair of EPs in 2018’s “Dead Sun” and 2020’s “Blooming“. We spoke to guitarist Axel Ané about everything from tour stories to the trio of singles they’ve put out during lockdown in a bid to keep sane…

How have you found the reaction to the three singles “Play Pretend”, “I Belong To Myself” and “Suffocating” since lockdown? “So far we’ve had very positive feedback on those songs, but especially good ones on Suffocating which is our last release. I was personally very anxious at receiving feedback for this one, this is my favorite and I really hoped that people would like it as much as I do. Now I feel half relieved, the other half will be when I know it’s also appreciated when played live!”

How did you come to the decision to release those tracks during the pandemic and not simply record them and wait until you could play them live before putting them out? “I’m afraid we would have suffered a lot of being bored-out if we had not had any news since BLOOMING back in Jan 2020. We have this need to produce a lot, because the more we do, the more we write and the better we become at writing music together. But to write music, produce it, mix it and then shoot a video clip, we need motivation. A lot of it in fact, because it’s a lot of work. Usually we get the drive to do all of this when we play live shows, where we can interact with people, collect their reaction and just talk with them. It gives us strength. But now we can only exchange on the web, and it’s very hard to get people’s attention. We can have people’s attention only when we have high value content to share with them, and the only thing we can do to provide such a thing is to release a new song. That’s why we went for the single’s format, it allows us to have some presence and to keep existing. Furthermore, there’s a benefit with that, we now have the time to give an identity to each song we release via a video clip and a dedicated promotion, which is not something that is usual in normal times”

We’ve read that the lockdowns have been worse in your native France than quite a few other European countries so how did that affect the ability to write and record these cuts? What was the recording process like? “Indeed there have been several lockdowns here, and even between lockdowns there were restrictions which made it very hard to organize anything. Records have been impacted especially on Suffocating for drums and vocals for which we had to schedule a time slot in a studio, then cancel it, reschedule, recancel, etc. But what made us struggle the most was the shooting of the video clip for the song I Belong To Myself. Restrictions were moving from one week to another at this time, and it was very difficult to find an idea that would work independently of any variation possible. We eventually decided to shoot the video clip in one of our apartments. But to come back to the recording process, we record the guitars at home, vocals in a dedicated music room we had access to and drums in a studio. Then we collect all the tracks and do the mix by ourselves.”

The lyrical themes than run within these new tracks are deeper than the ocean; have there been any moments where the rest of the band wanted to dial them back a bit or has there always been freedom there? “Vocals have been completely free so far, and I feel very lucky to have a singer who agrees to share his intimacy and to say something real. If you believe in what you sing, if you feel it in your guts, then there will be emotions to share. I believe it’s the purpose of music, or art on a bigger scale, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

In the past you’ve shared stages with Crystal Lake, Infected Rain and Ankor; do you have any crazy tour stories you’d like to share? “Indeed we have had some pretty great memories from playing so many shows. Sharing the stage with big names like Crystal Lake and Infected Rain are definitely a very valuable experience to learn and grow, however most of the craziest stories are from the (much) smaller gigs that aren’t talked about as much. During our French tour in January 2020, our gig in Bordeaux was cancelled last minute due to the venue closing down. Thanks to a friend of ours we found a backup plan in a bar called “Le Dad” (now also closed). We rolled up to the venue with our touring van to find a tiny bar with the metal shutters half closed. We looked under and saw some wooden pallets on the floor acting as a stage on which we could barely fit a reduced size drum kit. A guy came out the back and said the power was out and the owner wasn’t there yet. To top it up we were to play with a beginning dad rock band. We nearly left on the spot! However the gig turned out to be the most fun of the tour with a (massive) crowd of fifteen people all going completely crazy with our guitarists (Axel, JB) playing on the floor in the crowd. The funny thing is that this is the show at which we sold the most merch despite there being only fifteen people, everybody got their hands on some! And to top it up we got drunk with the owner at the end of the night with Rammstein blasting through the speakers full volume. A truly great night that was.”

You must be itching to get back on the road? Is there anywhere that you haven’t played that you’d really like to visit? Any iconic venue or major city or festival? Definitely, we can’t wait any longer to go back on stage, we are really excited at the idea of playing our new songs live! We have never played abroad so far so we are looking forward to opportunities to tour in neighboring countries like Germany, Swiss or Belgium. But if I had to give only one target, it would be to play at the Hellfest!”

What does the future hold for From Dusk To Dawn? “It’s hard to say precisely what will happen in a few months because of the current pandemic context and the fact that we have to continuously adapt our plans. But looking at the near future, you can definitely expect new songs and video clips from us this year! We are really excited to share that with you and hope you’ll like it!”

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