So after I reviewed them, I decided to throw some questions their way. And thankfully, Dustin and Andrew were more than happy to respond. Here is my interview with Die Among Heroes.
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I guess to begin with, how about we let people who have no idea who you are get to know who you are? Who is in the band, and what do they do?
Dustin Young – We are a high-intensity metalcore band from Austin, TX. Our goal with our music has always been to give something to everyone without compromising our own passions and values. We don’t rely on a solid album alone to carry us to fans abroad. When people come to our shows, we make sure to hit them as hard as we can with our energetic live performance and make them remember Die Among Heroes. Our team consists of Chase Hughes on vocals, Andrew Gonzales and Alfonso Hernandez on guitars, Kyle Reeves on drums, and myself, Dustin Young, on bass.
Andrew Gonzales – We are an ass-kicking band, who kicks alot of asses, and if you come to one of our shows, be prepared to get your ass kicked. In the ass.
You guys are a totally DIY band. This kind of arrangement can’t be easy, especially in today’s world of music. How do you balance day jobs, band-related work, writing and practicing, and still have real lives?
Andrew – All my time is spent fine tuning every part of the band’s presentation. There is no balance. I’m slowly losing my mind. What’s a real life?
You’ve been compared to Killswitch, Trivium, and more. Hell, even I compared you to them in my review. But if there was one band in the world that you would love to be compared to, past or present, who would it be?
Dustin – Pantera really set the bar here. Not that we play similar styles of Metal, but to get anywhere close to the sort of impact, energy and complete rockstar vision that they had would be a dream come true. Seeing them when we were younger made us want to pick up an instrument and say “Hell yeah, that is what I want to do for a living.”
Andrew – The Pantera Home Videos changed my life. RIP Dimebag.
On the flipside of that question, is there a band that you would rather die than be compared to?
Dustin – Hollywood Undead… they are just terrible.
Andrew – The Jonas Brothers. Although, if someone said, “Die Among Heroes has as much money as the Jonas Brothers”, I think I could live with that.
You’ve been in a contest to actually open for Killswitch Engage this month, and from what I can tell you’ve been doing pretty good in it. But I still can’t find the final results. What’s going on with that, and how did you originally get in line to open up?
Dustin – The radio station C101 in Corpus Christi, TX held an online poll between 80 bands for the chance to Battle it out for the opening slot for KSE. The top 4 bands were to do a Battle of The Bands in Corpus Christi, and the winner was determined by crowd voting. We smoked the online poll and went up against 1 local Corpus Christi act and 2 out of town acts. We shuttled 3 vans full of fans to Corpus so we would at least have a shot at beating the draw of the only local band on the bill. All of the bands played a great show, and unfortunately, we were unable to bring more fans than the local band.
After listening to the self-titled a couple times now, I’m finding some stuff I didn’t hear the first time around. I’m curious about your guitar styles. It seems fairly technical, but you’re also not afraid to just do some chords and arpeggios that don’t seem too intense. Have you guys had formal schooling with your instruments, or are you self-taught?
Andrew – Myself and our new guitar player Alfonso Hernandez are self-taught. Alfonso is a mad player and our new stuff will be far more technical than the present album.
About the album – how long did it take to write and record? Are you completely happy with it, or are there things you would change if had the time or money to do so?
Andrew – The album was recorded in 5 days. For the most part I am happy with it considering the circumstances. I wish we had more time to spend tracking and mixing.
Since it is out independently, how have you marketed the album, other than live shows? Do you find this part of being in the band to be hard work, or has this part of the ‘job’ been easy for you? And how can people who cannot make it to your shows get a copy of the album?
Dustin – Marketing is definitely one of the hardest and most time consuming parts of being in this band. We’ve have been covering all of the bases through social, online and radio pushes. Some great tools are out there helping DIY bands like Tunecore and Jango. S.P. Unlimited has been helping us tremendously to take our band to the next level. The guys at The Syndicate and Clawhammer PR are also great to work with. We’ve definitely realised that the cheapest and perhaps best way to market ourselves has been through our devoted friends and fans. People can find our album digitally through several outlets like iTunes, Rhapsody, Shockhound, Amazon, and many more.
If you were to sign to a label, is there a dream label you’d like to be on at all?
Dustin – Warner or Road Runner would be our top picks.
Andrew – It doesn’t matter as long as they had the proper resources to promote a talented band. It’s important to find someone who can understand and nourish our vision.
Next month you’re going to be playing SXSW for a ten day stretch, then doing a pair of shows in Abilene and Austin. What’s coming up after those dates? More touring, or are you going to take some time off?
Andrew – Extreme Success. We’ll take some time off in about 5 years.
I think that about rounds it up. Is there anything I haven’t touched on that you’d like to add?
Andrew – Lock up your daughters.