Dead Label's Dan O' Grady says New Music is Coming Soon


Metal act Dead Label have played shows and released an EP and debut full-length with an all new album in the works as of right now! Bassist and vocalist Dan O' Grady discusses this new release and who Dead Label is and why they make the music that they do!


1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dead Label, and how long the band has been together. Why did you want this band to be a trio act?

Dan: Hi, my name is Dan O’Grady and I am the Bassist/Vocalist in Dead Label. The band formed in November 2008 after a previous band the 3 of us were in split up. Basically after 2 weeks of that band calling it quits Danny, Claire and I were going crazy not playing music so we formed Dead Label. The reason we kept it a 3 piece is because we knew from the start that the 3 of us were committed to this band. There was never that uncertainty that one of us wouldn’t show up to practice or didn’t have the money to go recording or put fuel in the tank to get to the next show. All 3 of us want the same thing and that is to play the music we play to as many people that are willing to listen to us, so it just made sense to keep it a 3 piece.
2. Have you guys picked a title for the album?

Dan: No we haven’t picked a title yet but what I can say is that we are all really excited about the music we are putting together. With our previous album “Sense of Slaughter” we really didn’t know what we were doing when it came to making the album. Yes we had the songs but we didn’t have the recording experience. We had only done 1 demo and an E.P. before we went recording the album. For me the album suffered on the production side of things. This new album will change all that. We have really been putting the time in the studio for this album, going in every few weeks laying down demos, fooling around with different types of sounds, over dubs etc. So when it comes to actually tracking the album hopefully we will have figured out all the production aspects of the album just so we can make this album sound like the monster it is shaping up to be.

3. Is this album going to be a concept release?

Dan: It won’t be a concept album this time around but that is an idea that I’m not totally against for a future release. Hopefully in the future.

4. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?

Dan: We are currently in the process of demoing some stuff. We have a good chunk of songs that we are working on. You hear alot about bands writing 30 songs for an album and releasing the best 10 on the album. That would never work for us. We are far to O.C.D. for that. We obsess over our songs. We stress over such insignificant parts, trying everything every which way possible, what about this, what about that. I think if an outsider was to sit in on one of our practice sessions they would get so frustrated with how picky we are, but at the end of it all the 3 of us know that we have a killer tune.

5. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Dan: We actually haven’t got a producer for the album yet it’s a bit early in the recording process for that. When we get someone lined up for the job I think the plan is to send all the demos their way and see what they have to say. Any suggestions they have will be taken on board. We are very easy to work with, I think hahaha.

6. Where did you record the album?

Dan: We haven’t decided where we will actually be recording the album yet but we have a few ideas.

7. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Dan: For me personally I really wanted to write an album that would destroy our previous album. I’m not knocking “Sense of Slaughter” I’m really proud of the songs on that album but I just feel that we have grown so much as song writers and musicians that we have so much more to offer and I can’t wait to get this album out for people to hear what we have been doing.

8. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Dan: Yeah we are. We have been messing around with a few piano parts and orchestration parts. That’s one thing that I am really happy about is the fact that we are not afraid to try new things. I guess we will just worry about writing all these parts first and figure out how to play them live later.

9. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous Arcanium album?

Dan: We are always writing so I cant say when we officially started the writing process. We have been putting ideas together for this album while we were touring for “Sense of Slaughter” but since we got back from Japan in October we have really knuckled down. The writing process is pretty much the same as the last album. Danny brings in riffs he has been working on and we all put it together in the practice room. Its a very diplomatic process too everybody gets a say in how we actually structure the songs. I would say that the only difference in the process is there is this new level of confidence amongst the 3 of us. The 3 of us are really playing up to our strengths. Every individual part, the drums, the guitars, the vocals are all sounding like a band that really seems to know what they are doing and what they are out to achieve. With the last album I really didn't know how it was going to come out but this time around I can already hear what this album is going to sound like and I am so excited about it. We are also trying our hand at writing longer songs but trying to keep them structured at the same time which is a bit of a challenge. I love when music takes you on a bit of a journey but I also love songs that have repeating parts. I hate when I hear bands play an amazing riff once and that riff never appears in the song again so trying to incorporate that prog element with structure is a little tricky but I think we are doing a good job.

10. Did you feel any pressure to follow it up?

Dan: Absolutely none. I know that may sound a little cocky but I am firmly of the opinion that our best music is always ahead of us, and from what Ive heard so far we have left “Sense of Slaughter” in our dust. We are light years ahead of it. When I listen back to that album and compare it to the demos we have at the minute it’s like night and day. It almost sounds like a different band without sounding like a different band at the same time, if that makes any sense. When I think of this new album I think of it as our debut. I am just so confident in the new material it’s scary.

11. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Dan: Of course. We have this new song called “The Gates of Hell”. Its 8.45 minutes long but is over in the blink of an eye. This is the song that we have introduced the piano on. This song actually took awhile to put together. We introduced different parts, cut sections out to try make the song shorter but ended up putting them back in because taking them out disrupted the flow of the song. Its melodic but so heavy at the same time. Lyrically the song is about life and how you can make it what you want it to be as long as you are willing to work hard and keep focused. The song title came from Danny bringing in the verse riff, and after we finished jamming it for the first time I turned to the guys and said “ That sounds like the gates of hell bursting open”. I think this song could be the album closer, it’s just so epic I don’t see any other spot on the album for it.

12. How do you think the vibe in the studio went?

Dan: So far the vibe in the studio has been very positive. We are all present for every part of tracking, to throw ideas at each other or tell each other that was a good take etc. We are all really enjoying the studio this time round. I used to say its fun recording but its not fun being recorded. Being under the microscope and all that, I just didn't enjoy the pressure, which has totally changed. I’m actually really enjoying cutting my bass parts or going in and trying different things with my voice. I am having alot of fun.

13. When can we expect the new album to be released?

Dan: I can’t give a definite date yet but hopefully it will be out late summer, early autumn maybe. I wish it would come out tomorrow but you can’t rush art and that is what this album will be. A piece of art.

14. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Dan: Lyrically the songs are about so many different things. External stimuli like political views or nature or sometimes I write about themes that are more internal, Things that I am going through in my personal life etc. That is what draws me to metal music the most. The way that the lyrics are used as a way to express the truth. Its not some mass manufactured pop crap singing about love etc. The lyrics in metal music actually have meaning and that’s the main thing I try to put into our songs, meaning. I want our songs to try to speak to people and inspire them as well as getting them to bang their heads until their necks snap.

15. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Dan: We write all our own music. The way it usually goes is Danny our guitar player would bring in the music. The guy is like a riff machine. For every riff that I might bring in he has 50 more and they are all WAY better than anything I could come up with. So Danny would come in with some music and we would jam it a few times and then between the 3 of us we would turn these ideas into songs. Sometimes the song is finished in an hour, sometimes it takes a month but like I said earlier we are so particular with what goes into our music, as long as we are happy with the end result that’s all that matters who cares how long it takes. Once we have the meat of the song that is when we start adding the salt and pepper to it like drum fills, vocal patterns, guitar over dubs etc. Then we usually make a VERY rough recording that I can listen to over and over again to try and write lyrics to the song. We then get the song to a tempo that Claire can practice to the click so she is prepared to go into the studio and just knock out the drums. There isn’t usually that much drama in the practice room because we are all on the same page when it comes to the writing process. We can all nearly tell what the other person is thinking at this stage because we have been playing music together for so long.

16. Who are your musical influences?

Dan: Metallica are Gods. I mean that band can do no wrong in my eyes. Machine Head, Lamb of God, Gojira are up there in the list of favorites. I didn't start out listening to heavy music though. The first band I started listening to was Thin Lizzy. I remember being in school listening to Lizzy and a friend turning to me and going “Oh you like them? You should check out a band called Metallica” I was like “Ok” and he handed me the Black Album and that was that. I heard the song “Of Wolf and Man” and I was hooked and it was just a slippery slope from there. Discovering heavier, darker more aggressive music, I just couldn't and still can’t get enough.

17. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Dan: Back when we first started out we heard this story of a girl called Sophie Lancaster who was from the UK. She was murdered for being a Goth and it just got me thinking of how closed minded some people can be and why do we feel the need to judge or “label” people. This girl was just expressing herself the way she wanted and was met with hate and tragically lost her life for just being different. I was so angry I wrote a song called “Dead Label” which was basically about not pigeonholing people and allowing everyone to live their lives. I wanted it to be about the death of labeling. When I showed the song to the guys Claire actually said that would actually be a really cool band name. It fit us really well because we are just a Metal band plan and simple. We hate all this sub genre stuff that has become so present in the scene nowadays so Dead Label actually stands for the death of labeling. Which I think is working. We have been called thrash, metalcore, melodic death, deathcore, groove etc which proves our point we can’t be put in a specific genre. We are living up to our name. We cannot be labelled. We ended up renaming that song “Rest in Pieces” which is on our first album.

18. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Dan: We are based in the Dublin area in Ireland. There is a pretty big scene around Dublin. The vast amount of talent in Dublin is crazy. There are too many bands to mention but off the top of my head, Dichotomy, Vile Regression, Edenfire, Aesect and Red Enemy are a few bands that you should definitely check out.

19. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Dan: Well this year we a really focusing on finishing this album and unleashing it on the world and once that is out we will be touring as much as we possibly can. We are a live band, we love to play live so we will go anywhere and everywhere we can. So they can expect to see an album and tour dates on the horizon.

20. Is that your final answer?

Dan: I think I have gone on long enough hahaha. Thank you for your time.

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