Terminal Dogma Talk of Current Single, New Music and More!

Punk rockers TERMINAL DOGMA have one single out there with newer music already in the works! This duo act has both members get together to talk about who they are and what they do and where they want to go!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members 

DL: It's a duo project so it's just the two of us (Krista Acheson and Don Levandier) and we had been friends since 2003ISH, both lived in the same city, but never got to make any music together despite both being fans of each other's work. During the pandemic, we finally got to. However, we now live 4500 km's apart from each other so it was all remotely made. It was a really trying but rewarding experience to create music when you’re not in the same room as someone but that’s just kind of the world we live in now, isn’t it?  

KA: Yeah, I would have waaay preferred working together in person. At one point I offered to just fly him out so that I wouldn't have to deal with computers anymore-- things got a little weird and hackerish for me last year (for everyone, though, it seems) so there were other issues on top of just the trying to figure out the whole "let's work together-- but, separately" thing. 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name? 

DL: It’s from Neon Genesis Evangelion – an anime from the 90s. It’s got all kinds of bizarre terminology that makes zero sense but just sounds really cool. Terminal Dogma is like the last stage before humanity’s reality resets or something – it makes little sense but it looks cool. 

KA: And, see, when he had first suggested the band name and told me where he had gotten it from, I binge watched the series and my headcanon of how the band name, and the anime, connected to us working together on the project, ended up to be pretty  different. I mean-- the anime is definitely more psychologically profound if you don't overanalyze the specific details, because some of it is *truly* out there,  but there's an underlying emotional dialogue that's pretty deep... I really liked that. I think that's kinda true of the actual band project, too. And, I have to say that I think our trying to work together was a bit like the episode where Asuka and Shinji are trying to awkwardly learn how to get in sync and work together as a team. Recording remotely probably *felt* like that part of the episode (where they're trying to choreograph movements) looked.    

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

DL: Tons of amazing bands – where I’m from (Moncton, N.B.) – DINER DRUGS, JOHNNY DEATHWISH, ZAUM are all really, really cool. The music scene is ...well, the music scene everywhere is kind of the wild west now - I think with the collapse of phpbb’s (message boards) and the rise of social media – things became a lot more about the individual and less about the community...is that wrong? It seems to me like music scenes died around the same time the cult of the individual came up. All that to say there isn’t an active scene that I know of – but there are a lot of great bands that still support each other – it just isn’t what it was 15 years ago. At least – there's no online presence for it...it might still exist at shows...but once Monday morning rolls around – I have no idea where people are congregating online to discuss how great Friday night was. 

KA: I have to admit I don't know very much about my current local music scene, after moving to Edmonton I primarily focused on visual arts. So I'm probably still more connected to the East Coast scene than I am to out here, because I know of Johnny Deathwish and ZAUM, too-- super cool. My trying to musically transplant to this scene didn't seem to take, unfortunately.. possibly for the reasons that Don described.... or maybe the scene exists and I just don't know where to find it/am not very good at networking. I've literally had to use store mannequins as a band for a live show-- *that's* how unconnected I am.        

4. How would you describe your style? 

DL: I was really going for, like, a punky version of HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE by Blondie but without all the chorusy effect – It's definitely got a real downstrummy kinda punk feel. Someone once told me punk will never sound dated the same way the blues will never sound dated – I don’t know if that’s true because it really harkens back to the 90s for me – which is probably unavoidable for the people making the music hehe (me)...growing up on 90s west coast punk...I can’t avoid it. I wish it sounded a little more like Americans trying to sound like British bands trying to sound American - than it does – but we’ll get there. 

KA: I... kind of work differently. I'm never truly going for any style, in particular, and it's never consciously inspired by any band; I just record/sing whatever comes into my head and then stick fairly pigheadedly to it. I don't really care about who it sounds like... or if it's dated... or if it's even "good". haha

Hopefully the fact we approach music so differently will lead to some interesting tracks.

For 'First Degree' I just wrote down what came into my head when I listened to the music he sent (and his song crafting/composing/approach to production is perfect, imo) so it was *incredibly* easy to write to. This track was something like a 5 minute lyric write, for me. 

5. What have you released so far?

DL: Just the one single – It was complicated to do because we live on opposite sides of the country. I thought it would be really easy but it wasn’t... not just the technical side but also – just not seeing someone in person makes it really tough... kinda disembodied almost. In the end though – it felt good to get it finished. I think I’m realizing later in life that I have a hard time completing things and that my attention span isn’t great – so getting this released was cathartic in a lot of ways.  

KA: I think he's a bit hard on himself- I feel it was more that he had a lot going on during this process, I wouldn't blame it entirely on attention span. I definitely think if we were closer in proximity we would have been able to produce quicker and happier. I think we're more in sync now, the remote thing will probably go a bit smoother-- still not preferable to being in the same space, though.

6. What can someone expect from your works? 

DL: ... I want to say really trashy punky kinda stuff...but it's not – it’s tight, moderny sounding punk rock trying to sound like it’s trashy old sounding punk rock.

KA: hehe if he wanted it to sound truly trashy I would have had to have played the instruments on it (I'm not a strong player)-- he's just way too good/tight to sound trashy or loose.   

7. Do you have any new music in the works? 

DL: YES!! Since we’re strictly limited to writing and recording – we have lots and lots of music and lots of ideas (skeletons of songs). I think we’re both kind of prolific writers so the challenge will be (for me) doing the work and not just playing (writing). It’s way more fun to write 30 songs than it is to record and finish one. 

KA: Yeah, I'm excited about the upcoming tracks... I've already done vocal sketches for a few-- again, *super* easy writes, and he's actually more stoked about the upcoming tracks than this first one so I can't wait to hear how they come together. But I agree, for the both of us-- new music will never be a problem. He writes for his own project and for other artists... I write for my own projects... and now we're writing together for this project. It's always just going to be a location, time and (very much) a cost issue... I doubt there'll ever be a lack of material.

 8. How about playing shows? 

DL: This is an interesting one right now. For us – where we live so far apart – no. But I do feel like most bands we'll have to rework what touring looks like. As someone who’s toured extensively for 10+ years, I can say that it wasn’t sustainable then – so to do it now? With gas prices, and environmental impacts to consider? I’m not rushing to get back in a van I can’t afford.  

I would love to play a show with Krista but unless we get universal travel or someone invents teleporters – it probably won’t happen....But about that – when you do teleport... that’s not really you right? It’s like a perfect copy of you? - It’s you basically die then your perfect clone gets to play a show? Is that what that is? It’s bothered me for some time thinking about that. 

KA: Haha.. ok, teleporters aside, I would also love to play shows but, yeah, the current hellscape for live shows and where we're on the opposite sides of Canada ( which has exhausting, pricey travel distances between gig locations) it doesn't look like it'd happen without someone external investing in the project. It's just not financially feasible for us to manage as an independently funded band. 

9. What plans do you have for the future of the band? 

DL: It is truly, truly the wild west right now for the music industry. We have a ton of songs to record but right now we’re figuring out what that feels like / looks like as an artistic outlet. I think for a bit we’re going to release singles and eventually we’d like to make that an EP or an Album.

KA: Don has to do all of the heavy lifting production-wise so it's technically up to him how many songs we do-- but I love the project and I'll keep doing whatever he wants for as long as he'd like.      

10. Where can we listen to your band and find your stuff? 

DL: I am a big fan of streaming / spotify / apple. I know a lot of people really hate it but I don’t - I think it’s fantastic. Artists who complain that we don’t get paid enough from Spotify probably never sold records in brick & mortar stores. When we did – we get $4.00 per CD Sale. The Label would get $6.00, and the record store $10.00. The half a penny per spin from Spotify seems less gross when you know that. 

KA: None of my personal band projects have enough fan base or promotion behind them for me to really see any financial impact from something like Spotify-- or any platform really. But I distribute to everywhere so it's findable in case anyone is actually looking. That being said--if anyone's looking for our new single it's on all digital platforms.

Spotify: Spotify – First Degree

YouTube: First Degree - YouTube

Bandcamp: First Degree | Terminal Dogma

11. What is it you’d like listeners to remember when hearing your music for the first time? 

DL: That this was a challenge to do – the singer was in Edmonton *(Western Canada) - the drummer was in Los Angeles, and the guitar/mix guy was in New Brunswick (Eastern Canada) - there was a big learning curve and a lot of heartache making this track. So – I guess the answer – remember what it feels like to triumph over adversity and try to hear the elation in our souls when listening...like reeeeallllly listen hard and you can hear me weeping tears of joy (that this got finished) between strums. 

KA: hehe Ok-- I'll go with Don on that... we want you to hear the struggle behind it and appreciate the emotional cost of having two differently temperament-ed creatives, working together, but separately, for the very first time.  

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