The Dead Lay Waiting Interview

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The Dead Lay Waiting are a band with huge potential ahead of them. With nominations for both KERRANG! Magazine’s ‘Best British Newcomer Band’ award, and the Metal Hammer Golden God ‘Best Underground Band’ award under their belts, they’re a band with something to prove, attempting to take the UK Metal scene through brute force.

Their latest album, Almost Heaven, is a brutal piece that bounces back and forth between Death Metal and Metalcore at an impressive pace. It doesn’t walk a fine line between the two, it masterfully waltzes the line knowing just when to catch you off guard with a change in structure or tone and keeps you engaged. The drums powerfully counter the guitar, the vocals flit from low growling exhale screams to melodic vocal sections that could have been pulled out of an early 2000’s pop punk album. The band are taking a sound that is highly polarising, often being criticised for being repetitive and inaccessible, and putting their unique slant on it. This is death metal, but death metal that your average You Me at Six fan could jump into and start to get a feel for the genre’s strengths.

The band were at the MCM London Comic Con to promote their comic, ‘A spooktacular Steampunk Nightmare’, as well as playing multiple live sets on the MCM Fringe Stage. We were lucky enough to be able to talk to Ben and Luke from the band about both their comic and their music, discussing their inspirations and their history with comics. 

Laura: For those who don’t know The Dead Lay Waiting, could you both introduce yourselves?

Luke: Sure. I’m Luke Lucas, vocalist for TDLW.

Ben: And I’m Ben Connett, lead guitarist for TDLW.

Laura: For anyone who’s not heard your music, how would you describe your style?

Luke: Yeah. We play some Melodic Metalcore, kinda with a twist of other various other genres all mixed in.

Laura: And could you tell us a little about your comic book “A spooktacular Steampunk Nightmare”?

Luke: Yeah sure. We’ve just released it, the comic book’s been in the works for about two and a half years now but it’s only just come out.

Ben: Mainly down to your laziness

Luke: Haha yeah, that and a certain person who’s in Barbados. Yeah, but we managed finally to actually get it out. It’s based on the band, but with us all placed in a fictional story. It’s been really well received which has been awesome.

Laura: Which member of the band first came up with the idea of doing a comic?

Luke: That was me, I pretty much used to work in a comic book store and I got talking to some of the other guys who were working there who all wanted to try and make their own comic anyway. I realised that through the band we already had a platform, people kind of already know who we are, so why don’t we incorporate that and then we’ve got a base to launch from already?

Laura: How much of the personalities of the characters in the comic are based on yourselves and how much is built up just for the comic?

Ben: I think it’s more like that it’s the comic writer’s interpretation of what we’re like.

Luke: I mean, they know us quite well and they done that aspect quite well. As it’s about two years old some of it’s a little dated to what we’re like now, but when the next one comes out they should hopefully be able to get it more on tee.

Laura: Do you have a rough time frame for how long the wait will be for the next issue?

Ben: We’re not really able to put a date on it because it’s still being written, but it’s a very similar process to how we write our music. When we’re happy with it, then it’ll come out.

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Laura: Are there any particular ways that you feel your experiences as a band have influenced the comic?

Luke: Yeah I think so. I mean, like, obviously we were looking through and as a band we’ve never seen another band do this, unless you’re someone huge like Alice Cooper of Kiss. I think it kinda was a mixture between our experiences as a band and our dream comic, because you never really see comics about bands unless it’s something like Metalocalypse. We thought, it’s a really cool piece of merch for the fans and a lot more interactive than releasing an album, as we’ve got this story set out that they can talk about. I think because of that it really spurred us on to get it out for the fans.

Laura: Going back to your music, what are each of your musical inspirations that you brought to the band?

Luke: I’ll let you take that first Ben.

Ben: At the moment it’s kind of different as we’ve just put out a new EP and got out of an awkward label situation, which was unfavourable to put it as nicely as possible. We’ve come out with this new EP and just hit the ground running writing new stuff. Me and our bassist will go off and write stuff together because we’re currently listening to a lot of the same kinds of music like Deftones and bands like that. After that we’ll hand it over to Luke who’s musically the complete other side of the spectrum, J-pop and stuff.

Luke: Yeah, I’m more on the weirder side of things, strange classic of J-pop tracks, K-pop, the kind of stuff not many Metalcore bands really listen to. Those guys add the professional element, and I add the s**t weird stuff to our sound.

Laura: What sort of fan reactions have you had showing off your comic at this year’s MCM conventions?

Luke: It’s all gone much better than I ever expected.

Ben: Same. I was very sceptical of everything. It’s that thing that the vast majority of people here are comic book writers themselves making their own comics, or super devoted comic fans. For us to come here and for us to be like, “Yeah, we’re a band, we write comics and stuff,” was terrifying. We were like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we were able to go to Comic Con.” It turns out it was a lot easier to look into than we thought. We got in contact from the site, with the people who ran it, and they were like, “This sounds awesome, send us some info and we’ll see what we think.” Obviously, if they thought it was s**t then we wouldn’t be here.

Luke: I think also we’re all surprised with how big it’s been. The first time we were at [MCM Midlands] we were signing straight from twelve till four and it’s only gone up from there. With the live performance happening too this time, that was finally our chance to be like, “We are here with a comic, but this is what we actually do”. I think that’s cool because we were telling people, “We are a band, really,” and lots of the people who hadn’t heard of us were like, “Oh, okay,” and looked at us a bit strange. At least this time we were able to say, “We are a band, and you can come outside and see what we do.”

Ben: At the other ones this year people would say, “Oh, so you’re a band right?” and they’d flick through the comic quickly and say, “Right I’ll buy that… and a comic… and a t-shirt.” I kept thinking “Okay, you know you could hate our music.” I think it was really cool this time being able to actually play a live set at the show. We had so many people come to see us and it was beautiful playing outside in the sun with planes flying low over you and it was just really cool.

Laura: Have you got anything else you’d like to say to our readers? 

Luke: Yeah, please go check out our Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts. Just Google The Dead Lay Waiting and you’ll find them pretty easy. Check us out, see if you like us and if you’ve seen us at any of this year’s MCM’s and have any pictures please upload them and drop us a link, we’ll share them about.  

 

Images by Sarah Tsang.

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