Castle Black are a Brooklyn, NY hardcore/post-punk/alt-rock three-piece hot off the release of their new EP, Dead in a Dream (available on Apple Music and Spotify), which dropped on July 12th. Further strengthening our history of featuring this explosive group – check out these past articles – we are lucky enough to have Castle Black’s vocalist/guitarist Leigh Celent join us for this exclusive rundown on the three-track EP, which actually serves as the first half of the upcoming EP Take Her My Life that will include Dead in a Dream and the as-of-yet unreleased Born in a Dream.
01. “B4 U Do The Same”
– This song can kind of be summed up by the last line, “The night, I’m gone, before you do the same.” Some might read that as a kind of self-defence mechanism, as in, the person is going to leave before being left, and maybe that in itself is a self-defeating behaviour. However, I think a parallel interpretation is that perhaps this is a self-promoting behaviour in that this person can read a situation very well. While there are waves of insecurity and sadness, ultimately, ending a situation before it goes further is the better path; seeing the situation for what it is, is the healthier option.
This person is getting better at reading people and knowing when someone is not being genuine or caring, and when those qualities are not welcome long-term. We had a lot of fun as a band debating the spelling for the song title, ultimately landing on the very middle school-esque spelling, which I think just adds to the overall vibe of the song, whichever interpretation you connect with.
Inhale on “A Cigarette, Saved” from 2018’s the gods that adored you:
02. “Know Me, Anyway”
– This song builds on the ideas from “B4 U Do the Same.” It’s largely a song about a lack of connection, and just watching the things that shouldn’t win, win, while the things that should win, lose. It’s again about knowing human nature and being able to recognize superficiality or negativity, and leaving when the situation may not be positive. “Know Me, Anyway” has been the hardest song on this EP to execute live. The intro on the recording includes an eBow guitar layer, which is played live by Scott on bass with a synth pedal, while I still play the main guitar riff. The drums start on a two count, so we have to all make sure we are paying attention to each other when the song starts at a live show. To get the feel of the two guitars on the recording during the outro, I am using the looper function on my DL4, which I have never used before this song; there has definitely been a learning curve there!
03. “Dead in a Dream”
– This song was based on an older song of a different title that we used to perform as a band, but never recorded. That version of the song was written even before our first EP in 2015 and just never made it onto any of the earlier EPs. There were parts of it that I always liked, but I wanted to totally re-vamp the song if we were ever going to record it. I stopped including the song in our sets as I just felt that we had stronger songs as we continued to release more music. “Dead in a Dream” is unlike anything I could have imagined – the drums are super heavy, while the melodies between the guitar and bass add this complimentary beauty – a bright darkness of sorts, for lack of a better description – with the lyrics creating this ominous plea. The middle bridge part kind of evolved into this weird lovable layered monster.
I’m not entirely sure was “Dead in a Dream” is about. The lyrics took on a life of their own, and the entire song has this other-worldly feel, like truly being born and then dying inside of a dream, and watching it all from afar. There are elements to the song that remind me of the movie The Fountain. There’s a feeling of being at the mercy of the universe, while simultaneously being in awe of the universe.
Look up at this “Broken Bright Star” from the 2017 release Trapped Under All You Know:
Upcoming Tour Dates:
07/31 – Showroom – New York, NY
08/03 – Elephant Talk Festival at The Watering Hole – Hamilton, NJ
08/-4 – The Map Room at Bowery Electric – New York, NY
08/17 – The Pompei Lounge – Staunton, VA
08/24 – American Dissonance Fest – Trenton, NJ
09/13 – SchwonkSoundStead – Port Huron, MI
09/14 – The Port of Kenosha Beverage House – Kenosha, WI
09/15 – Bremen Cafe – Milwaukee, WI
09/16 – CtHouse – Elmwood Park, IL
09/17 – The Wisco – Madison, WI
09/18 – The Ruin – Fort Wayne, IN
09/19 – Care Less Lounge – Louisville, KY
09/20 – Betty’s Grill – Nashville, TN
09/21 – Tommy’s Pub – Charlotte, NC
09/22 – The Odditorium – Asheville, NC
09/23 – The Jinx – Savannah, GA
09/24 – The Camel – Richmond, VA
09/26 – Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
09/27 – Spruce Goose – Indianapolis, IN
09/28 – The Old Miami – Detroit, MI
10/12 – B&B Saloon – Atlantic City, NJ
The Dead in a Dream artwork, featuring Celent’s own childhood doll: