With British rock bands making waves in the charts, and the long-awaited return of live music on the horizon, the future is looking brighter for UK rock. Hopefully with this new beginning will come a wave of new acts and, if the standard is anything like that of Yorkshire chaps Dead Romantic, then the future is indeed brilliant. Prior to the release of their brand new single, “Kissed With A Lie,” and their new album, Voices, we spoke to the group about their inspirations, the return of live music, and what on earth possessed them to climb up a Yorkshire mountain in the middle of February to film a music video.
Thanks for your time. How is life treating you today?
Dan Taylor: “Life is as good as can be expected in the current climate, we’re still hard at work finishing some tracks for the deluxe album which will come out sometime after the album is released. We’re just counting down the days until the world opens up again really, then we can really get to work.”
First of all, the brilliant new single is out now. What were you thinking going up to Bamford Edge in February and how quickly did you regret your choice of location?
Mike Krompass: “Thanks! It seemed like a great idea when we thought it up! However, it was absolutely freezing! I think we immediately regretted it when the road to get there turned out to be sheet ice. We couldn’t get the cars up there. That added like 20 minutes to the hike up the mountain with gear, and that’s before we even got to the steep part! There’s a little behind the scenes clip on our YouTube channel where you can see how steep the incline was. We had to go up and down two or three times too, It was hell! On a positive note, we definitely benefitted from the exercise after a year of lockdown. Plus, the visuals that we captured up there are unbelievable, so I think we’d do it again in a heartbeat having seen the end result.”
Seriously though, the song itself is quite an emotional one and sounds like it comes from personal experiences. Is that the case?
Taylor: “Of course. What can you write about aside from the things you’ve lived through? It’s about being resilient in times where you’ve been hurt by somebody and refusing to be dragged down. It comes from experiences of being hurt and then coming to the realization that if someone is willing to make me feel like this in the first place then they’re not worth suffering over.”
Are the themes explored in “Yesterday” ones you’ve explored further on the new album?
Krompass: “Yeah definitely, all of the themes on the record come from our personal experiences. There are songs about heartbreak, anger, sadness, promise, excitement, and just straight up self-expression. It’s really good to see these emotions and experiences come to life in our music.”
What can you tell us about the new album then and what’s inspired the material?
Taylor: “The new material is inspired by our thoughts and emotions and the things we’ve all lived through. The album has some heavy and angry songs and it’s got some nice melodic stuff and some bouncy scream along songs. I think there’s something for everybody really. We’re excited to see what everyone else thinks about it and if they can relate to our music language.”
You talk about it featuring the best elements of everything you love about music. What bands changed your life?
Taylor: “Me personally, I think I’m influenced by everything that I hear. I think if you’re talking about what shaped me as a person, maybe bands like Slipknot, Papa Roach, Taking Back Sunday. I think I was just going into secondary school when I heard those kinds of bands and I just fell in love with music. It really shaped me as a person because it was at that point that I think I really found my own identity. But people like David Bowie and Freddie Mercury have had a real impact on me too, the kind of people that just don’t give a shit what the world has to say, who are who they are, and own it. I think everyone deserves that freedom.”
Krompass: “For myself, there’s such a diverse amount of talent out there and so much that has influenced me and my writing/playing style. It can vary from old school metal like Pantera, to hair bands and guitar players like Nuno and Van Halen, Nu-metal and pop to songwriters and players like John Mayer. So I think everything that influences can somewhat change your life and what you become as a growing musician.”
Voices is your debut album, and you’ve already set your bar high with some anthemic tunes. Where do you hope the sound develops from here?
Taylor: “Well we have a lot of bangers to show people, we’re really proud of the album and when it comes out I think people will see that we can keep and probably exceed the standards we’ve already set for ourselves with ‘Yesterday.’ But I think in the future we’ll do what feels right when the time comes. If something inspires a change in us then we’ll evolve. I just hope that listeners and fans enjoy the journey with us.”
For the album you worked with Zakk Cervini and Steve Diamond. What did you learn from working with two people who’ve resumes featuring some of the biggest names in modern rock?
Krompass: “It’s always great to collaborate with amazing talent, Steve is a great guy and a good friend; he and I have worked together for many years as co-writers on all styles of projects. There’s always something to learn from anyone, regardless of their accolades. Everyone seems to have their unique identity and that can always inspire and teach you new tricks. Steve definitely has got a lot of experience in songwriting and to work with him and see his process has taught us a lot about writing. Zakk is a real pro and a fantastic mixer. He did an awesome job on the record and really showed why he’s one of the top guys right now.”
Using a band like Bring Me The Horizon as a good reference, you talk about the sound on your album being “unchained.” Do you feel Dead Romantic are the kind of band whose sound could change dramatically over time like BMTH did?
Taylor: “Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Like I said, I think it depends on the experiences we’re faced with in the time that passes between now and then, how our tastes change and how our fans respond to the music we make. Music is forever changing, but heavy music will never die, so maybe we’ll adapt but I can’t see us abandoning our rock and metal roots. They’re ingrained in us.”
Going back to the video, it’s quite a dramatic clip. Is there plans to expand the visual side of the band and, how important is this element to your overall vision?
Krompass: “Well we have a few videos for future singles already set for release, they are all killer and there are some intense visuals that I’m sure won’t disappoint. After we finished shooting ‘Yesterday’ we turned to each other like, “How the hell are we ever going to top that!?” But we worked with a guy called Gaius Brown who really understands our vision and I think we really kept the standard up. We love every single video we’ve created and honestly, we can’t pick a favourite.”
Given the success of Architects and While She Sleeps, now would be a good time to be a UK rock band wouldn’t you say? What are your long-term ambitions as a band?
Taylor: “Yeah, well some of the guys in While She Sleeps and Bring Me the Horizon are from just up the road from us in South Yorkshire and Yungblud is killing it at the minute too. So it’s really encouraging to see lads from the local scene doing so well around the world. People like them make it seem achievable. We just want to make music and share it with people and if we get to make music for a living then it’s amazing to do what makes us happy.
At the moment we are planning tours of the UK and various places all over the world, I think the plan is to share our music with as many people as we can and then I suppose our future depends on them.”
Last weekend saw the return of live music to Liverpool. What are your plans to head out on the road?
Krompass: “As soon as we can get out and play shows we’ll do it. We have our first show planned for June 25th in Oldham in Manchester, and that’ll really kick it off for us. After that, the world is our oyster. We’ll go wherever they’ll have us!”
New album out later this summer. Just to finish then, what are your hopes for the rest of 2021?
Taylor: “It’s going to be a really busy and exciting year for us. We have three more singles with music videos that we’ll be releasing over the course of the year. Then the album comes out and hopefully we’ll be able to get out there and play as much as possible in between. There’s been talk of a UK tour and a tour of New Zealand and the U.S. and all sorts. But we’ll see what the future holds I suppose. You can definitely count on some kick ass music from us though!”