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Deathwhite Interview

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Hi, I would like to ask some questions about your band, Deathwhite. I know that your identity is secret, but I would like to know some stuffs about you. How many members are there? What instruments do you play? Who is the most mysterious?

There are four of us in the band currently. We have a vocalist, we have a guitarist, and another guitarist who also handles keyboards and bass, so he does 3 instruments and we have a drummer. And who would be the most mysterious? I guess all of us. Our names are not known to the outside public, but with Deathwhite it’s never been important to know who we are, because we think that the best is more important. And I think it’s interesting to let the music do the talking instead of our individual personalities. So this is been like this since we started which was 10 years ago. And it’s because we really wanted people when they refer to our band it’s the music and nothing else. There usually is a tendency in all forms of music when a band is started they check the members what other bands were they in beforehand. And with Deathwhite we wanted to eliminate all of these things. So the music can stand on it’s own. Hopefully we accomplished that so far. It’s never been a thing with this anonymous stuff, it never really has been, but we feel for what the type of music we are playing and for how we want to position ourselves this is the best way to go.

Is this the original line up that has been together from the start?

It is not, we had a different drummer at the beginning and we switched singers in 2015. Although we remained close friends with everyone who was with Deathwhite, so everybody is in the periphery helping us out.

How was Deathwhite founded? How much did you know each other beforehand?

We had all known each other before through a variety of previous bands, so the home basis are technically Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although two of our members myself included are spread out on the Southern States of The United States, but we knew each other from a variety of different bands within the Pittsburgh metal scene, and when these bands came to a conclusion it was obvious that we needed to form a band like Deathwhite. So we’ve been fans of Katatonia, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride and ISIS, so we wanted to start a band in that vein. So when some of us came together in one of our houses using the latest computer recording software and we started making demos. I think the drum software was EZ drummer or Superior drummer, one of those. And that’s how all the early demos came together. We had an idea of how we wanted to sound, be we never was a released version of the band in the first few years. We were searching for our feet. And it wasn’t until 2015 when we did the „Solitary Martyr” EP when we got a new singer and a new drummer and that’s when we kinda found our sound. But the first few years were fun, because it’s always exciting to have a new band and it’s daunting as well. Especially these days and age when there are so many bands and there is a really big competition. The internet has helped int hat regard, but those day were a lot of fun. And Death White really started as an extension of our friendship and we are happy to say that this continues to this day.

Do you think you had a good start at the beginning? What gave you the momentum?

It’d be tough to say if we had a good start. We had fun, so maybe that would be a success in itself, and to enjoy being together and to enjoy the creative process. So on some small level we probably had a good start, but in terms of getting fans and getting our music out there took a few years. People didn’t really pick up on us until the ,,Solitary Martyr” EP in 2015. So those first 1-2 years we’ve been really underground, and deservedly so, because we weren’t heading into the right direction yet with the songs, and we didn’t have the right people around us to make the best of those songs, so we got off with an okay start, but things probably really didn’t move forward for us until 2015.

You’ll turn 10 years old this year, and for a lot of people’s pleasure you’ll be releasing your third album as well in June called ,,Grey Everlasting”. Your music is sad, melancholic and it was written under a world pandemic. How much trouble did this pandemic put you in?

Yeah, it’s interesting. We’ve always been a band that has operated in isolation. We are all like an individual bubble. We only had 1 show in 2018. We are not really „out there”. We are very much a private band. So when the pandemic hit it didn’t really thrown off the creative process for „Grey Everlasting”, because we’ve always at home and at our own phase. The lockdown is obviously a terrible thing and we feel for all the people that got affected by it, but there was some additional free time for us, so that helped. Maybe the only hiccup there was that we wanted to play a few show sin 2020. We were rehearsing in February and March of that year and that’s when the pandemic struck.So when that happened and every band started cancelling shows and tours we decided to do the same. Although we didn’t had anything scheduled, we just put our live show ideas to the backburner and they still remained there today. So the pandemic didn’t really affect Deathwhite, but it did affect our personal lives more. There’s no question about it. That’s something for everyone, but the business was as usual for us, but what was happening throughout the world certainly helped with some of the creations of the songs.

I think your lyrics are influenced a lot by what people are doing around you. Am I right?

Yeah. We’ve made a point to note that we are really inward facing band and probably for „Grave Image” we observed the world as it is and putting it into our music, and these things are impossible to avoid. You cannot even read the news or look out the window and not seeing what is happening with climate change or social issues especially. We’ve always been having them here in The United States, and that is a primary influences of Deathwhite’s music and the lyrics especially. And we are always trying to notion that humanity has all these great advantages and yet we seem to be shooting ourselves in our formulaic foot. And I think that’s the whole idea for our lyrics. You are given a golden ticket to do anything you want and you tear it to shreds. This idea in one way or another always translates into our songs. I think we can always write songs in this theme, like „Grey Everlasting”. I mean even the title itself suggests what we were thinking at the time, and going on in this world in really influential in our lyrics. So it’s something we can’t avoid and we feel we should put in our music.

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Could you please talk us through of the new record? What is there to know about it?

We were really happy with what happened with „Grave Image”. We were really proud of it. And for „Grey Everlasting” we wanted to do what we did at „Grave Image”, but extend upon that. We didn’t want to change our sound, but we didn’t want to write the same record twice. Many of the band has this power metal backgrounds. We’ve all been to a black or a death metal band before or thrash. It was always hanging on the periphery of the band, but we didn’t really take advantage of that until now. And so you’ll hear it in songs like: „Earthtomb” or „White Sleep” which is probably the two most obvious songs where we employed those extreme metal elements. On „Grave Image” was to get heavier, and now on „Grey Everlasting” the goal was to incorporate a lot more extreme metal elements and to keep an atmosphere to the songs. You will hear some keyboards and stuff… And we’ve always been a vocal driven band, and you’ll hear more harmonies than before. Breaking it down this is the most next logical step to the band. We want to keep on progressing, and we felt very happy that the strides we took on at „Grey Everlasting” and other people think the same.

Based on what concepts do you fit the lyrics to the music? What do you think, which song is the darkest?

That is a tough one. There is a few different topics that would qualify as dark. The first one is „No Thought or Memory”, which is about a crisis we have in The United States where big pharma suitable companies have leverage their power to decimate communities through prescription drugs and ruin families and destroy lives. And there are people who have minor injuries who are getting hooked to these drugs and they can’t escape their addictions and we all know what is the end to that story is. The other one is „Asunder”, which is our last song of the album. It’s just foretells us that we are shredding us our doom if we don’t get things straightened out, if we can’t resolve our own differences and we can’t look each other in the eye and have rational conversations anymore and all these things just turn into a snowball, because it will lead to bigger issues and will certainly haste the demise of mankind. Then you have something which is called „White Sleep”, which is a single we just out out recently. And it’s a metaphor of not wanting to wake up from sleep. Don’t wake me up in the morning or just in general, just when it’s over or if it’s not then when it’s gone. I would rather stay in this proverbial sleep. And it has a silver lining of wanting to fight through all of that. No matter how bad it is. And there is a lot of people who did it or who are still doing it. The world is just turning in such a negative direction that you would rather hide from it and just be in this perpetual sleep instead. Probably these songs are the darkest of the album.

Your influences listed on other websites are: Katatonia, Woods of Ypres, Paraside Lost, Anathema, Swallow the Sun. How much do you think it can be advantageous for you to be listed next to these bigger bands?

Well it’s a bit advantage, because we hope that fans of those bands might enjoy Deathwhite. Altough we don’t really think that we sound like them, we just took elements of them. But Katatonia is probably that favorite band from the 4 of us. A lot of things that Katatonia does in terms of forming a song and placing their vocals are stuffs that we are trying to do. If you listen closely he always over sings his vocals and they are always carefully spaced. He doesn’t sings over riffs that he shouldn’t and those are things that we try to do in Deathwhite, and as I said clean vocals are the goals, but we don’t want to over do it. And that’s the beauty of Katatonia, they never over do things and that’s what makes them really difficult band to get tired of. If we want to get a similar status to them we need to do a lot of albums to get on their level, but it’s always an honour if someone mentions us within the same breath or sentence as them. And we have a few other bands like that, but commonly Katatonia and Paradise Lost are the best sonic reference points to Deathwhite’s music. There is a fine line where you have your influences in your sleeve and just getting inspiration from them, but we are trying to keep ourselves in that direction.

How picky are you in terms of concerts? How does an ideal show look like for you?

We only had one and it was here in Pittsburgh and we were opening for another fellow band called Argus, and who are great friends and great guys. We’ve talked about some alternative arrangements to shows, because we are not that kind of band who can roll of to a little dive bar and play, we need to have some sort of proper stage set up with the right kind of lighting and the fog machines. Maybe a venue with high ceiling and cathedral walls would be the best setting for a Deathwhite show and we would be paired with bands who are along this same line. So this would be an ideal show from us.

Can we expect a gig from you in Europe?

We would hope so. This is a very long term goal of ours. For us Deathwhite down the road is primarily a studio band and that is the focus of us due to a variety things. Where we are, what are our current geographical realities now, and what we have going on in our personal lives, but we have made a point between the 4 of us, that playing in Europe would be a great goal. And there are people from Europe who support us as well, which we are really grateful about and we would like to repay that one day and play over there.

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How much do you think about the future? What would your next 10 years be like?

We are already working on what would be the 4th Deathwhite album. In between there we will also record a cover song, which is new to us. We never recorded a cover before. We tracked the drums for this song, and now we just need to finish it with other instruments and vocals. It’s not really an obvious cover choice, but once people hear it, it will definitely make sense. We chose not to use a song from one of our core influences, because that would’ve been way too obvious. So that’s probably next after we release this album and do the necessary promotion for it, but beyond that it will always be just writing and recording songs. That’s why we exist as a band and that’s why we love doing this the most. There is really no greater thrill for us then to just write together and see it through, and when the final product arrives in your hands. There is nothing for us that will ever top that. We are always searching to write better songs, and the pursuit of that will probably be enough to keep us going. So for the next 10 years we will probably be putting out more studio albums and if the stars align properly we’ll play some more shows, but in the very immediate future we will finish the cover song, and then we are gonna work on the next album. We are 3 or 4 songs into it already, so we are making some progress.

Thank you for your answers. It’s great what you do and I hope we’ll be hearing from you a lot!

Thank you so much! It’s been a pleasure to speak with you. Thanks for the support for Deathwhite! Take care.


www.facebook.com/deathwhiteofficial
https://deathwhite.bandcamp.com

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