Dark Day Dungeon released a great record called "Know your enemy" on Let It Burn Records quite a while ago that contains great metal influenced hardcore. Reason enough for me to do an interview with them...
Hey Attila, please introduce yourself to the readers.
Hi everybody! My name is Attila and I am answering this interview. I play guitar for Dark Day Dungeon. Besides me we've got Monte playing guitars as well, Alain at the bass, Brian hits the drums and Mosh, who's our singer.
What are the latest news in Dark Day Dungeon after the release of the excellent "Know your enemy" album?
Well, the biggest news is that our record sells very well and we'll have to repress it in the next couple of months. We're working on a vinyl version, too. We also have a 7" which is supposed to be out in the next few days. The 7" contains two new songs and one called "Drowning", which is also on the "Know Your Enemy" full length. Besides that we've got some new shirts and we're gonna have some crewnecks and hoodies in the near future.
We're working on new songs right now. We plan to release about 6 songs as a MCD in Spring 2002. But there are no exact dates so far for this.
Has there been any extensive touring to promote the record or did you play more single shows in contrast to a full tour?
We played some shows in Switzerland, Germany and Hungary this year. We've been touring with a band called Fallen Into Ashes from Hungary for 10 days in October. But mainly we played 2 shows on weekends here in Switzerland. In fact we like to be on tour and so we plan to go onto another in Spring 2003. But time will tell...!
"Know your enemy" is your first full length, right? As I only have this one and not the first MCD, what can you tell me about that MCD? When did it come out, etc.
Yes "Know your enemy" is our first full length. Our MCD came out in Spring 1999 and it was released by a new Swiss hardcore label called "Natural High". It was the first recording we did with Dark Day Dungeon and the four on the MCD were also some of our very first songs.
Have there been any lineup changes since the start of Dark Day Dungeon?
Yes. Fedi our singer left the band in Spring 2001. So we've got Mosh on the Mic now.
Why did the MCD come out on Natural High Empire while "Know your enemy" is released by Let it Burn Records?
Well, Natural High released 3 records in a very quick period at that time. They had big plans, I can tell you. Unfortunately the plans never became reality. As much as I know, there have never been any official statements why the label came to an end. So I can't tell you anything about that. It's sad Switzerland could have used a good hardcore label to support the local scene.
So it was not like a label change. We just had to look for a new label, because Natural High was dead. And we're very lucky to be part of the Let It Burn family now. It's a great label with great support for their bands. Just what we needed I'd like to say.
Does Let it Burn release your records outside of Germany/Europe? I could imagine that especially the US would be an important market for Dark Day Dungeon? Are there plans for distributing the new record through a different label in the US?
Yes, Let It Burn also delivers the US market with their records. For us - and I guess for the most European bands - it is very hard to sell records or even tour in the US. So far there are no stalwart plans to release our record on a US or other foreign label. Of course we'd like having a US release, but for now, we're concentrating on Europe.
Your vocalist Mosh was in Elision and Cataract before. Did you make the experience that people checked out Dark Day Dungeon just because of this fact, because Cataract are pretty well known? Do you care about that or doesn't that bother you?
So far we never made the experience that somebody checked us out just because Mosh sang for Cataract or Elision. But I can imagine that it might be a reason. Anyway it's great if somebody checks us out, we don't need a reason or a back up why somebody is coming. The people are the most important factor at a show. It's always a great feeling to have a crowd in front of us, that are probably enjoying the music - and sometimes they even mosh with us. That's great!
How about the Swiss scene? Are there many bands around, especially in your area? Do the bands help each other out when it comes to booking shows etc.? And what about shows in general, are there many local scenes or is it mainly Zürich or Bern where most shows take place?
The Swiss scene is great! We had a lot of new people coming to the shows in the last month and that's pretty cool. I tend to say that the kids that are visiting the Hardcore shows in Switzerland are getting younger but let's face the fact it's us who are getting older and the kids stay the same age (Yeah, sad but true, we're a bunch of old people - Stefan)! Most of the bands have a good time with each other and of course help when they can. We've got a lot of different music styles here in the Swiss hardcore scene, which makes it many-sided and interesting. Well I think that's the Swiss mentality not to be like the band rehearsing next door.
Recently I think there are not that many shows. There could be more. I can't really tell you which part or which city has the strongest scene at the moment. We have good shows over here in Central Switzerland, where three of the bands live. Also the Eastern part is more active again. I know the French part has a good scene as well as the Italian part of Switzerland.
What do you think about political issues in Hardcore? I think it is good if people are interested in political topics, but sometimes I have the impression that especially in the Hardcore scene certain bands tend to preach and try to convince people of their views. That's something I don't like at times. What's your opinion about that?
Well, I would say that there always was a certain amount of people in the hardcore scene who were very talented in making speeches. I wouldn't call it preaching though. I tend to say that some of these people were important for hardcore because they spread the message to the kids all over the world. But what I see today is that there are bands talking about things they don't even know anything about. Which is on one part absurd and on the other hand a pain in the ass if they try to convince the crowd on personal or political issues.
For us as a band we try to be neutral in that way. We know what we stand for and don't have to convince anyone by our views or visions. Our message is delivered in the lyrics. The precious time we have on stage is used to rock and roll.
What is still important to us though and is worth being mentioned, are the things that made Hardcore so interesting for us back in the days. These have been beside the music things like Vegetarianism, Veganism, Antisemitism, peaceful and open minded people, cohasion call it all in one being in a scene where people try to care a bit more than they usually do in other scenes.
I would say that your sound has many Metal influences, and that's something that I like very much. Would you agree? With which bands did you grow up?
Itıs great to hear that you like the music we do. Yes sure there are many influences of metal in our music. That's simply the way we like to rock.
Bands we grew up with? Hmmm... I'll try to mention some of the most important ones for us as a band. These were bands like Earth Crisis, Integrity, Turmoil, Hatebreed, All Out War and then some metal bands like At The Gates, In Flames, Entombed something like this. In our younger days we all listened to other kinds of music, for example Heavy Metal, Crossover, Rock and Punk.
Speaking of Metal: Bands like Coroner and especially the Swiss gods Celtic Frost became very popular on a worldwide basis. How did you experience these bands? Did the Swiss scene and you personally take notice of Celtic Frost and their popularity way back in the 80s?
Of course we took notice of a band like Coroner and Celtic Frost. Maybe a bit too late, that's why we did not experience them as a live band. Even if Celtic Frost is planning a comeback, they are more history than something else to us. The popularity of Celtic Frost is something amazing. And it's very cool to know that they were Swiss.
Dark Day Dungeon as well as Cataract recorded their LPs in Alpha Omega Studios in Italy with Alessandro Azzali. What makes this Studio so special for you (apart from the fact that the sound of your record is really great)?
Alessandro is a great guy and it's very nice to work with him. Since we know him he has been continually developing his studio just like we did with the band. He knows us for a long time now, which makes work easier. He thinks with the band, not only doing his job, that's something we desire from a recording engineer. Besides that his studio is only a three-hour-drive from where we live. It's in the mountains with a nice view and the weather is mostly better than in Central Switzerland.
What influenced you when writing the lyrics for Dark Day Dungeon? You know, I was interviewing lots of Death Metal bands in the early 90s, and very often they told me that they'd be influenced by Horror movies or books etc., so I'm very interested what your influences are in this field.
We're influenced by daily life nothing else. We don't want to write about unreal topics or fairytales. There are so many things we have to deal with every day that lay on our shoulders like a heavy weight. Writing lyrics about these things, gives us a better feeling. So what you'll find in our lyrics are experiences we try to work up.
I guess we're at the end of this interview, so you have anything to add?
Of course I liked to answer your questions. It's always great to talk to people who are interested in Dark Day Dungeon. I would like to thank you for all your support and the readers for reading this. Keep on rocking everybody!