Deadlights are all the rage at the moment. They’ve exploded through the Brisbane music scene over the past few years, and are now taking the country and world by storm with their post-hardcore goodness. The boys are set to release their sophomore LP The Uncanny Valley later this week (our review here), and if you’ve enjoyed singles ‘Born of a Lie‘, ‘The King of Nothing‘ and ‘Sudden Life / Sudden Death‘, you’re going to be in for a treat on #NewMusicFriday!
In the lead-up to the release of The Uncanny Valley we got to know Deadlights frontman Dylan Davidson a little better and (in the process) got a sneak peek into the lives of these talented musicians and their exciting future…
A big hello to Deadlights! My name’s Ricky from Wall of Sound, and I’m stoked to be chatting to you about your upcoming record, The Uncanny Valley – let’s do this!
Yo! Thanks for getting involved!
It’s been a long time coming for the release of The Uncanny Valley, what’s the feeling like in the Deadlights camp?
Deadlights’ camp is currently consuming a cocktail made up of excitement, nerves, anticipation, joy and anxiety. It’s an odd mix but going down a treat, part & parcel with any new release. We are so damn proud of what we’ve done and hope that our fans vibe it as much as we do. It has been a long time coming, but it should prove worth the wait.
You guys have released some monster singles that stans are frothing over likes of ‘Born of a Lie’, ‘The King of Nothing’ and ‘Sudden Life / Sudden Death’ – are these tracks pretty anecdotal of the sound we’re going to hear on the new record?
Choosing the singles was one of the hardest things we’ve done as a band, to be honest. There are textures and colours conveyed through the record that we certainly haven’t shown yet. Yeah, the vibe of those tracks is absolutely found in other songs throughout the album, but there is also a lot more to be discovered that are not reminiscent of those at all. Fans won’t see them coming.
What was it like writing and recording this record in contrast to the previous album and various EPs and singles? Did COVID play any part in the end result?
The main key difference with the process of this record was that Tynan (Guitar/vocals) produced it all in house. We had all these ideas before recording of who to go with, but once COVID hit, we decided they weren’t feasible, and we just had to do it ourselves. This played to our strengths, though, as it gave us time to experiment and change things. Some choruses changed three times before being finalised. So many extra layers of electronic sounds were added to the backgrounds of songs as Tynan had extra time to play around with everything as much as he wanted.
Also, vocally, since Tynan was tracking himself, he could try out heaps of harmonies for each line. Normally a producer would expect most of this grunt work done, but we got to play around heaps. It led to a better-finished product in all aspects.
What are some of the themes and topics explored on this record?
The Uncanny Valley tackles various iterations of the future. It discusses my personal future in battling emotional detachment and relationships, and it discusses the future of technology, social media and the rise of Artificial Intelligence. It also covers mortality and what it means to think about life and death as a cycle. Finally, it also talks about climate change and the disastrous futures the Earth may find itself in if no change is made. It really goes everywhere, but the underlying current is the future and what it may hold for each of us.
Whether you like it or not, Deadlights are all aboard the hype train and the expectations are high, particularly in the infamous UNFD Social Club. Do you guys feel the pressure at all to live up to the hype or will expectations be met with the new album?
We give little to no thought about this. This album is the best thing we’ve ever done and the best thing we could get out of with the circumstances of where we were all at in life at the time. We love it, we think our fans will love it, but this “hype train” is really for the fans to ride. We’ve done our part, once the songs are out, they no longer belong to us, they belong to the listeners. They can make of them what they wish.
You guys are getting a lot of attention everywhere at the moment, have you got any unexpected attention in corners of the world that took you aback?
We’ve been getting an influx of messages from people in all sorts of countries hitting us up. Comments like “You guys HAVE to play New York” is one that comes to mind. It’s surreal to think that our music is touching people far on the other side of the globe, yet that was always the aim. It’s also cool seeing random comments on YouTube in Russian. My family is Russian by blood, so it’s rad to see it connecting with people over there.
That’s insane man, congrats! Deadlights’ show on Feb 20th was the first to bring back moshing post-COVID in Brisbane, how does it feel going down in history with that accolade?
That was easily top 3 (maybe even #1) nights of all our lives—definitely the best gig. The atmosphere was electrifying; the smiles that were on people’s faces are unforgettable. I will relive that night in my mind many times for the rest of my life. It’s awesome to know that people are still eager and willing to support heavy music and their hometown artists even with such a lapse.
With COVID slowing down and gigs starting back up, have you guys got much of a touring schedule planned for the rest of 2021?
We’ve got a mammoth 13 show run with Polaris next month to kick things off. The biggest run of shows we’ve ever done with one of our favourite bands. It’s going to be absolutely wild. After that, we’ve got plenty in the works but nothing that we can tell you about yet! Keep the eyes peeled!
Eyes glued to your socials! You’ve come a long way since we first met you at Big Sound back in 2017! If you could tell Deadlights back then something Deadlights knows now, what would it be?
We would say to stop concerning yourself about perfection and just get things done. Nothing will ever be 100% to the tee of how you’ve seen it in your head, and that’s okay. Just do what you can to the best of your ability and get it out. Something that took us a while to learn, but we feel now tenfold. Also, maybe keep track of your receipts better, haha
That’s always a good thing come tax time hahaha Any final thoughts ahead of Friday’s release?
We are just so damn pumped for people to join us on this sonic journey into the future. Maybe sit or lie down, headphones on, volume MAX and let us seep into your core. This is an album of emotion, full to the brim of different colours and moods that we want people to experience with us. There’s something on The Uncanny Valley for everyone; we hope that each person finds their own personal little piece that speaks to them within in.
Interview by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)
The Uncanny Valley is out this Friday, pre-order here
Deadlights – The Uncanny Valley tracklisting
1. The Uncanny Valley
2. Schedule 1
3. The King of Nowehre
4. Born Of A Lie
7. [I See The Future]
8. Echo Chamber
9. Sudden Life / Sudden Death
11. Frozen Over