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lunedì 21 maggio 2012
Pat McLaughlin - Bass, Vocals
John "Dole" Doyle - Drums, Vocals
Mike "Pez" Pesavento - Guitars
Dustin Decline - Vocals
Dan Dominiak - Guitars
I Decline is an american band active since fifteen years ago, we reviewed their latest release "Time To Shine" of 2011 and know we'll know them better.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine, 2012 has just begun, let's talk about 2011: how was it for I Decline?
Dustin Decline: 2001 was a great year for us. We started it off supporting Toxic Holocaust, Holy Grail and Krum Bums at Reggie's in Chicago, followed that up with our Record release show where we hosted an after party for an "Animosity" era Corrosion of Conformity show and rounded off supporting our friends Gypsyhawk on the Midwest leg of there US tour.
How were I Decline born, who are them and why this monicker? Tell us anything about you...
Patrick Mclaughlin and John "Dole" Doyle formed I Decline in the mid 90's. Initially, Pat was on the drums and Dole on bass and vocals with guitarist Michael "Pez" Pesavento. The band was more of a mock-metal outfit and they used the monicker "Bloody Blood". Ultimately, they wanted to do something different and more serious by fusing punk, metal, progressive and acid rock together so they switched roles (Pat on bass and Dole on drums) and brought myself and our first guitar player Tommy Bucina into the mix. We were just a bunch of guys from the south side of Chicago, a real blue collar area. Being the sons of hard working people, I think has been a big part of why we have lasted for so long. As far as the name goes, when the band was formed we were just about at the age where the United States military could actively start recruiting us. Pat got a letter from the Army and at the bottom he had to make a choice. "I Accept" or "I Decline". It is really as simple as that. Over the years I think the name has become a lot of different things for us. For me it reminds me to stay true to what you do creatively as an artist. People like your art people will dislike your art but in the end you cannot get caught up in that you just have to do what you think is best.
Your sound is particular, it's not just doom, neither heavy, rich of influences (stoner and nu for example). How do you mix so many things in your sound?
Simple. We love music and we refuse to get caught up in one particular genre whether its metal, punk or whatever. We listen to a lot of different music and that is I guess subconsciously applied to our sound.
There were difficulties in giving life to the songs? Which method you use to compose?"
The album was a combination of old songs reworked, as well as new songs. The song writing process was a collaborative effort. Each member brought their individual spin into the songs, some would bring in a more finished tune while other tunes needed more attention.
Is "Time To Shine" a wish or a statement? What's the meaning of the title of the album?
I think both. In America there is a sense from at least our perspective that our parents and our grand parents generation took the country to new heights and changed the world for the better. Whether that is true or not is of little concern. What we feel has come out of all this self-praise is that our generation has been viewed as kind of a "let down". So, for me, "Time To Shine" will always refer to stepping up and doing what I want regardless of what anyone thinks of me or my friends.
One of the flaws of the metal world is that it has sold out itself to a commercial attitude made of softer sounds e and sweet melodies. Your singer Dustin has a really catchy way of singing, but luckily not too much, did this help you to give to the song a more accessible touch? I think especially about "World Burning Down" and "Her Darkness"?
Thank you. I love telling stories. I didn't have the ideal metal god voice. There was always someone who could scream better than me. So melody and words became my weapons. I took the approach that the simpler the message and melody the better and out of that the album was born.
"Jericho" is surely unexpected, a particular ballad and full of a strong will of reviving. More than a decade has past since that damn September 11 2001, from what was characterized this decade? Which are the moments that striked you?
The song itself is about saying goodbye and moving on and, in some ways, forgiveness plays a part as well. I think that event changed the direction of everyone's life. The repercussions of that event are still being felt and will for the foreseeable future. From the moment I heard about the attacks, I knew the world was forever changed and that has had an impact on our music.
The lyrics have a positive message, I had the sensation of a consciousness raising, analyzing the world do you think that it's right to help people through music? There is a sort of pessimism spreading dilagante and the usual news surely won't kill it...
I feel that music, like any type of media, can do both good and harm. I think with Time to Shine we are trying to say that we are at a tipping point and that each and everyone of us must make a choice of which direction we are headed in as individuals and as a group. We get so bombarded with images and messages that I think we are kind of a confused generation. It really takes an effort to find the "truth" these days.
The metal world is rich of self-productions, more and more valid and numerous, if I'm not wrong your entire discography is self produced, why this phenomenon is spreading? I understand a band releasing their first demos, but for people at the third or fourth album wouldn't be better to have a label? Maybe there is a lack of trust in them? Or labels want to invest only if there are easy earnings? Only a few "underground" acts is still working for passion and often and often they pay for it.
I think the quality gap between major label and independent artist's recordings has narrowed. If I'm not mistaken, I think we produced the album for something like five thousand US dollars and I feel the quality is not that far off from big budget recording contracts. We also have Dole who spent years working as an engineer in the Chicago recording scene. He is really our secret weapon. As far as labels go, to be honest, there has been little interest on our part we enjoy the freedom of doing whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it.
How is the musical scene in Chicago? Are there bands with which you have a friendship or a reciprocal respect?
The music scene in Chicago is really active. On any given night you can catch some of the greatest performers in the world from any given genre of music in a small club. It's exciting to be a part of the music scene in this city. That being said, in our genres of Metal and Rock there are tons of local bands. So much so, it is highly competitive in terms of booking shows locally. We do have a few bands that we are connected with in the Chicago Metal scene that we play with on occasion, like Earthen Grave, Wizard Castle, November's Doom, Dirge Within, Team Hoss. We also have some friends from Pasadena, California that we toured with last fall, Gypsyhawk. Gypsyhawk are a killer band on Metal Blade Records that I highly recommend you check out. They've got a new release coming out soon I believe.
What do you think about music today? Ups and downs compared to the past?
I think music truly is a business today controlled by a small group of powerful people. If you do not know the right people it is really hard to get your music out there to a lot of people quickly. But on the flip side of that coin, the Internet has made music so much more open for do it yourself type bands. It may take much longer to get noticed but, come on, twenty five years ago we could never be talking like this and getting this type of attention especially from Europe which has been really great to us.
Today more young people listen to metal, which albums would you recommend to them? Which ones do you consider fundamental?
For me coming from Chicago I would tell young people to start with the blues. Go back to Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. In more classic metal terms, Blue Cheers' "Vincebus Eruptum" had a profound effect on me. Of course, I would tell them to start with Black Sabbath. The MC5's "High Times" is another one of those pre metal albums that were very influential to me. As a kid, I loved Metallica's "And Justice For All." Most people think that "Master Of Puppets" is one of the all time greats but for me "Justice" just spoke to me politically and on so many other levels.
U.S.A. waging a war against hosts of file upload/download, the closure of Megaupload created agitation and the web is rebelling, is this right in your opinion?
Anytime you start taking freedom away it is a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, whenever money is involved and corporate interests are threatened, the government is going to get involved and people are going to get squashed.
Artists can interact with people, the political and economic situation is worrying many nations, for example Italy that now is one that suffers very much. Are the protests against Obama still going on? What do you see in the future of American people?
America, at this point, is a somewhat divided nation politically, socially and economically. The country was founded on our ability to compromise and that seems to put on hold right now. Fear and ignorance have seeped into our media only exacerbating the problem. As a result, the country has yet to find a real direction for the twenty first century. The gap between rich and poor is growing and people are looking for answers and leadership. I see a tough decade ahead, maybe tougher than the last. In order to look at the future of America, I need to look back into our past. We are a country of immigrants. So, in some ways, we have a unique connection to the rest of the world because we have taken in people from every country in the world. Americans, on the whole, are generous and kind people who really want to help. Some times we are right in our actions and some times we are wrong. The future of our country will be decided, like the future of all countries, by our young people. I have great hope for our young they are technologically savvy and are learning and becoming connected with rest of the world via technology each day. This is changing the perception of America's youth about the rest of the world and a curiosity is growing within them to interact with the world. It just does not seem so far away to them anymore. I still truly believe that there is going to be a time when all the great nations are going to have to stand up and take a look at the way we are doing things and decide it is time to make a change for humanities sake. My hope for the future is that America will be one of those great nations leading the way to positive change.
Let's talk about softer topics, which are your passions besides music?
I like the simple things: good food, good beer, hanging out with my friends and family collecting vinyl LPs.
How is the support tour for "Time To Shine" going? Will there be some dates here in Europe?
The support has been amazing. Europe had been unbelievable to us. We would love to get over for some dates we just need a promoter over there to hire us.
Are you already working to your next album?
We are in the beginning stages of composing songs that may go on the next record. It's really exciting to see where we are headed creatively.
What do you see in your next future?
Just continuing to push the creative envelope and make music that we really enjoy. I love playing in I Decline those guys make it easy to make music.
Thanks for the time spent with us, the last message for our readers is up to you.
Thank you so much to Aristocrazia for doing this. We are really humbled by all the support we have been given. If you are interested in us our website is www.i-decline.com you can download or music by CDs and other merchandise. Everything we have accomplished has been by word of mouth so if you know someone who might like our music please let them know about us.
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