DDP Live with The Fall of Troy

Well friends, 2016 has entered the best month of the year: Augmybirthdayust. Sure, that means sweltering peak summer death ray heat by day, but the folks who manage to keep their insides from melting together still come out at night as Houston continues to pop off. Some amazing stuff has been going down, and I'm happy to say that Dead Dialect has been part of the party. Take, for instance, just a few weeks ago on July 22nd when we pulled off a live podcast with The Fall of Troy, one of our all time favorite bands, in front of a live audience at one of the coolest locations inside the 610 Loop. Cool, eh? It marked the official debut of Dead Dialect Live, which I'll get into in a sec. But first...

Story time! The Fall of Troy are a three piece band from Washington made up of Thomas Erak, Tim Ward, and Andrew Forsman. If you want the official history and biography, here you go. What I want to say about them in my own words though, is that to me they're a very important and influential group of musicians who, during a major transitionary period in my life, were absolutely pivotal in changing the way I listened to music. First thing I ever heard by them was Phantom On the Horizon, thanks to Brandon, and shit dude... I'd never not only heard but felt such an arm-hair raising energy from something that wasn't live until I sat down and listened to that EP. After that, I hunted down their discography where I found their second album, Doppelgänger which I have to rank as one of my favorite albums of all time. In short, this band is a vulgar display of beautifully technical chaotic savagery. I mean, Jesus Christ, it's like a lot of times in bands, you get one guy who's all badass and everyone else is okay. They just sort of, you know, follow the main guy. Well I don't know what the fuck they were putting in the cafeteria food at their high school where they met, but all three of them are insanely talented to where you'd think it'd be overkill to have them in a single band. Yet, you couldn't find a more perfect match-up in order to create such brilliant music that's everything from heavy, to complex, and all the way to sweet. Post-hardcore, math-rock, progressive, you can call them what you want. The Fall of Troy is simply the shit. 

Clocking in 14 years as a band this year, they're still riding the wave of a long awaited return back in December of 2013 after a long hiatus that had many believing they'd never return. Not only are they back in full force, but they are on a world tour for their newly released album OK, self-released in a "free or pay what you want" format and every bit of a masterpiece as anything they've ever done. Meanwhile in Houston, Brandon and I were looking for ways to take things to the next level. Having started a fledgling relationship with Pegstar Concerts a while back, we wanted to coordinate with them in order to bring on something special with the kind of talent they bring in and there was no one better to do it with than The Fall of Troy, who were to play at Pegstar's new and beautiful venue. Thankfully, we know Andrew Forsman having podcasted with him last year and who's a listener of the show (which still blows my mind. Check out our episode with him here!) and he pitched the idea to the rest of the band. Knowing full well that there were fans in Houston who loved this band as much as we do, if not more, we decided we wanted to make this a live thing in front of a lucky group of Fall of Troy fans where they could ask questions of their own and meet them at the end. Best of all, we wanted to film it all and share it with the world.

Took a couple months of planning, but we did it. Pegstar lent us their scenic Raven Tower, everyone who won in the fan selection process showed up, the band was stoked and we all had a great time. I can't really express how humbling and rewarding it is on so many levels to make something like this happen, not only being able to shoot the shit with some of our heroes, but to share the experience with others who wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And for it to go off without a hitch on top of it all. There were more moving parts in this thing than we've ever had to deal with, and I'm so grateful for every single person who helped make it happen. At this point, I think Brandon and I both know that not only do we want to do this again, but we want to do it again soon, and keep doing it for as long as we possibly can. So we will.  

Special shout out to Kramer and Tom from Shooting Blanks Entertainment who filmed and edited the entire video, which came out absolutely fantastic and just blew any expectations I had out of the water. Also, Brandon who did most of the coordination between all the separate parties and was able to maintain our vision for this thing the whole way. And of course thanks to Andrew, Tim, and Thomas for being so down and being the sweetest of sweethearts.

So, enough rambling, here is the first ever video of our new series! Enjoy and leave feedback in the comments section or on YouTube! 




Silversun Pickups.

So, here we are, quickly approaching the halfway mark of 2016 and exactly one week away from the 2 year anniversary of this growing podcast. Emphasis on growing. At the turn of the year, I looked into Brandon's eyes after our New Year's kiss and said "This is going to be our year." 

Okay, we didn't kiss, that was a joke, but I did say that at some point in the night. And I'm being proven right. While so far 2016 has been a bit of a bleak year on the whole for humanity, what with the loss of some musical legends and the threat of having what seems to be an anthropomorphic reptile creature with a bad wig and a butthole for a mouth becoming President, I have to maintain that things have been nothing but magical for us and our little podcast. Nothing speaks to that more than our experience this past Monday (5/2) podcasting and hanging with the amazing and talented people that make up the super dynamic band, Silversun Pickups.

I won't hesitate to call it a small miracle and a large act of generosity that such a prestigious band actually agreed to sit down and talk to us. Now before I ramble on about that, I should admit that had been sleeping on this band for quite a while, despite all efforts being made to enlighten me. They're one of Brandon's all time favorites, after all. I can at least say, however, that it's because I tend to not do my homework due to me being procrastination incarnate. That's doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to who they are though. I've picked up a little more than what they sound like, I also know what kind of band they are. Generally speaking, I'm a fan of bands that consist not only of musicians that showcase brilliancy, but who also know how to mesh together sonically so that they become a single entity, apparent in each song, like a precise concoction that couldn't be if it were missing a single ingredient; no one outshining the other, no one stealing the show. Not only do Silversun Pickups embody that type of band, but you can still easily separate them and just nerd out about how talented each of them are. From Brian's affinity for complex yet catchy riffs and melodies as well as his masterful use of distortion overdubs to Chris and Nikki's powerhouse combination of a rhythm section, characterized by his machine-like technical drumming and her heavy, groove-oriented and electrifying bass tones. Not to mention the added ethereal flavors of Joe's keys to add that ambient icing on the cake, especially as they flirt more and more with electronic elements in their musical maturity. Apart, they're all sick ass musicians, but when they come together, you get thoughtful, rich, and nuanced music. From where I stand, they're not creating albums so much as they are creating soundtracks.

Cute little review, right? Anyway, all that said, I was stoked to find out how this all translated into a live show. The way it worked out was a little unfortunate for me since my day job got in the way and I couldn't make it onto the podcast, So Brandon had to pull off the interview on his own. He did nothing short of a fantastic job, though, as if I had any doubt. In fact, I was pleased to learn that he left such an impression that Chris, the drummer, and Nikki, the bassist, offered us free entry to the show  as well as passes for us to come hang out after the show and have a beer with them. Holy shit. Pleased, indeed.

I'll spare the details on how I spent that day surfing Reddit at work and playing my UFC game after I got home and skip to when we were at the show. Now, there are only so many ways to describe the captivating and raw nature of their performance. It was incredible to see the unique display of energies on that stage, each member embodied a different characteristic. Exuberance, focus, timidness, and power from the vocalist/guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, and drummer respectively. It put into perspective the vast spectrum of their musical palette that's so apparent in their music for me. Long story short, they were brilliant. I saw another side of them on that stage that only serves to bolster my appreciation for them. After they exited the stage, the night wasn't over for us. We soon found ourselves being led backstage in order to take them up on their offer to chill a little bit after the show. I was especially happy because even though I didn't get to be part of the interview, I was still getting my chance to meet and chat with them. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have one of the biggest touring bands in music today turn out to be made up of some of the most beautiful, friendly, and humble people ever. We talked open-handed drumming, tour life, band history and all kinds of stuff over some beer before sharing hugs, goodbyes, and invitations to do it all over again next time.

I have to make sure anyone reading this knows that I'm not writing this just to brag about meeting an awesome band. No, that's just an added benefit. I'm writing this because I want to celebrate what it means to have pulled this episode and this experience off with something I helped create, to have a new crowning jewel, an accolade to show for how far we've come. It's to give praise to the wonderful things a partnership can accomplish, and acknowledge the passion we have for music, our city, and everyone trying to make waves as hard as we try. It's to commemorate the fact that so long as we're putting in the work, the universe still has our back. I need no further proof than the fact that my brother Brandon had his first ever article, covering this very show, published in the Houston Press. He's a legit writer now, ladies and gentlemen. See for yourself:

Brandon's first ever published Houston Press article!

Congratulations, homie! This is our fucking year.

Alright. That's it. Laters!

- Julian

Website is up and running!

So, I'm super excited to debut our new website for the Dead Dialect Podcast. It's been going on two years since we started this whole thing and while we've still got a lot of work to do and thankfully no end in sight, I can't help but feel mindblown at the progress we've made and what kinds of personal goals we've achieved through this project. We've really grown alongside this podcast and have pulled through by figuring things out along the way. Now I feel like this website is the next step in our quest for world domination. Was just over a year ago that Thomas Pridgen, probably one of the top 5 drummers in the entire world, gave us a sideways look and said, "Man, ya'll need an Instagram," after we pulled together an impromptu green room podcast at Walter's Downtown. Well, shit, he was right and we made one immediately. But why stop there? 

With this website, I hope that we'll be able to turn this into more than just a place for our podcast, but a special place for people to come give us a lot of money. And maybe for other stuff too, like news, updates on Houston events, music, and even a place to share opinions. The possibilities are forever, or however the saying goes. I've never been the most intuitive person when it comes to customizing stuff on the computer (My MySpace was like the default blue and white template, sad, I know,) but Squarespace totally made it easy, and it's only going to get better and include more features as time goes on. But for now, this is our official website and I hope you like it.

Enjoy! And leave some feedback in the comments below. And subscribe on iTunes.

- Julian