Dead Eyes is a five-piece hard rock outfit based out of central PA. These veterans of their local scene broke out with previous bands but since forming Dead Eyes are exploding on a national scale – with only one single out to date. A couple weeks ago the band put out their song “American Nightmare” along with a music video.
I had the privilege of speaking with Alex Bolton (guitarist) about Dead Eyes’ formation, the concept behind “American Nightmare,” and more. Read the full interview below:
Dead Eyes is made up of former members of a couple other bands – how did this lineup come together?
We all knew each other from local bands. About two years ago we started a project together called Vital Signs. That project helped get us back into our local music scene and created the foundation for Dead Eyes after we decided that a re-branding was in order.
The band has been around for less than a year, right? Did you dive right into writing?
We had some material in mind when we considered the re-branding, but our first course of action ended up being a trip down to North Carolina where we co-wrote the majority of our EP at Bloodstone Studios. The guys understood what we were trying to do and working together was an amazing experience. They helped us bring our ideas to life better than we ever could have imagined.
Have you guys done many live shows yet?
We have recently announced our first two shows on January 6th and 7th in Pennsylvania. We plan to start playing out of state in February.
You’re pretty active on Social Media, which is pretty cool. Can you tell me a bit about the contests you’ve been doing around the “American Nightmare” release?
We’ve all had the privilege of growing up in the social media era, which is a huge blessing for bands trying to gain exposure. It’s not like back in the day where you had to hop in a car and drive 400 miles to make some new fans. We can post 30 seconds of a song and have tens of thousands of people view it. Through growing up in the social media age we’ve really come to appreciate those who go above and beyond to show their support, and we will always be a band to want to give back to them.
Any other contests or surprises coming up?
We will do contests around every release we ever do. Part of giving back. We want our fans to feel included. We plan to eventually set up a page for passionate fans to have exclusive access to extra content. As for the near future, we have a two-part behind the scenes series rolling out in the coming days, as well as another trick up our sleeve.
Let’s talk “American Nightmare.” Around this election and all the craziness, it seems pretty timely?
It was very important to us to get the song released before the election. One thing people will find when they listen to our EP is that the production will be different then the production on “American Nightmare”. This is because the song felt so real in it’s raw form and we thought it portrayed a stronger message.
What’s the idea behind the song?
“American Nightmare” speaks to a state of complacency that we as a country have found ourselves in. There is a lot of unease at how things have developed over the past few decades. Social media being such a driving factor in our generation and have people coming together like never before.
And did I hear that the band name has some connection to this concept?
That is true. A lot of this EP is about subjects that we believe society as a whole tries to sweep under the rug. We’ve discussed “American Nightmare.” “Halo,” another song that will be featured on the album, is about billionaire pastors buying jets while their congregation wonders where their next meal will come from. Our goal is to open eyes to these subjects.
The views on the video have been steadily climbing – that’s got to be super encouraging. Can you tell us what the response has been like to the song?
The response has been so much more than we could have expected. We truly believe in our material, but I don’t think anything really prepares you for this type of reaction. Youtube is usually such a hateful place, from my experience; but we haven’t seen any of that. We’ve been shown nothing but love and we can’t explain how appreciative we are of that.
Musically, is this a good representation of what to expect from Dead Eyes?
One thing we pride ourselves in is creating a variety of sound. I can’t say the other songs are going to sound like “American Nightmare,”but they also won’t sound like each other. They will sound like Dead Eyes.
How would you describe your song writing style?
It starts with a riff and within a few hours we have a shell of a song. Then the next few months are spent altering it to perfection.
I understand you’re keeping the momentum going and there’s plans for a debut EP coming up. Where are you recording?
We are recording at Atrium Audio in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Any idea when you’re aiming to release?
The most detailed answer we can give right now is early Spring 2017. A lot of factors can play a role when it comes to specific time frames.
Do you have any plans for any live dates/tours in the works?
We have our first two shows as a band January 6th and 7th of 2017. We plan to start playing out of state in February and hitting the road shortly after.
Is there anything else that you’d like us to know about Dead Eyes and/or “American Nightmare”?
Well I want to start by saying thanks to you for hosting this interview, which has been very fun to participate in. Keep an eye out for the “American Nightmare” behind the scenes two-part series!
[Behind the Scenes has since been released, before publication of this interview.]