It's a bit unnerving how many descriptions can refer equally to dB-approved beer and music without requiring any rephrasing at all. Local heroes excite us by infusing familiar styles with their own astonishing personalities. Indie labels tend to raise the product's allure. Unearthed demo versions from the early nineties are always welcome. Mr. Adem Tepedelen, aside from hoarding the e's that might have been put to better use _ls_wh_r_, has put substantial work into highlighting the extraordinary proponents of both substances. In the current July issue (#93), he catches up with drummer/vocalist Harland Burkhart of (among others) Oakland, CA techsters Dimesland. Since they mostly talked beer, though, I got in touch with guitarist Nolan Cook and grilled him for clues to the puzzle box he and fellow Dimeslanders constructed on their recent debut EP, Creepmoon. While you mull over his thoughts, here's a full stream of Creepmoon. Read fast. Listen hard.
What were Dimesland's beginnings like?
The first Dimesland show was on December 25, 2009 at Karla LaVey’s Black X-Mass event in San Francisco. In the year prior to that we solidified our lineup and wrote and refined our first chunk of material. We had a nascent version of this band for a couple of years before that with some other players who for various reasons did not work out.
My brother Drew Cook (the other guitarist/founder) and I have been playing and writing together for the better part of our adult lives and explored a number of musical avenues before returning to our first love- metal and all things heavy.
Our material tends to come out on the unusual side of things- as an extension of who we are more so than by design- so it did take a minute for our new members (Harland Burkhart, drums/vocals and Greg Brace, bass/vocals) to get acclimated and find their voice within our structure.
How was Creepmoon written, and where did it come from?
Creepmoon was recorded a bit at a time between 2009 and 2010, as our budget dictated. We were not on a label at the time and we were between solid lineups so we had a fill-in rhythm section just so that we could get something produced.
I think that one of the keystones in our writing is the desire to avoid the types of motifs that are already very prevalent in the world of metal- not out of disdain but rather using the logic that if it’s already been heavily done why would we want to just pile on? I mean there will always be bits and pieces in any band’s material that refer to things that have come before but it seems interesting to us to go more from imagination than imitation. So we fool around some with structure, form, harmony, etc.
Lyrically we lean toward funneling our discontent, anger, bewilderment through microcosmic stories involving the ill-effects of society on individuals and the behaviors that result from psychological damage. It’s more fun than screaming, “Fuck You.” And there are already enough folks who are better at that than we are.
How have your live shows been going? What other bands have you enjoyed playing with?
Our live show has grown very nicely over time. There is a wild element that we had to learn to control as a quartet on the stage. Once we did that it really coalesced. Also we employ other sonic elements apart from drums, guitars and vocals for added texture and color. Aside from numerous shows in the bay area we recently hit the road for a short tour of the Northwest which included our first shows in Seattle and Portland. Those are both great cities for metal right now and we made some great friends. Some of the bands we have recently played shows with include Lord Dying, Kowloon Walled City, Wizard Rifle, Hammers Of Misfortune, Giant Squid, Satya Sena, Catacomb Creeps, Order Of The Gash and Arkhum.
What else are Dimesland members up to?
Three of the four members of Dimesland are also in a great band called Wild Hunt [who also recently got a Tepedelen stemp of approvel]. So what we have here is cool little organization with five people comprising two groups.
Also within Dimesland are associations with The Residents and The Samps.
We are nearly finished writing music for our full-length debut and are very excited about it. The new material is a natural, radical extension of what we did on Creepmoon.