Lord Dying, an emerging heavy metal band based in Portland, Oregon, combines an intense metal experience with lyrics on the darker side of human existence – songs about depression, doom and dismemberment, peppered with heavy riffs and a not-so-hidden distaste for humanity.
I’ve (**see note below) known two of the band members – Chris Evans (guitar) and Erik Olson (guitar, vocals) since elementary school, growing up in Sandy, Utah. Chris was the kid who wore black Nirvana T-shirts to school in third grade and Erik’s parents’ basement was a noted pit stop for several bands on tour. We all loved music and played in bands off and on since middle school. Chris reminds me he’s been a metal fan since Erik gave him a copy of Megadeth’s Rust in Peace for his birthday in the fifth grade. This past fall I saw Lord Dying rock in Richmond, Virginia, during their last U.S. tour with the band Red Fang at a completely packed, sold out show. I recently chatted with Chris about their new album coming out this coming June on Relapse.
Since forming two and a half years ago, Lord Dying has developed their own sound and formed a clear metal style. The band consists of four members in addition to Chris and Erik, including Don Capuano (bass) and John Reid (drums). I asked Chris what influences their music and he tells me they draw on various styles such as thrash, doom and prog. He tells me his tastes are much broader now as he draws on other musicians than exclusively metal bands, for instance the classical guitarist Augustine Barrios, whose complex fingering techniques make their way into his own riffs.
Lord Dying has toured with bands such as Witch Mountain, Black Cobra, Gaza, Danava and most recently Down, lead by the singer of Pantera, where they played three shows together in Seattle, Portland and Boise, Idaho. In 2012 they played two U.S. tours, first with Witch Mountain and most recently with Red Fang. It was during this last tour they received their record deal from Relapse Records.
Erik, me and Chris at the Richmond, VA show.
“We were pretty much the last ones to find out,” Chris laughs, “It was a big surprise. One of the guys from Relapse kept calling us before the show to hang out and we didn’t know why.”
I ask Chris if it’s difficult to be on tour. “It’s definitely a lot of driving and waiting around for the thirty minutes we’re on stage, but it’s worth it. We play shows every night and never get enough sleep. But when we get home we want to be back out again.” They plan to continue touring this summer and line up bigger metal shows so they can promote their new album.
Their musical process involves frequent collaboration and experimentation. Erik writes all the lyrics and song titles and has more lyrics written then they have songs for. After splitting up for awhile, Chris and Erik started playing together again when Erik moved to Portland and came over to jam.
“We wrote our first song right then. John and I started the band and were looking for another guitarist. When we jammed with Erik it all came together. We knew what we needed to do. The chemistry was still there.” Indeed, that first night they wrote their first song, “In a Frightful State of Gnawed Dismemberment”, which will appear on their full-length LP coming out in June (also available at here) and quickly started playing riffs and pouring out new songs. The band has remained in its current form since Erik joined.
For west-coasters, Lord Dying has two shows lined up in their home base of Portland, one at the venue Branx on March 8th, and Stump Fest on April 20th. You can follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LordDying and Twitter at https://twitter.com/Lorddying for tour information and band updates. Expect to be blown away!
**NOTE: This blog post was written by my friend Jacob Koskimaki, who is super smart and works at the University of Virginia. Together with his friends from Lord Dying, we are converting him into a metalhead.