When R13 first came across Dead Singer at Guilfest it's fair to say we were rather impressed, henceforth we thought it only right and proper to find out who this mysterious band of minstrels are. Hastily making contact with the mothership we secured the exclusive first ever interview with the band, although having to conduct it via email means we still have no idea who Dead Singer are and neither it seems do they! What we do know is that they make a glorious noise and are worthy of your attention.

Questions are answered by Dead Singer Guitarist (DSG), Dead Singer Bassist (DSB), Dead Singer Drummer (DSD) and ... wait for it ... yup, Dead Singer Bass Trombonist (DST).


R13:Let's get the obvious question out of the way early, did you ever have a singer and if so is he now dead?!
DSG:Never!
DSB:In this incarnation, we have never had a singer.
DST:No. Singers with egos should all be shot! The worse they sing the bigger the egos!

R13:Whether you ever did or not have a singer, why choose not to have any vocals in the current line up?
DSG:Was never a consideration really. I suppose in the same sense that most other bands don't sit around saying, 'We must introduce the bass trombone to world of rock!', we don't either in regards to our voices.
DSB:We've all worked with singers and suffered with LSD (lead singer disease). The music gets hidden behind personalities. Most people don't look further than this........OPEN IT UP!
DSD:Having no vocals allows you to absorb it as a whole easier, I think.
DST:The band can play a lot louder. Also the audience can enjoy the playing of the band and not the singer's ego.

R13:Who does what in the band?
DSG:Good question!
DST:Can't remember.
DSB:No seriously...After looking at options, we felt the bass trombonist should settle on the bass trombone. On further review, it was decided that the bass should be played by the bass player. The drummer drums...etc. Consequently, only leaving one position vacant (luckily enough) for the guitarist...
DSD:We are a democracy. We all argue as much as each other.

R13:There's a bit of an air of mystery around the band, when I encountered you first at Guilfest nobody there seemed to know anything about the band! Is that mystery something you've actively set out to achieve or is it really that you just can't be bothered to write a biography for the website?
DSG:Well, biographies are boring. In the words of Pete Townshend...'all men are bored with other men's lives.' Bloody well right! Mystery is good. We're certainly not going to have a band diary!
DSB:We are anti-identity. Instrumental music should do the talking...

R13:What sort of audiences have the band played to and how have you been received, when to most you will be something of an unknown quantity at this stage?
DSG:Reception has been good. Most people seem to dig that we're a
Rock'n'roll band, regardless of the unorthodox elements.
DST:The only people who don't get what we're doing are the ones who go to gigs to look at each other, help their sad careers, and don't even like music i.e. most of the music, uh I mean baked beans industry.
DSB:The one's that get it really do! Some people get so excited. I've had a Japanese girl thumping my chest saying 'you're fantastic! You're fantastic!' I've never had that reaction in any band (or anywhere else come to think of it)....we are onto something...

R13:How would you describe the Dead Singer sound to anyone who hasn't heard it?
DSG:Rock'n'roll band with unorthodox elements.
DST:Apocalyptic beauty.
DSB:Powerful intensity, beauty, excitement, serenity and sublime absurdity ...
DSD:Hitting the audience on the head with a club, then kissing them better....
DSB:I don't like to tell people what the line-up is - as people make incorrect assumptions. We don't play up the instrumental thing it's not important.

R13:Did you have a particular sound in mind when you set out and how did you arrive at the inclusion of trombone? It certainly works but it's not perhaps the most obvious instrument.
DSB:Nope, we plug in and that's what comes out.
DSG: We started with a much looser, improvised sound. As we progressed the sound became a lot harder, more direct. As regards to the bass trombone, we wanted another colour.
DSB:On that point, I've worked with him for years, so it would be unnatural not to... People don't get it right when they approach brass in rock. They just don't!....apart from 'Our Love Was'.
DST:That's the beauty of it! The bass trombone is one of the most powerful instruments in an orchestra in the right hands, so it's inevitable that it would blend in with rock 'n' roll better than most instruments.

R13:Correct me if I'm wrong but there seems to be a definite Hawkwind influence on the Dead Singer sound at times and you shared the bill at Guilfest with legendary ex-Hawks member Nik Turner, did you get to meet him?
DSG:Never met, unfortunately. Favourite Hawks album;' Hall of the Mountain Grill' or 'Space Ritual' maybe.
DSB:We didn't know he was playing. I only know the usual that everyone knows about that band i.e. not much.
DST:A trombonist lent me a Hawkwind album at music college once which I enjoyed at the time.
DSD:I'm not really into them personally...

R13:Have any of the band previously played with other bands people might be aware of?
DSB:As said, we are quite private individuals on a media level

R13:You don't have any recorded material available at the moment, any plans to rectify that?
DSB:For us it is about the live experience - something you will never get through recorded music. We get our gigs though our word. We have never gotten a gig through sending out music. We have had requests for an album. We are looking into a live release.
DST:The live sound of the band has not been captured properly on record yet. When it is, we might release something.

R13:You dedicated your set at Guilfest to Syd Barrett who had passed away the week before (one of only two dedications I saw, the other being Therapy), was he a big influence?
DSG: Syd was a bona fide genius! Probably more of an inspiration than an influence. An inspirational outsider!
DSB:No, he didn't touch my life at all.
DSD:Relics is one of the best compilation albums ever...

R13:How do you see Dead Singer progressing? Is there are long term plan for the band?
DSB:I think it's far too progressive as it is!
DSG:There is a long term dream to which a plan must be attached. We want to tour. We want to be the best live rock'n' roll band in the world. DSB:Just keep quality control high and make a fortune!
DST:Greatest live rock 'n' roll band of all time and a paragraph in the Oxford Dictionary of Music describing our influence on the history of music, not just rock 'n' roll.

R13:Do you have any plans for any gigs in the rest of the UK or elsewhere (with most of your gigs being in or around London at present)?
DSG:Hopefully this will happen very soon. To play away is very rewarding. A change of scene...
DST:Love to play New York and tour US, particularly Arizona, New Mexico, Death Valley, and any deserts with mountain landscapes to road trip through. Middle East if the band doesn't mind. More desert of course. Then rest of the world, universe & UK
DSB:Personally, I would like to jump straight to Europe.

R13:What question would you like to be asked?
DSG:Should there be a national holiday to celebrate The Who?
R13:What's the answer?!
DSG:Yes.

R13:What question would you like to be asked?
DSD:What's your favourite band name?
R13:What's the answer?!
DSD:Yes.

R13:What question would you like to be asked?
DST:What's the meaning of death!
R13:What's the answer?!
DST:You tell me! I don't know!

R13:What question would you like to be asked?
DSB:What's the answer?!
R13:What's the answer?!
DSB:What's the answer?!

Check out the Dead Singer website for updates on forthcoming gigs http://www.deadsinger.info .