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CBNAH Interview with Adam Macleod of Until Dawn

CBNAH staff writer Peter Drakopoulos recently conducted a phone interview with Adam Macleod, lead singer of Alberta metal band Until Dawn. To chat about touring, the metal scene in Alberta, new album and more.


Peter Drakopoulos: What’s it like to grow up in a small place like Fort McMurray? 

Adam Macleod: Fort Mac is a small town with a big city mentality. It’s not really a huge place but pretty much when you grow up here, you sort of know everybody. With us, we all grew up together and knew each other from school. It’s not too crazy but it is a work city. It’s not really, you know, a very active city, mostly just ship work and everybody working at the plants. What’s why when we do hit the road, we try our best to get to the bigger hubs and other places where there’s more heat compared to what’s going on at Fort Mac.

PD: I’ve notice that there’s a lot of metal bands coming up from the [Canadian] Prairies and I’m just wondering why is it?

AM: Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a lot of punk coming out of here. A lot of those bands that had their reign are sort done now. I think it’s just more right now it’s more accepted. People are looking for more of a variation to it rather than the old typical trash band. That’s what we’re planning when we go out on the road because we tend to play with rock bands, metal bands and death metal bands. All of these different variations -- All of the different fans are starting to rally around, not just one specify genre. A lot of people coming together and focusing on metal rather than just rock     

PD: Can you tell us the genesis of the band and how it got started?

AM: It started a few years back with Steve [White, Guitarist] and Luke [Worrell, Drummer]-- The Worrell [Luke and Deke, Guitarist] had a Christmas party one year and we all just went out there. We were just chatting and pretty much, all of us were in different bands at the time, but everybody was frustrated due to various issues. We were all tried of it, we just sort of talked about and said, “You know what? We should start a band!” We were all in bands with guys that were lacking the passion that we do. It took awhile, about a year, Steve had a lot of music that he had worked on his own time and he brought it back to the table, that ended up being our first record. When your in a city like Fort McMurray there’s not as many options of musicians to choose from, but you find a good group of guys, you definitely try to stick with them.          

PD: I really enjoyed your first album, the self-titled album that came out in 2011.  Can you tell us the differences between recording the first album and the new album Horizon(2013) musically and lyrics wise?

AM: Well, like I said early, see how a lot of the material for the first record was already written and it was written in a long time frame, about a few years. Once Steve joined the band he brought it all and we started to work together. We did the exact opposite when it came for Horizon, we did it in a short time frame and we wrote it together as a unite rather than everyone just piecing their parts together. Lyrically, on the first album, when I first joined the band I didn’t really have a lot on the go and I wasn’t really finding a lot of inspiration. So, I just sort of lean towards my peers and I looked towards bands like The Misfits, Danzig and even The Black Dahlia Murder that write songs about horror films and other medium. I sort of used that as inspiration, and to be honest, I’m not going to lie to you. Our first record is all about Dexter. If you’re a Dexter fan, you would be able to pick it up like a sore thumb because songs like Slice Of Life and m99 is the drug that he uses to knock his victims out. The song The Struggle is all about just him and the whole scenario of him taping people to the table and wraps them in plastic. That was the main focus was I’m just going to write something based on Dexter. Horizon however, we sort of wanted to have as a collection and we’re all big fans of concept albums. We decided to come up with a story that reflected the band and where we from. Being a heavy metal act from Fort McMurray, it’s not the easiest place to be a band from. We tried to focus on writing a story that reflected on and where we are right now. The storyline is about a gentleman who’s stuck in a point of time where society still believes in that the world is flat and they sentence him, because he knows its not, to fall off the edge of the earth. That’s what we sort of feel like being a band from Fort Mac. We’re in this desolated area where no one thinks anyone can be in a band from. The reason why we choose the word Horizon is just because we’re out playing shows and we’re always on the road, it’s almost like we’re looking towards the edge of the road and looking towards the horizon. It just felt so soothing to put all that together as a concept record.          

PD: You guys shared the stage with everyone from Korn to Kiss to Fozzy to 3 Inches of Blood. Have any of those bands give you guys any feedback or advice?

AM: Well, there’s a difference between each band. When we played with Kiss, Obviously we were trying to dig for a couple of a little inside tips or anything but you know those guys were busying. We still got a tip of the hat from them which is pretty much keep on trucking along and persistence is the key. Working with a band like 3 Inches of Blood which we played with them in the summer. Asking them about the road and trying to get some tips. Basically what it is just anything you can do for touring and to keep your sanity. Working out, trying to eat right and not partying everyday-- Not partying as hard as you normally would do. Just in general, tips about the road especially us being a younger band that hasn’t done too much touring. Trying to learn and playing to larger crowds. We’ve been blessed to play at some very big festivals. We don’t get those options very often to play in our city. It can be a bit nerve-racking but at the same time sharing something that you love with thousands of people rather than a hundred.     

PD: The Horizon album is getting a lot of positive feedback. Did you feel that the next album or EP will be a big breakthrough or build a bigger fanbase?

AM: I believe so. We’ve gotten a lot of reviews and we sort of already knew prior to getting those reviews to what was going to be said and we took it for what it was. The fans are reacting to a lot of the songs we’ve been playing, it’s just like the first album. We’re going to stick to what we know and going to see what works. But at the same time we do want to be diverse and do want to grow. I mean, there’s songs on our record that can be consider as ballads. That we don’t want to be a band like Slipknot where fans sort of get mad at them for later on their career because they did something lighter. We want to be a band that has already done some light stuff and it’s not going to be very -- It’s not going to be a huge change if we do something light compared to something heavier.

PD: What does the future holds for the band in 2014 and beyond?

AM: 2014 we’re going to hit the road hard. We got a couple of tours planned with our management, we’re working on right now. We wanna hit the States and get into some markets that we haven’t been in. The first thing that we want to do is get out East. There’s a high demand for Ontario, Quebec and even in the Maritimes. That’s probably our main goal for ’14 is to do Eastern Canada and then go down South.

Check out Until Dawn at Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Official Website and on Soundcloud.

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