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The reinvention of hardcore music in the last 18 years saw a niche D.I.Y genre turn into a commercial giant. It started during the peak of emo rock, and despite this age when independent music can be streamed on multiple platforms, a handful of bands are making a name for themselves.
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One such act is Dance Gavin Dance; having played together for just over a decade they are a synthesis of aggressive instrumentation and harsh vocals set against pop choruses and danceable rhythms. The Sacramento outfit has released eight albums since 2007 and their work rate has rewarded them with multiple tours and fans that will support the band through and through. Guitarist Will Swan took the time to chat to Hysteria about the upcoming Australian dates with U.S. metalcore buddies Veil of Maya and introduce themselves to those unfamiliar with the Gavin sway.
“We’ve really tightened up every couple of years, we used to play without click tracks, we just played in a punk rock style, changing tempos and it was fun but now we’ve honed in our live set and I think we represent our records a lot more accurately,” Swan says. “We’re really looking forward to returning to Australia with Veil of Maya and I think it’s going to be our best Australian tour yet. Our music has a post hardcore backbone but has a lot of pop influences and R&B, it touches on indie rock and even ambient soundscapes. There are a lot of influences and directions that the music takes and we like to make sure there is a lot of variety so people are consistently guessing what we are going to do next.”
There are a lot of influences and directions that the music takes and we like to make sure there is a lot of variety so people are consistently guessing what we are going to do next.
Their eclectic music and touring pedigree has led them to play alongside some other stylistically unique bands. It was no surprise they’d would be leading their very own music festival titled Swanfest in Anaheim, California slated for late March next year. The bill boasts Periphery, Crown the Empire, Bon Broco, Veil of Maya, and many other incredible bands. “We all weighed in by building the festival from the ground up and tried to build the experience around our fan base but also create a festival that can appeal to a lot of people and maybe bring some people who want to experience some new music. We curated a line up which we thought would be a great representation of what our band is as well as this whole genre and what it has to offer.”
In a genre that is still living and breathing and overall doing quite well, and despite their super busy schedule Dance Gavin Dance also managed to release a well-received album in 2018 with Artificial Selection, their 8th studio release. “Every time we sat down to write a record we came from the same place of looking at what we’ve done and trying to expand on that and go into a new direction that we have never been in before. It’s also not so different to other records where we try to go for all these extremes when we write heavy songs, soft songs and even pop songs.”
It’s indisputable that DGD stay true to who they are while gaining new fans among the loyal who’ve stuck with them from the beginning. Will notes he’s a big fan Australian music including Melbourne’s Closure in Moscow. We could see the pair tour together in the not too distant future. For now, shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have already sold out but fans in Newcastle, Adelaide and Perth still have a chance to catch them live when they play in those cities. Be sure you don’t miss out on last minute tickets!
Very limited tickets are available for the following Dance Gavin Dance & Veil Of Maya dates:
Tuesday 26 February – The Brightside, Brisbane 18+ – SOLD OUT
Wednesday 27 February – The Brightside, Brisbane 18+ – SOLD OUT
Thursday 28 February – Factory Theatre, Sydney 18+ – SOLD OUT
Friday 1 March – Small Ballroom, Newcastle 18+
Saturday 2 March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+ – SOLD OUT
Monday 4 March – Jive Bar, Adelaide 18+ – SOLD OUT
Tuesday 5 March – Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+