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Daze Of June

Recently the Danish Daze Of June with ’Heart Of Silver’ released a mighty fine debut. Their infectious mix of both heavy stuff mixed with more melody and even pop elements, should appeal to a very wide audience. Drummer Dennis, who also writes the lyrics, took the time to answer our questions.

By: Koen W. | Archive under metalcore

Hello and nice talking to you. Daze Of June is a quite new band and somehow unknown to our readers. So can you tell us short something about the history of the band? How did you guys end up together, and did the various members already gained some experience from other bands they participated in?
Hello there. Well, lead singer Benjamin and I have been growing up together, being classmates and living in the same little town just outside of Roskilde. We eventually formed the band in 2012 or 2013, and settled on the name Archives of Alaska. Guitarist Sylvester joined a couple of years ago after responding to a post we made, and Simon replaced our former bassist, also named Simon, earlier this year. We changed our name to Daze of June in the start of the new year, as we thought too many bands use Alaska in their name nowadays. We all have been playing in different punk-, rock- and hardcore bands, around Roskilde and Copenhagen, none of which really have gained much attention. Maybe most notably Simon played bass in grunge/alternative outfit Dear Delusion before joining.

What bands and/or musicians inspired you to pick up an instrument yourself and why? Well, speaking for myself, I had a revelation with Green Day´s breakthrough album ‘Dookie’. I was completely blown away as an eight-year old back in the day. I remember sitting and watching the videos for ‘Long View’ and ‘Basket Case’ on MTV and totally entering a world I didn´t know exist at the time. The album came out on my birthday actually and it´s still kinda special to me. I was pretty amazed at the time I started drumming, by how many fills Tré Cool was doing and how fast I thought he was. I remember totally wanting to play as fast as he was playing on that album. Later on I got into that whole neo grunge-thing, but I won´t get into specifics about that, ha-ha… Benjamin I think, was more into classic acts like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, stuff like that. Can´t say for sure if they inspired him to start singing or pick up a guitar, but I do remember him saying in his teens, that he could stand in for Bon Jovi, should Bon Jovi ever lose his voice.

Did those bands or musicians also had an influence how Daze Of June sounds today or the way you write your material? No, I wouldn´t say that there´s a lot of Green Day or Metallica influences in our music, ha-ha. As for myself, I listen to a lot of different genres and I love Sufjan Stevens just as much as I love Architects, but we all need to adjust our style of playing to the musical direction we´ve chosen. Obviously a Green Day pop punk beat wouldn´t suit a metalcore song. You can always get creative I think, but the essence of your playing needs to somehow be rooted in the genre you´ve defined for yourself, or things would get pretty confusing.

‘Heart Of Silver’ is your debut album, and it sounds very well. How difficult or how easy was the recording of it? Thank you. I think that the actual recording of it went pretty smooth. We spent maybe a month in the studio and had it all done. I would say though, that it takes a lot of discussing for us to get to the end product. Even though we´ve agreed on pretty much everything while making the songs and rehearsing them, we all get different ideas in the studio, and it takes some arguing, and a lot of argumentation to really get everybody satisfied. For me personally it´s hard to compromise especially on the melody lines. Our producer Chris and Prime Collective boss Mirza also brought in a bunch of ideas, and I do think it helped the songs get better in the end to discuss them in that much detail. It´s still a hard process though, as we all feel pretty strongly about certain aspects of our songs and sometimes disagree on them.

I’d like to describe the music on the album as modern metal in a metalcore direction. How would you describe it in terms of musical niches? Or perhaps you don’t believe in pigeonholing and leave it up to the listener to decide what it is? I guess that would be a fair description of the record. I´m not that bothered personally on what genre we play. I just think we set out to make the best songs possible for us. To be in a band is also to make a compromise on how to sound, as we all have different musical backgrounds and preferences. This direction of songwriting is the best fusion of our different tastes. It´s not like we´ve talked about playing any particular genre, this is just what naturally comes out, and it happens to be labelled metalcore. That´s fine by me.

The album has ten songs on it. Are those an accumulation of the best what you have been writing in the past, or did you write these tunes especially for this album? Well, at first we had plans to put the songs from our EP, released as Archives of Alaska in 2016, on the album, but as time went on we felt we had the ability and inspiration to go for all new material. I´m happy we did, as I don´t think the older songs would really fit with the newer ones. So we had three songs more or less done, before deciding it was time to make the album. Those songs being ‘Two Suns’, ‘Summit Fever’ and ‘Too Many Epiphanies’. The rest of the songs were written specifically for the record. I think that Benjamin and I playing for more than five years together made us rather confident about the direction we wanted to take. We have ditched a lot of songs in the past to form our sound, and I think that us being able to look back at past songs and avoid some of the mistakes we made earlier on, really made the album more focused. Luckily Sylvester proved himself as a great songwriter too, and having him come in and take part in the songwriting made us a bit more diverse I think.

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What kind of topics do inspire you to write songs about? And what do you want to achieve with your material? Trying to get some message across or just to let the fans have a good time? I am very serious about the lyrics, and I maybe tend to overthink them a bit. It can take quite a while for me to become satisfied in that department, and I really need to put pressure on myself to get things done. When I listen to many metal bands right now, I get the sense that the lyrics aren´t really a priority and so to me they come off quite rushed and clichéd. That kind of puts me off. I´d like to think on the lyrics, as an aspect of our music that sets us apart from our contemporaries. On the other hand I´ve learned that you can´t speak in metaphors all the time if you want the average listener to connect with you, so it´s a balancing act for me. I write like most I would think, from personal experience. It´s not like I write cohesive stories through an album or something like that. ‘It Stays’ is about a friend I had with borderline, and the effects it had on her, while ‘Too Many Epiphanies’ is about a family member being hospitalized for almost a year. Then again songs like ‘Two Suns’ and ‘Heart of Silver’ are in essence very positive and talk about friendship and the feeling of a deeper connection to another person. So the subject matters vary quite a bit.

The guitar work on the record is a combination of short and sharp riffs with melodic lead guitar. You can also call it the best parts of heavy metal mixed with metalcore. Is that one of the unique characteristics that Daze Of June owns? Well, it´s definitely a characteristic, but I wouldn´t quite call it unique. It´s pretty hard these days to have unique features in your music, especially playing metal, so to me it all comes down to how good the songwriting is and how you deliver it. You need to make better songs than the bands you sound alike, if you want to create your own identity. The one thing I probably like the most about our album is that I can listen to it as a whole, without experiencing any drop in quality. To me it´s very consistent, and that´s a pretty big achievement for us I think.

I heard some very radio friendly songs like ‘June’ and ‘It Stays’ that have some pop influences but also include some more aggressive parts. Would they have a chance to be played on mainstream radio? And would that be important for a band like yours? I wouldn´t have been too surprised to hear them get airtime. Well, maybe ‘It Stays’ does have a chorus that is a little too aggressive for the mainstream. I would say that ‘June’ in particular shows off the poppier side of the record, and I think it would work quite well on the radio. It would certainly help a band like ours gain some more attention, and help us reach an audience that we otherwise wouldn´t, but it´s not like we consciously make plans to write two radio-friendly songs for an album. We just really wanted the record to be diverse in terms of style, so we got this poppier sound represented by ‘June’, mixed with songs like ‘Heart of Silver’ and ‘One Wing Only’, to represent the other end of the spectrum. The one thing we always aim at though, is to make the songs as catchy as they possibly can.

So how important is Daze Of June now in your life. Is it still just some of the fun things to do in life, or is it already becoming an important part of your lives? Since we joined Prime Collective over a year ago it has become more and more like a second job for us. We have been playing a lot of shows over the past few months, and we are in the midst of making touring plans for the summer and fall. I think that being with a management like Prime, kind of puts a little pressure on us not to rest on our laurels, which is definitely a good thing. It helps us to move forward and helps us to maintain an eagerness. I don´t think I exaggerate when saying I use at least an hour a day doing something related to the band, and I think I speak for all of us here.

How important are the social media for a band like Daze Of June? It´s becoming increasingly important I think, and we actually put a lot of effort into our Facebook and Instagram pages. It´s amazing to have the ability nowadays to communicate directly to your friends and fans, and having them interact with us. Also if you´re good at campaigning and making exciting updates, social media really is the place to generate new fans.

Most of your Facebook messages are written in Danish. Are you aiming mostly at Denmark and less abroad? It would seem that such quite limits your aim for world domination… Crap, you´re right! :D Well, I guess that us touring through Denmark earlier this year, and trying to collect a fan base, it just seems the most natural for us to write posts in Danish for now. We´re still in the process of carving a name for ourselves, and it makes most sense for us, to start off with Denmark. I´m sure that when we eventually start touring Europe and point our focus more outward, we´ll start writing posts in English too.

Will there be a chance that we see you around in Holland or Belgium? In other words, are there already tour plans to promote the release of ‘Heart Of Silver’ ? We really hope so! We have some pretty big plans in the making as we speak, but I can´t quite reveal them just yet unfortunately. We´ll make announcements soon I think :)

This wraps it up for now, so do you have any last words for our readers? I would of course encourage your readers to go listen to our record. If melodic metal with strong hooks are up your alley, then my bet is you would enjoy it.

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