Dragged Into Sunlight
Dragged Into Sunlight's sound and identity are defined by a relentless negativity and staring into the void. What draws you to regard that darkness so closely and try to conjure its shape in music?
Vocalist T: Hatred, depression, pessimism and loneliness are all feelings innate to every human. Darkness isn't so much an attraction for Dragged Into Sunlight as it is a reality. Senses operate on a sliding scale and for those involved, Dragged Into Sunlight are often a culmination of extremities into a single expression. Expression isn't found in the final production, rather it lurks somewhere in the interaction between notes and finer details. Consider every detail as an additional brush stroke and an additional layer to the madness. Darkness is often very natural and without shape. It is a moulded and thorough process; it is Dragged Into Sunlight. The reality is that darkness, like happiness, can be nurtured.
Despite the swarming, seeping negativity of DIS, I often find the experience of listening to the music cleansing — not cathartic like much aggressive music, but almost akin to a process of exorcism. Is this the result of a deliberate choice? Do you want your audience to cough up their demons?
Dragged Into Sunlight are a process for the listener as well as those involved. The approach is definitely deliberate, in that we purge everything we have into every note and the aim is very much a meeting of minds. Each message is unique and like the music we listen to, it is there to be absorbed. We're not looking for a reaction, we're looking for understanding. The reaction is inconsequential.
You recently performed at Maryland Death Fest, which has a notorious celebratory atmosphere. Did you find this helped or hindered your aesthetic?
Maryland Death Fest was a very special occasion. Realistically, it didn't help or hinder our aesthetic, as we do what we do regardless. But to have seen bands such as Demigod, Godflesh, Rwake and Infernal Stronghold on the same day was an honour.
You often perform in such a way that your features and identities are obscured, obfuscating yourselves behind smoke, turning your back to the audience, identifying yourselves only by single initials. What inspires this move towards self-erasure?
We're all very accomplished individuals. Nowadays, we live in a world where nothing is secret. Extreme music is infected. You have grown men running around in make-up. Ask yourself whether it is the listener who needs to know the musician or the musician who wants the listener to know who is behind the music? Dragged Into Sunlight have no requirement for the same exposure, our recordings and achievements individually, as well as collectively, speak for themselves.
Tell me about your forthcoming album, Widowmaker. How have your lyrical or conceptual themes evolved since Hatred for Mankind?
Widowmaker is a conceptual recording; however, a common misunderstanding is that conceptual music should be expressed vocally. Except then it isn't a concept — it's a story. For Dragged Into Sunlight, there is no mandate for words. Consider a piece of classical or contemporary art, the starting point for any such piece is the underlying influence and feeling. Widowmaker demonstrates a similar approach. While it may be an entirely different flesh to Hatred for Mankind, it is a root that draws from the same source and one that can co-exist. Widowmaker is slower, heavier and louder, yet there is no shift for Dragged Into Sunlight. The recording draws from a different pool of influence and one that may not have been as apparent on Hatred for Mankind.
Justin Barlett created some incredible art for the cover of Hatred for Mankind. Will you be working with him again for Widowmaker?
Sindre Foss did the artwork for Widowmaker. The artwork for Widowmaker is unique and accurately reflects the recording. Similarly to Hatred for Mankind, we're very grateful to have worked alongside such a great mind.
So much of Widowmaker is about drawn-out tension, waiting and ache. It is both an incredibly patient and impatient album. What inspired this?
The writing and recording processes ran concurrently. Consequently, you're left with a very natural style and sound, which are almost impossible to replicate.
Do you believe there is room for beauty in Dragged Into Sunlight's sound — delicacy in the negativity?
That depends on the individual's definition of beauty. Some of the most beautiful paintings in the world focus on death. Loneliness can be beautiful, take the Aokigahara Forest, for example.
With the release of Windowmaker, do you have any plans to tour more extensively than you have in the past, perhaps spending some more time in North America/Canada?
Spending so much time staring into the abyss that it blinks back, it must seem almost friendly now. Does anything really disturb you?
FeaturesOct 21, 2014
GodfleshTaking it Old School
Industrial metal pioneers Godflesh return with their first new album in 13 years, dubbed A World Lit Only by Fire, which ventures back to th...
NewsJul 23, 2015
Lamb of God Talk 'VII: Sturm und Drang,' Clean Singing and Being 'Anti-Noodle'
In comparison to many recent albums, Lamb of God's VII: Sturm und Drang (out July 24 on Nuclear Blast) is slim and trim at ten songs. That's...
NewsJul 20, 2015
Counterparts on Transformation and 'Tragedy Will Find Us'
On the title alone, Tragedy Will Find Us — the latest album from Hamilton metalcore quintet Counterparts — seems despondent and ...
NewsJul 17, 2015
Chokehold Talk Their Newfound Second Life, Stream A389 Reissues
Hamilton hardcore punks Chokehold didn't have lofty goals when they formed. As vocalist Chris Logan tells Exclaim!, "I think we were a terri...
NewsJul 03, 2015
High on Fire Reveal the Challenges of 'Luminiferous'
Oakland, CA metal trio High on Fire recently released their seventh studio album, Luminiferous. The powerful release picks back up and expan...
NewsJun 24, 2015
Arcturus Experiment with Alien Influences and a Gong on 'Arcturian'
"It would probably anal probe it and use it as a hat because they can do that in this alien dimension" — this is what Arcturus vocalis...
FeaturesJun 22, 2015
Anaal Nathrakhon Exclaim! TV Aggressive Tendencies
Producing extreme metal music is seemingly an effortless process for British duo Anaal Nathrakh. With eight full-lengths and one EP under th...
NewsJun 12, 2015
Feared Discuss the Virtue of Independence and Sins of 'Synder'
Synder — Swedish for "sins" — isn't just a fear for Christians everywhere, it's also the latest album by Feared, a band who are ...