The NAMM Show 2018 Interviews: Everyone Dies In Utah
Everyone Dies In Utah is a post hardcore/metalcore collective from the vast and epic state of Texas – a dynamic band now celebrating their ten year anniversary! Three of the members made their way to this year’s edition of The NAMM Show, at the Anaheim Convention Center, checking out new instruments, and doing some press along the way. Highwire Daze Online caught up with Everyone Dies In Utah in The Media Center to discuss very active future plans for the band, musical instruments of choice, Katy Perry and Taking Back Sunday covers, theatrical experiences, and a whole lot more! Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Everyone Dies In Utah.
Brandon: I’m Brandon and I play guitar.
Daniel: I’m Daniel and I play bass.
Danny: I’m Danny and I’m the vocalist.
What are you musical instruments of choice and why?
Danny: I’m the vocalist –in the band I don’t play any instruments live. But I do write a lot of synth and stuff behind the scenes. I really enjoyed all the Korg and all the Casio’s – like the higher end Casio’s – not the lower end Casio’s – those are good starter keyboards – but personally I really love Korg. And their products are amazing! I was there way too long playing on their keyboards.
Daniel: My instruments of choice would be the Ernie Ball Stingray – and then I also prefer Ampeg Cabs and Tech 21 for pre-amps.
Brandon: We have an endorsement through Legator and I’m getting a whole lineup. It’s going to be an Opus Tradition 200. And that’s going to be my choice.
With your last record, the Self-Titled album, released in 2016, how close are you to writing and recording all new music?
Daniel: We’re intending to produce at least an EP this year. As far as our next LP, we’re not honestly certain. But we’re definitely planning on doing our next EP. It’s going to be concept EP.
Danny: We’re working on the ideas behind it. I really don’t want to unveil what it’s about. I want it to be a surprise whenever we come out with it. It’s going to similar to what we did with Polarities. Our album Polarities has a story behind it, but at the same time each song has a different message behind it. Although it’s one cohesive story, every person can connect to the songs differently. But at the same time, the whole album is going to tell one story.
On the previous album, why did you decide to do a Self-Titled album after you already had a few releases out?
Danny: We were starting fresh. We were on Tragic Hero for a while We got on In Vogue and we just needed to start fresh. It’s almost like a new sound for us at the same time. And on top of that, a lot of the music lyrically was about “us,” so we didn’t feel like it needed to be called anything. It was just “us.”
Daniel: It was our best representation of ourselves at the time that we wrote the album – that’s why we decided to go with that Self-Titled. It was a way for us to come out and say “You know what? This is a new start. This is a new group. This is everything that we are right now.” We played around with album titles for a little while. We thought about doing something as in calling the album “We Are… Everyone Dies In Utah” or something like that. But we just decided that honestly we didn’t have a Self-Titled – so having hit our fourth album, it just might be in our best interest to go ahead and leave it at that. It speaks enough for itself.
Has Katy Perry heard or commented on your covers of her songs E.T. and Unconditionally?
Danny: No. And I wish she would, because I’m a huge Katy Perry fan – and that’s actually my goal the entire time. Maybe she’ll hear it and maybe she’ll like it.
Daniel: We’re love to hear from her.
Danny: But nah, she hasn’t commented on it. Maybe we’ll try again with the new album. We’ll keep it going. We’ll just do a Katy Perry album…
Daniel: Eventually she’ll call…
And you recently did a over of A Decade Under The Influence by Taking Back Sunday. What made you decide to do that cover and have they heard it?
Danny: There’s this company that puts out albums of new artists covering older artists. We did another one for them, and they came back to us and said they were doing Taking Back Sunday this time and asked if we wanted to be on it. I’m a huge Taking Back Sunday fan, and I was like “Yeah! You don’t even have to try to convince us. I’m down! I love Taking Back Sunday!” So they gave us a list of songs we could choose from.
Daniel: It was Pacific Ridge Records, and they every once in a while do tribute albums for those bands. We’ve done a few of them in the past, They approached us, gave us a budget for it, and just asked us to pick the song – and we thought that would be the best fit for us.
What could we expect from a live Everyone Dies In Utah show in 2018?
Brandon: We have a lot of cool stuff, but we really can’t say anything, but it’s gonna be cool!
Danny: It’s definitely going to be a bigger year for us. We’ve got a lot of stuff behind the scenes in the process. We want to come out strong. The last album didn’t get as much promotion as we would have liked, so we’re trying to hit this year with everything we’ve got. We’re gonna come in strong with the EP and music videos – we’re working on our live show – to enhance the intensity of our show in general – to bring the excitement back!
If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Brandon: Green Day. Because they’re my heroes. I even have a Green Day tattoo.
Daniel: I would love to see us on the road with I Prevail or Wage War. I think those would be good fits for this group and I think it would be really beneficial as far as marketing.
Danny: I honestly would love to open up for Enter Shikari. I’ve been a huge fan of them since they first came out. I actually just saw them recently, and they always put on the best performances. Not only would like to open for them, but I would also like to just learn from them, as I think they are probably some of the best musicians I’ve ever seen. They are so well rounded in everything that they do. I think that would be a great tour for us.
Daniel: They have a lot of technical knowledge. And aside from that, they have a lot of experience we could learn from.
Brandon: That’s a realistic answer. Other than Green Day, that would probably be my answer too.
Daniel: We all like them, we knew that Danny was going to say that.
Danny: I didn’t know that I was going to say that. But fair enough.
This year marks the 10 Year Anniversary of Everyone Dies In Utah. What do you think keeps you so passionate about Everyone Dies In Utah after 10 years? Not a lot bands make it to the 10 year mark…
Danny: I’m the only member of the band whose been at it since the very beginning. I think what keeps me in it – I’ve just always had a passion for creating things. It’s not just music but I also do graphic design. On top of that, I’m a performer – I did theater all through high school. This is an outlet for me – I love being onstage – I love putting on a show. Everything that I love to do is involved with music – and that’s what keeps it going for me.
What’s your favorite role in theater?
Danny: My favorite role that I ever got – I was actually in Little Shop Of Horrors – I got the role of the dentist. In the theater version – if you get the role of the dentist – and I’m going to give a SPOILER ALERT. The dentist dies – I mean, if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s been out a while. The dentist dies before the second act – so in the second act, whoever is the dentist actually plays the roles of like 9 other people. I had to be a bunch of different characters and it was so fun! I literally had my own wall of costumes. Everyone else had like maybe 2-3 different costume changes – I had a whole wall to myself. It was nuts! It was fun though.
So Everyone Dies In Utah. How are your shows when you play in Utah?
Daniel: I would say that they are either killer or to die for. (Much laughter) Sorry, I’m really bad at dad puns. Our turnouts in Utah are always really well. We’ve got a fairly dedicated fan base in the Salt Lake area. We’ve made a lot of really good friends there.
Danny: It’s funny too – because before we ever even played there, we knew they were going to either love us or they are going to hate us. And it turns out that everyone in Utah wants a shirt that says “Everyone Dies In Utah.” We sell out of merch there all the time! And the shows have always been awesome there for me, so it’s pretty great! The state itself is so beautiful. We took photos in the Salt Flats. In Salt Lake City, they have all those mountains around, and it’s pretty beautiful.
Daniel: We’ve take some beautiful photos in the Salt Flats. We’ve broken down the bus in the Salt Flats. It’s just something that speaks to us and it’s in a place that we love to be.
And you aren’t from Utah at all.
Danny: Not at all. We’re from Texas…
Everyone Dies In Utah is:
Danny Martinez – Vocals
Trey Golden – Keyboards, Synth
Daniel Tharp – Bass
Cameron Easter – Guitar
Nathan Chase-Meadows – Drums
Brandon Allen – Guitar
(Interview and Photo by Ken Morton)
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