In The Midst of Living Dead Stars
In The Midst of Living Dead Stars
Living Dead Stars is an up-and-coming melodic rock outfit whose membership reside in both Los Angeles and Europe. This around-the-world brigade of talent has recently released their debut Self-Titled album, now available from Pavement Entertainment. The band recently had the opportunty to tour Europe supporting the legendary Anvil, but these pandemic days placed a hold on any touring for the time being. But with the album now unveiled upon this great big planet, Living Dead Stars has certainly delivered the goods in nothing short of a stratospheric way. Highwire Daze recently caught up with M. Nox – the charasmatic front man for Living Dead Stars to find out a whole lot more about this amazing band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Living Dead Stars, and how long the band has been together?
Hi there, I’m M. Nox and I’m the lead vocalist. Well, I started this band way back in 2016 when I was living in London and after several hold backs and more than a few line up changes we finally have the band you see today.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there? With a few band members being from Los Angeles, what are your impressions on our local music scene?
We intentionally recruited our band members from different parts of the world so that we had a sort of foothold in the US, UK and Europe, but like you mentioned, 2 of our members are perminently living in L.A so that’s where we class ourselves as being based. The rock and metal scenes never falter and there’s still a strong presence of new music coming through, no matter what you’re looking for, and as far as I can tell the L.A scene is as strong as ever. Also, L.A has a couple of absolutely legendary rock venues that we fully intend on hitting the stages of as soon as we possibly can.
How did you wind up signing with Pavement Entertainment?
We spent a lot of time and effort on making the best album we could so we were fully confident in the product we’d created. As a result we wanted to be certain it would be heard by as many people as possible – so when looking for labels, Pavement Entertainment was always one that we were very interested in, we felt our sound fitted perfectly alongside many of their other acts so we opened discussions with them. Thankfully they felt the same about us as we did about them so a deal was made.
Select two songs from your Self-Titled album and what inspired the lyrics?
Redeem Ourselves is the opening track and is about the darker side of human nature, how its possible to sink into being selfish at the expense of others and the world at large but that it’s also not too late to change and better yourself and the world around you.
In Pieces is our debut single and is about the ups and downs of life, the tragedies that can, and do happen, and about asking yourself “why am I still doing this” but preserving and finding the motivation to push through it all and still succeed. We also collaborated with Max Georgiev of Falling In Reverse for this track and he laid down an absolutely awesome solo for it. He also features in the music video for this track.
Who did the cover art for your album and how much input did you have on it?
My good friend Ruben Labarca did the cover art. As far as input from the band goes, we basically gave him the brief of “a post- apocalyptic scene of the world in the way that we don’t want to see it” and we let him do artistic thing and it came out great.
Part of your album was recorded at Echobar Studios here in North Hollywood. What was that experience like, especially with the other parts of the album being recorded in England?
That’s right, the large majority of the Album was recorded over in North Hollywood but all of the bits that needed to be changed/updated/or even brand new ideas where recorded in Europe and sent over to L.A which did bring several issues and challenges. We were all back together in L.A again for the mixing and master process – so even with the difficulties we faced overall I’d say that the recording process was a lot of fun. We were fortunate enough to work with the best people we could have asked for. Bob Horn and Erik Reichers who run the studio are super awesome dudes and made us feel right at home. Our engineering Steve Olmon (who worked with Deftones, Metallica, Lemmy and Korn) saved us a lot of time by helping us capture some awesome tones and our mixing guy Cirilo Rios (who’s currently working with BTS) did an outstanding job.
What has it been like to release your album right in the middle of a pandemic? These are crazy times but music definitely helps to make it better.
It’s a strange one for us. This is our debut album so we have nothing to compare it to. The plan was for us to be on tour right now to promote our album’s release, but like everyone else in the whole of the live music industry, we’ve had to postpone. It’s made us take a new approach on promoting this record and we’re really pleased with all the support and feedback we’ve been getting for it so far.
Will any of your dates with Anvil be rescheduled? If so, what are you looking forward to the most about the shows with Anvil?
Man, we were so excited about hitting the road with those guys; Anvil are legendary. We were just looking forward to getting out on the road and playing some kick ass shows at some great venues around Europe with such a prestigious band. Obviously this viral pandemic has put everything on hold, but musicians are a tenacious bunch and we don’t like to be held back by anything. Just like a Pheonix rising from the ashes, we as a band decided we want to come back to Europe and hit it harder than ever. We’re still in close contact with Anvil and their management and are currently going over the details. It’s looking very promising that we shall return to Europe with them later this year.
What could one expect from a live Living Dead Stars show?
Lots of energy. I’ve been performing on stages since I was about 7 years old because I just love to entertain people, making people cheer and laugh. We take our music seriously but we really don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we love to just have a good time and we hope that comes across on stage too. I want you to join us in forgetting about everything else for just a while and just kick back and feel involved in our show. Some of the feedback I’ve had after our shows is that some people weren’t sure if they were at a rock gig or a stand up comedy show and they loved it. Feedback like that is a real compliment.
If Living Dead Stars could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Avenged Sevenfold. They’ve been a long time inspiration to both myself and Spencer, in terms of both performance and song writing. To warm a crowd up for those guys would be an absolutely brilliant experience and an honor.
What’s up next for Living Dead Stars?
Well, things are obviously on pause for the immediate future as far as playing gigs goes but we’ve got some interesting things in the pipeline. Plus, with the album now out we’ve got plenty on the go to keep us busy.
Any final words of wisdom?
I’m not sure really. I don’t think anyone’s ever described me as wise before so maybe I’ll just leave at this:
We hope you like our new album. Stay safe everyone and thanks for having me. Hope to see you soon somewhere.
Spencer Conley (Guitar)
Michael X Zamora (Guitar)
Jon Blackwell (Bass)
Ashley Guest (Drums)
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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