DANTE Interview

“A band’s treaty on treating a jaded, post-modernist world with rock chemotherapy & a little bit of madness.”- Dante unnamedDANTE consists of Kami Rayne (vocals), Alexx (rhythm guitar), Tank! (lead guitar) & Gonzo (bass guitar), and Jester, (drummer). The band was formed in 2006 and is originally from South America with the four original members having known each other since they were kids. In July 2011, Dante released their album is called “The Rorschach Manifesto”. Liquid Cocaine, one of the sigle’s, is full of guitars and drums that are clear, concise and merge with Kami’s deep vocals making everything about the song connect together and take you on a journey along with the songs Swamp Thing and Rorschach. Liquid Cocaine was produced at the Radiostar Studios in California by Sylvia Massy, who you may remember from a former interview with Nick of Relevant Discord, she has also worked with Johnny Cash, System of a Down and Smashing Pumpkins and discovered the band on MySpace. Dante describes their songs in such a unique and captivating way: “It is bluesy & haunted, and it is unique. The listener must travel through a burning landscape, in a personal dream quest not unlike those of the voices inside the songs. There is no other way. It is the only way. Does this makes any sense to you? Can you tell us what you see?” – Dante UglyScene had the rare pleasure of every member of the band answering a question. UglyScene: Thank you for taking the time for the interview. Kami: Our pleasure, it’s a great honor to have caught up the interest of something as cool as Uglyscene. UglyScene: On your web site I absolutely love the way you describe the band. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before and I was really captivated by it. Was it a member of the band that wrote it? Kami: That is awesome, what an honor! You’re gonna make me blush. I wrote the bio of the band when we had the chance to record our album in California. We had in mind something a bit conceptual without it being tedious and boring…being influenced by comic books & literature in general it just seemed more fun to write something that was a bit engaging more like a story that anybody would be inclined to read. Bios of bands are usually aren’t so I tried to make it interesting. UglyScene: The band has been playing together for quite some time with four members knowing each other since childhood. Did you get a lot of support from family when forming the band? Tank: The support of our families has been great because they believe in us. But I just wanna say that Kami’s parents are the ones who have been there since the beginning. They are the ones that helped make what DANTE is today. It’s also important to note that when you’re playing with your childhood friends it’s easier to communicate musically. We now have a new member, Jester, who we’re really happy to have on board as our official drummer. UglyScene: How did you decide on the band name? Tank: We were always fans of quick easy names like Nirvana, HIM, Queen, Inxs. Names you could say and pronounce anywhere. But also, Dante Alighieri the medieval poet that wrote the divine comedy a book about his journey through hell, purgatory & paradise, themes that we like. So it works in two ways.We just tell stories of personal hells, paradise & purgatories using rock n roll as a vessel to do so. UglyScene: When the band creates a song how is the idea formed? Do you come with lyrics ready and an idea for the music or do you meet with the band have a jam session and see what happens? Gonzo: The writing process always changes…sometimes Kami will have a melody or a song title and we’ll take it from there. Other times its just random jamming with the guys or playing at house and then we construct musically the music and Kami will write the lyrics to it afterwards. Other times there’s a phrase. In this album’s case it was really weird because we had like 4 really old songs, and about 10 songs written in like three weeks. The lyrics came out with a common concept, which was the psychological Rorschach test which was really subjective. We realized that this subjectivity is the center of the rorschach tests. The song Rorschach was written before we decided the album title, so we thought it would be a great name to compile the themes mentioned in the songs. Ugly Scene: Who are your biggest supporters and influences? Gonzo: Our influences are mostly based on rock n roll. Each member has different favorite bands, but to name a few, we like Guns n Roses, Motley Crue, old Aerosmith,HIM, Queen, and Metallica. There are some non rock n roll influences, like Ennio Morricone, for example. Every person that has liked the band for what it is is a great supporter. We have been fortunate to meet with veterans out there who have liked us like our producer Syilvia Massy who worked with one of our heroes Johnny Cash. UglyScene: What is your biggest challenge as a band so far? Kami: I think for us a band coming out from Colombia in South America playing old school rock n roll was a bit challenging. It’s both a blessing and a curse because you always have to do double the work than say a band from the US has to. It’s a lot of sacrifice and devotion and hard work. But meeting people like you and traveling and having adventures and making videos with our bare hands and by ourselves is really rewarding. Considering the state of the music “business” and the crisis it’s going through you really have to love what you’re doing. It’s a lot of work. UglyScene: What is your most memorable performance so far? Jester: Well, the most memorable performance so far, personally has been with DANTE, (and I think the guys agree with me on this), in the time that I’ve been playing with them was one time that we got to play in a festival, and we were like in last place to play, and when we got there the place was deserted, because the festival itself had been like a bit of a failure in terms of attendance. There were 10-20 people tops, and we decided to play very relaxed, to take it like an opportunity to rehearse live performance, but it ended being up a very awesome performance, we sounded awesome, the stage presence was perfect, and we really got to the few people that were there. That time, even when looked not so good at the beginning ended up being the most awesome gig that we’ve had with the guys so far in the time that I’ve been playing with them. UglyScene: If you could tour with anyone who would it be? Gonzo: I have a lot of bands in mind, but if I had to choose only one considering the rest of the guys in the band, i would say Motorhead UglyScene: One of the purposes for UglyScene is looking at the other side of glam. That comes from the idea that music is inspiring and music can, in my opinion, save someone’s life. Also that if a person hears someone that they look up to musically talk about certain issues they can get the help they need. Would you like to talk about anything regarding this? Alexx: Sure, sportspeople hear music every time they’re training because it rises the physical capacity a 10% more. That’s why you see people with ipods or mp3 players in a gym or running down the street. But when you really get to listen to the music and lyrics, it can take you to places that not necessarily are part of this physical world, but inside you. Music goes deep inside places you wouldn’t have thought of regularly. It has the power to make you imagine a scene, a picture or even a movie. For example, if you listen to the music of Ennio Morricone who made the music for the old spaghetti westerns, at the end scene of for “a few dollars more”, you can really feel that you’re making part of the duel and the movie. And that’s the cool thing about this. It makes you feel that you’re part of something. And that saves lives. UglyScene: Is there anything else you would like to add to promote the band? Alexx: I just want to say I am very thankful that you guys got interested in the band because it helps us a lot. We are going to be recording the last video of this album called Swamp Thing this September and we think it’s gonna be very interesting. A cinematic experience. We’re working with the best of the best and it will be something very special. You can find info about us at our webpage www.danterockband.com and our album The Rorschach Manifesto is on iTunes. UglyScene: Thank you so much for your time and I wish your band the best! Kami: Thank you so much for taking the time to check us out!! We hope to keep you updated on anything interesting that happens! For more about Dante: Web site Facebook Tumblr Twitter Youtube iTunes Amazon

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