Eau Claire drummer drums for popular industrial metal band
Here’s a cheery thought: our sun will die when it runs out of hydrogen. And its death throes will be eerily reminiscent of birth: it will expand, like a Wisconsin waistline (har, har), and then contract down to a white dwarf (which will still shine for a time, because it will still be hot, before a gradual cool down). Alas, that shall be the fate of most stars in the universe, until there is an assemblage of dead stars (wink, wink) over our heads. A heavy reality for sure, yet Ft. Lauderdale-based industrial metal group, Deadstar Assembly, is all about shaking up your world with album number three, Coat of Arms, out to the masses on April 13.
Band members include Dearborn (vocals), Dreggs (guitar), The Dro (bass), Mubo (keys), and newly acquired drummer, Kriz D.K. I recently sat down with Kriz, an Eau Claire transplant from Connecticut, who has a sorta Rock Star story in terms of his admission into DSA’s ranks. He explains, “I have been a big DSA fan since they formed in 2002. In 2008, their original drummer departed. Since I have kept in contact with the bass player, they asked for an audition tape, and it all worked out.”
Although he has played drums since he was 10, opening for such luminaries as Type O Negative, this is his first big album. “Our label, Somatic Recordings, just signed a deal with Hot Topic for U.S. distribution. In Europe, we will be distributed through Spiralchords Music,” says Kriz. (For a more detailed gander at DSA’s triumphs, check Deadstar.com.)
A quick perusal of the website may create momentary cognitive dissonance as the brain tries to reconcile the group’s image (tattooed, gaunt, and grimaced) with the sound (programmed, ethereal, and hooky). “We don’t try and follow trends, though we are influenced by 80s glam rock, Nine Inch Nails, and Marilyn Manson,” Kriz said. “We all feel Coat of Arms to be our strongest album yet. It’s definitely edgier than our last two.” Indeed, it is an album that could have only come out of Florida. Growing up, their scene was essential to this writer’s musical development. I can certainly hear the legacy of a band like Nocturnus, whose predominant use of keyboards on a death metal album instantly made them pariahs in 1990, in DSA’s experimental approach.
One could also be forgiven, provided the geographical distance between Kriz and his bandmates, for marveling at his recruitment. But in this era of digital downloads and file sharing, space is relative. Kriz reveals, “We all basically work from home, sending stuff back and forth. We rehearse a week or two before a tour.”
The band hits the road April 8, their first major tour in two years. Although there remain a few open dates in which they hope to make a stop in Eau Claire, you can catch them for sure at St. Paul’s Station 4 on April 25. “We pride ourselves on our live show, which is where we have converted most of our fan base. For this tour you can expect to see some of the album’s more militant themes as part of our stage show,” promises Kriz.
The sun’s expiration date is still billions of years away. No time like the present to prepare for the coming inferno, though, and Coat of Arms is the perfect protocol by which to practice your “Stop! Drop! And (rock ‘n’) Roll!”