Pat Garcia (guitarist)
Mike Modeste (bass)
David and Ceschi Ramos (vocalists)
|“…There’s something left to do, but the world already ended. The apocalypse already happened, and we’ll be dead by Wednesday.” —“Dead By Wednesday”|
Family... In this misguided millennium of red-state dominance, you’d think the concept would carry a bit more weight. But it doesn’t. More and more parents need to work longer and harder hours to support their families, while more and more government officials get fatter and fatter, helping the economy more by hiring people to clean their houses, cars and criminal records rather than affecting a change through legislation and reform. It’s a vicious circle, and one that hardcore music has fought since its inception.
Enter Dead By Wednesday, a Connecticut-based band of insurgents with ideals as radical as their music, and music radical enough to turn the extreme music scene on end.
“Wake up, look what’s going on around you!” says drummer Opus, whose former band, Gargantua Soul, was one of the Constitution State’s top live draws for years. “People need to question themselves, question authority, and question their government.”
Joined in Dead By Wednesday by his cousins—vocalists David and Ceschi Ramos, who transplanted from California to join the progressive hardcore outfit—, fellow local veterans Pat Garcia (guitarist) and Mike Modeste (bass), Opus finds himself at the core of a band that holds the future of hardcore metal in the palm of their hands. “It’s old-school metal riffs, with new stuff, and mixed with a wild style, scatting, fast poetry and aggressive vocals. It’s innovative hardcore,” says the drummer, the outfit’s primary songwriter. “A lot of bands today are starting to sound very similar, but we’re mixing it up, experimental with an improv style. We’re going back to a time when bands weren’t afraid to step out of the box, but still kept it hardcore.”
Bad Brains. Dead Kennedys. Earth Crisis. Pantera. They’re names that have shaped the face of modern hardcore, and bands that have helped shape the sound and vision of Dead By Wednesday. They’ve got the sound, vision, and a fury shaped by the world around them. “We’ve been politically active for as long as I can remember,” says Ceschi, who along with his brother was raised with a revolutionary zest in the political hotbed of Berkley, CA. “We don’t want to push any platform down people’s throats; we want it to be broad. We’re extremely liberal, but being against the President isn’t our focus. We want unity, but on a worldwide level. We don’t want to make it too intellectual, so that it throws people off—We want them to be able to take what they can out of it.”
With an international flair for rhythm and a songwriting finesse that resonates with old-school style and new-school bravado, Dead By Wednesday is every bit the product of their Italian, Puerto Rican and Caribbean roots, as impacted by the bands that paved the path before them. They do those roads proud on their Democracy is Dead debut, venturing forth on a road less traveled in the process.
“Resist” tears into the album with a vindictive determination, the shotgun-style delivery of the Ramos brothers landing somewhere amidst the colorful spray of System Of A Down’s front man Serj Tankian and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. Musically, it’s like Hatebreed crashing head-on with Sepultura, and it only boils over from there. “My Voice” is a high-kicking flight of hardcore furor, “Enemigo” is a Spanish-flavored excursion into Slayer’s hellfire, “Refuse To Suffer” stokes the flames even higher with its pulverizing brute force, and “Democracy Is Dead” is a no-holds-barred hardcore barrage. But don’t get too caught up in the fist-pumping and head-flailing or you’ll miss Pat Garcia’s subtle flavorings, adding a melodic underscore to the brazen assault. For the truly old-school? Try DBW’s frenetic cover of S.O.D.’s “Kill Yourself” on for size…
“I never really heard music the way these guys hear it,” Opus says of his cousins’ zealous approach to splicing their voices into the multi-tiered music. “That’s what really makes this so innovative. It’s defying the trends, and it’s not like something you’re going to hear from someone else. You might love it, you might hate it, and you might not understand it—but you’ve never heard anything like it.” “The key is to stay open-minded, and use the differences as influences,” adds Modeste. “It allows you to look at things from a different rhythmical perspective and add a different flavor to the songwriting. I’ll throw in some slapping, some popping, and it all adds to the different elements.”
It’s when all those elements fuse, that Dead By Wednesday truly transcends their savage blend of hardcore intensity, metal efficiency, and cultural resiliency.
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