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Friday, October 26, 2012

Dulcinea - The Interview


This time around, we want to introduce a band from down south with members based in both JB & Singapore. The band is called Dulcinea and they’ve released 2 albums so far. Read the interview below to find out what their new album is all about and how they have matured as a band throughout these years.




Post A Gig : Hi Dulcinea, please do introduce yourselves. So who plays what instrument? How did the band start?
                        The members of Dulcinea are Gerard Richards - vocals, Jason Ng - bass, Rashid Said - drums, Paul Yong and me (Mathew Thomas) on guitars. I formed the band with Jason and Rashid in 2007. We've been playing together in various bands for years prior to that.

Post A Gig : What kind of music do you describe Dulcinea? Who are your influences?
                        To be honest, we've never taken genres seriously. After 2 albums, we've been categorized as Progressive Rock which makes sense in a way. Language is a way to create a symbol for something so Prog Rock is just as accurate or inaccurate as anything else used to describe our music. I think we are somewhere between Alternative and Progressive Rock.
Our foundation ranges through Pink Floyd, Soundgarden, Metallica, Neurosis, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Alice In Chains, Guns N Roses and countless other bands. Each of us have different tastes but we meet somewhere in the middle. Visual art, books and filmmakers such as David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky are a huge influence especially for me with regards to the band's art direction and song structures.

Post A Gig : How was the response of your first album and how it changed the band?
                        The first album "The Politics of Fear" was a free digital download and we had a modest amount of downloads. It was largely made by Jason and me and it established the parameters that we wanted to explore musically. The rest of the guys joined us when we needed to play the songs live. From this, we evolved into a proper band.



Post A Gig : How would you describe the differences between your first album and your second one?
                        As our lives and interests change, so does our musical output. Unlike our current album, the first album was heavily influenced by industrial and experimental music but it had the elements we continue to have such as odd time signatures, ambient passages, distorted voices and guitar harmonies. 

Post A Gig : After listening to your “In The Shadow of The Sun” album, we find that the song structures are quite progressive. Who write the songs and how do you come to a finalized song structure?
                        I come up with the initial musical ideas and structure and then we jam them out as band and everyone adds their own musical personality into it. Our singer, Gerard writes the lyrics. We tend to work towards a theme so we are unified in our pursuit of a common goal.  There's no need to divulge the personal stuff that influences the songwriting, themes and artwork but I hope people that listen recognize the music comes from a very honest place.

Post A Gig : Generally the album is quite dark. Do you work on a theme for each album? Is there a story for each of the songs?
                        We believe in confronting the darkness in order to reach the light. The theme for this current album is healing and how art and music can be used to heal from emotional wounds. Personally, more than the end product, making music and doing the artwork has always been about the process. I learn so much about myself, my hang-ups and other issues through that process and it helps me progress as a person.

  

Post A Gig : What are some of the challenges for you as a band? How have you been able to overcome those challenges?
                        Well, half the band is based in Singapore so that’s a challenge right there. But we make it work by making the effort that is needed for rehearsals.


Post A Gig : How often does the band practices?
The band practices once a week but when we've got an important gig coming up we intensify our practice routine.
Post A Gig :  To be honest, we have not heard much of Dulcinea. Have you tried submitting your songs to the local radio stations? Any responses?
                        The reason that we started this band wasn’t to be well-known; we started this band to create music. However, everyone whether they realise it or not, wants their music to be appreciated but our disdain or laziness for self promotion gets in the way of reaching new listeners. We don't feel radio is an appropriate medium for our music at this point.
 
                        Another thing that goes against us is we don't fit in any particular scene. We are not post-rock, indie rock, grunge, metal or any of the more popular genres so you won’t hear us on the radio or see us on the TV and people don’t write about us very much. From getting the right gigs to getting a magazine feature, it's an uphill battle for us.  But these things don't matter because for this band this is the path we have chosen. We aim for a great discography that pleases us and in time if our music is good enough it will reach more people. If it doesn't, it’s ok too. Like I said earlier, what matters is the process.

Post A Gig :  Did you try to get your materials promoted overseas? Is it well received?
                        The response overseas has been amazing and we had no idea that this would be the case.  We've managed to get our songs on radio in Argentina, Brazil and Holland. We've also been featured in a French prog magazine and a Bulgarian radio station interviewed Gerard (the singer) on air. Perhaps the style of music we play, prog rock or whatever, has a larger fanbase in those countries so they appreciate what we do.



Post A Gig : How did the band got signed with Spiral Records? Can you tell us about the journey with Spiral Records?
                        To maintain complete control over our music and future projects, I started Spiral Records. There were actually a few labels that we were in negotiations with but we wanted the freedom to do whatever we wanted. For example, one of the international labels we were in advanced negotiations with, wanted us to perform regularly in Europe but with our day jobs, this is difficult.
So with Spiral Records, we fully embrace the DIY ethic. It's a labour of love, with no expectations and no rules to adhere to. For distribution, we are signed to Sonic Blast Media which is a Singaporean label owned by the guys in Rudra. They've been supportive and have given us plenty of useful advice.

Post A Gig : What do you think of the local music scene? Active/inactive? What do you think can be improved?
                        I think Malaysia has a lot of brilliant and creative bands. My band has organised underground gigs in both Singapore and Malaysia and we get our favourite underground bands to play and it's always a fun experience.
But local music lacks the machinery to propel bands from the underground towards public consciousness if you are not making immediately accessible music. The media needs to be more interested in bands that choose to do something unique instead of being the next local version of Green Day.

Post A Gig : Who are your top 3 local bands and why?
                        One of my favourite local bands is a band called Janitor. We played a gig with them once in Shah Alam and they were mind -blowing. I also like Tempered Mental, Phlox and Stillaway. I think these are interesting bands.

  

Post A Gig : What's your ultimate direction for your band? How do you plan to achieve that?
                        The philosophy in Dulcinea is that music is communication and we try to communicate and express the things that bug our subconscious in a way that is personal to us and hopefully that is felt and heard within the music. We’re just trying to learn something about ourselves. At times, it’s difficult and challenging and that’s how we know that we are doing the right thing.



Post A Gig : Any advice for your fans who wants to form a band in Malaysia?
The internet is a great tool for promoting your band but there are millions of bands both good and bad that desperately want attention. Know what is it you want from your music and what you hope to achieve with it and approach everything else from that perspective.
If your goal is popularity and selling lots of albums then there are ways for that and it’s best you approach a label for help. The methods of getting your music across can vary for different bands. For example, if you are a metal band, its best to get in touch with metal webzines, radio stations, publications and take things from there. Not all methods of promoting your band will suit your band specifically and if you are not careful you'll end up in uncomfortable situations or be forced to water down the artistry of your music.

 Post A Gig : Anyone you would like to thank for supporting you in your musical journey?
                        The fact that people come to our shows is something I’m very grateful for. To be able to play music and have people who listen to it and appreciative it is the highlight for me. So we are thankful to anyone that takes the time to listen to our music.  
 Post A Gig : How can the fans contact you? FB? Email? Website?
                        Our facebook page has our music videos, articles, music and other useful info:

We also have a bandcamp page:

To get our CD, it's best to go over to:
                        www.sonicblastmedia.com

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