Q & A with Licka from Dead Letter Circus

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Dead Letter Circus’ much-anticipated third full-length album, ‘Aesthesis’ drops at the end of this week, and (though we’re not getting a date with DLC on the upcoming tour – they did play up here earlier this year) we thought we’d catch up with former-Coaster, and deadset top bloke (plus easily one of my favourite drummers), Luke ‘Licka’ Williams – fresh from the NZ Tour as well – to chat about the new album, and a few other burning questions.

 
Hey Licka! Let’s cut straight to the chase here… ‘Aesthesis’, Dead Letter Circus’ third (and much-anticipated) full-length album is out very soon (got my vinyl ordered) – how much of a step from The Catalyst Fire is the album, given that Catalyst Fire was a heavier record compared to the first album (‘This Is The Warning’), and what direction is the band heading in?
 
I can say that this writing and recording process was A LOT different to The Catalyst fire! It seems that we’ve written a bunch of anthemic tunes this time around compared to the heavier sound of TCF. We’re all over the moon with the results though and can’t wait for people to hear the tracks.
 
As with the previous albums, I believe there’s an underlying overall concept for ‘Aesthesis’ (I do remember Kim touching on this during the Triple J interview when ‘In Plain Sight’ was aired)… care to divulge?
 
Not so much of a concept as a continuation of previous themes explored on other records. I’m sure you’re aware of our anti-establishment stance when we can see the “system” failing the earth and a majority of the people who live on it. There’s some new themes though on this record….one song in particular is a stab at the meta data retention laws invoked last year to “keep us safe from terrorism”. But there’s lyrics on the record where Kim is talking about the potential of the human race as well….the flip side to some of the other lyrics where he’s feeling like we’re really screwing things up at the moment.
 
 
How much pre-production was done prior to heading in to the studio? Or was it a case of going in fresh, and you all bringing in ideas to flesh out?  I heard that ‘In Plain Sight’ wasn’t initially going to be a DLC song, instead, Kim was going to put it away for a solo project (possibly).
 
This record was a completely fresh process from start to finish for us. We literally went into the studio with one song written and decided to bunker down HARD and get the whole thing done with a hard deadline in place to put the pressure on ourselves. We told the record label we had a bunch of songs ready to go, when in fact the reality was, we had 1 complete song and around 20 “ideas” ready to be turned into songs.  So the album was written, pre- produced, recorded and mixed all in one continuous process….which was very different to previous records where we’d write a bit, go away on tour for a bit, come back write some more, tour, etc. We literally said to ourselves “lets do everything in one go this time”. And we did it!!! with startling results
 
 
 
I bet you’re looking forward to finally playing a lot more of this album live on the upcoming tour…
 
We’re planning on playing around 5 – 6 tracks from this new record in October. We love to present the new songs to fans, but we’re also very conscious that our fans also love us for our older material as well….so they’ll get a well rounded, pretty lengthy set of oldies and newies!!!
 
 
 
For those that always harp on about ‘they need another song like Cage’ (from This Is The Warning), what would you say to them (and is there any hint of that style on ‘Aesthesis’)?
(For the record, ‘Cage’ is a great song, but I feel the band has such a rich catalogue of material that should be focused on more).
 
I tend to get pissed off when people say we should remember what we wrote on ‘This Is The Warning’ and try and replicate it. They’re saying “I don’t care about your artistic evolution, I want you to make ME happy”. If you don’t like the new material….don’t listen to it, and definitely don’t get on You tube or Facebook and tell me how disappointed you are from behind your keyboard….you just sound like a jack arse. 
 
 
 
How were the acoustic sessions for you (in regards to the special performances last year, and the resulting acoustic release earlier this year)?  Did the songs tend to transfer organically to an acoustic version, or were there a few of the tracks that needed to be pulled apart and rebuilt?
 
The reaction to those shows was unbelievable!!! People lost their minds!! It’s never a simple process of conversion for us…We always think things through a lot. It’s not just a case of playing the same arrangement and parts on an acoustic guitar instead of an electric….We really tried to give the songs a new life in the acoustic/ electronic format….Different parts, different instrumentation….the whole bit.
 
 
 
And lastly, you lads have this knack for finding new bands to tour with (and consequently introduce us to)… who’s really got your attention at the moment?
 
 
We’re bringing Guards of May and 10 Years on the whole tour in October. We’ve had our eye on Guards for a long time and they’re dropping they’re debut record on the same date as us, so they’re ready for a big go around Australia. 10 Years are a great band also from the U.S. We’re bringing them out this year and they’re going to take us around the U.S next year hopefully. 
 
 
Cheers, Licka.  Have a fantastic tour in support of the new album. Can’t wait for my vinyl copy to arrive shortly.
 
Thanks Rhys!!! Hope you enjoy the record as much as we do mate!!!
‘Aesthesis’ comes out on Friday, August 14.  You can pre-order the digital album via iTunes here, or really get into the spirit (like we did) and head to the 24 Hundred store, and purchase the bundles here.
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